Martinsried/Munich, Germany, 22 July 2014. Medigene AG (MDG1, Frankfurt, Prime Standard) has announced that its subsidiary, Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH, will be an active project partner in the transregional Collaborative Research Centre (SFB-TR36) "Principles and Applications of Adoptive T Cell Therapy" of the German Research Foundation (DFG). The DFG will continue the funding phase of the SFB-TR36, started in 2006, for another four years.
The project of Trianta is an integral part of the consortium that includes other projects of acclaimed scientists from Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Humboldt University of Berlin (HU), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), Munich University of Technology (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich (HMGU). The scientists' aim is to develop effective approaches to treat tumours using adoptive T cell transfer. Trianta's participation in SFB-TR36 secures established scientific and project-related cooperation with these leading German research institutions in the field of cancer immunotherapy. In particular, the promotion of technology transfer in a joint project with the HMGU facilitates access for Trianta to highly innovative preclinical tumour models for testing the efficacy of its own developed therapeutic concepts.
Prof. Dolores J. Schendel, Chief Scientific Officer at Medigene AG, commented: "The inclusion of Trianta in the SFB-TR36 through the recently funded Technology Transfer Project made in cooperation with the Helmholtz Zentrum München allows our T cell receptor experts to continue their close collaboration with many other experts in the field. It is the goal of Trianta to support the transfer of TCR-based immunotherapies into clinical evaluation and future commercialization."
Medigene AG/Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH has three highly innovative, complementary immunotherapy platforms. In the area of adoptive T cell therapy with T cell receptor-modified T cells, the company is working on the further development of a GMP-compliant manufacturing process and continuing preparations for the clinical development of the first product candidates.
About T cell receptor (TCR)-modified T cells (in advanced preclinical development, suitable for treating patients with advanced tumours): this therapeutic approach of Trianta is geared to using the body's own immune defence mechanism - T cells - to recognise and combat cancer cells. For this purpose, autologous T cells are removed from the cancer patient and endowed with new tumour-specific T cell receptors. These modified T cells of the immune system seek out cancer cells and effectively destroy them. This form of immunotherapy aims to overcome the patient's tolerance to cancer cells, and the tumour-induced immunosuppression in the patient, by activating and modifying the patient's T cells outside the body (ex vivo). Compared with small molecules and antibody-based therapies, this approach could use new target structures to combat tumours. A large army of specific T cells is made available to patients within just 10 days.
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.
About Trianta: Based on more than 15 years of extensive research in the field of immunotherapy, Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH was founded late 2013 as a spin-off of the Helmholtz Zentrum München and was acquired by Medigene as a 100% subsidiary in January 2014. Trianta is developing three highly innovative and complementary immunotherapy platforms with programs in clinical development to treat various tumour types. The company exploits the therapeutic and commercial potential of T cell-focused therapies developed by the team of Prof. Dolores J. Schendel at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, in collaboration with Prof. Thomas Blankenstein at the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine, Berlin. Trianta pursues three complementary immunotherapeutic strategies to target various tumour types and stages: 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 focus on hematological malignancies. Medigene is the first German biotech company to have revenues from a marketed product, which is distributed by commercial partners. Medigene has various drug candidates in clinical development and it is developing highly innovative treatment platforms. For more information, please visit www.medigene.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. They reflect the opinion of Medigene on the date of publication of this press release. The actual results achieved by Medigene may differ substantially from the assertions expressed in the forward-looking statements. Medigene is under no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. Medigene®, Veregen®, EndoTAG® and RhuDex® are trademarks of Medigene AG. These trademarks may be held or licensed for specific countries.
Julia Hofmann, Anja Clausnitzer
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