Intercell AG

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Intercell coordinates the development of a novel vaccine against Lyme borreliosis funded by the European Union

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23.05.2005

Vienna, Austria, May, 23, 2005 - Intercell, a leading developer of next generation vaccines for the prevention and treatment of major infectious diseases reported the start of its research activities under a European Union Sixth Framework project to develop a novel vaccine against Lyme borreliosis, the BOVAC project. The BOVAC project brings together expertise from leading scientists and biotech companies from six institutions in Austria, the Czech Republic Germany and Sweden.

Intercell is the coordinator of the project and performs research using its Antigen Identification Technology (AIP). Intercell will have the exclusive right to commercially exploit intellectual property generated by the project in the field of vaccines and therapeutics. Other expected outcome of the project includes diagnostics for diseases caused by Borrelia and software for the analysis of genomic sequence information. Lyme borreliosis is the most common tick-transmitted severe disease in Europe and North America. The often insufficiently diagnosed disease is caused by the Borrelia bacterium and infected people suffer frequently from neurological abnormalities, cardiac disorders and a delayed onset of arthritis. Today prevention relies mainly on avoiding exposure to tick bites and there is no registered vaccine available on the market to prevent Lyme borreliosis in the USA and Europe. The BOVAC project is targeting an important unmet medical need of the global healthcare industry which goes beyond the borders of Europe and it was ranked among the top 30 from nearly 1000 cooperative research project applications submitted to the European Commission under its life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health call within the Sixth Framework Program (FP6). The European Commission provides support to the consortium, mounting to 1.4 million Euros for the next two years.

The Lyme borreliosis in Europe and the USA involves several different bacterial genospecies of Borrelia, thus complicating the search for antigens that will cross-protect against the various forms of the pathogen. BOVAC has been initiated to systematically identify Borrelia genes suitable for the development of vaccines and diagnostic markers. The project applies expertise and technologies covering genome sequencing, Intercell’s Antigen Identification Program, AIP, infectious disease models and epidemiological studies. Intercell’s CEO, Alexander von Gabain, states: "The acceptance of and trust in Intercell’s AIP in both the science and investor community to deliver new antigens has contributed considerably to the start of BOVAC and its EU support".

The BOVAC project is in compliance with the program goals defined by the Sixth Framework Program (FP6) of the European Union and designed to strengthen the European Research Area, in particular small and medium sized companies (SMEs), but also scientific goals towards the use of genomic information to further our knowledge in life science and health.

About Intercell’s AIP Antigen Identification Program, or AIP, identifies novel antigens from a variety of pathogens. Intercell’s team focuses on those antigens that are believed to induce the strongest response from the human immune system, thus providing a viable basis for the potential development of novel and more powerful prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines and antibody treatments. The AIP technology has successfully identified a large number of novel antigens relating to a wide variety of infectious diseases such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Certain product candidates identified under Intercell´s AIP are currently partnered with either Sanofi Aventis or Merck & Co., Inc.

BOVAC-Partners: » Intercell AG, Austria (IC) » MWG Biotech AG, Germany (MWG) » BioTest s.r.o., Czech Republic (BTCZ) » Umeå University, Sweden (UmU) » Medical University Vienna, Austria, (MUV) » National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic (NIPH)

For further information on the BOVAC project please visit: Intercell Website - http://www.intercell.com/ MWG Website - http://www.THE-MWG.com/ BioTest Website - http://www.biotest.cz FP6 Website - http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/index_en.html BOVAC website - http://www.bovac.org

end of announcement                                euro adhoc 23.05.2005 08:07:29
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Further inquiry note: Intercell AG Mag. Katharina Wieser Head of Corporate Communications Tel. +43 1 20620-303 kwieser@intercell.com

Branche: Biotechnology
ISIN:      AT0000612601
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