This Swiss Biotech is Using an Ancient Virus in our Genome to Fight Multiple Sclerosis


GeNeuro, the Autoimmune disease company from the Geneva area (Switzerland), has now announced its launch of an IPO for a Phase IIb antibody against Multiple Sclerosis.

geneuro_euronext_ipo_servier_multiple_sclerosis_retrovirus_msrvGeNeuro is developing therapies and diagnostic tools for diseases associated with the expression of the human endogenous retrovirus MSRV, such as the Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Previously, this biotech and Servier have signed a partnership to develop first medicine addressing a causal factor of MS.

MS  is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system caused by progressive breakdown of the myelin (a conductor ‘sheath’ covering neurons) in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, today, affecting more than 2.5 million people worldwide.

This IPO therefore aims to further develop their leading phase IIb candidate, GNbAC1, and will launch shares of its Swiss company on the Euronext market. GNbAC1 has already successfully completed Phase IIa, showing encouraging signs of efficacy on a first small cohort of patients as well as an optimal safety profile, according to GeNeuro and Servier.

GNbAC1 is a humanized monoclonal antibody which targets the MS-retrovirus envelope protein (MSRV-Env). The ability of MSRV-Env to activate the innate immune system has been shown a significant trigger in developing MS, of which there is increasing paper-based evidence.


MSRV had first been isolated from the cells of MS patients. MSRV is normally latent in the genome of individuals, but when activated by certain co-factors, it plays a major triggering and aggravating factor in the development and progression of MS (Source: GeNeuro)

In December, GeNeuro received $47M (€43M) from Servier, after which Servier can exercise a licensing option of GNbAC1 in Multiple Sclerosis. However, GeNeuro retains independence & full control of the US & Japanese markets, and for applications of its technology in other autoimmune diseases.

The future of GeNeuro could be very lucrative, and we will be watching the progress of this Swiss biotech closely.

And how exactly does the Antibody GnBAC1 Work to Target Multiple Sclerosis?

Feature Image Credit: Human Neurology – © Digitalista (BigStock ID103838192)
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  1. 18/01/2016 at 23:57 — Reply

    I have suffered from MS for 30yrs I am looking for a miracle


    • Dani Bancroft
      19/01/2016 at 16:33 — Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Bridgette. I’m sorry to hear that.

      Fingers crossed for these trials.


  2. 19/01/2016 at 13:16 — Reply
    • Dani Bancroft
      19/01/2016 at 16:31 — Reply

      Thanks, Carlos! Will have to look into it more, about time we revisited the MS and Autoimmune field.

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