The French biotech Erytech seeks Nasdaq to nourish big ambitions




A new biotech soon to be publicly traded in the United States? Erytech Pharma announced on Friday evening, have filed a registration statement with the Securities Exchange Commission (the policeman in us stock) for an ipo on the Nasdaq. If it succeeds, it would join the closed circle of the biotech French traded across the Atlantic, represented by Genfit, DBV, and other Cellectis. For the moment, the company has not specified or the range of the ipo price, or the number of shares. “They can only be determined at the end of a period of 15 days following the filing of the form,” says Erytech.

Erytech encouraged by the good clinical results

The biotech lyon seems to have chosen the right time to venture into the stock market american. She put on her good dynamic stock market on the Next biotech (an index which includes companies in life sciences, belgian, French, Dutch…). Today, Erytech is part of the ten biotechs French the best-rated in this index, with a market capitalization of nearly € 300 million.

After some uncertainty, the market price of the company rose to over 25 euros in march 2017, and then was maintained at this level. The biotech has surprised analysts, thanks to the excellent clinical results of the eryaspase (Graspa), a dérivbé of L-Asparaginase, in phase II in cancer of the pancreas, one of the cancers that are more aggressive with less than 10% survival after five years on average after diagnosis. The patient affected by a pancreatic adenocarcinoma were obtained for an improvement in their overall survival during this clinical trial of 26.1 weeks compared with 19 weeks for the standard treatment.

Nasdaq to complete its clinical trials in autonomy

The company believes already have enough funds for its ongoing clinical trials, but aims for an ipo in the United States to finance the following tests, in particular for the clinical trial phase III in this indication, which is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2018. Without it, the biotech should look to partnerships with pharmaceutical laboratories, and losing part of the hand-an indication that has the allure of a potential blockbuster (a drug that is in excess of one billion dollars of annual turnover). Moreover, Erytech has already forged a partnership with Teva to complete the clinical trials of the eryaspase against leukemia aïgue lymphoblastic (phase III). With the eryaspase, its molecule lighthouse, the biotech is also results also in leukemia-acute myeloid (phase II) and other solid tumors as that of the pancreas.

It must be said that oncology clinical trials are expensive (several tens of million euros) and especially risky. The failure rate in this area is higher than that found in other pathologies. Only 40% of drug candidates in phase III reaches the commercial phase, according to a study by BIO, an organization comprising public and private actors of the life sciences.

Of drugs delivered by red blood cells

Another argument with which Erytech is hoping to convince investors: the method of administration of therapeutic products. The French biotech transforms the red blood cells in medicine, a technology protected by 164 patent. In the clear, she buys pockets of blood compatible with the patient, and then she wraps of the drug through the pores of the membrane of the blood cells before injecting them into the body of the patient.

With this therapeutic strategy, it may spread asparaginase, a molecule to be effective, but sometimes highly toxic when it is administered in the conventional way. Played through “a red blood cell, this allows you to limit the toxicity,’ said Gil Beyen, CEO of the company, during a presentation organized by the firm biotech-Agora, on the 23rd of may last. In the long term, Erytech is hoped to expand the use of these “red blood cells therapeutic” to other drugs.

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