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Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany - (ots) - Pieris AG, a bio-pharmaceutical company developing therapeutic products comprising of Anticalins®, a novel proprietary class of human binding proteins, announced today that it has confirmed the functional antagonistic activity of its lead PRS-050 Anticalin® in vivo, supporting the development of superior biotherapeutics with enhanced penetration into neovascularized tissues.
PRS-050 targets VEGF, a key positive regulator of angiogenesis important in several diseases including cancer and neovascular eye disorders. PRS-050 binds to all splice variants of VEGF-A with picomolar affinity and antagonizes VEGF binding to its receptors VEGF-R1 and VEGF-R2. PRS-050 inhibits in vitro VEGF-induced human endothelial cell proliferation with favorable potency compared to all currently approved VEGF antagonists. Complete inhibition of angiogenic and vascular permeability activities of VEGF by the Anticalin(r) have now been demonstrated in appropriate in vivo models. The data will be presented in Europe at Informa's Next Generation of Protein Therapeutics Conference in Basel (Nov. 7th - 9th) and in the USA at IBC's Protein Engineering for Biotherapeutics Conference in San Diego (Dec. 12th - 14th).
"This example highlights how guided selection and rational protein engineering of Anticalins® can be readily achieved, thereby yielding candidates with a clear drug development potential", comments Dr Andreas Hohlbaum, Director of Science and Preclinical Development of Pieris.
"Excellent data from our lead programs targeting VEGF and CTLA-4, as well as our partnered programs, show that our proprietary protein scaffold has all the necessary components for providing a platform, which is not dependent on antibody patents. This enables partners to develop and to market effective and safe biotherapeutics economically", says Evert Küppers, CEO of Pieris. "We have now started to look for a well-rounded strategic partner to address novel targets and to advance programs into the clinic."
Notes to editors
About Pieris AG Pieris is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of Anticalins® for the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening human disorders. Exploiting extensive know-how in protein engineering as part of a broad intellectual property portfolio, the Company applies a balanced risk business model to the development of its Anticalin® candidates. To date, Pieris has reached all development milestones on time under the agreements with its industry partners. Recognizing the enormous market potential of protein-based drugs, Pieris is committed to becoming an integrated drug discovery and development company.
About the Anticalin® technology Anticalins® as engineered human proteins with prescribed binding properties are derived from the lipocalin scaffold and exhibit fundamental similarities with fully human antibodies e.g. picomolar potency and expected low immunogenicity. Anticalins® have several additional advantages over conventional antibodies due to their small size (20 kDa), robust tertiary structure and straight composition that confer high solubility, predictable stability and bacterial manufacturability. Fast pharmacokinetics and favorable tissue penetration of Anticalins® can be balanced through adjustable modulation of serum half-life and valency by established methodologies.
By developing Anticalin® based products, Pieris and its collaborators are not only able to develop superior biotherapeutics, but they also have the ability to overcome the encumbering patent landscape as currently present for developing conventional antibodies.
About VEGF and PRS-050 Angiogenesis - the development of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature - plays an important role in several diseases. Although various pro- and anti-angiogenic factors have been identified, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) has been implicated as the key angiogenic factor in cancer and neovascular eye disorders. The PRS-050 program has been designed to develop Anticalins® that specifically bind and block the signalling activity of VEGF. Pieris will exploit in the PRS-050 program the compact structure, intrinsic stability, broad formulation flexibility and small molecular size of Anticalins® to develop products with enhanced penetration into neovascularized tissues for indications such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.
Further information is available at http://www.pieris-ag.com
Anticalin®, Anticalins® are registered trademarks of Pieris AG.
ots Originaltext: Pieris AG
Dr Andreas Hohlbaum, Dir. of Sci. & Preclin. Dev.