2 innovative scientific platforms

Ipsen is renowned for its expertise in toxins and peptides. The Group operates two technological platforms. Both are centers of excellence in these fields and both have substantial potential for differentiation. We also draw on this expertise to use the synergies generated between toxins and peptides in hybrid molecules to obtain targeted secretion inhibitors (TSIs). With their unique properties, these molecules offer potential in the treatment of neuromuscular, endocrine and proliferative disorders, as well as for pain.

From natural botulinum toxins to recombinant production of toxins


Natural toxins with varied and targeted properties

Ipsen’s scientists have spent 25 years researching the mechanisms and potential applications of botulinum toxin type A. This complex protein is an extremely powerful neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Now 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 potential therapeutic applications in many areas, in neurology mainly, but also in oncology, endocrinology and aesthetic medicine.

When peptides and toxins are engineered to produce targeted secretion inhibitors (TSI), it becomes possible to target the toxin toward different cell types, depending on the peptides used. The Group is one of the very few companies to master the manufacturing and control of this product, together with the technologies required to explore new applications and to develop new toxin-based products.


Recombinant toxins: innovative hybrid molecules

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. This R&D center is at the forefront of Ipsen’s expertise thanks to a platform of highly differentiated and innovative toxins with 75 patents granted and over 130 patents pending. The Group has also started collaborating on research with Harvard Medical School to explore novel recombinant botulinum toxins for the treatment of serious neurological disorders.


The Ipsen way: an open innovation model

In each platform, the focus is on pooling projects and objectives. Proof of concept is the cornerstone of the drug discovery process, the principle used by all involved to determine the entire life cycle of the molecule in R&D as early as possible. The ultimate aim of this proactive methodology is to answer the essential question of the singularity of the molecule and its differentiation at each stage of the process. Ipsen is uniquely positioned, as a result of the potential synergies of toxins and peptides combined into hybrid molecules.


Excellent technological platforms: toxins and peptides

> €200 M

Expenditure in R&D in 2016

Last update 06/03/2017