Press releases

Thursday November 2nd, 2023
Lead Discovery Center GmbH licenses next-generation anticancer drug candidate to HLB Life Science R&D
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Lead Discovery Center GmbH licenses next-generation anticancer drug candidate to HLB Life Science R&D
  • The new drug candidate effectively inhibits cancer cell repair by blocking RNA transcription
  • The goal is to jointly develop a new first-in-class therapeutic drug

Dortmund, Germany, and Seoul, Korea – November 2nd, 2023. HLB Life Science R&D (HLB), a leading Korean biopharmaceutical company, signed an agreement with Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) to license and co-develop a next-generation anticancer drug candidate. LDC is a top-class translational research organization renowned worldwide for early-stage drug discovery. The licensed drug candidate is based on an asset largely incubated at LDC with support from the neighboring Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (Dortmund, Germany).

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This first-in-class candidate showed anticancer efficacy in early-stage research. It especially inhibits the transcription of genes involved in the self-repair of damaged cancer cells. HLB will move the candidate into clinical development by quickly completing the preclinical phase together with LDC.

HLB announced on August 9th, 2023, the signature of the license agreement for exclusive rights worldwide of the drug candidate. LDC and its partners Max Planck Foundation, Max Planck Society and KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I (KHAN-I) will receive an upfront payment, remuneration for development and sales milestones, along with royalties based on future revenues.

Dr. Bert Klebl, CEO & CSO of LDC, says, “We are delighted to have found a strong partner in HLB Life Science R&D. HLB has the power to promote our promising and novel candidate to the next stages of development, with the aim to reach cancer patients as soon as possible. We are much looking forward to this cooperation and partnership”.

Dr. Yong Hae Han, CEO of HLB Life Science R&D and CTO of HLB Group, adds, “We have deeply discussed with LDC for a long time that both companies are very interested in researching and developing next-generation anticancer drugs. Finally, both partners have agreed to take such interests to the next level. As soon as we bring the candidate into our R&D center, we will focus all our efforts on this project, and strengthen our partnership with LDC.”

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
E-mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

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About Lead Discovery Center GmbH

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I (KHAN-I), and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, invIOs, Novo Nordisk, Cumulus Oncology, Nodus Oncology, JT Pharmaceuticals, KinSea Lead Discovery AS, and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.

Further information available at: www.lead-discovery.de

About HLB Life Science R&D

HLB Life Science R&D, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, is a 100% subsidiary of HLB Life Science, which was founded in 1998 and listed on KOSDAQ in 2008, with its current market cap of 1 billion USD approximately. Both HLB Life Science and HLB Life Science R&D are owned and governed by HLB group. HLB Group has now 37 affiliates and, especially in the healthcare industry, it has established a fully integrated bio-ecosystem from research to commercialization. As a result of such ecosystem, one of the affiliates submitted an NDA to the US FDA for a first-line therapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). As a core of R&D within the group, HLB Life Science R&D has been developing anticancer drugs for the best cancer treatments by strengthening partnerships worldwide and exploring opportunities for synergies with its R&D capabilities.

Further information available at: http://hlbkorea.com/en/

About KHAN-I

KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I) is an early-stage life sciences venture fund with € 70 million under management. Their mission is to create value through cooperative drug development partnerships with academic innovators in Europe. KHAN-I focuses on first-in-class therapies for attractive markets with a high unmet medical need. The fund is managed by Khanu Management GmbH, an experienced team of professionals with proven track records in early-stage drug development and academic spin-offs as well as pharma licensing and partnering. KHAN-I received an investment from the European Investment Fund (EIF) with the support of InnovFin Equity, and with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) under the Investment Plan for Europe. KHAN-I is also supported by Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS with funds provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Foundation for Research, Technology, and Development), Max Planck Foundation, and Thyssen’sche Handelsgesellschaft mbH. In addition, KHAN-I sustains a preferred partnership with the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft e.V.).

