Hit identification and lead selection

Lead optimization

Drug candidate characterization


Our mission is to develop knowledge, know-how and technologies to know, understand and analyze the interactions between host/pathogen/therapeutic solution and thus contribute to the fight against the emergence of new infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

As a developer of curative or preventive health solutions, you face several challenges:

  • build a comprehensive and coordinated development approach,
  • develop treatments that target known or emerging priority pathogens,
  • propose alternative strategies (antibodies, peptides, phages, etc…),
  • find complementary approaches to limit the resistance or persistence of bacteria.

We work on the main infectious diseases namely nosocomial infections, neglected tropical diseases and pandemics.

Pathogens that we routinely handle in a BSL2 or BSL3 environment include those on priority lists from WHO, health authorities and Centers for Infectious Disease Control. They can be intra or extracellular, have an independent (planktonic) or organized (biofilm) behavior and multiply rapidly or be dormant.

They are at the origin of a variety of infectious diseases on which we can cooperate.

The substances you wish to develop, for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes, can be directed against the pathogen or specific to the host (mammalian receptor, immune response or microbiota).

We will contribute to your drug discovery & drug development challenges by offering you a global and coordinated approach ranging from alternative methods for identifying hits, selection criteria for innovative and quality leads, and in-depth characterizations of your drug candidates, to evaluations of the therapeutic potential of your products in targeted combinations.

When necessary, we adapt classic models and tests or develop new ones to offer the solutions that best meet your specific needs. For example, in the context of phage therapy, we have adapted classical biodistribution and pharmacokinetic methodologies to study in vivo the concentration of phages in different organs over time after I.V. injection.

Icon infections
Icon microorganism
Anti-infectives agents
Icon anti-infectives agents
Icon vaccines
  • nosocomial, often bacterial or fungal, usually responsible for respiratory tract, urinary tract, bloodstream or skin infections
  • emerging, often viral or parasitic, usually responsible for epidemics, pandemics or neglected tropical diseases
  • viruses (e.g. SARS-COV-2, dengue fever, HBV, chikungunya)
  • bacteria (e.g. ESKAPE, Clostridium difficile, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, AMR bacteria)
  • parasites (e.g. Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania donovani, Plasmodium spp)
  • fungi (Candida albicans, Candida auris, Aspergillus fumigatus)
  • small molecule, single ingredient or in combination
  • large structures (peptide, proteins, antibodies, nucleotides)
  • extracts and natural products
  • alternative approaches such as bacteriophages
  • host-oriented therapies (immunomodulator, etc.)
  • respiratory tract, pneumonia, COVID, flu, HAP (Hospital Acquired Pneumoniae), VAP (Ventilator Associated Pneumonia)
  • urinary tract cUTI, pyelonephritis
  • bloodstream, bacteremia, septicemia
  • skin & soft tissues, wounds

Hits identification of and hits to leads

In order to generate new antibiotics from anaerobic bio-resources, we are developing new screening methods, based on micro-fluidics in order to identify new antibiotic-producing bacteria.

Our ability to cultivate these fastidious bacteria of interest in sufficient quantity allows us to analyze the structure of the antibiotic compound by HPLC, MS, NMR. After identification of the antibiotic biosynthesis process by the anaerobic bacterium and transfer of this process by strain engineering, we can provide you with an easily cultivable strain capable of producing the new identified antibiotic.

Watch our Anoxic video here.


The in vitro evaluation of the activity of your compounds on clinical strains or models according to the recommendations of CLSI or EUCAST, in planktonic or biofilm form, will allow you to measure their susceptibility and resistance in a wide range of different conditions.

Visit here our In Vitro / In Vivo Models offer.


Leads optimization

This first level of characterization is based on advanced in vitro models, whose experimental design (in vivo mimicking media, organ-on-chip, dynamic environment) is more representative of in vivo. This is in particular to allow you to derisk your product in the early preclinical phases.

The identification of new targets and biological pathways involved in the activity of your antibiotic, as well as the demonstration of the novelty of a mechanism of action, are made possible thanks to a set of OMIC technologies, bioinformatics and integrated artificial intelligence.

Learn about our Mechanism of action offer here.


Drug Candidate Characterization

As a preamble to in vivo studies, we suggest to you carry out biodistribution studies and evaluations of pharmacokinetic profiles in order to determine the optimal therapeutic regimen (route of administration, dose, number of doses and interval between doses). Then we can assess the efficacy of your candidate, alone or in combination. Finally, studies of PK/PD relationships according to different routes of administration can nicely complement the evaluation of your drug candidate.

We customize our rodent preclinical models of infectious diseases to the specifics of your product before testing their efficacy (pathogen resistance, immune status, severity of infection, chronicity, readouts, etc.). These bespoke models relate in particular to sepsis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, abscesses, heart infections.

In addition, they also allow searching for biomarkers of treatment efficacy during these studies.

Consult our Biomarkers offer.


Together, we cherry-pick the readouts that will be used in the study, amongst several parameters: clinical (survival, weight, temperature, etc.), microbiological (CFU, PFU, in vivo imaging, etc.), immunological (recruitment of PBMC, dosage of cytokines, neutralizing antibodies, etc.) and histological. For example, our COVID-19 preclinical model is highly customizable to fit the specifics of your products.


In the context of host-oriented therapies,
we propose to:

  1. characterize the immune response during antimicrobial treatment to refine the therapeutic regimen,
  2. study the modulation of the immune response by your product alone or in combination,
  3. quantify the immune response to compare molecules based on these analyses.

Dr. Derry Mercer
Dr. Derry MercerHead of Antimicrobial programmeIcon email
Régis Villet
Régis VilletStrategic partnership managerIcon email