New momentum in the fight against cancer
ERC Belgium, which specialises in therapeutic vaccines against certain forms of cancer, has just signed an agreement in Bogota with its Columbian subsidiary. This agreement states that after 50 patients have been treated in Colombia, the profit from the sale of the treatment will be reinvested in the creation of a local production and research unit.
In 2009, ERC developed a therapeutic vaccine against brain cancer, a disease which was then incurable. ERC's research allowed immunotherapy to be considered as an effective means of fighting cancer. Doctor Apostolos Stathopoulos, a Belgian doctor of Greek origin, then had the idea of "fighting fire with fire". He wanted to combine a patient's autologus cells with those of other patients with the same disease in order to treat the tumour.
"We need patients with a strong immune system, and chemo weakens it", explained Paul Petit Jean, CCO of ERC Belgium.
The important mission co-organised by AWEX in Colombia and Peru led to the signing of a major agreement. This agreement states that after 50 patients have been treated in Colombia, the profit from the sale of the treatment will be reinvested in the creation of a local production and research unit.
"Colombia is currently setting up a particularly interesting legal framework for health and then there was the meeting with Dr Gomez, who is now the CEO of ERC Colombia; the 'feeling', that non-objective factor, played a major role", added Paul Petit Jean.
The company is aiming to move forward and in particular is planning to develop other treatments for other forms of cancer, such as lung and pancreatic cancers.
Although there are still several administrative processes to complete before it moves on to the industrial development stage, the pharmaceutical company continues to make progress. In the coming years, we can hope to see the vaccine placed on the market, the company's international growth and the creation of a large number of jobs.
La Libre Belgique 23/10/2014