TiGenix spins out drugmaking
Rotterdam/Leuven – Cartilage replacement specialist TiGenix N.V. has entered into an agreement with its academic partners KU Leuven and Ghent University, the Dutch company Therosteon and a consortium of investors for the formation of Arcarios B.V., a new small-molecule drug development company. The Rotterdam-based Arcarios will focus on the discovery and development of disease-modifying drugs that target bone and joint diseases. TiGenix has an undisclosed stake in the new company, and is retaining the rights to drug candidates developed by Arcarios for local treatment of arthritic diseases. TiGenix has developed a screening platform named ChondroBoost, which uses human joint chondrocytes and stem cells to assess the effect of small molecules and biologicals on the different aspects of cartilage biology. Based on this platform – and in collaboration with its academic partners – TiGenix has identified and validated a set of potential osteoarthritis targets and drug candidates. The progression of its therapeutic programmes requires the application of complementary technologies and skills that fall outside the firm’s focus and expertise. TiGenix markets two products in Europe: a cell-based therapy to treat cartilage defects (ChondroCelect) and a collagen-based implant to treat small osteochondral defects (ChondroMimetic).