Baliopharm GmbH joins NEU²
Schleswig/Hamburg, Germany – May 2013: Bionamics GmbH, the coordinator of the NEU² consortium, is pleased to announce that Baliopharm GmbH (the german subsidiary of Baliopharm AG, Basel/Switzerland) joined the NEU² program with a project addressing the recombinant manufacturing of a Fc-free bispecific CD20-CD95 antibody construct (Novotarg) with a selectivity for activated B-cells and the testing of its efficacy in relevant disease models for the therapy of multiple sclerosis (MS). The new project is scheduled for two years and is funded proportionally by The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the BioPharma initiative.
Baliopharm focuses on the development of innovative protein therapeutics for immune mediated inflammatory diseases and cancer. The company has in-licensed a platform technology to design bi-specific antibodies which will allow the generation of superior antibody therapeutics by increasing the selectivity for the respective targets with the aim to increase efficacy and safety. The first bi-specific antibody construct (“Novotarg”) to be developed will target CD20 and CD95. These compounds will be indicated for the treatment of B-cell malignancies like B-cell lymphoma and chronic lympholytic leukemia as well as for several autoimmune diseases. In the preclinical studies Baliopharm will focus on the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Andreas Hermann, CEO of Baliopharm AG and Baliopharm GmbH: “We are very pleased to join the NEU² consortium to further develop our highly innovative drug candidate Novotarg for the treatment of MS. All available data give evidence that this bi-specific antibody is very stable and easy to produce. That will support to overcome the main hurdles usually associated with the production of bi-specific antibodies and we are optimistic to enter the clinical development phase within the next two years.”
Dr. Timm Jessen, CEO of Bionamics GmbH and founder of NEU², about the further expansion of the NEU² consortium: “With Baliopharm we could win another attractive new partner for the consortium. Its expertise in drug development will complement our expertises within NEU² and we are glad to welcome them as partners.”
Baliopharm AG is a biotechnology company focusing on the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn`s disease, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis, and for cancer. The company was founded in 2011 as a spin-off of Celonic AG, a service provider in the area of contract manufacturing and contract analysis operating since 1998. Since 2007, Celonic AG was also developing their own therapeutic proteins targeting cancer and immune-mediated diseases. Baliopharm AG is focusing on the further preclinical and clinical development of these therapeutic proteins as well as on newly inlicensed compounds. Baliopharm AG is located in Basel (Switzerland), with a subsidiary in Jülich (Baliopharm GmbH, Germany).
The NEU² consortium, including, amongst others, Merck KGaA, Evotec AG, European ScreeningPort GmbH, Bionamics GmbH, and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf was successful in the nationwide “BioPharma” strategy competition of The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und Forschung – BMBF). This initiative aims to promote innovative partnerships between academic institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in order to strengthen the pharmaceutical value chain in Germany. The NEU² consortium focuses on the development of novel therapies against neurological diseases with a specific focus on multiple sclerosis. The NEU² consortium is coordinated by Bionamics GmbH, an independent project management company and founder of NEU².