Further information available at: www.khanu.de

About Max Planck Foundation

The Max Planck Foundation is a private, independent and non-profit organization with the sole purpose of providing funds for excellent, innovative and forward-looking research projects of the Max Planck Society. As additional support for scientists from the Max Planck Society the Foundation also facilitates the transfer from knowledge to application. The foundation was established in 2006 and the assets of the foundation are currently around € 650 million

About Max Planck Innovation

Max Planck Innovation (MI) is responsible for the technology transfer of the Max Planck Society and, as such, the link between industry and basic research. With an interdisciplinary team, MI advises and supports scientists at Max Planck Institutes in evaluating their inventions, filing patents and founding companies. MI offers industry unique access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. Thus, MI performs an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products that contribute to economic and social progress.

Further information at: www.max-planck-innovation.com.

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Wednesday October 11th, 2023
LDC and JT team up for the discovery of new therapies
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LDC and JT team up for the discovery of new therapies

Dortmund, Germany, October 11th, 2023 – The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) have closed a collaboration agreement to discover new first-in-class therapeutic approaches, focusing around novel chemical entities for the treatment of various diseases with significant unmet medical need.

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Over a period of up to seven years, LDC, together with its extensive academic network, will identify high-potential projects that fit JT’s therapeutic priorities and in-licensing needs. The network includes research institutes of the Max Planck Society, other research organizations, as well as high-profile universities from all over Germany and beyond. Ideas for new therapeutic approaches will be collaboratively incubated at LDC as usual, although with additional support and expertise from JT. After achieving the proof-of-concept milestone by demonstrating in vivo efficacy for representatives of the respective new compound class, such projects will be targets for in-licensing by JT, where they will be further developed.

“We are pleased to team up with the LDC and its excellent network of academic inventors. The collaboration will enable us to identify truly novel therapeutic approaches that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients around the world”, says Muneaki Fujimoto, President of JT’s Pharmaceutical Business.

“We are excited to have a new industry partner on board who shares our brave ambition and the associated risks to transfer highly innovative approaches from academic research into application”, Bert Klebl, CEO and CSO of LDC, continues. “With their proven expertise in business and drug development, JT is perfectly positioned to advance early-stage projects along the value chain, and ultimately towards patients who urgently need new therapeutic options. We are looking forward to a productive and exciting collaboration.”

Academic inventors and their institutions will not only benefit from the drug discovery and development experience of both LDC and JT, but also from future commercialization revenues.

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
Mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

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About LDC

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential.

LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and its institutes as well as with KHAN-I, and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, InvIOS, Novo Nordisk, Cumulus Oncology, Nodus Oncology, KinSea AS, HLB Life Science, the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.

Further information at www.lead-discovery.de

About JT

JT has a pharmaceutical business that focuses on research and development, manufacturing and sales of prescription drugs.

Further information at https://www.jt.com/about/division/pharma/index.html

Tuesday September 12th, 2023
RIANA Therapeutics enters into collaboration agreement with LDC
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RIANA Therapeutics enters into collaboration agreement with LDC

Vienna, Austria, and Dortmund, Germany – September 12th, 2023. RIANA Therapeutics, a spin-off from Vetmeduni Vienna has entered into a collaborative agreement with the Lead Discovery Center GmbH, a renowned organization specialized in translational drug discovery. This partnership marks the first important milestone on RIANA Therapeutics´ mission to discover and develop novel cancer therapeutics that disrupt oncogenic protein-protein interactions (PPIs).

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Inhibition of PPIs is an emerging drug modality and a highly promising therapeutic approach for numerous diseases, including cancer, to overcome widespread resistance to drugs already in use and to improve treatment efficacy. Under the now-signed collaboration agreement, LDC will conduct high-throughput screening (HTS) using a diverse compound library of more than 200,000 chemical substances to identify novel PPI inhibitors targeting STAT5, a critical mediator driving the development of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Through the strategic partnership with LDC, RIANA Therapeutics secures invaluable access to LDC’s profound expertise in the field of early drug discovery. By combining their respective strengths, RIANA Therapeutics and LDC aim to accelerate the translation of innovative discoveries into potential therapeutics, with the declared long-term goal of improving the well-being of patients on a global scale.

