PRAGMA Therapeutics and UK Ministry of Defence’s Center for Defence Enterprise collaborate to support preclinical research on innovative treatment for tinnitus
September 1st, 2016 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics announced today that the company has signed a major collaboration with the Center for Defence Enterprise (CDE), a division of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). Among the top 6 winners over 52 worldwide applicants in the MOD themed competition “detect and treat hearing loss and tinnitus”, through this CDE funded research PRAGMA Therapeutics and CILcare, a French CRO specialized in hearing disorders, aim at demonstrating the therapeutics benefit of PRAGMA’s mGlu7 allosteric modulators in a translational and multi-parametric model of tinnitus.
“Hearing loss and tinnitus are among the most severe disorders that active military members are suffering when returning from military operations. We provide here a unique and innovative therapeutic approach targeting the peripheral and central components of tinnitus that can develop after acute and chronic acoustic trauma” said Sylvain Celanire, Chief Executive Officer of PRAGMA Therapeutics. “We are very grateful to the CDE for its financial as well as preclinical and clinical support in this project. We are thrilled to work with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory team, and our collaborator CILcare, to advance our program towards prevention and treatment of tinnitus” added Guillaume Duvey, Chief Scientific Officer of PRAGMA Therapeutics.
“The health and wellbeing of UK armed forces personnel throughout their career is very important to the MOD. One particular area of concern is the potential for noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. In military service loud, impulsive noise can be a specific occupational hazard. PRAGMA Therapeutics innovative approach has the potential to specifically treat and prevent these serious debilitating disorders, in particular tinnitus, which could be of benefit to UK operational forces” said Jim Pennycook, Head of operations for CDE.
Célia Belline, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of CILcare, commented: “The determination of physiological markers of tinnitus in humans and animals remains a challenge, which the scientific community is strongly focusing on. Over the recent years technical improvements in imaging have led to the determination of activated brain areas following the administration of tinnitus-inducing agents. CILcare with the collaboration of Dr. Yves Cazals and Dr. Arnaud Norena, experts in auditory research and Dr. Christophe Goze-Bac, expert in NMR Spectroscopy and Imaging, have successfully applied and developed further these technics, which progress will directly benefit to the evaluation of PRAGMA Therapeutics’mGlu7 modulators in tinnitus.”
In May 2016, PRAGMA Therapeutics had announced a major funding from the UK Action on Hearing Loss charity for its mGlu7 program to specifically address Noise-Induced and Age-Related Hearing Loss, in collaboration with the Global Center for Speech and Hearing Research at the University of South Florida. Adding tinnitus to the therapeutic potential of mGlu7 modulators, PRAGMA Therapeutics provides a first-in-class treatment to both military and civilian population suffering from severe hearing disorders, tapping into a high growth market of nearly 10 billion euros.
PRAGMA Therapeutics receives the Tremplin Entreprises 2016 award
June 20, 2016 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics announced it received the Tremplin Entreprises 2016 Award in the Life-Science track, during the 16th Tremplin Entreprises edition held on June 20th at the Senate in Paris. Co-organised by the French Senate and the ESSEC business school since 1999, Tremplin Entreprises is the most prestigious contest for innovative companies in France. PRAGMA Therapeutics reach the top 30 awardees among 380 national applicants, and the top 9 within life-science start-ups. This is the second major award received by the company in less than a month, after the Brain Forum Innovation Prize 2016 last May.
“We are very honoured to receive this prestigious award of the Tremplin Entreprises contest which recognizes the value of our unique asset for severe stress-related and hearing disorders. This prize is a validation from the industry and financial institutions of the quality of our strategy and development plan” commented Sylvain Celanire, CEO of Pragma Therapeutics.
PRAGMA Therapeutics wins the 2016 Innovation Award from MassChallenge Switzerland
May 26, 2016 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics announced that the company has received the 2016 Innovation Award from MassChallenge Switzerland at the last edition of the Brain Forum held on May 26-27th at the Swiss Convention Center in Lausanne. Selected from the 120 most innovative European biotech and medtech start-ups in neuroscience, and within the top 6 finalists, PRAGMA Therapeutics presented its unique asset for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders and hearing loss in front of 1000+ worldwide peer neuroscientists, institutional and life-science organizations, investors and pharma industries.
“We are very grateful to the Brain Forum Innovation Award selection committee and MassChallenge Switzerland for this prestigious award, which highlights our deep commitment in advancing innovative medicines for severe brain and ear disorders” commented Sylvain Celanire, CEO of PRAGMA Therapeutics.
Together with 71 other international high impact startups, PRAGMA Therapeutics will integrate the MassChallenge Switzerland acceleration program in Renens-CH, and will access free office space, prototyping and wet labs, and will benefit from high profile coaching and mentorship from worldwide MassChallenge.
