MediGene and sanofi pasteur agree to undertake a collaborative Research Agreement to develop high affinity monoclonal T cell receptors (mTCRs) for vaccine validation
Martinsried, Germany and Oxford, UK – 19. December 2006. MediGene AG, (Frankfurt, PrimeStandard: MDG) announced today that it has signed an agreement with sanofi pasteur, the vaccines business of sanofi-aventis. The agreement is to use the novel high affinity monoclonal T cell receptors (mTCRs) to directly validate presentation of specific T cell epitopes important in vaccine development and clinical trials. MediGene recently acquired the mTCR technology with the acquisition of Avidex Ltd.
The highly innovative mTCR technology enables the production of fully human, soluble T cell receptors with high affinity. These mTCRs recognise and bind to specific antigens presented by the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC).
MediGene will undertake the research programme using high affinity mTCRs which recognise specific HLA–peptide complexes on the surface of antigen presenting cells or tumor cells. The research has the objective of creating vaccine validation tools for sanofi pasteur by detecting these complexes.
“Currently we are developing mTCRs as therapeutics. However, here we will use mTCRs to validate the presence of certain epitopes relevant to sanofi pasteur’s vaccine portfolio” said Dr Peter Heinrich, CEO of MediGene. “Today’s announcement highlights the versatility of our mTCR platform and our ability to create early value from our mTCR platform through partnerships” he added.
About mTCRs: The breakthrough monoclonal T cell receptor (mTCR) technology platform enables the production of fully human, soluble T cell receptors with picomolar affinity and exceptional selectivity. Unlike conventional therapeutic antibodies, mTCRs are ideal for targeting agents for all disease proteins; including intracellular tumour targets thereby offering a substantial advantage in the number of disease specific targets available. Avidex has assembled a toolbox of fusion partner effector molecules for targeted delivery by mTCRs to allow the rapid development of therapeutic products against a range of disease types. mTCRs have also been used to successfully validate the presence of cancer antigen targets for therapeutic vaccine use, offering significant advantages both during vaccine development and subsequent batch QC.
About sanofi-aventis: The sanofi-aventis Group is the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular disease, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. The sanofi-aventis Group is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). For more information, please visit: www.sanofi-aventis.com .
Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines business of the sanofi-aventis Group, sold more than a billion doses of vaccine in 2005, making it possible to protect more than 500 million people across the globe. The company offers the broadest range of vaccines, providing protection against 20 bacterial and viral diseases. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com .
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment 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. The MediGene-Logo is a trademark of MediGene AG.
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MediGene AG is a publicly quoted (Frankfurt: Prime Standard: MDG) biotechnology company located in Martinsried/Munich, Germany, with subsidiaries in Oxford, UK and San Diego, USA. MediGene is the first German biotech company with a drug on the market. A second drug, Polyphenon® E Ointment, has been approved by the FDA. In addition, several drug candidates are currently in clinical development. MediGene also possesses innovative platform technologies. The company’s core competence lies in research and development of novel approaches in anti cancer therapies. Thus MediGene focuses on indications of high medical need and great economic opportunities.
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