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PEP-Therapy and CleveXel Pharma join forces to develop a targeted therapeutic peptide in oncology

PARIS and MAISONS-ALFORT, France, June 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PEP-Therapy, a biotechnology company which develops targeted therapies in oncology, and CleveXel Pharma, a pharmaceutical company involved in the development of disruptive molecules, announce the launch of the co-development of a peptide as a targeted therapy in oncology. This product aims to treat cancers with a high medical need. It is based on an innovative technology involving bi-functional peptides that penetrate cells, then specifically block pathological mechanisms without affecting physiological mechanisms.

This partnership will take the product through to its clinical proof of concept. The start of the regulatory preclinical phase is scheduled for the end of 2015 with a view to beginning clinical trials at the end of 2016.

The drug candidate is a cell-penetrating and interfering peptide (CP&IP). It targets an interaction between two intracellular proteins, Caspase-9 and PP2A. It has been validated on preclinical models that are highly-representative of tumors observed in humans (patient-derived xenograft or PDX models), showing targeted efficacy on cancer cells and an absence of toxicity, especially in triple-negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

"With its established expertise in the development of therapeutic products, CleveXel Pharma is the ideal partner to help us bring our drug candidate through to its clinical proof of concept", says Antoine Prestat, CEO of PEP-Therapy. "This partnership will allow us to accelerate the development of our first product towards its clinical trial phase and illustrates the interest shown by the pharmaceutical industry in our cell-penetrating and interfering peptide (CP&IP) technology. We are pleased to have signed this major deal shortly after our first €1.3 million capital increase."

"For CleveXel Pharma, this partnership paves the way for real innovation in oncology. CleveXel Pharma's know-how and expertise in development add value to this project. We have also been attracted by the involvement of biological and clinical researchers from Inserm, Pierre & Marie Curie University and Institut Curie", adds Christian Bloy, CEO of CleveXel Pharma.

PEP-Therapy and CleveXel Pharma's mutual goal is to take the product through to its clinical proof of concept with the risks, costs and benefits being shared. Simultaneously, PEP-Therapy will continue the development of companion biomarkers for foreseeing the effectiveness of the product, opening the way for personalized and optimized use of this treatment in oncology.

About PEP-Therapy

PEP-Therapy is a medical biotechnology company, which develops targeted therapies for severe diseases, with an initial focus on cancers having high medical needs.

PEP-Therapy operates a Cell Penetrating & Interfering Peptides (CP&IP) technology for the development of its therapeutic products. These innovative molecules penetrate cells, then specifically block relevant protein-protein interactions, thus inhibiting key pathological mechanisms.

Founded in January 2014, PEP-Therapy is building on research results from Inserm, Pierre & Marie Curie University (UPMC) and Institut Curie. The company is a member of Genopole biocluster.

www.pep-therapy.com

About CleveXel Pharma

Founded in 2013, CleveXel Pharma is a pharmaceutical company with an innovative business model based on maximizing the marketing potential of disruptive molecules, in exchange for a license or a stake in future revenue.

Backed by an efficient infrastructure and a team of 51 people specializing in pharmaceutical development, CleveXel Pharma selects promising molecules from proof of concept in animals and develops them through to proof of concept in humans, at which stage they become marketable by the pharmaceutical industry.

CleveXel Pharma currently has a diversified portfolio of projects covering the fields of oncology and the central nervous system, including two first-in-class projects for Parkinson's disease, which are following innovative approaches to exceed the limits of traditional therapies based on dopaminergic treatment resulting in numerous side effects. One of these two products, which targets motor symptoms, is already undergoing clinical trials, and the other, for treating the therapeutic 'wearing off' phase, should enter the clinical phase in 2016.

www.clevexelpharma.com

Contacts:

NewCap Media- Press Relations

Annie-Florence Loyer - afloyer@newcap.fr - +33(0)1 44 71 00 12 / +33(0)6 88 20 35 59

PEP-Therapy : Antoine Prestat, Président - contact@pep-therapy.com - +33(0)1 44 27 81 90

CleveXel Pharma :

Christian Bloy, Président - christian.bloy@clevexel.com - +33(0)1 79 84 19 15

Emmanuel Huynh - ehuynh@newcap.fr - +33(0)1 44 71 94 99 / +33 (0) 6 63 38 85 82

Advising

PEP-Therapy : Maître Willy Mathot - Valluet Achache et associés

CleveXel Pharma : Maître Jean-Marie Job - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

NewCap- Financial communication and Investors Relations- Emmanuel Huynh - ehuynh@newcap.fr - +33(0)1 44 71 94 99 / +33 (0) 6 63 38 85 82

Source: PEP-Therapy