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Medigene strengthens its DC platform with patent for treatment of stem cell or bone-marrow transplanted patients

Martinsried/Munich, 23 February 2016. Medigene AG (MDG1, Frankfurt, Prime Standard), a clinical stage immune-oncology company focusing on the development of T cell immuno-therapies for the treatment of cancer, announces the grant of US patent 9,238,063 by the US Patent Office (USPTO) covering semi-allogeneic anti-tumour vaccines with HLA[1] haplo-identical antigen presenting cells (APCs). Medigene holds an exclusive license to the patent that was issued to Helmholtz Zentrum München (German Research Center for Environmental Health).

Prof. Dolores Schendel, CEO and CSO of Medigene and co-inventor of this patent, explains: "This patent increases the applicability for Medigene's DC vaccines and complements the IP portfolio for our DC vaccines already covered by granted patents in Europe, Australia and the US. It is highly relevant in the immunotherapy of stem cell or bone-marrow transplanted patients, who have received their transplants from parents, siblings or children."

For a stem cell or bone-marrow donation without an available HLA-identical "sibling", healthy relatives of the patient are considered meanwhile as the best potential donors. Those donors are at least HLA haplo-identical with respect to the patient, which means that 50% of the MHC/HLA molecules of a donor are identical to the MHC/HLA molecules of the patient.

Currently, there are limited treatment options for patients with haematological malignancies who suffer disease relapse after a stem cell or bone-marrow transplantation. The patent US9,238,063 claims a method of treating a tumour disease in patients by using semi-allogeneic antigen presenting cells of an HLA haplo-identical donor. The APCs are modified to express and present tumour-specific antigens which are in turn recognised by the T cells of the patient resulting in an immune reaction directed against the patient's residual tumour cells.

About Medigene's DC vaccines: The platform for the development of antigen-tailored DC vaccines is the most advanced platform of the highly innovative and complementary immunotherapy platforms of Medigene Immunotherapies. Currently, Medigene evaluates its DC vaccines in a company-sponsored phase I/II clinical trial in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Further studies utilising Medigene's DC vaccine technology include two ongoing clinical investigator-initiated trials (IITs): a clinical phase I/II trial for treating acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) at Ludwig Maximilians University Hospital Grosshadern, Munich, and a clinical phase II trial of a treatment for prostate cancer at Oslo University Hospital. Moreover, compassionate use patients are treated with DC vaccines at the Department of Cellular Therapy at Oslo University Hospital.

Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen presenting cells of our immune system. Their task is to take up, process and present antigens on their cell surface, which enables them to activate antigen-specific T cells for maturation and proliferation. This way T cells can recognise and eliminate antigen-bearing tumour cells. Dendritic cells can also induce natural killer cells (NK cells) to attack tumour cells. The team of Medigene Immunotherapies GmbH's scientists has developed new, fast and efficient methods for generating dendritic cells ex-vivo, which have relevant characteristics to activate both T cells and NK cells. The DC vaccines are developed from autologous (patient-derived) precursor cells, isolated from the patient's blood, and can be loaded with tumour-specific antigens to treat different types of cancer. Medigene's DC vaccines are in development for the treatment of minimal residual disease or use in combination therapies.

Further audio-visual education about Medigene's DC-Vaccines at:
vimeo.com/123005832

Medigene AG is a publicly listed (Frankfurt: MDG1, prime standard) biotechnology company headquartered in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. The company is developing highly innovative, complementary treatment platforms to target various types and stages of cancer with candidates in clinical and pre-clinical development. Medigene concentrates on the development of personalized T cell-based immunotherapies.

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® is a registered trademark of Medigene AG. This trademark may be owned or licensed in select locations only.

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  1. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system is the locus of genes that encode for proteins on the surface of cells that are responsible for regulation of the immune system in humans. This group of genes encodes cell-surface antigen-presenting proteins and has many other functions. The HLA genes are the human versions of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes that are found in most vertebrates. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a set of cell surface proteins essential for acquired immune system to recognize foreign molecules. The main function of MHC molecules is to bind to peptide fragments derived from pathogens or tumours and display them on the cell surface for recognition by the appropriate T-cells.