LSTM Professor Richard Pleass shortlisted for Prix de l’Innovation 2013

News article 23 Jul 2013

Professor Richard Pleass is one of four shortlisted finalists out of over 300 applications for the Universal Biotech Innovation Prize.

Professor Pleass’ project deals with the development of a biomimetic to replace intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy for treating autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune diseases affect 9 million UK citizens alone although their public health importance is accelerating most rapidly in developing countries where IVIG is unaffordable to the great majority. There is therefore an urgent clinical need to develop cheaper, safer, and more effective alternatives to IVIG which is currently prepared from donated human plasma. Professor Pleass and his team therefore took a quality-by-design approach to develop a synthetic biomimetic of IVIG called Hexa-Fc that is approximately 50 fold more effective than IVIG. The additional benefit of potentially winning the Innovation Prize would not only be the industry recognition of this unique research but also the assistance required to develop a strategy to get Hexa-Fc to patients.

The winner of the prize will be announced during the Innovation Days 2013 which are designed to promote early-stage innovation biotech and to enable pharmaceutical companies and investors in their business development & licensing efforts to source new platform technologies and innovative products. The conference deals with new issues in the health industry, innovation strategies, drug safety dilemma, customer relationship management or new tools of medical and scientific communication.

The Innovation Days, organised by the Universal Medica Group, take place from 7 to 9 October 2013 in Cité Universitaire Internationale, Paris, France.