Neovacs and Biomedical Diagnostics (BMD) announce they have received a €7.9 million grant from OSEO Innovation to support “Tracker”, a theranostics project concerning rheumatoid arthritis. The project will be managed by Neovacs.

“We are delighted about this significant grant from OSEO Innovation for Neovacs and BMD. It will allow us to conduct a highly innovative major new research program that could provide a solution for thousands of patients in whom the existing therapeutic arsenal has failed to treat what is an extremely disabling disease,” commented Neovacs CEO Guy-Charles Fanneau de La Horie.

The aim of the Tracker project, carried out in conjunction with BMD, is to develop a global therapeutic strategy for patients presenting rheumatoid arthritis. The most effective drugs currently available, anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies, rapidly induce antibodies that neutralise them increasingly over time.

These antibodies lead to resistance and/or intolerance to the treatment, which subsequently becomes ineffective and/or toxic. A UK study has shown that more than a quarter of patients abandon this type of medication within 15 months.

The main aim of the Tracker project is to validate the diagnostics tools developed by BMD to evaluate these neutralizing antibodies and to test a therapeutic solution developed by Neovacs involving active anti-TNF immunisation.

The OSEO Innovation funding totals €7.9 million, with €2.5 million as a grant and €5.4 million as a repayable advance. OSEO Innovation supports innovative projects in order to share the inherent risks of R&D programmes of SMEs, thereby facilitating access to private funding.