CombiGene, together with its Danish partner Zyneyro, has received welcome financial support of 8,6 million SEK from Eurostars for the continued development of the peptide COZY1, a drug candidate for the treatment of severe chronic pain conditions. BioStock reached out to CombiGene’s CEO Peter Ekolind for a comment.
At the beginning of 2023, gene therapy company CombiGene entered a collaboration with Danish biotech Zyneyro for the development of more effective treatments for severe temporary and chronic pain conditions. The joint pipeline consists of the most advanced project – the peptide treatment COZY01 – and the gene therapy treatment COZY02.
Progress in 2023
Since the signing of the cooperation agreement, the parties have made much progress in particular concerning the project’s main focus COZY1. Among other things, the treatment concept was strengthened in a doctoral thesis at the University of Copenhagen. Read more here.
In September, the contract manufacturer (CDMO) AmbioPharm was selected to produce COZY01. The new partner meets all regulatory criteria, paving the way for toxicological and human studies. According to CombiGene, AmbioPharm’s capacity for commercial production also positions them as a potential long-term partner in the project.
A month later, an indication was chosen for the project. The first Proof-of-Concept study for COZY01 in patients will focus on pain associated with Herpes Zoster (shingles) – a very painful complication. After Proof-of-Concept has been demonstrated, further development will focus on diabetic neuropathy, one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes.
Finally, Charles River Laboratories was chosen as a new CRO (contract research company) partner. This takes the project a step closer to initiating the toxicology studies required to be able to submit a clinical trial application.
CEO comments on Eurostars funding
This week marked a positive stride for the COZY1 project as CombiGene secured 0.7 million EUR, equivalent to 8,6 million SEK, in funding from Eurostars. Eurostars is a European collaboration to support small and medium-sized innovative companies. BioStock reached out to CombiGene’s CEO Peter Ekolind to find out more.
In a press release, you state that the project has now received a very important external validation. Can you concretise in what way this contributes to moving the project forward, in the long term?
– The fact that Eurostars, via the national authorities Vinnova in Sweden and the Innovation Fund in Denmark, chooses to invest funds in the continued development of the COZY01 peptide in fierce competition with other well-qualified applications, is a validation of the project’s quality.
– Projects selected for Eurostars funding must be innovative and have a clear market orientation. Only about 30 per cent of all applications to Eurostars are successful, which underlines the rigour and selectivity of the selection process. It allows us to move forward with more grant applications and is motivating for the team.
How will the funds be used?
– The funding from Eurostars will be used to identify potential biomarkers for effect on the target protein, demonstrate the efficacy of the treatment in human tissue, and develop and produce clinical trial material for the first study in humans.
Looking ahead, how do you hope to sum up CombiGene’s 2024 this time next year?
– By then, I hope that we have chosen a strategy for the epilepsy project CG01 which was handed back to us this autumn, maybe even found a new commercial partner, and that we have been able to make decisions on how to proceed with CGT2. And lastly that we have reached more milestones in the COZY program on the way towards an application for clinical trials.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.