BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - The French pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma has invested a further €2.5 million (US$3.27 million) in its subsidiary Celogos, which it took over in January 2006.

Celogos, which was founded in 2001, is specialized in the development of cell-based therapies focused on muscle regeneration. It has developed a technology platform called rational cell design (RCD), which makes it possible to isolate muscle precursor cells from biopsies of a patient's muscle. The precursor cells are grown using a patented culture process, frozen and then re-injected into the patient at the affected site. The cells then develop into mature muscle cells, repairing the damaged tissue. Both HRA and Celogos are based in Paris.

HRA said the new investment would enable Celogos to further develop its RCD product pipeline. Its most advanced therapeutic program is in the field of stress urinary incontinence, for which its lead product, RCD1, is undergoing a Phase II trial. The results of the study are due in early 2008, and the company hopes to obtain regulatory approval for the product by 2010.

Celogos also is developing a cell therapy (RCD2) for the treatment of fecal incontinence, which is scheduled to enter Phase II clinical trials in the second half of 2007. The company has other programs aimed at developing therapies for a rare genetic ocular myopathy (RCD3) and for diseases of the cardiac muscle.

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