Martinsried/Munich, 8 October 2014. The biotech company Medigene AG (Frankfurt: MDG1, Prime Standard) announces that the Australian Patent Office has issued patent No. 2009317161 titled "High affinity T cell receptor and use thereof", relating to T-cell receptors against the tumor associated antigen tyrosinase. The patent has a term until 2029 and is licensed exclusively to Medigene's wholly owned subsidiary Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH by Helmholtz Zentrum München.
Prof. Dolores Schendel, Chief Scientific Officer of Medigene AG, comments: "TCR- based adoptive therapies offer an important innovative treatment option for advanced tumors for which only very few therapies are available. The use of tyrosinase as a target antigen that is associated with melanoma may allow the treatment of this skin cancer with TCR-modified T cell immunotherapy in the future. For this reason the grant of this patent in Australia, a country with a high ratio of pale-skinned people and high incidence of this skin cancer, is of particular importance."
About 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.
Currently, a comprehensive library of recombinant T-cell receptors and a GMP-compliant process for their combination with patient-derived T cells is being established. Discussions with regulatory authorities for the preparation of first clinical trials with defined product candidates are ongoing.
About Tyrosinase: Tyrosinase is an enzyme containing copper which catalyzes the oxidation of phenols, e.g. tyrosine. Tyrosine is involved in melanin synthesis at the membrane of melanocytes in animals and humans, and is therefore essential for the protection against UV radiation. In some organisms with albinism, this enzyme is modified or missing completely.
About Medigenes Immunotherapies: Following the acquisition of Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH, Medigene pursues three complementary personalized immunotherapeutic strategies to target various tumour types and stages focussing on next generation antigen-tailored dendritic cell (DC) vaccines, T cell receptor (TCR)-based adoptive cell therapy and T cell-targeted antibodies (TABs). Each one is focused on T cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a pivotal role in immunity.
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.
Julia Hofmann, Anja Clausnitzer
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