MAASTRICHT, The Netherlands and GOSSELIES, Belgium, Dec. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cristal Therapeutics, a Dutch privately-held life sciences company developing novel nanomedicines against cancer and other diseases and iTeos Therapeutics SA, a Belgian privately-held biotechnology company applying its expertise in translational tumor immunology to the development of novel cancer immunotherapies, today announced a strategic partnership for the discovery, development and commercialization of optimized immuno anti-cancer drug candidates, using Cristal Therapeutics' medicinal nanotechnology CriPec® platform.
The initial goal of this partnership is to determine the therapeutic efficacy of targeted drugs using Cristal's CriPec® application in iTeos' preclinical models which have been proven to be predictive in combinations of several immune activators - such as IDO1 and TDO2 - with checkpoint inhibitors. iTeos has an option to license Cristal's proprietary nanotechnology platform to support the development and commercialization of up to three of its immune tumor-targeting programs.
CriPec®, a proprietary nanotechnology platform, consists of tuneable polymers and biodegradable drug linkers that allow for the rational design and straightforward manufacturing of custom-made nanomedicines. Applying the CriPec® platform - drugs entrapped in CriPec® nanoparticles - results in immuno nanomedicines with a superior product profile as compared to the native drug molecule. CriPec® nanoparticles improve the disposition of thousands of drug molecules per particle and allow the controlled release of these molecules specifically at the target site. This results in an improved therapeutic efficacy and tolerability.
Joost Holthuis, Cristal Therapeutics' CEO, commented:
"This partnership with iTeos allows us to assess and demonstrate the application of our CriPec® nanoparticles, specifically in the area of novel immuno-oncology therapies. We are focused on applying our nanomedicine platform to several promising oncology indications, some of which will be evaluated for the iTeos' development pipeline."
Michel Detheux, , iTeos' CEO, added:
"We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with an emerging clinical-stage nanomedicine platform company. Cristal has a strong and experienced management team, and has demonstrated the capability to quickly develop valuable therapeutic programs. We look forward to applying their platform to some of our drug candidates. We believe it has particular potential in the evolving area of causing so-called "cold tumors" - which are less responsive to checkpoint inhibitors - to become susceptible to various immuno-oncology therapies."
About Cristal Therapeutics
Maastricht, The Netherlands based Cristal Therapeutics, is a privately-held life sciences company developing novel nanomedicines against cancer and other diseases, by using its patented CriPec® platform. CriPec® transforms drugs into polymeric nanoparticles via an innovative process. These nanoparticles provide improved distribution throughout the body. The substantial improvement of the efficacy and safety of the drugs entrapped in CriPec® nanoparticles has been demonstrated in several preclinical disease models. Cristal Therapeutics' products in development are primarily aimed at treating patients suffering from cancer but offer also opportunities for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. CriPec® docetaxel is the most advanced product candidate, and is under clinical evaluation for the treatment of solid tumors. For more information please visit www.cristaltherapeutics.com.
About iTeos Therapeutics S.A.
Based in Gosselies, Belgium, iTeos, a spin-off of Ludwig Cancer Research (LICR) and de Duve Institute (UCL), is focused on expanding the benefits of immunotherapy for cancer patients. The company is developing a proprietary pipeline targeting A2A, immune checkpoints and non-immunogenic tumors. It has licensed its IDO1 program, now in Phase 1 development, to Pfizer. iTeos' competitive edge is in the combination of expertise in drug discovery and translational tumor immunology. The company uses a unique platform to identify rational combinations of immunotherapies and novel targets. The company is supported in part by the Walloon Region of Belgium and the FEDER (European Fund for Economic and Regional Development). For more information please visit www.iteostherapeutics.com.
Contacts: Joost Holthuis, CEO Cristal Therapeutics +31 43 388 5868 firstname.lastname@example.org Michel Detheux, CEO iTeos therapeutics +32 71 919 933 email@example.com For iTeos Therapeutics: Sarah McCabe Stern Investor Relations, Inc. +1 212 362-1200 firstname.lastname@example.org Jonathan Birt, Mathew Neal, Hendrik Thys Consilium Strategic Communications email@example.com +44 2 037 095 700 For Cristal Therapeutics: LifeSpring Life Sciences Communication Leon Melens firstname.lastname@example.org +31 6 538 16 427