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

Thursday December 13th, 2018
LDC and the University of Duisburg-Essen receive EUR 905,000 for the development of new therapies for age-related blindness
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LDC and the University of Duisburg-Essen receive EUR 905,000 for the development of new therapies for age-related blindness

The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) have received EUR 905,000 in funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as part of its lead market competition, LifeSciences.NRW. Together with the LDC’s own financial contribution, this gives the partners a total of EUR 1.3 million with which to develop new drugs for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

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LDC and the University of Duisburg-Essen receive EUR 905,000 for the development of new therapies for age-related blindness

Dortmund, December 13, 2018 – The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) have received EUR 905,000 in funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as part of its lead market competition, LifeSciences.NRW. Together with the LDC’s own financial contribution, this gives the partners a total of EUR 1.3 million with which to develop new drugs for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

 
AMD is the most common form of blindness. In Germany alone, approximately 6.9 million people are affected, 480,000 of them at an advanced stage of the disease. There is no satisfactory therapy to date.
New research has shown that AMD patients frequently have a high level of a particular enzyme, HTRA1-protease. This leads to an increased breakdown of proteins, resulting in damage to the macula, which is crucial for sight. The joint development project builds on research by Prof. Dr Ehrmann and his team at the UDE that suggests targeted inhibition of HTRA1 is a promising new approach to preventing the progression of the disease.

 
In an initial collaborative project, also supported by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the LDC and the UDE have already identified a series of chemical substances that specifically inhibit HTRA1. In the current follow-on project, the partners will be optimizing and validating these substances. Their goal is to develop a well-characterized lead structure that meets all the requirements of a therapeutic agent and demonstrates efficacy in an in-vivo model system.

 
To this end, the LDC and Prof. Dr Ehrmann and his team will be working closely with two further research groups at the UDE. Prof. Kaiser and his colleagues will contribute their extensive knowledge of protease inhibitors, and Prof. Dr Sanchez Garcia’s group provides longstanding experience in the computation and stimulation of biomolecules and biochemical processes. The LDC is coordinating the project, and contributes the competencies required for professional drug development, above all in the areas of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology. “This cooperation is a fantastic chance to develop results from basic research to benefit patients,” says Prof. Ehrmann. “In view of the aging world-wide population, we urgently need better drugs for the treatment of AMD.”

 
“We are delighted to be working together with this terrific and proven team,” adds Dr Bert Klebl, CEO of the LDC. “The project will profit enormously from their competence and experience. Together we can reach a stage of development that will be highly attractive to industry partners, enabling subsequent transfer to clinical development.”

 
The joint development project will run for 3 years und is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Wednesday September 19th, 2018
APEIRON Announces Collaboration with Lead Discovery Center GmbH

APEIRON Announces Collaboration with Lead Discovery Center GmbH

APEIRON Biologics AG, an Austrian company focused on cancer immunotherapy, today announced a collaboration agreement with the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), a translational research organization established in 2008 by Max Planck Innovation, to develop novel immune checkpoint modulators. The two companies will perform drug discovery activities to optimize and develop novel small molecules addressing immune checkpoints, important gatekeepers in cancer immunity. All molecules deriving from this collaboration are proprietary to APEIRON and will strengthen APEIRON’s development pipeline.

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Alliance for medicinal chemistry optimization and development of novel checkpoint blockade approach

Vienna, Austria, 19 September 2018: APEIRON Biologics AG, an Austrian company focused on cancer immunotherapy, today announced a collaboration agreement with the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), a translational research organization established in 2008 by Max Planck Innovation, to develop novel immune checkpoint modulators. The two companies will perform drug discovery activities to optimize and develop novel small molecules addressing immune checkpoints, important gatekeepers in cancer immunity. All molecules deriving from this collaboration are proprietary to APEIRON and will strengthen APEIRON’s development pipeline.

Peter Llewellyn-Davies, Chief Executive Officer of APEIRON Biologics, said: “We are delighted to announce this alliance with LDC. APEIRON has an excellent and broad pipeline being pursued to develop therapies both aiming at targeting tumor cells and stimulating the immune system to fight cancer. With its track record in pharmaceutical drug discovery and long‑standing small molecule expertise, the LDC is the ideal partner for us to identify new drug candidates and to further accelerate the development of new immune checkpoint modulators. I am confident our combined R&D forces will drive our technology in the field of immune-oncology forward and strengthen our product candidate portfolio in small molecules.”

