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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGIONS-2008-1-01 | Award Amount: 895.28K | Year: 2009

This project deals with the necessity in the EU to build a system that enables entrepreneurs or academia Technology Transfer Offices to achieve, in the best conditions of rapidity and cost effectiveness, the Industrial Proof of Concept (I-PoC) that enables a real economic valorization of Research achievements (Scientific Proof of concept-Sci-PoC). This early stage development is considered world wide as the weak ring in the chain of innovation. The objective is to design a Joint Action Plan between Consortium members and other EU Bio-Regions, that will enable any actor responsible for an early stage development to beneficiate from a variety of shared resources that will accelerate the process, make it safer and cost effective. The central tool (WP4) for this is twofold: (1) A network of maturation systems that can take in charge the pre-development stage without creating a company. The existing examples are Go-Bio in Berlin, Bioline in Israel, and several systems in the US. (2) A network of Incubation systems that can, collectively, select, mentor, finance and nurture start-up companies, wherever they are located. The second common tool (WP5) to be built is a network of high grade facilities, where a large part of the technical experimentation of the maturation process could be done. The third tool (WP3) is probably the most valuable: Bio CT aim at building common tools for enabling maturation projects to find the personnel they need, through internal EU mobility or thanks to an attractive Reverse Brain Drain set of measures. The three tools will be linked in a Joint Action Plan designed in the form of a Business Plan in which the financing and Governance parameters will be particularly addressed. Such thinking cannot be done over all domains of Biotechnology. In this project we will choose examples in the Translational medicine. All Bio-Clusters Partners have the full confidence and financial support from their Regional Authorities, which consider them as major actors for structuring their Bio-Region.

FIT Biotech Ltd partners with InnaVirVax for HIV Immunotherapy Clinical Development and Commercialization FIT Biotech and InnaVirVax today announced a collaboration in HIV-treatment combining their proprietary   immunotherapeutic HIV-vaccines having a different mode of action with a potentially synergistic effect in functional HIV-cure. Functional HIV-cure is defined as a sustained remission of HIV-infection without the need for continuous treatment with chemical drugs, and  no disease progression. FIT Biotech and InnaVirVax plan to start a phase II trial in 2017 to evaluate the safety, tolerability, immunogenicity and clinical efficacy of FIT Biotech's DNA-based HIV-vaccine in combination with InnaVirVax's immunoprotective vaccine. InnaVirVax will conduct and fund the clinical study in return for co-ownership of the immunotherapy. Upon successful completion of the study, the companies plan to jointly seek additional third party support and resources to further develop and commercialize the combination of the two products. Dr. James Kuo, CEO of FIT Biotech, said, "FIT Biotech is excited to enter into collaboration with InnaVirVax that combines two different therapeutic approaches to stimulate the immune system against HIV. Combinations of small molecule pharmaceuticals have an excellent track record in treating HIV and we are hopeful that combining different immunotherapeutics will also benefit from this  approach without the drug related  burden." Dr. Joël Crouzet, InnaVirVax's CEO, stated, " The key opinion leaders have the vision that functional cure, a major medical need for people living with HIV and on combined anti-retroviral therapy, will be addressed by combining therapeutic approaches. This agreement between FIT and InnaVirVax is definitely in this mindset and we are excited to collaborate with FIT Biotech on a functional cure goal." For further information: Chairman of the Board of Directors Juha Vapaavuori E-mail: juha.vapaavuori@fitbiotech.com Tel: +358 50 372 0824 About FIT Biotech FIT Biotech Oy is a biotechnology company established in 1995. The company develops and licenses its patented GTU® (Gene Transport Unit) vector technology for new-generation medical treatments. GTU® is a gene transport technology that meets an important medical challenge in the usability of gene therapy and DNA vaccines. FIT Biotech applies GTU® technology in its drug development programmes. Application areas include cancer (gene therapy) and infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, as well as animal vaccines. FIT Biotech shares are listed on the First North Finland marketplace maintained by Nasdaq Helsinki Oy. About InnaVirVax:                                                                                                                 Located at the Genopole® of Evry, a Paris Biopark, InnaVirVax is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in research and development of therapeutics for HIV infection in which the company has developed a portfolio of innovative programs. Incorporated in 2008, the Company has since received support from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Bpifrance (the French innovation agency), the French National Research Agency, the 'Centre Francilien de l'Innovation' and CapDecisif and G1J Ile-de-France, Pradeyrol Development, FaDiese and the FRCI as investors. (www.innavirvax.fr)

