Hryyvo2jskchvrdidn69 vecthorus


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Marseilles Cedex 15, FR


VECT-HORUS is a biotechnology company that designs and develops peptide-based vectors that facilitate the delivery of drugs or imaging agents into organs, notably into the brain, and to tumors. The vectors target receptors involved in “Receptor Mediated Transport” (RMT, a physiological system for the transport into cells of endogenous substances). By combining drugs or imaging agents to its vectors, VECT-HORUS allows them to cross biological barriers that restrict access to their target, notably the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

The company has already established the proof of concept of its technology in animal models by vectorizing an endogenous neuropeptide, which led to a novel proprietary drug-candidate with neuroprotective properties. This first drug-candidate has now entered regulatory preclinical phase.

Founded in 2005, by Alexandre TOKAY, CEO, and Dr. Michel KHRESTCHATISKY, Scientific Advisor, VECT-HORUS is a spin-off of the neurobiology laboratory directed by Dr. Michel KHRESTCHATISKY (UMR7529, CNRS and Aix-Marseille University). Based in Marseille, France, the company has 17 employees, mostly in R&D, and develops academic collaborations with the CNRS, INSERM and CEA as well as industrial partnerships.

VECT-HORUS was recently identified by the CNRS as one of the 15 success stories among 1,000 spin-offs from its laboratories.

Recent Publications

  • Molino Y, David M, Varini K, Jabès F, Gaudin N, Fortoul A, Bakloul K, Masse M, Bernard A, Drobecq L, Lécorché P, Temsamani J, Jacquot G, and Khrestchatisky M. Use of LDL receptor–targeting peptide vectors for in vitro and in vivo cargo transport across the blood-brain barrier. The FASEB Journal 2017, Jan 20, doi: 10.1096/fj.201600827R.
  • Jacquot G, Lécorché P, Malcor JD, Laurencin M, Smirnova M, Varini K, Malicet C, Gassiot F, Faucon A, David M, Gaudin N, Masse M, Ferracci G, Dive V, Cisternino S, Khrestchatisky M. Optimization and inVivo Validation of Peptide Vectors Targeting the LDL Receptor. Mol Pharm. 2016 Oct 11. PMID: 27656777.
  • Thevenard J, Verzeaux L, Devy J, Etique N, Jeanne A, Schneider C, Hachet C, Ferracci G, David M, Martiny L, Charpentier E, Khrestchatisky M, Rivera S, Dedieu S, Emonard H. Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 mediates endocytic clearance of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 and promotes its cytokine-like activities. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 30;9(7).
  • Molino Y, Jabès F, Lacassagne E, Gaudin N, Khrestchatisky M. Setting-up an in vitro model of rat blood-brain barrier (BBB): a focus on BBB impermeability and receptor-mediated transport. J Vis Exp. 2014 Jun 28;(88).
  • Chaturvedi M, Molino Y, Sreedhar B, Khrestchatisky M, Kaczmarek L. Tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1 loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles for delivery across the blood-brain barrier. Int J Nanomedicine. 2014 Jan 20;9:575-88.
  • Perrot G, Langlois B, Devy J, Jeanne A, Verzeaux L, Almagro S, Sartelet H, Hachet C, Schneider C, Sick E, David M, Khrestchatisky M, Emonard H, Martiny L, Dedieu S. LRP-1--CD44, a new cell surface complex regulating tumor cell adhesion. Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Aug;32(16):3293-307.
  • Vlieghe P, Khrestchatisky M. Medicinal Chemistry Based Approaches and nanotechnology-Based Systems to Improve CNS Drug Targeting and Delivery. Med Res Rev. 2012 Mar 20.

Diversity Certificates

Small business

Our Services (4)


Blood Brain Barrier Screening Platform

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The blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the central nervous system (CNS) from plasma fluctuations of endogenous, but also exogenous molecules, including those with therapeutic potential. The BBB’s restrictive properties are compensated by the presence of many specific mechanisms that provide transport of nutrients across the BBB.
VECT-HORUS has developed cellular tools and approaches, in particular rat and mouse syngeneic in vitro models of the BBB and blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB). These models can be used to assess:

  1. The passage of molecules through the BBB via analysis of intracellular trafficking and transendothelial transport,
  2. The effect of molecules on the BBB physiology (healthy or pathologic).

Various types of molecules can be assessed such as nanoparticles, small molecules, peptides or large molecules including antibodies.

Monolayer of rodent (rat or mouse) primary endothelial cells isolated and purified from brain or spinal cord and co-cultured with rodent glial cells.
This model can be proposed in normal or in inflammatory conditions (tumor necrosis factor α treatment).

1- Passage across BBB:

  • Endothelial uptake assay: quantification of molecule uptake in the cellular homogenate.
  • Intracellular trafficking analysis: assessment of co-localization of molecules of interest with subcellular compartment markers.
  • Transendothelial transport assay: quantification of transport of molecules from the luminal to the abluminal compartment.

2- BBB physiology:

  • Cytotoxicity assays.
  • BBB integrity assessment: endothelial permeability measurements, quantification of tight junction protein expression.
  • Inflammatory profile analysis: secretion of pro-inflammatory factors.

Neurodegenerative diseases LC-MS/MS Confocal microscope Endothelial uptake and BBB transport assays BBB integrity assessment Endothelial Permeability (Pe) measurements Intracellular trafficking analysis BBB-related gene and protein expression analysis Rat Mouse CNS/Neurology Show 11 more tags Show less



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In vitro Disease Models

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Cells and Tissues

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Elodie Dormes

Business Development manager

Jamal Temsamani

Director of Drug Development

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