Anna Orlova, co-founder and CEO of RIANA Therapeutics, expressed her excitement about the collaboration: “We are thrilled to partner with LDC, a highly experienced player in drug discovery. Their expertise and capabilities will be instrumental in our efforts to develop breakthrough therapeutics for hematopoietic and other cancer types. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for RIANA Therapeutics, and we look forward to working together to advance our shared mission of improving human health.”

Peter Nussbaumer, Managing Director at LDC, added: “We are highly motivated to start the challenging discovery of inhibitors targeting oncogenic PPI interactions within this new partnership with RIANA. This cooperation has the great potential to lay the groundwork for new, urgently needed therapeutic approaches for AML patients.”

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About LDC

Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential.

LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and its institutes as well as with KHAN-I, and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, InvIOS, Novo Nordisk, Cumulus Oncology, Nodus Oncology, JT Pharmaceuticals, KinSea AS, HLB Pharma, the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.

Further information at www.lead-discovery.de

About RIANA

RIANA Therapeutics was founded in February 2023 as a spin-off of Vetmeduni in Vienna by Anna Orlova, Richard Moriggl, and Oliver Szolar. The technological foundation is based on a proprietary platform technology for the discovery of compounds that target cancer-promoting protein-protein interactions (PPI), enabling a reliable search for inhibitors that block the formation of specific oncogenic PPIs. Building upon this novel proprietary technology, the team led by Orlova is working on developing new compounds specifically targeting AML, as well as other blood cancers and certain types of solid tumors.

Further information at www.rianatx.com

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
Mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

Wednesday February 8th, 2023
Norwegian Start-up KinSea to Exploit the Potential of Marine Bioactives for the Treatment of Cancer and other Diseases
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Norwegian Start-up KinSea to Exploit the Potential of Marine Bioactives for the Treatment of Cancer and other Diseases
  • Launched by UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), University of Bergen (UiB), Norinnova, and Lead Discovery Center (LDC)
  • Lead program with outstanding in vivo efficacy as pan-mutant FLT3 kinase inhibitor in AML, even against hard-to-treat, drug-induced and drug-resistant mutations
  • Diversified drug discovery pipeline to be established based on the partners’ unique access to bioactives from the Arctic Ocean and premier drug discovery expertise
  • Financing secured by KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I
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February 8th, 2023, Tromsø and Bergen, Norway, Dortmund, Germany. Norinnova, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), the University of Bergen (UiB) and the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), launched a new spin-out company, KinSea Lead Discovery AS (KinSea), to further develop an FLT3 kinase inhibitor program at lead status based on unique chemistry from marine sources towards (pre)clinical development. In addition, KinSea in a collaboration with UiT shall continue to comprehensively exploit the potential of marine bioactives for the treatment of human diseases. Seed financing is initially secured through a convertible loan from KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I), an early-stage life sciences venture fund based in Germany, with the purpose to
expand the investor syndicate.

The company is based in Tromsø and will initially focus on its pan-mutant FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) inhibitor program which has strong potential to overcome the limitations of currently available first- and second-generation FLT3 inhibitors for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) as well as other hematologic tumors. It is founded on a proprietary scaffold based on a natural product from the Arctic Ocean that has been discovered and further developed by the founding partners. Results from in vivo proof-of-concept studies in an animal model of AML suggest superior properties over existing FLT3 inhibitors, including broad activity against known drug-induced and drug-resistant FLT3 mutations, improved selectivity, and outstanding in vivo potency. The project has been developed in collaboration between UiT, UiB, and LDC and has been funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the regional biotech program MABIT.

‘For AML patients this may translate into safer, more effective and entirely new treatment options, where other drugs fail. It is a great opportunity to exploit the potential of this program for the benefit of patients,’ says Jeanette Hammer Andersen, CEO of KinSea. ‘We are excited to continue our longstanding collaboration on marine bioprospecting and to take our FLT3 inhibitors through the next steps in the drug discovery pipeline,’ adds Bengt Erik Haug, CSO of KinSea.

Using the proceeds of the seed financing, KinSea plans to mature its lead program into a preclinical candidate ready for advanced preclinical and clinical development by licensing partners. In addition, the company will seek to use UiT’s marine bioactives repository to gradually expand its drug discovery pipeline and become a sustainable source of high-potential drug candidates based on novel scaffolds from the Arctic Ocean.