InnaVirVax lyhyesti: InnaVirVax toimii Genopole, Evry, Pariisin Bioparkissa keskittyen HIV-infektion lääkehoidon kehittämiseen omilla innovatiivisilla lääkeaihioillaan. Yhtiö on perustettu 2008 ja sen toimintaa ovat rahoittaneet French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Bpifrance (the French innovation agency), the French National Research Agency, the 'Centre Francilien de l'Innovation' and CapDecisif and G1J Ile-de-France, Pradeyrol Development, FaDiese and the FRCI as investors. (www.innavirvax.fr)

Tempel S.,Genopole | Tahi F.,Genopole
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

miRNAs are small non coding RNA structures which play important roles in biological processes. Finding miRNA precursors in genomes is therefore an important task, where computational methods are required. The goal of these methods is to select potential pre-miRNAs which could be validated by experimental methods. With the new generation of sequencing techniques, it is important to have fast algorithms that are able to treat whole genomes in acceptable times. We developed an algorithm based on an original method where an approximation of miRNA hairpins are first searched, before reconstituting the pre-miRNA structure. The approximation step allows a substantial decrease in the number of possibilities and thus the time required for searching. Our method was tested on different genomic sequences, and was compared with CID-miRNA, miRPara and VMir. It gives in almost all cases better sensitivity and selectivity. It is faster than CID-miRNA, miRPara and VMir: it takes ∼30s to process a 1 MB sequence, when VMir takes 30min, miRPara takes 20h and CID-miRNA takes 55h. We present here a fast ab-initio algorithm for searching for pre-miRNA precursors in genomes, called miRNAFold. miRNAFold is available at http://EvryRNA.ibisc.univ-evry.fr/. © 2012 The Author(s).

The engineering of synthetic gene networks has mostly relied on the assembly of few characterized regulatory elements using rational design principles. It is of outmost importance to analyze the scalability and limits of such a design workflow. To analyze the design capabilities of libraries of regulatory elements, we have developed the first automated design approach that combines such elements to search the genotype space associated to a given phenotypic behavior. Herein, we calculated the designability of dynamical functions obtained from circuits assembled with a given genetic library. By designing circuits working as amplitude filters, pulse counters and oscillators, we could infer new mechanisms for such behaviors. We also highlighted the hierarchical design and the optimization of the interface between devices. We dissected the functional diversity of a constrained library and we found that even such libraries can provide a rich variety of behaviors. We also found that intrinsic noise slightly reduces the designability of digital circuits, but it increases the designability of oscillators. Finally, we analyzed the robust design as a strategy to counteract the evolvability and noise in gene expression of the engineered circuits within a cellular background, obtaining mechanisms for robustness through non-linear negative feedback loops.

Jordan B.R.,Genopole
Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics | Year: 2010

DNA microarrays, 15 years after their appearance, have achieved presence in a number of medical settings. Several tests have been introduced and have obtained regulatory approval, mostly in the fields of bacterial identification, mutation detection and the global assessment of genome alterations, a particularly successful case being the whole-genome assay of copy-number variations. Gene-expression applications have been less successful because of technical issues (e.g., reproducibility, platform-to-platform consistency and statistical issues in data analysis) and difficulties in demonstrating the clinical utility of expression signatures. In their different applications, DNA arrays have faced competition from PCR-based assays for low and intermediate multiplicity. Now they have a new competitor, new-generation sequencing, that can provide a wealth of direct sequence information, or digital gene-expression data, at a constantly decreasing cost. In this article we evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the DNA microarray approach to diagnostics, and highlight the fields in which it is most likely to achieve a durable presence. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.

Tempel S.,Genopole
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

RepeatMasker is a program that screens DNA sequences for interspersed repeats and low-complexity DNA sequences. In this chapter, we present the procedure to routinely use this program on a personal computer. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Carbonell P.,Genopole | Faulon J.-L.,Genopole
Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

