HALLE (SAALE) and MUNICH, Germany, 18 June 2019 – Vivoryon Therapeutics AG, (Euronext Amsterdam: currently PBD, to be changed to VVY, ISIN: DE0007921835), a clinical stage precision medicine company focused on bringing first-in-class therapies to patients suffering from age-related diseases, and goetzpartners, an independent advisory firm for strategy, M&A and transformation, today announced their collaboration to explore the expansion of Vivoryon’s proprietary platform based on its Glutaminyl-peptide cyclotransferase-like protein (QPCTL) technology into the field of immuno-oncology. In this context goetzpartners has been mandated as the exclusive strategic business development advisor of Vivoryon Therapeutics.
Vivoryon’s lead molecule, PQ912, is currently in clinical stage development for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and is a first-in-class, highly specific and potent inhibitor of Glutaminyl cyclases (QPCT and QPCTL). New research has shown that small molecule Glutaminyl cyclase inhibitors could also represent an attractive approach for myeloid immune checkpoint control.
Consequently, Vivoryon’s next platform project focuses on immune checkpoint inhibition and the Glutaminyl-peptide cyclotransferase-like protein (QPCTL). QPCTL is a posttranslational modifying enzyme that is essential for the pyroglutamate formation on CD47, a crucial signaling protein in immune response to cancer. Inhibitors of QPCTL, like PQ912 and other small molecule compounds protected under Vivoryon’s patents, have been shown to silence the checkpoint signal from the CD47/SIRPa axis, and thus are offering a novel strategy to augment the efficacy of anti-tumor antibody therapies. Based on Vivoryon’s data, PQ912 could readily be advanced into clinical Phase I studies in cancer. In addition, Vivoryon Therapeutics owns a broader set of highly promising QPCTL inhibitor compounds in advanced preclinical stages of development.
“When weighing our options on how to move forward our QPCTL technology into the field of immuno-oncology, we wanted to make sure we did everything possible to bring scientific excellence for the benefit of patients to other indications. Understanding this responsibility, we decided to seek out industry leaders in business development consulting who understood our strategic needs and could provide us with the support necessary to unlock the full potential of our platform by partnering with major pharma players. For this reason, we look forward to working with goetzpartners, who have robust business experience and the expertise to guide us through this process” said Dr. Ulrich Dauer, CEO of Vivoryon Therapeutics.
“We are proud to have been selected by Vivoryon Therapeutics as their strategic advisors,” said Ulrich Kinzel, Managing Director at goetzpartners, “The Company is a technology leader with their patented proprietary Glutaminyl Cyclase inhibition platform, and it is an exciting opportunity for us to connect them with the right partner to explore its full potential.”
For more information, please contact:
Vivoryon Therapeutics AG
Dr. Ulrich Dauer, CEO
goetzpartners Corporate Finance GmbH
Tel: +49 (0) 89 29 07 25 125
MC Services AG
Anne Hennecke, Susanne Kutter
Tel: +49 (0) 211 529 252 27
Notes to Editors:
About Vivoryon Therapeutics AG
Headquartered in Halle (Saale), Germany, Vivoryon Therapeutics AG, formerly Probiodrug AG (Euronext Amsterdam: currently PBD, to be changed to VVY) is a clinical stage precision medicine company focused on bringing first-in-class therapies to patients suffering from age-related diseases. The company has a successful track record in bringing drugs targeted to post-translational modifying enzymes to the market. Current projects are focusing on the two isoenzymes of Glutaminyl cyclase, QPCT and QPCTL. QPCT is the crucial enzyme for the generation of highly neurotoxic pyroglutamate species of Abeta. Its inhibition by Vivoryon’s lead molecule PQ912, has successfully completed a Phase 2a (SAPHIR) study and the Company has initiated a Phase 2b core program for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). QPCTL has been identified as a potential target in cancer therapy. Blocking the enzymatic function of QPTCL by small molecule inhibitors is a novel therapeutic approach to silence the CD47/SIRPa signal in cancer immunotherapy. Vivoryon has a unique and exceptionally strong patent position on QPCT and QPCTL inhibitors.
PQ912, is a first in class, highly specific and potent inhibitor of Glutaminyl-peptide cyclotransferase protein (QPCT), the enzyme that catalyzes the formation of highly neurotoxic pGlu species. PQ912 has shown therapeutic effects in AD animal models. A Phase 1 study in healthy young and elderly volunteers revealed a dose dependent exposure and showed good safety and tolerability up to the highest dose resulting in >90% target occupancy in the spinal fluid. In June 2017, Vivoryon Therpeutics announced promising top-line data of the Phase 2a SAPHIR trial of PQ912 and presented the study results at CTAD 2017. Results strongly support that pGlu species of Abeta are especially neurotoxic and correlate with AD disease progression. The SAPHIR study provides important guidance on how to move forward with the development of PQ912 as a disease-modifying drug for AD. Altogether, the results make the program highly attractive for further development; the company has initiated the preparation of a Phase 2b core program.
About Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder, which is the most common form of dementia. Today, 50 million people are estimated to live with dementia worldwide, and this number is projected to triple to more than 152 million by 2050. Dementia also has a huge economic impact. Alzheimer’s has an estimated, global societal cost of US$ 1 trillion, and it will become 2 trillion-dollar disease by 2030. (World Alzheimer Report 2018).
Glutaminyl-peptide cyclotransferase-like protein (QPCTL)
Glutaminyl-peptide cyclotransferase-like protein (QPCTL) is a posttranslational modifying enzyme that is responsible for the pyroglutamate formation on CD47 – a crucial receptor protein in the immune response to cancer. QPCTL is an isoenzyme of QPCT and can be inhibited by Vivoryon’s lead candidate small molecule PQ912 and other compounds protected under Vivoryon’s patents.
Cancer immune checkpoint inhibitors
Checkpoint inhibitor therapy is a novel kind of cancer immunotherapy. This therapy targets key regulators of the immune system that stimulate or inhibit its actions, which tumors commonly use to protect themselves from attacks by the immune system. QPCTL inhibitor therapy can silence inhibitory cancer checkpoints and thereby restore beneficial immune system functions.
About goetzpartners Corporate Finance GmbH
goetzpartners, founded in 1991, is an independent advisory firm for all key issues of entrepreneurial activity: strategy, M&A and transformation. As a trusted partner with a valuable track record and a far-reaching network, they are ideally positioned to help companies worldwide to navigate through their business transformation challenges. With more than 350 professionals operating out of 14 offices in 11 countries, they advise decision-makers and top executives in all key industries.
Forward Looking Statements
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment of Vivoryon Therapeutics AG as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.