– Research results could lead to the development of next generation recombinant T cells with improved characteristics for optimized treatment of cancer patients
Medigene AG (MDG1, Frankfurt, Prime Standard, TecDAX) announced today that it has entered into a research collaboration with RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation, MA, USA (NASDAQ: RXII) to explore potential synergies of using RXi’s self-delivering RNAi technology (sd-rxRNA®) in combination with Medigene’s recombinant TCRs to develop modified T cells with enhanced efficacy and/or safety. The preclinical research program will examine the applicability of RXi’s sd-rxRNA technology to be integrated into Medigene’s process to produce receptor-modified T cells with the ultimate goal to further improve Medigene`s T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer patients.
Research teams at Medigene will closely work together with the scientists at RXi to explore potential advantages of transient down regulation of certain genes ("knock down") to prevent negative regulation of T cells expressing a recombinant TCR directed against a predefined tumor antigen. The two complementing technologies could lead to synergistic effects that might further sharpen and improve the therapeutic effects of Medigene’s receptor-modified T cells.
Markus Dangl, Senior Vice President Research and Preclinical Development of Medigene AG, comments: "We are very happy that we found a partner that is fully aligned with our vision to further improve our adoptive T cell therapy approach. We are convinced that this technology can help us to develop the next generation of recombinant T cells that are highly efficacious, also in challenging solid tumor environments. These T cells will contain features that have the potential to further enhance the efficacy and safety of our approach to bring highly beneficial cellular therapies to the market."
Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals, adds: "We are excited to start this new collaboration. Medigene’s adoptive cell therapy, using their TCR platform, is a very attractive and promising development in immuno-oncology; and we are pleased with their decision to use our sd-rxRNA technology in combination with their TCR approach. The use of our immuno-oncology sd-rxRNA compounds with their receptor-modified T cells could potentially create a next generation of very powerful adoptive cell therapies against serious cancers that are currently difficult to target."
About Medigene’s TCR technology: The TCR technology aims at arming the patient’s own T cells with tumor-specific T-cell receptors. The receptor-modified T cells are then able to detect and efficiently kill tumor cells. This immunotherapy approach attempts to overcome the patient’s tolerance towards cancer cells and tumor-induced immunosuppression by activating and modifying the patient’s T cells outside the body (ex vivo).
TCR therapy is developed to utilize a higher number of potential tumor antigens than other T cell-based immunotherapies, such as chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy. Medigene is preparing the clinical development of its first TCR candidates and is establishing a pipeline of recombinant T-cell receptors, and has established Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant processes for their combination with patient-derived T cells.
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII) is a clinical-stage company developing innovative therapeutics that address significant unmet medical needs. Building on the pioneering discovery of RNAi, scientists at RXi have harnessed the naturally occurring RNAi process which can be used to "silence" or down-regulate the expression of a specific gene that may be overexpressed in a disease condition. RXi developed a robust RNAi therapeutic platform, including self-delivering RNA (sd-rxRNA®) compounds, that have the ability to highly selectively block the expression of any target in the genome, thus providing applicability to many therapeutic areas. Their current programs include dermatology, ophthalmology, and cell-based immunotherapy. RXi’s extensive patent portfolio provides for multiple product and business development opportunities across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas, and they actively pursue research collaborations, partnering and out-licensing opportunities with academia and pharmaceutical companies.
For additional information, visit the Company’s website, http://www.rxipharma.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements representing the opinion of Medigene as of the date of this release. The actual results achieved by Medigene may differ significantly from the forward-looking statements made herein. Medigene is not bound to update any of these forward-looking statements. Medigene® is a registered trademark of Medigene AG. This trademark may be owned or licensed in select locations only.
Medigene AG (FSE: MDG1, ISIN DE000A1X3W00, Prime Standard, TecDAX) is a publicly listed biotechnology company headquartered in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. The company is developing highly innovative immunotherapies to target various forms and stages of cancer. Medigene concentrates on the development of personalized T cell-based therapies, with associated projects currently in pre-clinical and clinical development.
For more information, please visit http://www.medigene.com
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