The LDC will use its expertise in small molecule drug discovery to design and optimize new substances, which can activate immune cells and drive their anti-tumor activity. The medicinal chemistry efforts are based on a new substance class, which was identified by phenotypic screening, discovered in APEIRON’s cooperation with Evotec AG, and has shown to activate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The intellectual property generated under the terms of the agreement solely belongs to APEIRON. The LDC will receive research funding during the collaboration period and is eligible to an upfront payment, milestone payments and royalties. Further financial details of the collaboration agreement were not disclosed.

The work will be carried out at both APEIRON’s R&D facilities in Vienna, Austria, and in the LDC laboratories in Dortmund, Germany. APEIRON will be responsible for further preclinical and clinical development of the product candidates, as well as subsequent marketing and commercialization.

About the LDC

The Lead Discovery Center (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 that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals. In close collaboration with high-profile partners from academia and industry, the LDC is building a strong and growing portfolio of small molecule leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential. The LDC sustains a strong partnership with the Max Planck Society and has performed alliances with AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA, Daiichi-Sankyo, Qurient, Johnson&Johnson Innovation, Sotio, Gruenenthal and Roche, as well as leading translational drug discovery centres around the globe. Further information is available at www.lead-discovery.de.

About APEIRON Biologics AG

Apeiron is a privately-held commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Vienna, Austria, focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapies. The company is leveraging its innovative therapeutic targets based on tumor-specific targeted approaches and the stimulation of the immune system via novel and proprietary unique mechanisms of action (checkpoint blockade) to eradicate cancer by engaging the human body’s natural defense mechanisms. For additional information please visit www.apeiron-biologics.com and follow us on Twitter @apeironbio.

For further information please contact:

APEIRON Biologics AG

Peter Llewellyn-Davies, CEO

Email: investors@apeiron-biologics.com

www.apeiron-biologics.com

Media Relations International

MC Services AG

Raimund Gabriel

T +49 89 210 228 0

Email:

apeiron@mc-services.eu

Investor Relations

LifeSci Advisors, LLC

Chris Maggos

T +1 (646) 597 6989

Email: Chris@LifeSciAdvisors.com

Media Relations Austria:

PR&D – Public Relations for Research & Education

T +43 1 505 70 44

Email:

contact@prd.at

 

Public Relations LDC

Lead Discovery Center GmbH

T: +49 231 9742 7000

Email: pr@lead-discovery.de

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of APEIRON as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Thursday June 21st, 2018
Grünenthal, Lead Discovery Center and Max Planck Society enter into a research collaboration on Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A (CMT1A)

Grünenthal, Lead Discovery Center and Max Planck Society enter into a research collaboration on Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A (CMT1A)

Grünenthal, Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), Max-Planck Innovation and Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine (MPI-EM) have entered into a research collaboration to develop novel therapies for patients suffering from Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A (CMT1A), an inherited neurological disorder.

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Aachen, Dortmund and Göttingen, Germany, June 21, 2018 – Grünenthal, Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), Max-Planck Innovation and Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine (MPI-EM) have entered into a research collaboration to develop novel therapies for patients suffering from Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1A (CMT1A), an inherited neurological disorder.

The collaboration combines the disease proficiency of MPI-EM, the drug discovery expertise of LDC and Grünenthal’s competency in drug discovery and development as well as pain management. The project’s scientific foundation was laid at MPI-EM by Michael Sereda, Klaus-Armin Nave and Moritz Rossner.

Within the framework of this research collaboration, LDC and MPI-EM intend to establish a novel screening platform to identify small molecule modulators to generate innovative drug candidates. These research efforts are equally funded by Grünenthal and Max Planck Society. Grünenthal will assume responsibility for the development of any drug candidates derived from this research collaboration from the identification of preclinical candidate onwards.

“It’s our aspiration to provide patients with disease modifying treatments. We therefore team up with academia and foster research collaborations leveraging basic research,” said Gabriel Baertschi, CEO Grünenthal. “There is no curative treatment available for patients affected by CMT1A. This neurological disorder places a burden on patients and we’re looking forward to developing potential treatment options with our partners.”

