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PPF Group acquires minority stake in Cytune Pharma

PBR Staff Writer Published 06 February 2015

PPF Group, in cooperation with SOTIO has completed acquisition of minority stake in French biotechnology firm Cytune Pharma.

Cytune is focused on researching and developing new therapies for immune modulation aimed to improve immune response of patients suffering from cancer and infectious diseases.

PPF Group shareholder and board member responsible for biotechnology Ladislav Bartonícek said: "Our investment in Cytune Pharma further diversifies our portfolio of activities in oncology research and clinical development and creates potential synergies with the development programs of SOTIO and OriBase Pharma."

Cytune Pharma president and founder Dr David Béchard said: "SOTIO's industry expertise and PPF's financial resources will allow the acceleration and expansion of our super IL-15-based products portfolio. We aim to develop new immunomodulatory agents in clinical trials in the coming years."

The French firm's platform based on modified IL-15 provides the possibility of combinations with other immunotherapeutic strategies, including checkpoint inhibitors.

Currently, PPF is active in biotech sector through majority stake in SOTIO and investment in Oribase Pharma, a biotechnology firm focused on the development of new targeted therapies for aggressive oncology diseases.

PPF will also fund Cytune's research and development (R&D) activities related to its lead compound as well as to other developments based on its new platform.

Currently, SOTIO is developing therapies to treat prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer, while Cytune's R&D focuses on a broad portfolio of new immunotherapeutic agents, primarily to treat cancer.