Two innovative biotechnology specialists, IBSA Pharma and CUTISS complete license agreement for VitiCell®
- Agreement grants CUTISS exclusive worldwide license to commercialize VitiCell®.
- VitiCell® is a CE marked medical device developed by IBSA for the treatment of skin pigmentation disorders.
- Strategic fit with CUTISS’s expertise in skin tissue bioengineering.
Sophia-Antipolis (France) and Zurich (Switzerland), 2 February 2022 – IBSA Pharma SAS (“IBSA Pharma”), the French subsidiary of the multinational pharmaceutical company IBSA, and CUTISS AG (“CUTISS”), a Swiss clinical-stage life sciences company focused on skin regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, announced today the start of an exclusive licensing agreement for the commercialization of VitiCell® worldwide.
Under the non-disclosed terms of this agreement, CUTISS has received exclusive rights to globally commercialize VitiCell®, a biotechnological product developed and patented by IBSA Pharma. VitiCell® is a medical device that makes autologous cellular grafting possible in an out-patient setting by a medical professional, be it at a hospital, private clinic or a dermatologist’s cabinet. VitiCell® is indicated for skin re-pigmentation, for example in the case of non-evolving Vitiligo or hypochromatic post traumatic scars. The medical device was granted a CE mark as a class llb medical device in 2015.
Fabrice Jover, General Manager of IBSA Pharma said: “Aware of the role of biotechnologies in the emergence of new therapies, with a shared vision on the potential of VitiCell® and CUTISS’s mission and expertise, this agreement aligns our two companies with the common goal of reaching more patients suffering from Vitiligo and hypochromatic post traumatic scars and who can therefore benefit from VitiCell®.”
Massimiliano Licenziati, President of IBSA Pharma stated: “This agreement confirms the expertise of IBSA Pharma’s Biotechnology Department in the development of innovative and accessible biotechnology products designed for healthcare professionals and dedicated to unmet medical needs. We are delighted to collaborate with CUTISS to commercialize VitiCell® and improve the lives of patients suffering from skin pigmentation disorders. Together with CUTISS we have a common goal in developing innovative regenerative medicine therapies to improve the quality of life of patients.”
Daniela Marino, CEO of CUTISS commented: “This license agreement is encouraging news for patients suffering from a loss of skin color. VitiCell®’s ability to restore skin color using patient’s own cells will benefit Vitiligo patients and patients with dyspigmented scars. Importantly, future patients treated with CUTISS’s promising denovoSkin™ therapy for burns and skin reconstructive indications may also benefit, since as of today, denovoSkin™ is colorless. We are excited by the excellent strategic fit of these two products and the opportunity for CUTISS to develop its commercial operations in a knowledgeable community of dermatology experts.”
Positive news for patients suffering from skin pigmentation disorders
Vitiligo is the most common skin pigmentation disorder with approximately 1-2% of the global population affected. It is an autoimmune disease resulting in discolored skin lesions in different areas of the body. Patients with stable Vitiligo and post-traumatic scars are eligible for treatment with VitiCell®. In the treatment procedure, the medical professional takes a sample of patient’s healthy, pigmented skin, and using the VitiCell® kit, prepares an autologous epidermal cell solution, further transplanted onto the prepared skin lesion.
CUTISS will actively commercialize VitiCell® once the device’s existing EU MDD license is converted to the EU MDR license. In the meantime, IBSA Pharma continues to make the product available to patients.
This agreement is an excellent strategic fit with CUTISS’s expertise in skin tissue bioengineering and the company’s close relationships with key opinion leaders in dermatology. Furthermore, CUTISS also recently announced the opening of a R&D subsidiary at the Sophia Antipolis technology park on the Cote d’Azur in France.
About IBSA Pharma (former Laboratoires Genevrier)
IBSA Pharma is the French subsidiary of IBSA, an international pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland. Created in 1987 under the name of Laboratoires Genevrier, IBSA Pharma is located in Sophia-Antipolis, the first technology park in Europe, near Nice (France).
IBSA Pharma is built on the four IBSA Group’s pillars: Person, Innovation, Quality and Responsibility. The common thread is bringing innovative and safe therapeutic alternatives to the greatest number of patients. IBSA Pharma is therefore committed to improving the quality of life of patients by offering products in their best galenic forms for optimal and proven effectiveness. Our approach is thus in line with a continuous philosophy of excellence and technological progress to contribute to the future improvement of health.
In 1996, Laboratoires Genevrier proudly became the first European certified private cell therapy center, making it a true pioneer in biotechnology. The know-how is illustrated in the design and development of breakthrough technology health products. IBSA Pharma’s intellectual property and know-how is used for the development of medical devices for cell therapy, as well as medical devices adapted to pathologies that require long and expensive treatments, often disrupting the patient’s daily life.
Today, IBSA Pharma has expanded into 8 therapeutic areas: Aesthetic Medicine, Dermatology, Pain and Inflammation, Osteoarticular, Reproductive Medicine, Uro-gynaecology, Endocrinology, Consumer Health. IBSA Pharma offers to patients and healthcare professionals alike more than 90 products to meet their evolving needs: drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, food supplements, biocides and cell therapy products, all manufactured in Europe under the highest quality standards.
CUTISS is a Swiss clinical-stage life sciences company focused on skin regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. It is developing the first personalized and automated skin tissue therapy offering life-saving and life-changing medical treatments for patients with severe skin injuries.
The lead product denovoSkin™ promises to take skin surgery to the next level and revolutionize current treatments. It is a bio-engineered and personalized dermo-epidermal human skin graft, currently in phase IIb clinical trials in Switzerland and the European Union, with Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of burns from Swissmedic, EMA, and FDA.
CUTISS is also developing the world’s first machine that can automate the entire production process of the personalized skin graft. The company’s knowledge in skin bio-engineering and biology offers several growth opportunities in regenerative medicine.
Established in 2017, the company is a spin-off from University of Zurich (UZH) / University Children’s Hospital and a former member of the accelerator Wyss Zurich. Headquartered at the Bio-Technopark in Zurich, it won the Top 100 Swiss Startup Award 2020, and has raised about CHF 50 million from private investors, family offices and public bodies.
 i.e. from EU Medical Device Directive (MDD) to EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR)