Pegascy develops molecules intended for oncology, by direct acquisition or licensing by exploring the therapeutic benefits of innovative molecules across multiple indications, or forms of cancer. As an illustration of our strategy, recent awards were recently granted, highlighting the excellence of our initiative:
- In 2022, Pegascy was honored with the Deeptech Label granted by BPI (Banque Publique d'Investissement)
- In 2023 Pegascy was selected among the first 7 Biotechs to join the prestigious Paris Saclay Cancer Cluster (https://www.parissaclaycancercluster.org/en), the French bio-cluster dedicated to research in Oncology, first awardee of the France 2030 NextGenerationEU Program
Pegascy focuses on molecules that have already passed the phase 1/phase 2 or early phase 2 stages of their development. These are molecules that have shown promise in conclusive preclinical trials and that have passed the hurdle of first-in-human testing with an acceptable benefit risk profile.
Pegascy sprang to life in 2017. Frustrated by the narrow focus taken by the pharmaceutical industry in oncology, four oncologists at Europe’s premier cancer research center, the Gustave Roussy Institute (https://www.gustaveroussy.fr/en) sought broader horizons for the innovative molecules brought to their hospital by industry.
- Professor Jean-Charles Soria, former director of the Gustave Roussy Institute and a currently Senior Vice President for Oncology at Amgen
- Professor Fabrice André, current Director of Research at Gustave Roussy
- Professor Aurélien Marabelle, a leading expert in immuno-oncology
- Professor Jean-Pierre Armand, a former President of the European Society for Medical Oncology, former CEO of the Cancer Research Institute of Toulouse and a major sponsor behind many of contemporary chemotherapy drugs such as Irinotecan, Sutent (Pfizer) and Temsirolimus
As members of the Gustave Roussy Institute’s Early Drug Development Department (Département d’Innovation Thérapeuthique et d’Essais Précoces, DITEP, https://www.gustaveroussy.fr/en/ditep), their clinical expertise was enriched by their experience in phase 1 & 2 drug development in Oncology. DITEP’s dedication to phase I clinical trials run seeks to directly address the unmet needs of patients experiencing a therapeutic failure – when oncologist have run out of standard options for their patients – by offering access to innovative molecules.
Striving to expand the range of indications – or forms of cancer – that might be treated by a single therapy opens new frontiers for individual patients and for the entire field. By accelerating research to support use of these therapies wherever appropriate, each success holds the potential to extend a pipeline to a single product. This approach holds promise for patients and can indeed be economically viable, even when seeking to treat rare conditions.
Inspired by their experience in DITEP, these clinical and scientific experts have joined forces with three recognized entrepreneurs:
- Martin Bouygues, CEO of the Bouygues Group
- Sébastien Bazin, CEO of the Accor Group
- Thierry Bruhat, innovation consultant and retired entrepreneur
Our model stems on the identification of candidate molecules by our in-house researchers as well as by our worldwide network of clinicians, all experts in oncology. Our outstanding Scientific Advisor Board selects the most promising synopses, and we initiate them on our own funds. Upon identification of an appropriate molecule, Pegascy’s dedicated scientific teams moves forward, working closely with experts faced with patients suffering rare conditions with unmet medical needs. The team collaborates to bring these innovative molecules back into the clinic to treat these conditions that are far too often neglected by the pharmaceutical industry.
Once its scientific and economic relevance has been demonstrated, its dedicated team engaged and the rights to the molecule acquired, Pegascy invites VC funds and/or industrialists to participate in the project as illustrated by our first project involving Imgatuzumab – a molecule licensed from Roche - and sold to Centessa in 2021.
We are currently about to launch a clinical trial using Istiratumab in pediatric-oncology, while exploring its capabilities in gynecology and head & neck cancers. We are also looking for new molecules and we already identified two promising drug candidates to investigate.