Inventiva announced that it has received two grants, worth a total of €2.3 million, for its YAP/TEAD protein research program that is focused on developing molecules with the potential to significantly treat malignant mesothelioma, as well as severe forms of lung, colon, ovarian, and gastric cancer.
The YAP/TEAD program focuses two proteins, YAP and TEAD, which interact in the cell’s nucleus to regulate genes involved in cell proliferation and death. The Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a key regulator of organ size. The TEAD family of transcription factors binds directly to, and mediates, YAP-induced gene expression.
A program goal is to impair the interactions between these two proteins, using molecules developed and owned by Inventiva that have demonstrated anti-proliferative activity in various cancerous cells.
The first grant, for €1.5 million, came from the European EUROSTARS program, a joint initiative between EUREKA and the European Commission to support innovative research and development projects led by small- and medium-sized enterprises. The second, worth €800,000, came from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), the French national research agency.
Money will go to support the protein research program’s development through the TheraYAP and Hippocure drug development consortiums, respectively.
“The progress in the YAP/TEAD program is a testament to our technology’s potential in other large therapeutic areas, such as oncology. YAP/TEAD is a target of considerable interest for numerous cancers, and we are confident that our collaborations within the TheraYAP and Hippocure consortiums will accelerate the discovery and development of efficient YAP/TEAD inhibitors,” Frédéric Cren, Inventiva’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a press release.
The 33-month TheraYAP consortium will focus on the development of a drug candidate and accompanying biomarkers for malignant mesothelioma and severe forms of lung and breast cancers. The consortium works with Inventiva, Xen Tech (specialized in human tumor xenografts) and Atrys Health, a personalized oncology solutions developer.
The 30-month Hippocure consortium is working to identify synergies between Inventiva’s molecules and current treatments for lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma to develop combination therapies.
“The grants awarded by EUROSTARS and the ANR underscore the significant potential of our technology, as well as the scientific community’s interest in our innovative approach targeting the YAP/TEAD transcription factors. Working collaboratively with other industry leaders, we intend to accelerate the development of our YAP/TEAD program in order to provide new therapeutic solutions to the thousands of patients with malignant mesothelioma cancer and other severe forms of cancer,” said Pierre Broqua, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Inventiva.