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GenOdyssee Receives Notice of Allowance from U.S. Patent Office for Improved Interferon-Alpha Aimed at Hepatitis C

GenOdyssee has Received Notice of Allowance of United States Patent Application Covering its Lead HCV Interferon-alpha Product GEA007.1, a

Natural Protein With Improved Anti-HCV Genotype 1 Activity

PARIS, France, February 14 /PRNewswire/ -- GenOdyssee S.A., a biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of improved 'next generation' blockbuster protein therapeutic products, announced today that it has received notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) of its Patent Application Ndegrees 10/691,653 covering its lead anti-HCV IFN-alpha product GEA007.1 for application in the treatment of hepatitis C. GEA007.1 is a naturally occurring mutant of human IFN alpha 17. In preclinical studies, GEA007.1 demonstrated improved intrinsic anti-genotype 1 antiviral properties without increased toxicity at therapeutic doses used in HCV treatments, as compared to standard of care IFN-alpha 2 drugs.

"We are very happy with this notice of allowance, which represents an important milestone for us. Combined with the granting in the European Union in 2006 of our patent application covering GEA007.1, this is a proof-of-concept of the global standard of innovation set by our lead HCV program," said Jean-Louis Escary, Ph.D., CEO of GenOdyssee. Similar to the European Patent Office notice of allowance report on this product that was issued in 2006, the current USPTO notice of allowance report did not reveal any prior art references relevant to the invention constituted by GEA007.1.

A recent communication with the USPTO revealed that GenOdyssee's patent application covering a second lead IFN-alpha drug candidate, GEA009.2, to be used in cancer, is expected to be allowed in the United States in the near future. "This confirms the uniqueness of GenOdyssee's proprietary technology as well as our global leadership position in the interferon arena," said Dr. Escary. "Our technology has also proven to be uniquely applicable to other important classes of protein therapeutic drugs such as erythropoietin".

Genotype 1 HCV has in recent years become the predominant HCV genotype worldwide. It is estimated that approximately 100 million people are infected with HCV genotype 1 worldwide and that this genotype kills around 200,000 people annually from cirrhosis-related hepatocarcinoma. Genotype 1 patients have not shown improved responses to other IFN-alpha2 variants currently in clinical testing, nor have these patients responded to higher doses of standard-of-care long-lasting IFN-alpha2 drugs. Therefore, says Dr. Escary, "GenOdyssee's improved interferon-alpha variant drug for HCV genotype 1, GEA007.1, which presents no increase in toxicity at therapeutic doses used in HCV treatments, can constitute the next standard of care. GenOdyssee is developing both standard and pegylated versions of GEA007.1 and we believe this will provide a key element in meeting the proven and growing demand for better hepatitis C therapies" added Escary.

About GenOdyssee S.A.

GenOdyssee applies its proprietary population-genetics-based drug discovery approach using a DNA databank representative of more than 90% of the different ethnicities that constitute the current human population, which is screened for natural genetic variants of therapeutic proteins with superior properties. The company pioneered the vision that natural evolution has led to the generation in the current population of unpredictable mutations that confer superior or novel therapeutic status to known important human therapeutic proteins.

GenOdyssee's technology is protected by the international patent application PCT/EP03/13965 and is the sole property of the company. An international examination report delivered by the European Patent Office stated an absence of prior art to such technology in the entire biopharmaceutical industry.

This technology has allowed GenOdyssee to identify a variety of innovative variations on existing protein drugs including cytokines, growth factors, coagulation factors, hormones and their receptors.

GenOdyssee's lead IFN alpha products are natural human proteins variants generated by natural evolution. They are therefore already proven to be functional and tolerated in man, echoing that of the marketed interferon-alpha 2a and 2b drugs from Roche and Schering-Plough that define the current standard of care.

GenOdyssee's IP portfolio is constituted of fifty-two patents and patent applications that cover both its innovative technology and therapeutic products, representing seven different patent families among which twenty patents are already granted in numerous countries worldwide including the EU and the US.

For more information about the company, please visit the company's website at

SOURCE GenOdyssee SA
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