HALLE (SAALE) / MUNICH and LEIPZIG, Germany, 16 April 2020 – Vivoryon Therapeutics AG (Euronext Amsterdam: VVY, ISIN DE0007921835) announced today that the Company has entered into a research collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) and acquired related patents from the Institute for a meprin protease inhibitor and assay platform. Under the guidance of PD Dr. Stephan Schilling, the Department of Drug Design and Target Validation will work together with Vivoryon to advance first-in-class small molecule meprin inhibitors. This collaboration will combine Vivoryon’s expertise in translating basic research into marketable small molecule therapeutics with the department’s focus on discovery and development of new therapeutics that target putative pathologic post-translational modifications.
The metal-dependent proteases, meprin alpha and meprin beta, are emerging targets in kidney protection, fibrotic diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Increased meprin expression and their mislocalization has been associated with tissue damage and collagen deposition in fibrosis, which can result in the loss of organ function. Meprin-targeted protease inhibitors thus have the potential to not only target symptoms, but also treat a range of indications including acute and chronic kidney disease and multiple organ fibrosis.
Dr. Michael Schaeffer, CBO at Vivoryon Therapeutics AG noted: “The IP estate we have acquired from Fraunhofer IZI expands our current drug development portfolio and places us in a leading position to explore the full potential of meprin protease inhibitors. As a company, our goal is to consistently seek out opportunities that can further strengthen our pipeline with the ultimate vision of delivering novel therapies to patients in need. By working with Dr. Schilling and his team we are set to advance meprin inhibitors very quickly towards clinical testing in indications like fibrotic diseases or cancer.”
PD Dr. Stephan Schilling, Head of Protein and Drug Biochemistry Unit at Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology added: “As the roles and functionality of meprin alpha and beta continue to become more distinguished through research, it is clear these metalloproteases represent interesting novel targets that could be developed into therapeutics for a variety of indications. As such, I am delighted that with this collaboration the groundbreaking research of our institute will eventually be translated into clinical programs by an experienced drug development company.”
For more information, please contact:
Vivoryon Therapeutics AG
Dr. Ulrich Dauer, CEO
Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology
Jens Augustin, Head of Press and Public Affairs
Gretchen Schweitzer / Joanne Tudorica
Tel: +49 172 861 8540 / +49 176 2103 7191
About Vivoryon Therapeutics AG
With 20+ years of unmatched understanding in identifying post-translational modifying enzymes that play critical roles in disease initiation and progression, Vivoryon’s scientific expertise has facilitated the creation of a discovery and development engine for small molecule therapeutics. This platform has demonstrated success by developing a novel therapeutic in type 2 diabetes. In its current programs Vivoryon Therapeutics is advancing its lead product, PQ912, in Alzheimer’s disease and its entire portfolio of QPCT and QPCTL inhibitors in oncology and other indications.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, headquartered in Germany, is the world’s leading applied research organization. With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial exploitation of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. Founded in 1949, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft currently operates 74 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany. The majority of the organization’s 28,000 employees are qualified scientists and engineers, who work with an annual research budget of 2.8 billion euros. Of this sum, 2.3 billion euros is generated through contract research.
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.