‘We are convinced there are many more treasures hidden in the Arctic Ocean that could help solve some of the most pressing challenges in human health,’ adds Bert Klebl, CEO & CSO of LDC. ‘With its premier access to marine bioactives and the distinguished drug discovery expertise of its partners, KinSea is perfectly positioned to unlock this potential.’

Dag Rune Olsen, UiT´s director: Through our research effort on marine bioprospecting, highly motivated scientists, and the longstanding fruitful collaboration with the LDC, we have created the basis for this spin-out company. It is important for UiT to contribute to new business and value creation through innovation based on excellent research’.

‘The faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences sees the KinSea start-up as a very positive outcome of the longstanding high-level research that is being conducted at the faculty. Providing new knowledge and facilitating for innovation based on research is at the heart of the faculty´s mission. Together with a skilled team of partners we aim to fulfill the translation from basic research to a socially beneficial innovation project’, states Gunn Mangerud, UiB´s Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

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About UiT
UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) is the northernmost university of the world. Its location on the edge of the Arctic implies a mission. The Arctic is of increasing global importance. Climate change, the exploitation of Arctic resources and environmental threats are topics of great public concern, which UiT situated in all of Northern Norway take special interest in. At UiT The Arctic University of Norway we explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

About UiB
The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university. Academic diversity and high quality are fundamental for us, as we aim is to develop knowledge that shapes society. UiB is the most cited university in Norway and we are among the very best in the world at interacting and collaborating internationally, and with actors outside the university. Situated in the Ocean City of Bergen, UiB has been assigned a leading role on the work with Sustainable Development Goal 14 Life Below Water.

About Norinnova
Norinnova is one of Northern Norway’s most competent and experienced agencies for research commercialization. Norinnova connects researchers, start-up environments, companies and commercial actors to develop and utilize the region’s innovation power. For more than 30 years, Norinnova has worked closely with researchers and leading research communities in Northern Norway to harness the power of innovation in the north. This collaboration has contributed to the creation of brand-new businesses and has reinforced existing companies through new products and services. Norinnova secures rights, helps provide funding, investigates market potential, finds relevant partners, and contributes so that the scientists can get their product or service to the market.
Further information at
www.norinnova.no

About LDC
Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need. The LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads and antibodies that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals as well as candidate nomination. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from research and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule and antibody leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. LDC sustains a long-term partnership with the Max Planck Society and KHAN-I, and has formed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi Sankyo, Qurient, Roche, InvIOs, e.g. In addition, LDC also works with leading translational drug  discovery centers and with various investors to provide its assets for company creation.
Further information at
www.lead-discovery.de


About KHAN-I
KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG (KHAN-I) is an early-stage life sciences venture fund with €70 million under management. Our mission is to create value through cooperative drug development partnerships with academic innovators in Europe. KHAN-I focuses on first-in-class therapies for attractive markets with a high unmet medical need. The fund is managed by Khanu Management GmbH, an experienced team of professionals with proven track records in early-stage drug development and academic spin-offs as well as pharma licensing and partnering. KHAN-I received an investment from the European Investment Fund (EIF) with the support of InnovFin Equity, and with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“EFSI”) under the Investment Plan for Europe. KHANI is also supported by Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS with funds provided by the Austrian
Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the Austrian Foundation for Research, Technology, and Development), Max Planck Foundation, and Thyssen’sche Handelsgesellschaft mbH. In addition, KHAN-I sustains a preferred partnership with the Max-Planck Society (Max-Planck Gesellschaft e.V.).
Further information at
www.khanu.de

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Contact
Lead Discovery Center GmbH
Otto-Hahn-Straße 15
44227 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 231 97 42 70 00
Mail: pr@lead-discovery.de

Tuesday September 14th, 2010
Ground-breaking ceremony marks further expansion of the Lead Discovery Center at BioMedizinZentrum Dortmund - New home for drug discovery Made in Dortmund
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Ground-breaking ceremony marks further expansion of the Lead Discovery Center at BioMedizinZentrum Dortmund - New home for drug discovery Made in Dortmund

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press release [German only]