Transgene (Euronext: TNG), part of the Institut Mérieux, is a publicly traded French biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing immune-targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Transgene is developing oncolytic viruses with tumor restricted propagation capacities and reduced toxicity to normal human cells. Transgene is currently one of the industrial partners of the EUROoC network with the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and the Biotechnology IGB (Germany). As an affiliate of the Institut Mérieux, Transgene is actively acting in IMI proposals.
Transgene team: Dr. Cecile Zaupa (F) is virologist by training and is leading a project to develop innovative in vitro models. As an example, microfluidic tumor models are being set up to screen viral vectors with oncolytic potential in order to determine their role as a promising approach to cancer therapy either as a standalone therapeutic or in combination with SOC (Standard of Care) or immunotherapy treatments. Dr Johann Foloppe (M) is virologist by training and is heading the development of new Poxvirus as oncolytic agents with various arming including immuno-regulators. His laboratory is conducting in both in vitro (2D and 3D culture models) and in vivo (human tumors in nude mice) settings the evaluation of the new therapeutic candidates. Dr. Luc Barraud (M) is Head of Transgene’s Assays and Imaging laboratory. Activities are to characterize the immune dysfunction, the tumor microenvironment and the follow-up of disease progression/regression in preclinical models and during clinical trials. In addition, the Assays and Imaging laboratory develops biomarkers for the measurement of immunotherapy efficiency (T cells profiling, Immune check points targets). Dr Sylvain Robin (M) is Biochemist by training and is leading armed oncolytic virus projects for the metabolic engineering of the tumor microenvironment metabolic; he is leading the development of strategies to enhance OVs galenic and targeting of tumors. Dr Clémentine Spring-Giusti (F) is Transgenes Head of Toxicology, in charge of toxicological evaluation of immunotherapeutic products in the oncology and infectious diseases fields especially to prepare the first-in-man studies and of the elaboration of toxicological development plans according to the project objectives and the regulatory requirements. Jean-Marc Balloul (M) is R&D Innovation & Partnership Director. He has over thirty years of industry experience in research and development in the field of cancer vaccines development and immunotherapy.
Role within Project
- Development of human immune-competent microphysiological systems (MPS) for enhanced assessment of virotherapy toxicology (skin warts, flu syndrome, etc…)
- MPS for enhanced assessment of Immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated immune-mediated hepatitis (liver- and intestine-on-a-chip featuring primary human macrophages and circulating primary human leukocyte)
- Novel models such as a lymph-node-on-a-chip as well as immunocompetent skin-on-a-chip platform will be developed
- Tumor-on-a-chip models that recapitulate the complex microenvironment of cancer tissue will be established by embedding patient-specific primary tissue samples (tumor organoids) from biopsies into specifically tailored MPSs and integration of autologous immune cells