“We are enthusiastic to collaborate with Grünenthal and our MPI-EM colleagues on this early-stage drug discovery project”, said Bert Klebl, Managing Director and CSO at LDC. “As a leading specialist in pain research and pain management, Grünenthal’s synergistic capabilities will help advance this joint project to hopefully make a difference in the lives of CMT1A patients”.

About Charcot-Marie-Tooth
Charcot-Marie-Tooth is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders, affecting approximately 1 in 2.500 people. It affects both motor and sensory nerves and symptoms include weakness of the foot and lower leg muscles, foot deformities, pain, and numbness.

CMT1A is the most common form of CMT and results from a duplication of the gene on chromosome 17 that carries the instructions for producing the peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22). PMP22 is a critical component of the myelin sheath that isolates human peripheral nerve. Overexpression of this gene causes the structure and function of the myelin sheath to be abnormal, resulting in a slower conduction of nerve impulses. Currently, there is no curative therapeutic treatment available.

About Grünenthal
Grünenthal is an entrepreneurial, science-based pharmaceutical company specialized in pain, gout and inflammation. Our ambition is to deliver four to five new products to patients in diseases with high unmet medical need by 2022 and become a €2 bn company. We are a fully integrated research & development company with a long track record of bringing innovative pain treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients. By sustainably investing in our R&D above the industrial average, we are strongly committed to innovation.

Grünenthal is an independent, family-owned company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. We are present in 32 countries with affiliates in Europe, Latin America and the US. Our products are sold in more than 100 countries and approx. 5,200 employees are working for Grünenthal worldwide. In 2017, Grünenthal achieved revenues of
approx. €1.3 bn.

More information: www.grunenthal.com
Follow us on LinkedIn “Grunenthal Group”.

For further information, please contact:

Štěpán Kráčala, Head Global Communications
Tel.: +49 241 569-1335,
Stepan.Kracala@grunenthal.com
Grünenthal GmbH, 52099 Aachen, Germany

Public Relations LDC
Tel.: +49 231 9742 7000
pr@lead-discovery.de
Lead Discovery Center GmbH, 44227 Dortmund, Germany

Wednesday May 2nd, 2018
Eleven million euros for Dortmund alliance for the development of new lead compounds Innovative network of eight partners for North Rhine-Westphalia
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Eleven million euros for Dortmund alliance for the development of new lead compounds Innovative network of eight partners for North Rhine-Westphalia

Drug Discovery Hub Dortmund (DDHD) is the name of the new initiative at the Zentrum für integrierte Wirkstoffforschung (ZIW) of the TU Dortmund University (TU), which got started on 1 April 2018. Scientists from eight institutions combine their manifold expertise to develop an infrastructure for drug discovery in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to the TU Dortmund, the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Physiology (MPI), the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), the Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften – ISAS – e.V., the Taros GmbH & Co. KG, the PROvendis GmbH, the BioMedizinZentrum Dortmund (BMZ), and the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) are participating.

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Innovative network of eight partners for North Rhine-Westphalia

Dortmund, 01.05.2018 – Drug Discovery Hub Dortmund (DDHD) is the name of the new initiative at the Zentrum für integrierte Wirkstoffforschung (ZIW) of the TU Dortmund University (TU), which got started on 1 April 2018. Scientists from eight institutions combine their manifold expertise to develop an infrastructure for drug discovery in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to the TU Dortmund, the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Physiology (MPI), the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), the Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften – ISAS – e.V., the Taros GmbH & Co. KG, the PROvendis GmbH, the BioMedizinZentrum Dortmund (BMZ), and the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) are participating.

The project has a total volume of 11 million euros over a 3-year-period. It is funded in the scope of the Forschungsinfrastrukturen NRW Program (NRW research infrastructures) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with funds from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE). The DDHD is to bridge the critical innovation gap between basic academic research and industrial application. Since the process of drug discovery is extremely complex, it requires an interdisciplinary cooperation of many different scientific specialist fields. Thus, the eight partners form a unique and well-proven network at the Dortmund site.

