Controlling auto‑immune diseases
Founded on a breakthrough discovery
Ermium Therapeutics is a biotech company developing innovative therapies for auto-immune diseases, based on a breakthrough discovery showing that CXCR4 is a master regulator of inflammation.
Ermium Therapeutics was founded in June 2019 by Jean-Philippe HERBEUVAL, Kurma Partners, Idinvest Partners, Domain Therapeutics and Erganeo.
The company is based in Paris and has signed a worldwide exclusive license agreement on intellectual property from CNRS and University Paris Descartes (France) through an agreement with Erganeo, which supported the maturation of the project in an academic setting. In addition, Ermium Therapeutics recently won the innovation i-Lab 2019 award from the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education.
CXCR4 as a master regulator of inflammation
The company is based on the recently published, breakthrough discovery of Dr Jean-Philippe Herbeuval team at CNRS and University Paris Descartes. They found that the well-known G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) chemokine receptor, CXCR4, acts as a master regulator of inflammation via a novel mechanism of action.
This novel mechanism of action, contrary to that of conventional CXCR4 antagonists, allows to control efficiently the production of type 1 interferons by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) known to play a central role in the inflammatory cascade, positioning CXCR4 as a master regulator of inflammation.
Erganeo provided initial funding to the project, within an academic setting generate the first chemical series, and proof of concept in auto-immune disease animal models opening the door to the discovery of a brand-new class of drugs to be developed by Ermium.
Ermium Therapeutics aim is to develop orally available drug candidates for a wide range of auto-immune diseases affecting millions of people worldwide. There are more than 100 auto-immune diseases including :
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjögren syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
The prevalence of autoimmune diseases corresponds to 7 % of the US population.
Jean-Philippe Herbeuval, PhD
Dr Jean-Philippe Herbeuval is Director of research at the CNRS, and is currently directing the multidisciplinary Chemistry & Biology, Modeling & Immunology for Therapy (CBMIT) team within the CNRS and the University Paris Descartes. He has specialized for more than 15 years in the study of pDC modulations and particularly the modulation of such cells by pharmacologic interventions. His research achievements have been awarded in France and also internationally in the USA and is the co-author of 58 peer reviewed articles and 6 patents.
Joël Crouzet, PhD
Dr Joël Crouzet is the CEO of Ermium Therapeutics. He has more than 30 years of experience in the Biotech and the Pharma industry. He has been the cofounder and CEO of InnaVirVax, a French biotech that developed a therapy for HIV infection up to phase 2 clinical trial. Joël has had various positions in several biotech companies (Genetica, AP cells, Neurotech and Alfact Innovation) and in the Pharma (Rhone-Poulenc Rorer now part of Sanofi Aventis) and has been involved actively in 5 different drug candidates studied in the clinic. Scientific by training, Joël is a co-author of more than 60 peer reviewed publications.
Kurma Partners is a key European player in the financing of Innovation in Healthcare and Biotechnology, from pre-seed to growth capital, notably through Kurma Biofund I through III and Kurma Diagnostics, as well as via strategic partnerships with prestigious European research and medical institutions
Idinvest Partners is a leading European mid-market private equity firm. With €8bn under management, the firm has developed several areas of expertise including innovative startup venture capital transactions; mid-market private debt, i.e. single-tranche, senior and subordinated debt; primary and secondary investment and private equity advisory services.
Erganeo is a French investment company specializing in disruptive innovations with a positive impact on our society. Her mission is to accelerate and simplify the associations between Public Research and the industrial world to support an ethical and sustainable progress.
Domain Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and early development of new drug candidates targeting transmembrane receptors, in particular G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), one of the most important classes of drug targets. Domain identifies and develops candidates (allosteric modulators and biased ligands) through its innovative approach and technologies.