PRAGMA Therapeutics awarded first prize and £300,000 from UK charity Action on Hearing Loss to develop new drugs to treat Hearing Loss.
April 25, 2016 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics SAS, a leading biopharmaceutical company in the field of stress and trauma-related disorders, announced today that it has received a Translational Research Initiative for Hearing (TRIH) award from the charity Action on Hearing Loss to develop novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of Sensorineural Hearing Loss in both civilian and military patient populations. To this end, PRAGMA has established an international collaboration with world-renowned Professor Robert Frisina, Director of the Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research at the University of South Florida, and principal investigator to perform efficacy studies in translational animal models of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is by far the most prevalent inner ear disorder; the World Health Organization estimates that 500 million people worldwide have mild to moderate to severe hearing loss. Hearing loss may develop slowly over many years or set in acutely, e.g. following some noise or head trauma. It may be either due to insufficient sound conduction from the outer to the inner ear or much more frequently to damage to the hair cells and neurons in the cochlea or to the auditory nerve (“sensorineural hearing loss”). Chronic hearing loss may have serious impacts on professional and personal lives, e.g. through reduced job performance and earning power, impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks or reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety.
Action on Hearing Loss has awarded PRAGMA Therapeutics £300,000 over 3 years to fund the discovery and development of small molecule allosteric modulators of the metabotropic glutamate receptor type 7 (mGlu7) and preclinical proof-of-concept studies in two specific disease conditions: noise-induced hearing loss and presbycusis.
“We are grateful to Action on Hearing Loss to be the unique recipient worldwide of this prestigious award, extending our leading position in mGlu7 research and development into hearing loss field” commented Sylvain Celanire, CEO of PRAGMA Therapeutics. “This second funding awarded to PRAGMA by the charity is a proof of our common commitment of developing innovative and groundbreaking treatments addressing age-related and noise-induced hearing loss, the highest unmet medical needs in the otic disorder field without a single drug approved as of today” added Sylvain Celanire.
The objective of the project team is to demonstrate oral proof-of-concept and identify biomarkers in animals, and to select a preclinical candidate which will be capable of further development into a drug.
“PRAGMA has built a fast-moving proprietary pipeline of unique drug-like molecules targeting mGlu7 receptor with an oral proof-of-concept already demonstrated in a translational model of post-traumatic stress disorders. Thanks to a first Flexigrant award granted by Action on Hearing Loss, our lead molecule PGT117 has already shown sustained exposure in the inner ear after oral administration, a major advantage compared to current investigational drugs in clinical development using invasive trans-tympanic injections” commented Guillaume Duvey, CSO of PRAGMA Therapeutics.
Professor Robert Frisina, Director of the Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research, added “Millions of persons worldwide suffer from age-related or noise induced hearing loss. Yet we cannot obtain over-the-counter, or prescription medications to prevent or treat hearing loss. Through the generous support of Action on Hearing Loss, our international collaboration with PRAGMA can facilitate breakthrough progress in this field. We are particularly excited about carrying out this particular project, as it builds upon our previous gene discovery report regarding the importance of the GRM7 gene’s role in the progression of human age-related hearing loss“
Action on Hearing Loss runs the world’s largest donor-supported hearing research programs, dedicated to funding research into better treatments and cures for hearing loss and tinnitus.
Dr Ralph Holme, Head of Biomedical Research at charity Action on Hearing Loss, said: “There is an urgent need for effective treatments to prevent and treat hearing loss – a condition that affects as many as one in six people in the UK and all too often isolates people from friends and family. In bringing together the drug discovery expertise of PRAGMA Therapeutics and the hearing research expertise of the Global Centre for Hearing and Speech Research, our new project aims to bring the development of urgently needed treatments a step closer.“
The SEVEN4PTSD consortium led by PRAGMA Therapeutics awarded 2015 French ANR grant to further advance its mGlu7 program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
November 23, 2015 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics, a biotech company discovering and developing breakthrough therapeutics for stress-related disorders, announced that it has been awarded a €483,281 grant from the French Research National Agency (ANR) to advance its main mGlu7 program for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. Led by PRAGMA Therapeutics, the SEVEN4PTSD consortium is a public-private partnership gathering two leading academic groups, namely the Functional Genomic Institute (IGF) at the University of Montpellier and the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (CRNL) at the University of Lyon, and an industrial partner, the preclinical and clinical Contract Research Organization Biotrial, based in Rennes.
“We are really proud that our Seven4PTSD project is validated by a committee of international experts and honored that French leading experts in the field of neuroscience drug development have accepted to constitute this consortium of scientific excellence. The ANR grant is one of the most prestigious and renowned French grant which will undeniably help PRAGMA moving this program forward and will significantly impact the PTSD field with next generation medicines” stated Guillaume Duvey, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at PRAGMA.