Motivation: Enzyme promiscuity, a property with practical applications in biotechnology and synthetic biology, has been related to the evolvability of enzymes. At the molecular level, several structural mechanisms have been linked to enzyme promiscuity in enzyme families. However, it is at present unclear to what extent these observations can be generalized. Here, we introduce for the first time a method for predicting catalytic and substrate promiscuity using a graph-based representation known as molecular signature.Results: Our method, which has an accuracy of 85% for the non-redundant KEGG database, is also a powerful analytical tool for characterizing structural determinants of protein promiscuity. Namely, we found that signatures with higher contribution to the prediction of promiscuity are uniformly distributed in the protein structure of promiscuous enzymes. In contrast, those signatures that act as promiscuity determinants are significantly depleted around non-promiscuous catalytic sites. In addition, we present the study of the enolase and aminotransferase superfamilies as illustrative examples of characterization of promiscuous enzymes within a superfamily and achievement of enzyme promiscuity by protein reverse engineering. Recognizing the role of enzyme promiscuity in the process of natural evolution of enzymatic function can provide useful hints in the design of directed evolution experiments. We have developed a method with potential applications in the guided discovery and enhancement of latent catalytic capabilities surviving in modern enzymes. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Rodrigo G.,Genopole | Jaramillo A.,Genopole
ACS Synthetic Biology | Year: 2013

Synthetic regulatory networks with prescribed functions are engineered by assembling a reduced set of functional elements. We could also assemble them computationally if the mathematical models of those functional elements were predictive enough in different genetic contexts. Only after achieving this will we have libraries of models of biological parts able to provide predictive dynamical behaviors for most circuits constructed with them. We thus need tools that can automatically explore different genetic contexts, in addition to being able to use such libraries to design novel circuits with targeted dynamics. We have implemented a new tool, AutoBioCAD, aimed at the automated design of gene regulatory circuits. AutoBioCAD loads a library of models of genetic elements and implements evolutionary design strategies to produce (i) nucleotide sequences encoding circuits with targeted dynamics that can then be tested experimentally and (ii) circuit models for testing regulation principles in natural systems, providing a new tool for synthetic biology. AutoBioCAD can be used to model and design genetic circuits with dynamic behavior, thanks to the incorporation of stochastic effects, robustness, qualitative dynamics, multiobjective optimization, or degenerate nucleotide sequences, all facilitating the link with biological part/circuit engineering. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

France isn't the hotbed of innovation it would like to be, and one reason is that scientific research has traditionally been done by public servants, who rarely start a company to turn their discoveries into new products or services. A 1999 law that aimed to change that by stimulating entrepreneurship has not had the intended effects, according to a report released on Tuesday. The report recommends relaxing the rules for academics who want to embark on a commercial adventure, rewarding those who file patents, and giving entrepreneurial scientists more recognition. Judged solely by the number of patent filings, France may seem quite an entrepreneurial country; it ranks sixth globally, according to the latest figures from the World Intellectual Property Organization. But public researchers are often loath to become entrepreneurs. The French government asked Jean-Luc Beylat, president of Nokia Bell Labs France in Paris, and Pierre Tambourin, general director of the biocluster Genopole in Evry, to review the so-called Allègre Law of 1999, which sought to make it easier for scientists to engage in entrepreneurship, as well as similar initiatives. Until then, researchers at French universities and public research institutions had to be fully committed to academia and were not allowed to benefit economically from their discoveries. The law, named after then–Science Minister Claude Allègre, was inspired by U.S. successes in harnessing research to boost innovation and economic growth. It allows researchers to pause their academic duties for up to 6 years to launch a startup and invest money in it, as long as they obtain the blessing of their institution and the Public Service Ethics Commission. After that, they can stay involved in the company for up to 10 years as a consultant if they have a capital share of below 49%, and become an executive board member if their share is below 20%. But they must sell their stake in the company once they stop working for it altogether. On average, only 98 academics per year have applied for the Public Service Ethics Commission’s blessing to use these options, with only 89 receiving it—a "very low" and "disappointing" outcome, the report says. Moreover, more than 80% of the authorizations were given for consulting activities, versus 3.5% for sitting on an executive board and 16.2% for actually creating a startup. That's far less than the law intended, says the report, and a missed opportunity for publicly funded research. The authors suggest further loosening the rules. Researchers should be allowed to spend up to 10 years on developing their spin-off and to work 50% of their time on consulting activities, instead of the current 20%, for instance. They should also be given 3 years to resell their share and be allowed to keep up to 20% of it. The Public Service Ethics Commission should play a smaller role, the authors say, and entrepreneurial activities should be a factor in the career advancement of publicly funded researchers. “These are good measures,” says Xavier Duportet, co-founder and chief executive officer at Eligo Bioscience in Paris, who was hailed as one of France's top young entrepreneurs in and . But other things may be more important, he adds, such as mentorship of starting entrepreneurs by experienced colleagues and a more interdisciplinary approach in French higher education. Above all, France's academic culture needs to change, he adds. “When you enroll as a civil servant, it is not really in the current culture that one day you could become an entrepreneur,” says Duportet, who also founded a nonprofit to help scientists across the world launch their own startups.

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