BARCELONA, Spain – February 28, 2023 – Pulmobiotics SL, a biotechnology company pioneering novel live biotherapeutics (LPBs) for the treatment of lung diseases, today announced the award of €1.9 million of funding from the European Innovation Council Transition program to develop a novel recombinant LBP to treat lung cancer.
Lung cancer, with 2.2 million new cases in 2020 and 1.8 million deaths worldwide, is the leading cause of cancer-related death. Despite notable recent advances in lung cancer treatment, which include targeted and immune therapies, these are still too often ineffective, toxic and/or applicable to only a small subset of patients. Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) antibodies targeting PD-1/PD-L1 or CTLA4 are now standard of care in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, a subtype of lung cancer that represents 80-85% of cases. Unfortunately, 7-44% of patients display primary (or innate) resistance to ICI therapy, whereas around 60% of patients who derive an initial clinical benefit subsequently develop secondary or acquired resistance.
With the EIC Transition funding, Pulmobiotics will develop a lung-specific bacteria (Mycoplasma pneumoniae) engineered to stimulate the immune system in a sustained and local manner in order to increase the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Funding will be used to establish manufacturing and formulation processes alongside an inhalation delivery approach for the product and to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of the product, advancing it towards clinical use in patients with NSCLC.
The development of this treatment is one of twenty proposals selected in the latest round of the European Innovation Council’s Transition Challenges & Open call, which altogether will receive 45 million euros of funding. These successful proposals, selected from 165 submitted, will receive altogether €45.6 million of EU funding.
This project has been funded by the European Union’s EIC Accelerator program, under Grant Agreement Nº 101098475
Pulmobiotics SL is a biotechnology company pioneering novel live biotherapeutics for the treatment of lung diseases. Using a proprietary microbial engineering and synthetic biology toolbox, the Company engineers bacteria to expose antigens or deliver therapeutic agents in a controlled, local and continuous manner. Pulmobiotics SL is currently using this technology to discover and develop novel treatments for respiratory diseases, which are among the most common causes of severe illness and death worldwide, and is exploring its application in other disease areas. Pulmobiotics is a spin-off company from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona - Spain) founded by experienced entrepreneurs and funded by Invivo Ventures.