Lys Therapeutics, Grand Prize winner of the i-Lab innovation competition, accelerates its research on its lead  drug-candidate Glunozumab®


An innovative biotherapy to treat stroke and multiple sclerosis


Caen and Lyon, France, 15 October 2021 – Lys Therapeutics, a French biotech company developing innovative treatments for neurological pathologies, announces today a 600 000 euro grant received for glunomab, as the Grand Prize winner of the i-Lab Innovation competition.

The i-Lab innovation competition is organized by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in partnership with Bpifrance. The contest highlights public research results through the creation of disruptive technology companies and finances the most innovative research and development projects through direct financial grant.

“We are very proud to receive this Grand Prize as a recognition of the disruptive scientific background and the ambition of Lys Therapeutics, as well as the strong quality of our project partners, the institute Blood and Brain @ Caen-Normandie, Normandie Incubation and Pulsalys. This prize also underlines the increased interest of the ecosystem for neurological pathologies and their clinical needs” comments Manuel Blanc, co-founder and CEO of Lys Therapeutics. He adds : “The i-Lab Grand Prize recognizes the excellence of our technology and the high therapeutic potential of our lead drug candidate: glunomab. With this additional support, we will be able to accelerate our research and development efforts with a first focus on Stroke, a debilitating pathology with high unmet medical needs.”

Prof. Denis VIVIEN, Scientific Director of the Blood and Brain Institute @ Caen-Normandie (BB@C, GIS Inserm / Caen Normandie University and Caen Normandie University Hospital) and President of the Scientific Advisory Board of Lys Therapeutics comments: “We are delighted for this Grand Prize and express our full support to Lys Therapeutics. BB@C and the INSERM / UNICAEN UMR-S U1237 PhIND team see in this ambitious project the realization of 15 years of fundamental and preclinical research, with the clinical objective of better care for better living”

Laurent PROTIN, Managing Director of Normandie Incubation adds: “Being an i-Lab laureate and being a Grand Prize project means first and foremost rewarding the quality of the scientific research from which the project has emerged and the human and business skills of the cofounders and leadership team. This award is just one milestone for Lys Therapeutics! This is why the “Normandeeptech” consortium co-created with Normandie Valorisation will continue to be involved in helping the startup to become a world leader among the biotech ecosystem“.

Sophie JULLIAN, President of PULSALYS comments: “PULSALYS is very proud to see Lys Therapeutics honored with a Grand Prize at the i-Lab 2021 innovation competition. This is also the recognition of the support provided to the startup as part of our “Objectif i-Lab” Program and more broadly of our role as a Deeptech incubator serving the local startup community, particularly in connection with the Pouss@LYS consortium. PULSALYS will continue to support Lys Therapeutics by giving them access to the entire academic ecosystem in order to boost their development.”


About Blood and Brain @ Caen-Normandie Institute (BB@C)

The Blood and Brain at Caen Normandie institute (BB@C), founded by Inserm, the Caen Normandie University and the Caen Normandie University Hospital and recipient of grants from the Normandie regional council as well as private foundations, is internationally recognized for its forefront translational research activities. BB@C institute brings together scientists from diverse backgrounds. Collectively, BB@C teams share 4 main objectives: 1) Improving research on neurovascular, neurological and psychiatric disorders, with a particular interest in the interactions between blood and brain cells, 2) Achieving a high level of expertise and knowledge in these domains, 3) Promoting innovations and partnerships to the benefit of patients, 4) Bringing together science and the general public in a climate of mutual trust. The different structures that constitute BB@C (laboratories, technical platforms, start-ups and CROs, etc.) combine complementary skills and expertise in a translational scientific approach serving the same objective: advancing research on neurovascular, neurological and psychiatric disorders to contribute to better human health.


About Normandie Incubation

Normandie Incubation is the public research incubator of the Normandie region and participate to the creation of innovative startups with disruptive technologies. It supports around 50 projects each year through three support tools: Sterne (preincubation program), the Incubator, and the Accelerator, all dedicated to Deeptech startups. Since its inception, Normandie Incubation has supported more than 330 projects.



PULSALYS, Deeptech innovations incubator and accelerator in Lyon and Saint-Etienne, builds tomorrow’s innovative products and services by transforming scientific discoveries from the University of Lyon’s laboratories into economic opportunities for companies and startups. PULSALYS is the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) for the territory of Lyon – Saint-Etienne, created in December 2013 as part of the “ Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir “ (PIA) initiated by the French government. Based on research innovations, PULSALYS builds and develops projects with high technological potential which constitute the basis for the creation of Deeptech startups, or competitive advantages for existing companies. In a few years, PULSALYS has become a key player for the attractiveness and economic development of the territory with more than 270 projects for €28M invested since its creation; 108 Deeptech startups created which raised €114M, generated €6 million of turnover and created more than 600 jobs; and 40 companies (SMEs/Large Groups) which have also benefited from innovations resulting from academic research.


About Lys Therapeutics

Lys Therapeutics is a biotech company developing innovative drugs to treat patients suffering from neurological diseases, including Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, as well as other neurodegenerative disorders. Our main drug is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody with a unique mechanism of action.

In the pathophysiology of neurological diseases such as stroke or multiple sclerosis, one protease called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) triggers off-target toxicity via hyperactivation of NMDA receptors (NMDAr) causing deleterious increase of the permeability of the blood brain barrier and strong neuronal excitotoxicity.

By blocking the interaction between tPA and NMDA receptors Lys Therapeutics drug-candidate counteracts this tPA-dependent strong toxicity, hence preventing the induced neurotoxicity, neuroinflammation and blood brain barrier issues, without perturbing basal NMDAr functioning.

The clinical development of this biotherapy is of priority for Lys Therapeutics, as a game changer for patients suffering from neurological disorders with high unmet medical needs, for a potential major societal impact.

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