Hamburg/Regensburg Germany - June 17th, 2013: Bionamics GmbH, the coordinator of the NEU² consortium, and Lophius Biosciences GmbH announced today that Lophius Biosciences has joined the NEU² program with a project addressing the development of T-Track® MS as a novel blood-based diagnostic test supporting the initial diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and enabling the monitoring of MS disease progression. This new project is to last for about two years with a funding of > 350.000 EUR proportionally supplied by The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the BioPharma initiative.
Lophius Biosciences is a leading developer of innovative T cell based diagnostic test systems. One of the company’s platform technologies, the “Reverse T Cell Technology (RTT)”, represents a novel strategy for the diagnosis of T cell-mediated diseases. In contrast to available methods, RTT exploits the maturation processes induced in antigen presenting cells (APC) via a specific interaction with activated T helper (Th) cells thus representing an indirect measure for activated Th cells. Due to the high specificity of RTT for activated Th cells, the intended use of the RTT assay is the reliable detection of disease-specific activated Th cells as a novel biomarker for the diagnosis and monitoring of ongoing autoimmune diseases such as MS. The T-Track® MS test is aimed to fulfill unmet clinical needs offering a blood-based rapid and reliable differential diagnosis of MS complementary to the today’s state of the art clinical and MRT based diagnosis. Initial data from a collaboration between Lophius Biosciences and the Clinic and Policlinic for Neurology, UK Regensburg, and the Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical MS Research, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, demonstrated preliminary clinical proof of principle for this MS test.
Dr. Michael Lutz and Prof. Dr. Ralf Wagner, Managing Directors of Lophius Biosciences commented: “We are very pleased to join the NEU² consortium. Both the opportunity to interact with leading experts in the MS field as well as the substantial funding will accelerate the development of our highly innovative T cell based diagnostic T-Track® MS test kit and help Lophius to initiate a broader clinical discovery and development program.”
Dr. Timm Jessen, CEO of Bionamics GmbH and founder of NEU², about the further expansion of the NEU² consortium: “With Lophius Biosciences we could attract an attractive new partner for the consortium. Its expertise in the diagnostic area will complement our expertises within NEU², also to the benefit of our current consortium members.”
About Lophius Biosciences GmbH
Lophius Biosciences GmbH, a German biotech company, is focusing on the development and marketing of innovative T-cell based diagnostic systems for the diagnosis and immunomonitoring in the fields of transplantation, infectious and autoimmune diseases. With its innovative products, the company also aims towards enabling therapy control and personalized treatment in the above fields of application.
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.