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Dairy products group TGT has become an equity partner in Catalan biopharmaceutical company Archivel Farma. TGT has acquired the capital previously held by the Fons Innocat venture capital fund —managed by High Growth Partners—, Inversions Valor Afegit and Ágora Invest. Thus, Archivel Technologies and TGT now each hold 49.2% of the capital and pharmaceutical company Reig Jofré maintains its 1.6%.

With this injection of capital, Archivel has ensured funding for phase III trials on the first polyantigenic vaccine to treat latent tuberculosis infection, registered under the brand name Ruti®. Work on this vaccine, invented at the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute in Badalona and based on research by Dr. Pere-Joan Cardona and Isabel Amat, began in 2000. Last June, Archivel Farma presented the results of phase II trials carried out on a sample of 96 patients in South Africa. A panel of international experts presided over by Dr. Pedro Alonso confirmed the viability of this proposal to move into phase III (definitive proof of efficacy). Archivel’s proposal is to administer a single dose of 25 micrograms of the Ruti® vaccine after standard treatment with antibiotics in individuals with latent infection (infected with M. tuberculosis but exhibiting no symptoms of the disease). The aim of this clinical trial is to show that patients treated with the Ruti® vaccine have a lower risk of developing the disease than individuals that have not been vaccinated. The Archivel team has already started preparations on phase III, which will involve a minimum of 1,200 patients and cost roughly €10 millions.

New administrative and management bodies

As a result of these latest changes in shareholders, the Board of Directors has been dissolved and José Martínez of Archivel Technologies and Teodoro García of TGT will be Joint Directors of the company. Antonio Parente, previously president of the company, will continue his relationship with the company as part of the advisory committee. The new general manager is Olga Rué, who also maintains her position as financial director. Janus Developments, which previously carried out functions related to general management through Lluís Ruíz-Ávila and project management through Ramon Bosser, will finish the cycle of executive guidance as expected. Starting in January, Janus will provide support for Archivel Farma in the design and execution of phase III trials on the Ruti® vaccine and in negotiations with any possible international partners so that this drug will reach as many patients and countries as possible. Pere-Joan Cardona and Isabel Amat will maintain their respective positions as Scientific Director and Director of Operations.

According to Olga Rué, the main value of TGT joining the group is “the financial stability this will give us over the next four years. We also highly value this group’s expertise in business management, which will be very positive for us at this stage in our development.”

Origins: Archivel Technologies

In 1998, José Martínez founded Archivel Technologies. In 2005, in order to carry out the clinical development of the Ruti® vaccine, Archivel Farma was created as a spin-off of Archivel Technologies with investor Fons Innocat. Since it was founded, Archivel has received subsidies from the Center for Innovation and Business Development (formerly CIDEM) and loans from organizations like the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDIT), the National Innovation Company (ENISA) and the Catalan Finance Institute.

Archivel currently has a team of 17 people, 90% of which are devoted to research, in addition to a network of external collaborators.


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