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SuppreMol obtains license for RA antibody from the University Hospital Regensburg

July 24, 2012

The Bayerische Patentallianz GmbH, the central patent and marketing agency of 28 Bavarian universities and universities of applied sciences, licences an antibody directed against interleukin 3 (IL-3), which has been generated at the University Hospital Regensburg, to SuppreMol GmbH, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. The technology could be a promising novel treatment option for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by a chronic inflammation of the joints and other organs. Worldwide about one percent of the population is afflicted with the illness, which commonly leads to significant disability and reduction in the quality of life and, more over, causes high costs for patients and the health care systems. Current treatment options include small molecules or biologics, but many patients show little or no response or suffer from severe long term side effects like infections including tuberculosis, viral brain infections or even cancer (i.e. lymphomas). Recently, the Molecular Immunology research group led by Prof. Dr. Matthias Mack from the University Hospital Regensburg has identified a new target in the development process of RA. The findings of their research show that a molecule called IL-3, which is primarily produced by activated T cells and stimulates growth and differentiation of monocytes, basophils and other leukocyte populations in an immune response, plays an important role in the onset of RA. Moreover, the researchers developed an antibody, which is able to block IL-3. 

Now SuppreMol has licensed the new anti-IL-3 antibody to develop a new class of treatment for patients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. In contrast to existing therapies the IL-3 blocker could prevent the outbreak of the illness already in early phases and due to its mechanism of action has the potential to circumvent the risks of infections or cancer induction. “We believe this anti-IL-3 antibody has the potential to complement our current projects, in particular with the perspective to expand our product portfolio to common autoimmune disease indications,” said Prof. Dr. Peter Buckel, CEO of SuppreMol. “The in-licensing is in line with our strategy to strengthen the company’s development pipeline and its intellectual property base.” According to Peer Biskup, CEO of the Bayerische Patentallianz GmbH, “the license agreement shows that the Bavarian Universities can boast a high research quality, which is renowned in the biotech and pharmaceutical sector and creates highly innovative life science technologies”. 

The first contact and preliminary talks about the invention were initiated on the life science trade show BioVaria 2010, where the Bayerische Patentallianz and Prof. Dr. Matthias Mack from the University Hospital Regensburg presented the anti-IL-3 antibody. The license agreement, which has been concluded now, includes milestone payments and royalties.

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