Medigene AG , a clinical stage immune-oncology company focusing on the development of T cell immuno-therapies for the treatment of cancer, announces the grant of European patent EP2327763, a member of Medigene's core patent family concerning the company's allo-restricted ex vivo method of identifying T cells.
The underlying patent family additionally comprises granted patents in the US and Japan.
EP2327763 covers antigen specific human MHC-class II restricted CD4+ T cells for use in a method for the treatment of solid tumors. The CD4+ T cells are being obtained by Medigene's proprietary ex vivo method of generating allo-restricted T cells.
Medigene holds an exclusive license to the patent that was issued to the owners of the patent, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich and Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin, Berlin.
Prof. Dolores Schendel, CEO and CSO of Medigene and co-inventor of the underlying technology, explains: "This European patent complements our expanding patent portfolio in the field of T cell immunotherapies. The importance of CD4+ T cells in the control of cancer is seen in their capacities to directly recognize and kill tumor cells expressing their cognate antigens and to orchestrate the activities of other cells involved in anti-tumor responses, particularly CD8+ killer T cell responses.
Current research shows that CD4+ T cells fulfill a much broader function in the human immune system than previously thought, namely these CD4+ T cells can enter tumor tissue and exert anti-tumor functions in the tumor. The CD4+ T cells obtainable by our patented method thus hold great potential to supplement the cytotoxic capabilities of adoptive T cell therapies."
Medigene's proprietary ex vivo method to generate allo-restricted T cells allows the isolation of T cells bearing high-affinity T cell receptors (TCRs) that have no need for affinity maturation. Autologous T cells that recognize antigens, presented by self (autologous)-MHC molecules, with high affinity are eliminated (negatively-selected) in the thymus to prevent autoimmunity.
If non-self (allogeneic)-MHC molecules are used instead for presentation of antigens ex vivo, antigen-specific allo-restricted T cells can be isolated that still express high-affinity TCRs since the non-self (allo)-MHC molecule was not present in the thymus to cause their negative selection.
About Medigene's TCR technology:
The TCR technology aims at arming the patient's own T cells with tumor-specific T-cell receptors. The receptor-modified T cells are then able to detect and efficiently kill tumor cells. This immunotherapy approach attempts to overcome the patient's tolerance towards cancer cells and tumor-induced immunosuppression by activating and modifying the patient's T cells outside the body (ex vivo).
About Medigene AG
Medigene AG is a publicly listed biotechnology company headquartered in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. The company is developing highly innovative immunotherapies to target various forms and stages of cancer. Medigene concentrates on the development of personalized T cell-based therapies, with associated projects currently in pre-clinical and clinical development.For more information, please visit http://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.