DNA-Therapeutics (acquired by onxeo)
DNA Therapeutics was founded in June 2006 as a spin-off of four French research institutions led by the Institut Curie.
The company developed a new class of targeted drugs addressing cancer resistance to conventional cancer therapies, based on an original concept named ‘Dbait’. Discovered in 2002 by Marie Dutreix, CNRS research director of the Recombination, Repair and Cancer team (UMR3347/U1021), the Dbait molecules are a new, extremely promising class of medications called radiosensitizers. The concept involves boosting radiotherapy to enhance its effectiveness.
Throughout the years and several R&D collaborations, DNA Therapeutics and Institut Curie focused their work on five key areas:
- Further understanding of the Dbait mechanisms of action, to better explain the lack of toxicity of these inhibitors on normal tissue
- Characterize the most responsive tumors as well as the most efficacious combinations with standard therapies to prepare for future clinical trials
- Identify potential resistance mechanisms to Dbait
- Identify predictive biomarkers for responding to Dbait
- Develop secondgeneration Dbait molecules with improved pharmacokinetic properties
This collaboration allowed the identification of the lead product - DT01 which was tested in a multi-centre phase I therapeutic trial (DRIIM trial) in France coordinated by Dr. C Le Tourneau, head of early clinical trials and precision medicine at Institut Curie. The results of this trial were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) international meeting, on May 30, 2015.
On Feb 29, 2016, DNA Therapeutics was acquired by Onxeo, a leading developer of orphan oncology drugs. Onxeo now plans to initiate the development of this first-in-class product by the systemic route, and to assess their safety and tolerance in monotherapy and in combination with other DNA-damaging agents in various solid tumors.