Erytech Pharma entered into a collaborative research agreement Monday with the M.D. Anderson Center.
Under the partnership, Erytech, a specialty pharmaceutical company with offices in France and Philadelphia, and M.D. Anderson of Houston, will work together to study the potential use of Graspa — Erytech’s flagship new drug candidate — in treating patients with solid tumors.
Graspa is an experimental therapy that consists of red blood cell-encapsulated L-asparaginase, an enyzme used to treat leukemia by damaging cancer cells. By encapsulating the enzyme inside red blood cells, the company is seeking to make Graspa safer and have a broader range of clinical uses as compared to existing forms of L-asparaginase.
Dr. John Weinstein, chair of the department of bioinformatics and computational biology at M.D. Anderson will serve as principal investigator for the project.
Dr. Yann Godfrin, Erytech Pharma’s co-founder and CEO, said the collaboration with M.D. Anderson “provides us the opportunity to develop a clinically-compatible biomarker assay and to rationally prescribe Graspa to patients who are most likely to respond.”