Martinsried/Munich, 17 March 2015. Medigene AG (MDG1, Frankfurt, Prime Standard) announced that a scientific article on T cell receptors with optimal affinity to cancer antigens has been published in the current issue of the renowned journal "Nature Biotechnology" (doi:10.1038/nbt.3147 - published online 16 March 2015). The positive research results presented show an important scientific foundation for the clinical development of the TCR-based T cell therapy approach.
Prof. Thomas Blankenstein, Director of the Institute for Immunology at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and working group leader at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin: "We are very pleased that our intensive efforts of the past are now coming to fruition and open the door to provide new T cell-based immunotherapies for cancer patients."
Prof. Dolores J. Schendel, Chief Scientific Officer of Medigene AG: "This publication represents results from a long-standing alliance of teams in Berlin and Munich to develop tools and technologies to engineer patient lymphocytes to effectively attack their own tumours."
The article titled "Identification of T cell receptors with optimal affinity to cancer antigens using antigen-negative humanized mice" www.nature.com/nbt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nbt.3147.html
outlines the extensive pre-clinical developments regarding the identification of these specific T cell receptors.
The results have been generated in a research alliance between Prof. Thomas Blankenstein, Director of the Institute for Immunology at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and working group leader at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin in close cooperation with Prof. Dolores J. Schendel, now Chief Scientific Officer of Medigene AG. This alliance is supported since 2006 by the German Research Foundation of which Medigene Immunotherapies is a formal member.
About Medigene's T cell receptor- (TCR) modified T cells: This therapy approach aims to utilize the body's own machinery - the T cell - to target and destroy cancer by arming normal patient-derived T cells with new T cell receptors that enable them to detect and efficiently kill tumour cells. This form of immunotherapy is designed to overcome a patient's tolerance to cancer since the T cells of the patient are activated and modified outside the body, away from generalized immune suppression in the patient. Compared to small molecule or antibody based therapies this approach can be used for new targets to fight tumours. A large army of specific T cells is made available to patients within a short period of time. The therapy is potentially suited for the treatment of advanced cancer.
Medigene is developing a comprehensive library of recombinant T cell receptors. Moreover, a good manufacturing practice (GMP)-compliant process for their combination with patient-derived T cells is currently being established. First discussions with regulatory authorities for the preparation of first clinical trials with defined product candidates have already taken place.
About the SFB-TR36: SFB-TR36 "Principles and Applications of Adoptive T Cell Therapy" is a transregional Collaborative Research Centre funded by the German Research Foundation with a focus on the development of effective approaches to combat cancer using adoptive T cell transfer. The SFB programme is set to run until 2018. For further information, please visit www.sfb-tr36.com.
About the German Research Foundation (DFG): the German Research Foundation is the self-governing organisation responsible for science and research in Germany. It is organised in the form of an association under private law and mainly financed by the German government and the German federal states. The association's members include universities with a strong focus on research, non-university research institutions, scientific associations and the academies of sciences which benefit from interdisciplinary scientific exchange. The core task of the DFG consists in competition-based selection of the best research projects conducted at universities and research organisations as well as their funding. For further information, please visit www.dfg.de.
Medigene AG is a publicly listed (Frankfurt: MDG1, prime standard) biotechnology company headquartered in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. Medigene concentrates on the development of personalized T cell immunotherapies with a focus on haematological malignancies. Medigene is the first German biotech company to have revenues from a marketed product, which is distributed by commercial partner companies. Medigene has advanced drug candidates which are licensed to partners and additional candidates in clinical development. The company is developing highly innovative treatment platforms concentrating on cancer and autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit www.medigene.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements representing the opinion of Medigene as of the date of this release. The actual results achieved by Medigene may differ significantly from the forward-looking statements made herein. Medigene is not bound to update any of these forward-looking statements. Medigene® and Veregen® are registered trademarks of Medigene AG. Polyphenon E® is a trademark of Mitsui Norin Co., Ltd. These trademarks may be owned or licensed in select locations only.
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