APEIRON Biologics AG announced that it has entered into an exclusive option to license from the Cleveland Clinic a number of novel compounds. These compounds are currently in development at Cleveland Clinic as drug candidates for treatment of various cancers, designed to fight cancer based on stimulation of the immune system. In preclinical models, they have shown anti-cancer activity and a favourable toxicity profile as orally available agents. This transaction follows in the wake of successful in-licensing deals that Apeiron completed in the last six months.
Apeiron Biologics AG, Vienna (Austria) and Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland (USA), have entered into a set of agreements setting the framework for a collaboration on novel anti-cancer compounds currently in development at Cleveland Clinic. The collaboration includes an option to Apeiron to enter into a worldwide, exclusive license agreement with the Clinic relating to the compounds, and an Apeiron sponsored research agreement with the Clinic relating to these compounds and approach.
The compounds, tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors (TPI), have been designed to inhibit SHP-1, a protein tyrosine phosphatase, which is a key negative regulator of immune cell activation. Inhibition of SHP-1 leads to activation of the immune system to combat cancer.
Commenting on the agreements, Hans Loibner, CEO of Apeiron, said: “This is a great collaboration for Apeiron. We regard the compounds developed at Cleveland Clinic as an attractive opportunity since they are designed to activate the patient’s own immune system.” He added: “Cleveland Clinic is a leading R&D institution and one of the top hospitals in the US.”
“We have been encouraged by the developments we have seen in regards to these novel compounds, and we hope these therapeutics will one day benefit patients,” said Chris Coburn, Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations.
No financial details are disclosed.
Apeiron Biologics AG is a privately financed Biotech company based in Vienna. Following a licensing deal with GSK in 2010 relating to project APN01 (recombinant human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2, rhACE2), Apeiron expanded its project portfolio with a focus on biologic / immunologic therapy of cancer and related conditions. Building on an existing range of innovative in-house projects, Apeiron acquired exclusive rights to hu14.18-IL2 (APN301), a Phase II antibody-based biologic for treatment of neuroblastoma, melanoma and other cancers, and recombinant human Superoxide Dismutase (APN201), a naturally occurring enzyme for treatment of cancer treatment-related side-effects, also in Phase II.