The DDHD acts as an incubator for drug discovery projects throughout North Rhine-Westphalia. In cooperation with the patent marketing organisation PROvendis, results of excellent basic drug discovery are to be translated into economic projects. Innovative findings made in basic academic research are to be transformed into lead substances compatible with industrial expectations, which specifically means that compounds are multiparametric optimised so that they fully comply with the high pharmaceutical standards. The molecular lead compounds will be available for further in depth scientific studies. In case of success, the projects are then transferred to the pharmaceutical industry and developed to marketability. Alternatively, individual projects may be transferred to spin-offs for further development. The source for such drug discovery projects are the universities and academic institutions of North Rhine-Westphalia.

“We are very pleased about the funding which enables the building of a unique infrastructure and the implementation of innovative projects“, states Prof. Daniel Rauh, DDHD Coordinator and Professor for Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the TU Dortmund University. “In its capacity as an integrative initiative, the DDHD represents the scientific competence area of “Biomedicine and Drug Discovery” of the Dortmund Science Masterplan. It plays an important role in the strengthening of Dortmund as a biotechnology location and as an innovation center in North Rhine-Westphalia. Together with complementing projects, such as „Medicinal Chemistry in Dortmund“, funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the DDHD emphasises the national importance of Dortmund as a location for early-stage drug discovery.”

”The DDHD initiative will further strengthen the translational activities in Dortmund as well as the pioneering role of the location in early-stage drug discovery“, adds Dr. Bert Klebl, Chief Scientific Officer and Managing Director of the LDC. “The funding we received means to us a confirmation and support of the interdisciplinary cooperation between the different partners from academia and industry in Dortmund and in North Rhine-Westphalia.”

Contact Consortium:
Prof. Dr. Daniel Rauh
Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
E: daniel.rauh@tu-dortmund.de
T: +49 231-755 7080

Monday April 23rd, 2018
LDC: New branch for development of therapeutic antibodies in Munich
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LDC: New branch for development of therapeutic antibodies in Munich

The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) has established a branch – LDC Biologics – in the Munich Biocluster. While the team in Dortmund focuses on chemical compounds (small molecules), in Munich the emphasis will be on the development of therapeutic antibodies.

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Dortmund/Munich, 23 April 2018 – The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) has established a branch – LDC Biologics – in the Munich Biocluster. While the team in Dortmund focuses on chemical compounds (small molecules), in Munich the emphasis will be on the development of therapeutic antibodies. LDC Biologics will produce, optimise and humanise innovative antibodies according to industrial standards in close cooperation with partners from academia and therefore connecting academic research and industrial drug discovery. The Munich team, under the management of Dr. Johannes Bange, can resort to more than 15 years of experience in the pre-clinical and clinical development of therapeutic antibodies.

With this branch office, LDC is also expanding its long-standing expertise in the pharmaceutical drug discovery with partners from academia and industry to include the development of therapeutic antibodies. This allows for the use of technologies and methods complying with the highest quality standards and industrial best practices at a very early project stage and creates a sustainable transfer solution for excellent innovative ideas from academia and the industry.

“With the expansion of LDC activities to include biological agents we are responding to the wish of our industry partners to offer a solution not only for chemical compounds, but also for biological ones. In doing this, we will continue with the established and proven LDC translation model of close cooperation with our partners from academia in respect of biological agents. The “LDC Biologics” department is ideally located in the Munich Biotechcluster, the centre of research of biological agents in Germany“, states Dr. Bert Klebl, Managing Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the LDC.

In addition, the entire drug discovery value chain at the Munich site is supported by LDC´s well-proven global pharmaceutical and investor network through licencing and/or a spin-off of new companies.
The new site of the antibody group is in direct proximity to the Martinsried Biotech Campus, which connects academic basic research and applied development.

“We are very pleased that LDC has located its biologics division in the Greater Munich Area. Our location provides the best scientists and an excellent LifeScience ecosystem, which has been established for years, for the successful translation from academia to medical use”, adds Prof. Horst Domdey, Managing Director of the BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH.
There is also a close interconnection with the newly founded ISAR Bioscience GmbH which will also cooperate closely with LDC in the future. LDC Biologics has already entered into active partnerships in the field of antibody development with local research facilities, such as Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health. One project of the LDC Biologics portfolio is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economy.

Contact

Dr. Johannes Bange
E.: Bange@lead-discovery.de

Public Relations LDC
E.: pr@lead-discovery.de
T.: +49 231 9742 7000