Innovative technological platforms

Peptides: long-standing expertise

Ipsen has a strong history of peptide drug discovery and formulation. The Group continues to apply this expertise to projects based on analogs of natural peptides that respond to patient needs. Somatuline® Autogel® symbolizes Ipsen’s ability to combine research advances with formulation innovation. The peptide platform capitalizes on its knowledge in this area in an innovative manner to leverage the huge proportion of molecular targets yet to be developed as drugs, such as small molecules and antibodies. Peptide engineering was previously conducted by Ipsen’s R&D center in Milford (Massachusetts, US) and Les Ulis (France), in collaboration with academic research centers. In 2014, US R&D activities have been relocated from Milford to Cambridge (Massachusetts), a leading hub for biotechnology research. The move brings Ipsen closer to several key partners based in the region, including major hospital centers, medical schools, biotech companies and leading universities, enabling the company to strengthen its leadership in peptides. Pharmaceutical development will continue to be conducted in Dreux (France).

Toxins: about botulinum toxin

Used in the treatment of spasticity, botulinum toxin’s inhibitors make it an effective treatment for conditions affecting the junction between the muscle and the nerve, at the root of hypercontraction of some parts of the body. This unique molecule has a much broader range of therapeutic applications in several areas, including urology, oncology, endocrinology, neurology and reparatory medicine. This is especially true when peptides and toxins are engineered to produce targeted secretion inhibitors (TSI), which target the toxin toward different cell types, depending on the peptides used. The Group is one of the very few companies to master the manufacture and control of this product, together with the technologies required to explore new applications and to develop new toxin-based products. Produced conventionally through the extraction of bacterial strains obtained from culture, new techniques allow for recombinant production of toxins. Inserted into the bacterial strain, genes introduce new sequencing and thereby offer the potential for “on demand” modification of toxin properties. The Abindgon based Ipsen Bioinnovation (formerly known as Syntaxin) is a leader in the field of recombinant botulinum toxin technology with expertise in natural recombinant botulinum toxins, modified recombinant botulinum toxins and targeted secretion inhibitors or retargeted molecules. This R&D center is at the heart of Ipsen’s expertise with 75 granted patents and over 130 patents pending.

Ipsen is also collaborating on research with Harvard Medical School to explore novel recombinant botulinum toxins for the treatment of serious neurological disorders. Both platforms emphasize sharing of projects and objectives, with proof of concept at the cornerstone of the process. As a result, all functions involved anticipate the lifecycle of the molecule in R&D at an earlier stage. At each stage of the process, this participative model contributes to finding answers to key questions, such as the singularity and differentiation of each molecule.

Ipsen’s unique position results from potential synergies between toxins and peptides in hybrid molecules. Unlike new technologies comprising little known risks, Ipsen is able to draw upon its extensive knowledge and solid experience in peptides and toxins.

Updated on 01 July 2014