This 2-year funded project proposes to examine novel negative allosteric modulators (NAM) of a Class C GPCR, the metabotropic glutamate receptor type 7 (mGlu7) to attenuate the anxiety and stress responses associated with dysregulated glutamatergic signaling in the cortex, hippocampus and amygdala. Patients affected by PTSD, which represent a sizable proportion of the population, have limited efficacious and safe pharmacotherapeutical options for treatment.
“For almost 30 years, I’ve been promoting research on mGlu receptors as drug targets with great potentials in the CNS area. I am excited to help PRAGMA Therapeutic unravelling mGlu7 pharmacology and thrilled to share all the tools and assays we developed to validate their drugs for PTSD treatment” commented Jean-Philippe Pin from IGF.
Precisely, this project consists of preclinical studies aimed at the discovery, chemical optimization, in vitro biological characterization, translational in vivo pharmacology, biomarkers evaluation and brain imaging studies of proprietary mGlu7 NAMs.
“We are pleased to work with PRAGMA Therapeutics in advancing this original program. This grant will now enable us to move the program through the development of original PET radiotracers necessary to the in vivo exploration of the cerebral mGlu7 receptors in preclinical and clinical studies” added Prof. Luc ZIMMER, head of the BIORAN lab at the CNRL.
The Seven4PTSD consortium will benefit from the longstanding experience and complementary in-depth expertise of each partner, accelerating the discovery of novel mGlu7 modulators towards preclinical development as well as further understanding the role of mGlu7 in the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, in particular acute PTSD.
PRAGMA Therapeutics founders received 2015 Regional Entrepreneurship award to support their business development.
July 30, 2015 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics, a biotech company discovering and developing breakthrough therapeutics for stress-related disorders, announced that co-founders Dr Sylvain Celanire – CEO, and Dr Guillaume Duvey – CSO, received a 2015 Entrepreneurship award from the Reseau Entreprendre Haute-Savoie and Inovizi, a national initiative to support innovative start-up creation.
PRAGMA Therapeutics awarded FrenchTech grant from BPIFrance to support its business development strategy and strengthen its IP portfolio.
July 16, 2015 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics, a biotech company discovering and developing breakthrough therapeutics for stress-related disorders, announced that it has been awarded a €27,000 grant from the French Public Bank of Investment (BPIFrance) and INPI. This grant will support patent applications filing, specific CNS market evaluation and facilitate international collaboration on PRAGMA preclinical asset.
PRAGMA Therapeutics announced joining Pulsalys incubator in Lyon and accelerating its scientific operations.
June 11, 2015 – Archamps, France – PRAGMA Therapeutics, a biotech company discovering and developing breakthrough therapeutics for stress-related disorders, announced joining Lyon-based incubator Pulsalys. PRAGMA Therapeutics will receive financial support to up-scale, characterize and progress its lead molecule towards preclinical proof-of-concept in chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. PRAGMA will collaborate with Professor David Diamond, Director of the Preclinical and Clinical Research Center on PTSD at Tampa University, South Florida – USA, who developed translational rodent models of PTSD.
PRAGMA Therapeutics awarded best project at the Italian Venture Forum.
November 4, 2014 – Archamps, France – Guillaume Duvey, CSO at PRAGMA therapeutics, presented the company at the Italian Venture Forum, which took place in November 4 in Torino, Italy. PRAGMA therapeutics was among the award winners in the Life Science section (see ITVF).
April 25-27, 2016 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to showcase at the BioTrinity 2016 – Europe’s Leading Investment and Biopartnering Conference in London, UK.
April 13-14, 2016 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to attend the 11th Biovision Investor Conference in Lyon, France.
March 15-16, 2016 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to showcase at the 9th Annual European Life Science CEO Forum & Exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland.
December 4, 2015 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to present at the 7th Private Inv€stment Day de Lyon Biopole, held at Sanofi Pasteur site, 2 Avenue Pont Pasteur, Lyon.
September 24, 2015 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to present at 13th annual Discovery on Target meeting, GPCR-Based Drug Discovery – Pharmacological Complexities track, held on September 21-24 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
May 4, 2015 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to present at the Biovision investor event – Catalyser section, held on April 15th – 16th 2015, Lyon, Congress Center, Cité Internationale, France.
October 10, 2014 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to present at the Annual Collaborative Day – BlueSky meeting organized by LyonBiopole and held in Grenoble, France.
September 23, 2014 – PRAGMA Therapeutics to attend the 8th International Meeting Glutamate Receptors, held in Taormina, Sicily.