i-Lab 2020: Egle Therapeutics awarded for its innovative work in immuno-oncology
Egle Therapeutics, start-up created and supported by Institut Curie, and AVATAR MEDICAL, start-up resulting from research work carried out at Institut Pasteur and Institut Curie, were rewarded at the 22nd i-Lab innovation competition organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in partnership with Bpifrance. Growth accelerator for deeptech start-ups, the competition supports the prize-winners by assisting them in their development through the payment of a grant of up to €600,000 and the use of a valuable label when seeking funding.
Egle Therapeutics, a startup with dazzling advances
Founded in 2020 by Institut Curie, the start-up results from Eliane Piaggio’s research work, Inserm Research Director & Head of the Translational Immunotherapy Team at Institut Curie, and Luc Boblet, a serial entrepreneur in the field of biotechnology. The start-up is developing treatments specifically targeting the immunosuppressive action of regulatory T lymphocytes applied to oncology and autoimmune diseases. Its innovative technology is based on a translational platform for the discovery of new specific Treg targets infiltrating the tumor to develop new therapeutic approaches of immunocytokines, made of antibodies coupled to modified cytokines. Its flagship program? The development of an immunocytokine derived from interleukin 2 - a cytokine essential to Treg biology - and built from a series of proprietary variants with a unique mechanism of action for selective Treg inactivation.
Following a recent strategic partnership with the pharmaceutical company Takeda, Egle Therapeutics continues to move forward at high speed by winning this prestigious award. The award will enable the young company to continue the development of its first-in-class treatments. Ultimately, these innovative immunotherapies could have a real impact on traditional cancer treatment pathways.
AVATAR MEDICAL: towards a simplification of complex surgeries
Resulting from the research work carried out at Institut Pasteur and Institut Curie, AVATAR MEDICAL is also awarded the i-Lab 2020 prize. The start-up develops a visualization platform to facilitate the preparation of complex surgeries. Its objective? To enable surgeons to reduce the recurrence rate and the number of mastectomies thanks to a better visualization of complex cases. Currently being created, the start-up is based on the technology DIVA developed since 2016 by the Light-based Observation and Control of Cellular Organization Team at Institut Curie, through its former director, the late Maxime Dahan, in collaboration with the Decision and Bayesian Computation Team led by Jean-Baptiste Masson at Institut Pasteur.
A promising strategy for the creation of start-ups
This announcement is also indicative of the ambitious strategy of Institut Curie, whose policy of supporting and creating start-ups implemented in 2017, is flourishing, as explained by Amaury Martin, Director of Technology Transfer and Industrial Partnerships at Institut Curie and Director of Carnot Curie Cancer:
We are delighted with these two iLab accreditations. After the labels obtained in 2017 by Stimunity and Inorevia, and in 2019 by Sideros and Honing Biosciences, this is further proof of the quality of the incubation of start-ups carried out at Institut Curie, and of the excellence of the research work protected and promoted through the creation of dedicated companies. It should be noted this year that the two winning start-ups are based on work carried out in conjunction with teams from Institut Pasteur - AVATAR MEDICAL having been co-incubated with the Research Applications and Industrial Relations Department (DARRI) teams at Institut Pasteur.