Mifcare Receives Support from HTaPFrance, Inserm to Develop New PAH Therapies

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by Charles Moore |

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Paris-based biotechnology company Mifcare is getting support from the French pulmonary hypertension patients’ association HTaPFrance for the development of new anti-inflammatory therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Melanie Gallant-Dewavrin, director of HTaPFrance, said promoting research to fight PAH is one of her association’s goals, “which is why I do not hesitate to give my full support, and through mine, that of our association, to the biotechnology start-up Mifcare.”

HTaPFrance, founded in 1996, advocates for French PAH patients and helps improve daily living conditions. The organization supports scientific research on PAH and its therapies and management, provides resource information regarding the disease’s origins, and a medium to connect patients, doctors, public health authorities, health policy makers, healthcare administrations, pharmaceutical companies, service providers, associations, and other stakeholders in PAH.

Dr. Gael Jalce, Mifcare’s CEO and co-founder, said HTaPFrance’s support “is extremely important and fully in line with the mission that we have set, which is to develop innovative small molecules to better counteract the narrowing of the small pulmonary arteries leading to the development and progression of PAH.”

In a press release, Jalce called MFC1040 — a drug in its pre-clinical phase which targets the pleiotropic cytokine MIF (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) — “our most advanced product.”

HTaPFrance’s support follows similar commitments from the Unit 999 lab at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm). The world-renowned laboratory at the University of Paris-Sud focuses on pathophysiology; its clinical management of PAH is led by Marc Humbert, MD, PhD.

On his Inserm website, Humbert says his goal is to translate novel information produced by the various basic and clinical research units he collaborates with, such as Mifcare, into patient care advances.

“My group includes the French leading teams in pulmonary hypertension research and care, working jointly to improve the understanding and treatment of PAH, a severe condition with a largely underestimated burden and significant unmet needs,” he said.

PH describes a group of severe and currently incurable cardiovascular diseases characterized by progressive narrowing of the small pulmonary arteries, leading to abnormal elevation of pulmonary artery pressure.

PAH is defined by an elevation of mean pulmonary artery pressure above 25 mmHg at rest without elevation of the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. While the exact mechanisms that lead to the onset and progression of PAH are not yet fully understood, inflammation in and around the pulmonary arteries is believed to play a role in the disease’s development.