Diaxonhit receives financing from Bpifrance for the development of a companion diagnostic for a therapeutic vaccine against AIDS

  • Financing of € 1 728 000 through both grants and reimbursable advances
  • Development of a companion diagnostic for measuring response to the therapeutic vaccine
  • Development of an early marker of disease progression

PARIS, April 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diaxonhit (Alternext : ALEHT) announced today that it was granted € 1,728,000 by Bpifrance, as part of its involvement in a research consortium led by InnaVirVax and funded under the program for "Strategic Industrial Innovation".

Headed by project leader InnaVirVax, the consortium includes Diaxonhit, and two Inserm (French National Institute for Medical Research) units : Southern Paris University (CESP - U1018 - Kremlin Bicêtre Hospital) and Bordeaux University (ISPED - UMR 897 - Université Bordeaux Segalen). The PROTHEVIH project aims at developing an innovative therapeutic vaccine (VAC-3S) to treat AIDS patients, and develop diagnostic tests enabling personalized care of patients. This project will last 56 months. The total amount awarded to the consortium amounts to more than €9 million, which will be paid in several installments during the project's life.

Diaxonhit was selected for its competency to develop diagnostic tests in infectious diseases. The Company will be responsible for the development of :

  1. a companion test (CO-3S) which measures the level of anti-3S antibodies in patients treated with VAC-3S. In vaccinated patients, this test will enable doctors to measure the immune response to the vaccine therapy, and adjust it accordingly;
  2. a diagnostic test (DIAG-3S) for the detection of anti-3S antibodies naturally secreted by patients infected by the HIV-1 virus. In collaboration with Inserm units, the objective is to validate the use of the level of natural anti-3S antibodies measured by this second test as an early marker of disease progression, thus enabling optimized care of HIV-1 infected patients.

"PROTHEVIH is a new opportunity for the Company to utilize its know-how in the development of companion diagnostics with its expertise in proteomics and infectious diseases. Even if our Group went through a significant transformation with the addition of a strong commercial activity, it remains an innovative Group with two proprietary tests under development and participation to several personalized medicine consortiums. We are quite happy to work with InnaVirVax and two prestigious academic centers on this ambitious project, especially since AIDS remains a major public health issue on a worldwide basis." stated Loïc Maurel, MD, President of Diaxonhit's Management Board.

In France, in 2012, approximately 6,400 individuals discovered that they were HIV infected. During that same year, approximately 1,500 patients were diagnosed with AIDS. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the total number of people who developed AIDS is estimated at 88,000, among which approximately 40,000 were still alive at the end of 2012.
(Source : BEH N°9-10 April 1, 2014, Institut de Veille Sanitaire)

Worldwide, more than 35.3 million people currently live with HIV, including 2.1 million adolescents (10 to 19), primarily in countries with low or medium income. It is estimated that 2.3 million people were newly infected by the virus in 2012, and that HIV/AIDS has been responsible for 36 million deaths since its inception, including 1.6 million in 2012.
(Source : OMS - http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/hiv/facts/fr/index3.html)

About the VAC-3S vaccine

InnaVirVax's objective is to develop a therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1. This vaccine is designed to protect the immune system of patients by blocking the mechanism of action responsible for the fall in the number of T lymphocytes during infection. VAC-3S should induce a specific immune response in the patient who should then produce antibodies against the 3S peptide, whose toxicity to CD4+ T cells has been demonstrated. InnaVirVax recently started a Phase II clinical study of this AIDS vaccine candidate. This study will take place over two years and include 90 patients in seven centers in France and two in Europe.

About the "Strategic Industrial Innovation" Program from Bpifrance :

The "Strategic Industrial Innovation" (ISI) program promotes the emergence of European champions. It supports ambitious collaborative industry-oriented innovations, implemented by academic institutions together with medium-sized companies (less than 5,000 employees) and SMEs (less than 250). If successful, these projects hold much promise: they aim at commercializing products and technological breakthroughs that could not be achieved without public funding. The financial aid ranges from € 3 to 10 million in the form of grants and reimbursable advances.

About Diaxonhit

Diaxonhit (NYSE Alternext, FR0004054427, ALEHT) is a French fully integrated leader in the in vitro diagnostic field, involved from research to commercialization of specialty diagnostic products.

With many partnerships and a strong presence in hospitals, Diaxonhit has an extensive commercialization network. Through its affiliate, InGen, it commercializes and services, mostly under exclusivity agreements, in vitro diagnostic kits and advanced equipment. It operates mainly in the fields of transplantation, infectious diseases and autoimmunity, product quality control and rapid tests, including Tetanus Quick Stick ®, a proprietary product. InGen is the leading supplier in France of HLA tests manufactured by Thermo-Fisher/One Lambda, of which it is the largest distributor worldwide.

The group also owns a diversified portfolio of products in development, including both innovative molecular and non-molecular diagnostics, covering three main specialty areas: transplantation, immuno-infection and cancer.

Diaxonhit headquarters are located in Paris and its affiliate in the Paris region. The Group is listed on NYSE Alternext in Paris and is part of the NYSE Alternext OSEO innovation index.

For more information, please visit: http://www.diaxonhit.com

About InnaVirVax

Based in the City-of-Evry's Genopole®, InnaVirVax is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the research and development of therapeutic and diagnostic solutions for infectious and chronic diseases. Around the understanding of immune dysregulation, the Company is developing a portfolio of innovative projects in the areas of HIV and chronic inflammatory diseases. The most advanced project is an immunotherapy (called VAC-3S) for the treatment of HIV infections.

Founded in 2008, the company received support from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, OSEO (now Bpifrance), the French National Agency for Research, the Ile-of-France Center for Innovation as well as investors including CapDecisif, G1J Ile-of-France, Pradeyrol Development, F Sharp and Regional Co-Investment Fund Ile-of-France.

More information on our new website: www.innavirvax.fr.


This press release contains elements that are not historical facts including, without limitation, certain statements about future expectations and other forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those anticipated.

In addition, Diaxonhit, its shareholders, and its affiliates, directors, officers, advisors and employees have not verified the accuracy of, and make no representations or warranties in relation to, statistical data or predictions contained in this press release that were taken or derived from third party sources or industry publications, and such statistical data and predictions are used in this press release for information purposes only.

Finally, this press release may be drafted in the French and English languages. If the meaning of both texts differs, the French language version shall prevail.


Hervé Duchesne de Lamotte
+33 1 53 94 52 49
Financial Communication
+ 33 1 56 88 11 11
Investors Relations
Alexandre Commerot, acommerot@actifin.fr
Press Relations
Jennifer Jullia, jjullia@actifin.fr

Press release http://hugin.info/159969/R/1779560/608168.pdf