MediGene Closes License Agreement with University of Chicago on Extension of HSV Technology (Cancer-Destroying Viruses)


  • License secures access to novel versions of MediGene's cancer-destroying herpes simplex viruses


  • Licensed technology facilitates targeting of HSV to specific (tumor) cells and might increase the efficiency and applicability of HSV


  • The acquisition of the patent application further expands MediGene's leading patent portfolio in HSV technology


    Martinsried - San Diego, June 28, 2004. The German-American biotech company MediGene AG (Frankfurt, Prime Standard: MDG) has closed a license agreement with the University of Chicago, extending MediGene's HSV technology (cancer-destroying viruses). This license secures MediGene's access to a technology that has the potential to further increase the efficiency of MediGene's oncolytic herpes simplex viruses and expand their range of applications. The license covers a specific method of targeting herpes simplex viruses (HSV) towards specific cells, thus facilitating the selective infection and destruction of tumor cells. Along with the license, MediGene acquires all commercial rights to these HSV versions for which a patent application has been filed (WO 04/033639). Thus MediGene increases the development opportunities for HSV technology and further expands the already leading patent portfolio in the HSV area.


    The licensed technology has been designed to modify certain surface proteins of herpes simplex viruses in such a way that they target to receptors of tumor cells, thus facilitating penetration into these cells. In return, the attachment of the viruses to receptors of normal host cells should be made more difficult, or even inhibited, by using this method. With its HSV technology, MediGene aims at the destruction of tumor cells without harming normal cells. In order to achieve this, the viruses were genetically modified, enabling them to selectively replicate in tumor cells, thus destroying them. The newly licensed technology also opens additional fields of application in gene therapy and research.


    Up to now, MediGene has successfully completed two clinical phase 1 trials of HSV to treat liver metastases and brain tumors (glioma), respectively. A phase 1/2 trial of HSV to treat liver metastases from colorectal carcinoma is scheduled for initiation this year. Pre-clinical data indicate that HSV may also be suited to treat additional forms of cancer.


    This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of MediGene as of the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are no guarantees for future performance, and the forward-looking events discussed in this press release may not occur. MediGene disclaims any intent or obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.

    MediGeneTM is a trademark of MediGene AG, Polyphenon® E is a trademark of Mitsui Norin, Eligard® is a trademark of Atrix.


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    About MediGene:

    MediGene AG is a publicly quoted (Frankfurt: Prime Standard), German-American biotechnology company located in Martinsried, Germany and San Diego, USA. MediGene has the most mature drug development pipeline in the German biotech industry and possesses innovative platform technologies. With Eligard® for the treatment of prostate cancer, MediGene is the first German biotech company with a drug on the market. With the Polyphenon® E Ointment, MediGene has a further oncological late-stage product in the clinical phase 3, the last stage of clinical development. An initial phase 3 trial has been completed with excellent results. Other drug candidates are currently undergoing clinical 1 and 2 trials. MediGene's core competence lies in research and development of novel approaches for the treatment of various tumor diseases. Thus MediGene focuses on indications of high medical need and economic opportunities.





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