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A biotech from Liège is developing a new treatment for lung cancer

The company PDC * Line Pharma, which is based in Liège, announced on Monday a fundraising of 17.5 million euros. Private investors will provide nearly 12 million euros and the Walloon Region a loan of 5.7 million euros for this biotech which is developing a vaccine against lung cancer, explains Éric Halioua the managing director of PDC * Line Pharma: “It is important to point out that we are a therapeutic vaccine. Today, what we are doing is a vaccine to activate the immune system and to treat cancer that is present in the body, so not to prevent it. We call it a vaccine because the mechanisms are similar to those of a prophylactic vaccine, ie we will stimulate the immune system to defend itself against cancer “.

These funds are to help continue clinical studies of this vaccine. “We had already raised 20 million euros in January 2020 and 17.5 come to complete this funding for the same objective, that is to say to finance the clinical study in progress to measure the safety and therapeutic efficacy in patients with small cell lung cancer. So, we have 84 patients who must be enrolled in this study in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and soon in Poland. And this money will allow us at the same time to finance this clinical study, to continue the research and development activities in progress to increase the portfolio of activities, and to produce the batches of cells “, continues Eric Halioua.

“We are now in a phase 1-2 clinical study, so we have started trials in humans, at least for lung cancer, and we are in the process of measuring the safety and the first levels. Therapeutic efficacy. Afterwards, with results which we hope will be positive, we wish to conduct a second phase 2-3 study, which should allow us to obtain marketing authorization, again if the results are positive “, he specifies.

Blockbuster

Eric Halioua’s hope is to complete the current study with positive results, of course, at the start of 2024, then a year or so later, the start of the second study which should last another two or three years: “We started in 2028 for a regulatory filing to be accepted, then later to be marketed. Now, things could go faster with exceptional results, that is to say if we managed to have decreases in exceptional tumors and also exceptional survival rates “.

If it passes all the stages, this product could even become what is called in the community a blockbuster, a treatment which generates more than a billion dollars in revenue per year. The potential, it must be said, is enormous. Every year, nearly two million people around the world die from lung cancer.

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