Inventiva has been awarded two grants totaling €2.3 million ($2.58 million) to further its YAP/TEAD protein research program, which focuses on developing molecules with the potential to treat severe forms of lung, colon, ovarian and gastric cancers.
The YAP/TEAD research program focuses on two proteins, YAP and TEAD, which interact in the cell’s nucleus to regulate genes involved in cell proliferation and death. YAP (Yes-associated protein) is a key regulator of organ size. The TEAD family of transcription factors binds directly to, and mediates, YAP-induced gene expression.
One of the program’s goals is to impair the interaction between these two proteins, using molecules developed and owned by Inventiva that have demonstrated anti-proliferative activity in various cancerous cells.
The first grant of €1.5 million ($1.68 million) was awarded by the European EUROSTARS program, a joint venture between EUREKA and the European Commission financing innovative projects led by small and medium-sized companies. The second grant of €800,000 ($900,667) was awarded by the French national research agency (Agence Nationale de Recherche, ANR).
Both grants will be used for the development of Inventiva’s YAP/TEAD program through the TheraYAP and Hippocure drug development consortiums, respectively.
“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 in a press release.
The 33-month TheraYAP consortium will focus on the development of biomarkers and a drug therapy candidate for malignant mesothelioma cancer, as well as for other severe forms of lung and breast cancers. The TheraYAP consortium works with Inventiva, Xen Tech and Atrys Health.
The 30-month Hippocure consortium, which also includes the French-based Institut Curie cancer research center, will work to identify synergies between Inventiva molecules and its current treatments to further develop combination therapies for severe lung cancers.
“While fibrosis is our primary therapeutic focus … 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,” said Frédéric Cren, co-founder and chief executive officer of Inventiva.