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Nov 08, 2010
Cooperation with Munich Technical University Hospital to develop novel anti-infectives


Press release on November 08, 2010

Priaxon AG, Munich, and the University Hospital Rechts der Isar (Technical University Munich) announce their cooperation for the development of new, highly selective anti-infective agents against a novel protein target class of widely spread infectious diseases.

Their joint project is supported in the framework of the top cluster support project of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, coordinated by BioM GmbH. In the context of this top cluster support the Munich biotech region was awarded altogether EUR 40 mio., doubled by an additional amount of EUR 40 mio. in industry funding, and further raised by approx. EUR 12 mio. from the Free State of Bavaria, over a funding period of five years.

Infectious diseases are among the most frequent causes of death worldwide. The growing number of resistances to antibiotics of numerous infectious pathogens increasingly limits therapeutic possibilities, which is why experts are already predicting a "post-antibiotic era" in the near future. Against this background, the medical demand for highly selective anti-infective agents operating with new inhibition mechanisms is rising fast.

Both partners bring innovation and expertise into their cooperation. Over the last years, the work group of Dr. Markus Gerhard at the Munich Technical University Hospital has carried out intensive research on the immunological aspects of chronic infectious diseases. To this purpose, new biological assays have been developed enabling the tracing of the activation of different immunological systems. With the help of these assays, various infectious pathogens have already been analyzed and new target have been identified.

Priaxon AG uses its unique proprietary dual technology platform PriaXplore TM for the highly efficient identification and optimization of novel small molecule drugs, the high performance of which the company has already proven in successful development and out-licensing projects. Priaxon AG and the Munich Technical University Hospital see significant benefit and potential in the combination of their key competencies. Together they want to bring new, highly selective drugs against widely spread infectious diseases into early pre-clinical development. Important target organisms are, among others, helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that has infected approx. 50 percent of the world population, causing gastritis, stomach ulcers and gastric carcinoma, as well as staphylococcus aureus, whose multi-resistant versions can cause serious, and often fatal hospital infections.

"Small molecule therapeutics are the great white hope for an efficient treatment of infectious and cancer diseases, firstly because they can be produced and used more easily than e.g. antibodies, secondly because there are less side effects when the active agents directly and with high specificity address target systems on the pathogen or the cancer cell", explains Dr. Jürgen Kolb, CEO of Priaxon. "Our strength is the fast identification and synthesis of suitable small molecule agents from our large pre-encoded chemical reaction library of potential drug candidates and our long experience and expertise in protein-protein interaction. We are convinced that Priaxon will be able to develop promising small molecule inhibitors against today's most important infectious pathogens."

Dr. Jürgen Kolb (CEO)
Priaxon AG
Gmunder Str. 37-37a
D-81379 München
Tel: +49 - 89 - 4521308-20
Email: kolb@priaxon.de