Stimunity is a preclinical-stage startup company which develops best-in-class drugs on the STING pathway to activate the innate immune system. Our drugs stimulate patients' immune system to fight back infectious pathogens or cancer.
Our technology is based on high level academic research work from prestigious institutions: Institut Curie, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and University of Oxford.
We raise 2M€ seed investment from Portage Biotech (CSE:PTB.U/OTC:PTGEF), a public listed venture company that invests in early-stage assets to move them through clinical trials.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 888939.
Sylvain brings his background of Business Development & Licensing Manager for 6 years at the technology transfer office of Institut Curie, where he was involved in several licensing deals and startup projects. He also spent some time within the Novartis Venture Fund's team in an exchange program supported by the European Entente Health Program. He is an engineer by trainee (Grenoble INP) and he holds a business degree from University Paris-Dauphine.
Dr. Nicolas Manel is Director of Research at INSERM and Group Leader at Institut Curie. His lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity in cancer and infectious diseases. His lab discovered a "Trojan horse" mechanism that activates the STING innate immune pathway by way of viral particles (Science 2015), which is at the core of the technology developed by STIMUNITY. Other discoveries in his lab include the identification of the essential role of the cGAS-STING pathway in HIV immune recognition (Immunity 2013), a mechanism of division of labor across dendritic cells to induce antiviral immunity (Science Immunology 2017) and the anti-proliferative activity of disease-mutated STING in T lymphocytes (J Exp Med 2017). He holds a PhD in biology from University of Montpellier and he is a former student of Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. He was trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dan Littman at New York University. As a trainee during his PhD & postdoc, he identified the receptor for the Human T cell Leukemia/Lymphoma Virus (Cell 2003), he elucidated the mechanism of human Th17 CD4+ T cell differentiation (Nature Immunology 2008) and he discovered that HIV-1 evades a potent innate immune sensing mechanism in dendritic cells (Nature 2010). Currently, his lab at Institut Curie explores novel mechanisms of innate immunity in self and non-self recognition, focusing on the cGAS-STING pathway. His lab also pursues an ambitious R&D program in collaboration with Stimunity.
Dr. Walters has 20 years of oncology/immunology drug development experience. He currently acts as CEO, Chairman or CMO to 7 immuno-oncology companies. He spent seven years at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where he led clinical research and matrix development teams. During his tenure there he contributed to the development of multiple immuno-oncology products (Yervoy®/anti-CTLA4 and Nivolimumab/anti-PD1), as well as the licensing and partnering strategy for other immuno-oncologic agents. He has worked in multiple biotech companies on corporate development, translational medicine, clinical development and medical affairs. He has been also a consultant to biotech, pharma and investment companies specializing in the evaluation, prioritization, and development of innovative technologies in the treatment of severe diseases. Before entering the private sector, Dr. Walters was a lead investigator at the Rockefeller University and initiated cutting edge immunology research to understand the mechanism of action of several compounds. He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an MBA from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Damien Salauze brings an extensive experience in drug-development gained in the pharmaceutical industry (Sanofi), and a strategic experience gained as CEO of Novagali Pharma, as CEO of Sepal Pharma, and as VC at Auriga Ventures. He holds a PhD from Institut Pasteur and a MBA from Insead.
Dr. Jan Rehwinkel is a team leader at the University of Oxford. His laboratory is specialized on innate immune receptors and is part of the MRC Human Immunology Unit. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Immunobiology Laboratory of Dr Caetano Reis e Sousa at Cancer Research UK. He has a PhD in Molecular Biology from EMBL in Germany. He has numerous publications in scientific journals: Science (2010), Nature Immunology (2010), Cell (2010), Blood (2013), Science (2015).
Dr. Sebastian Amigorena is Director of Research INSERM, and head of the Immunotherapy Center at Institut Curie. His main scientific contributions in the last 20 years is related to antigen presentation in dendritic cells and immunotherapy. He is worldwide expert in this field, invited in more than 30 conferences (5 Keystone, 3 Gordon, 3 FASEB, ...) and with more than 150 publications. He has a senior European Research Council (ERC) grant and he is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, a member of the American Association of Immunology, and a member of the French Scientific Academy.
Dr. Robert Kramer is a PhD Pharmacologist with postdoctoral experience at the National Institutes of Health in the USA, and also held the position of Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard University prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry in 1991. He has since served as Vice President and head of cancer drug discovery at Bristol Myers Squibb (1997-2010) and then Janssen Pharmaceuticals (2011-2015). He championed BMS' early adoption of immuno-oncology and was instrumental in the acquisition of the pioneering biotechnology company, Medarex, in order to acquire the rights to ipilimumab (anti-CTLA4) and nivolimumab (anti-PD1), two drugs dominating the immuno-oncology market. During his career he supervised more than 35 drugs from discovery to the clinic. Currently, Dr. Kramer serves as a consultant to the Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Investment community.
STING activates the dendritic cells and induces a cytotoxic T lymphocytes response against infectious pathogens or cancer. However, this pathway is challenging to activate. Small molecules do not penetrate through the cell membranes which requires high dose of drug and limits the drug to local injections. There is a way to do better.
Our Virus-Like Particle (VLP) vectorizes the best known STING activator, cGAMP. With this system we can achieve very high activation of the STING pathway, targets a specific cell type for systemic administration, and induces an immune response against infectious pathogens or tumors.
Stimunity is pleased to announce an additional capital increase of €900k from Portage Biotech based on new preclinical data showing efficacy of the cGAMP-VLP with systemic route of administration.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the European Commission, in its Horizon 2020 framework, has approved two grants supporting Stimunity’s work toward its entry into the clinic.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the company has reached a major milestone in its preclinical development plan and secures additional €600k from Portage Biotech, Inc. to start the manufacturing of its biologic cGAMP-VLP (STI-001) lead compound.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the US Patent Office (USPTO) has granted its main patent that covers any VLPs that encapsulate cGAMP.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the company has secured a 2M€ seed investment from Portage, a US/Canadian listed company that supports the discovery and development of pharmaceutical and biotech products through clinical proof-of-concept.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the company has been selected by BPI France and the LEEM as part of the most promising French startup companies in the field of immunotherapy. This selection allows the company to particpate to the RIB 2018 ("Rencontres Internationales de Biotechnologies") and meet several big-pharmaceutical companies.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the company is laureate of the i-Lab 2017 national competition and receives 200k€ as a non-dilutive financing.
A French article focused on the development of our VLP-cGAMP platform.
Stimunity, Institut Curie and Inserm are pleased to announce that the company has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement on two key patents that cover Stimunity’s core technology VLP-cGAMP to develop new drugs in immuno-oncology.
Stimunity is today in Labiotech.eu, the leading digital media covering the European Biotech industry, used by over 45,000 people monthly to keep a watch on the business and innovations of biotechnologies.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the company has received a non-dilutive financing of 60k€ from Scientipôle Initiative to complete the proof-of-concept package.
Stimunity has been officially incorporated as a French simplified joint-stock company SAS ("Société par Actions Simplifiée") on May 9, 2016. The company is cofounded by Nicolas Manel and Sylvain Carlioz.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that today the company has received the BIOVISION 2016 Catalyzer Special Award. This award was created to give some visibility to high potential startups and accelerate the fundraising process by putting them directly in contact with potential investors.
Stimunity is pleased to announce that the project was selected by the committee of Paris Biotech Santé (PBS). The incubation process is a major step for us to get access to initial funding, an access to PBS' network and securing lab facilities for the future.