WILEX AG: European Patent Office grants patent for the chemical synthetic building block dihydroxyisoleucine for the production of Amanitin
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- Patent grant supports the synthetic production of Amanitin
Munich, Germany, 28 June 2016 – WILEX AG (ISIN DE000A11QVV0 / WL6 / FSE) today announced that its subsidiary Heidelberg Pharma GmbH has been granted a patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) for the chemical synthesis of dihydroxyisoleucine developed by it. The patent has a term until 2033.
The amino acid dihydroxyisoleucine is an important synthetic building block of alpha-Amanitin and of Amanitin derivatives. Without this building block it is not possible to chemically produce Amanitin. Dihydroxyisoleucine, on the other hand, has to be chemically produced, as there is no natural source of it.
The patent protects the company’s internal Amanitin production process, since the production of adequate quantities of Amanitin in GMP quality for clinical use can only be ensured by a completely chemical production of Amanitin. After being bound to a linker and conjugated with antibodies, alpha-Amanitin and its derivatives are used in the ATAC technology pursued by Heidelberg Pharma.
Professor Andreas Pahl, Head of Research and Development and member of the Executive Management Board of WILEX AG, comments: “We are very pleased that this patent has been granted, because it protects an important building block of our synthetic Amanitin production. It strengthens our position as the first company worldwide to use the highly effective and innovative compound Amanitin for ADC technology. We will continue to focus our efforts on the full chemical production of Amanitin.”
About Heidelberg Pharma’s proprietary ATAC technology
Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) combine the high affinity and specificity of antibodies with the potential of small cytotoxic molecules for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. ATACs are ADCs that are bound to highly potent amatoxin molecules. Amatoxins are small bicyclic peptides naturally occurring in the death cap mushroom. They inhibit mRNA transcription by binding to RNA polymerase II, a mechanism that is crucial for the survival of eukaryotic cells. Accordingly, ATACs exhibit comparable activity against proliferating and quiescent tumour cells. This proliferation independent activity differentiates ATACs from other ADCs, which preferentially target proliferating tumour cells. As a potential additional advantage ATACs could offer a substantial capability to overcome the resistance mechanisms which might limit the efficacy of other antibody drug conjugates.
About WILEX and Heidelberg Pharma
WILEX AG is a biopharmaceutical company acting as a holding company and Group parent. Research and development focus on the operations of its subsidiary Heidelberg Pharma GmbH in Ladenburg, which primarily advances the development of the innovative ADC platform technology for antibody-drug conjugates based on the compound Amanitin (ATAC technology) and provides preclinical drug research and development services. WILEX has diagnostic and therapeutic Phase-III drug candidates, which are available for out-licensing to external partners. WILEX is listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: ISIN DE000A11QVV0 / WKN A11QVV / Symbol WL6. More information is available at www.wilex.com
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