02 August 2019
RELIEF THERAPEUTICS Holding SA (“Relief”, “the Company”) announces that it has terminated two collaboration and (sub)licensing agreements signed in 2018. Relief will no longer take part in the collaboration to develop and commercialize products derived from whey and/or milk and have the potential to prevent allergies. The Company has withdrawn from both the agreements with the privately-held French company Genclis SA (Genclis) focusing on the development and commercialization of human applications of artificial colostrum and cow milk for the prevention of allergies and the agreement signed with Genclis and Health and Happiness (H&H) Hong Kong Limited (H&H Group) for the development of cow milk for allergy prevention.
Although the collaboration between Genclis, H&H and Relief has been quite successful thus far, with lab scales results already in line with Genclis fundamental research and opening very solid prospects for the future technology scale up, Relief will no longer take part in these efforts.
While the potential of Genclis technology and the resulting products remains highly valued by Relief, this decision by the Company’s Board of Directors eliminates all of its existing financial liabilities toward Genclis in the context of the agreement, thereby protecting its liquidity situation.
Raghuram Selvaraju, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Relief concludes by saying: “The decision to leave this collaboration was driven by the need to protect our short-term cash flow. We are still highly supportive of the revolutionary innovation of Genclis and the collaboration with H&H that will hopefully allow them to deliver new products to the market.
Patrice Malard, Chief Technology Officer of H&H declared: “The collaboration with Relief has been very productive. We remain committed to developing a commercially viable alternative to the hypoallergenic milks currently on the market based on the groundbreaking technology of Genclis.”
Bernard Bihain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Genclis, added: “Collaborating with H&H remains one of our priorities to provide high-quality products to allergic patients. Relief brought significant expertise in these endeavors, and Genclis will continue its efforts to build on the foundation that we have established together.”
Mr. Selvaraju concluded by saying: “We wish both H&H and Genclis all the best for their current development efforts and hope to join with them to pursue new potential opportunities in the near future.”
Health and Happiness (H&H) Hong Kong Limited is a subsidiary of Health and Happiness (H&H) International Holdings Limited which is listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and part of H&H Group. H&H Group was established in 1999, it operates through two core business segments – Baby Nutrition and Care and Adult Nutrition and Care. The Baby Nutrition and Care segment engages in production of infant formulas for children under seven years old and milk formulas for expectant and nursing mothers, production of probiotic supplements, and production of baby care products. The Adult Nutrition and Care Products segment is engaged in the production of vitamins, health supplements, skin care and sports nutrition products for adults. H&H Group owns six international brands: Biostime ® : global leader in premium infant nutrition; Swisse ®: Australia’s leading natural health brand; Healthy Times ®: a favorite organic baby food brand in the US since 1980’s; Dodie ®: French heritage brand since 1957 in baby bottles and accessories; Aurelia Probiotic Skincare; and Good Gout organic baby and children’s food. H&H Group is a premium nutrition and wellness provider for the entire family, it aspires to make people healthier and happier.
RELIEF THERAPEUTICS Holding AG is a clinical-stage biotechnology company with a portfolio of drug candidates derived from natural human origins. Its two first candidates are Aviptadil for the treatment of sarcoidosis (to enter Phase III) and low dose interleukin-6 (Atexakin alfa) for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy (to enter Phase II). Aviptadil development in sarcoidosis addresses the orphan disease market, in which European regulators have indicated that a single pivotal Phase III trial would be sufficient to support approval. Atexakin alfa is the subject of an exclusive worldwide development and commercialization agreement with Merck KGaA, The current priority indication for Atexakin is to alleviate peripheral diabetic neuropathy, a market that is estimated to reach $4.1 billion in 2019 (source: Datamonitor). In addition to these initial drug candidates, Relief has initiated a strategic collaboration with Genclis in April 2018 in order to co-develop and commercialize products arising from their disruptive technology.
Genclis is a privately-held biotechnology company incorporated in 2004 in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France, that discovered a unique biological mechanism referred to as Transcription Infidelity (TI). TI produces RNA transcripts that differ from their originating DNA sequence. This mechanism explains the nonrandom occurrence of RNA to DNA divergences (RDD) that lead to translated proteins with sequences diverging from the canonical form. Genclis applies its artificial intelligence platform to extract, from large Genomic data sets, these low-intensity signals. Genclis has shown in both humans and animal models that specific RDD events shape selectively the repertoire of natural immunoglobulins and contribute to both allergy and other immunological disorders. Genclis has developed a diversified pipeline of disruptive diagnostic and therapeutic solutions that have and are completing pre-clinical evaluation. Genclis revenues grew >500 % to €2.2 million in fiscal year 2017 missing breakeven by less than 10 %. Genclis’ objectives for 2018 are to further expand commercial activities in both human and veterinary medicine as well as in the food industry to reach profitability, while relentlessly pursuing developments of several other novel disruptive pre-clinical assets.
Transcription Infidelity (TI) is a newly discovered ubiquitous epigenetic mechanism that increases RNA-DNA sequence divergences (RDD). TI was initially described and patented by Genclis1 and has since been confirmed by several independent academic teams2. TI can lead to base substitutions, insertions and deletions. The latter cause translational frameshifts that have important consequences in determining protein immunogenicity3. Genclis currently focuses on defining the effects of TI proteins translated from gapped RNA on normal and pathological humoral immunity.
RELIEF THERAPEUTICS Holding SA is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange under the symbol RLF and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
For further information, please visit the Relief website at www.relieftherapeutics.com or contact
This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Relief Therapeutics Holding SA and its business. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Relief Therapeutics Holding SA to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Relief Therapeutics Holding SA is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
1 Brulliard et al., 2007. PNAS, 104 (18): 7522–27 and “Transcription Infidelity, detection and uses thereof”, EP2046986, US8288091.
2 Ju et al., 2011. Nature Genetics 43 (8): 745–52; Li et al., 2011. Science, 333 (6038): 53–58; Peng et al., 2012. Nat Biotechnol 30: 253–60, Reid-Bayliss and Loeb, 2017. PNAS 114 (35): 9415.
3 Genclis patent: “Molecular origin of allergy“, EP16305297, WO2017158202A1.