Freising-Weihenstephan (ots) - Pieris AG, a biopharmaceutical
company developing Anticalins®, a novel class of targeted human
protein therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Dr Angelika
Stern as Chief Operating Officer to the Company. Pieris has also
announced the promotion with immediate effect of Dr Andreas Hohlbaum
from the position of Director of Science and Preclinical Development
to Chief Technology Officer. The appointment of Dr Angelika Stern at
Pieris coincides with continued progress of the Company's Anticalin®
development programs towards the clinic. PRS-050, Pieris' most
advanced program addressing the modulation of VEGF for the treatment
of cancer, is currently being prepared for a Phase I study in
patients with advanced malignancies. Projected to start in 2009, the
study aims to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity
of a half-life extended version of the PRS-050 Anticalin®, as well as
examining its biological activity.
Dr Stern has considerable experience in the clinical development
of biologics in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically Phase I -
III development and registration of GM-CSF (Leucomax®) at Novartis in
cooperation with Schering-Plough and subsequently as Medical Director
for Neupogen® at F. Hoffmann-La Roche. Dr Stern co-founded Hesperion
Ltd, a Swiss based international CRO, where she advised emerging
biotech companies on development strategy issues.
Commenting on her appointment Dr Stern said: "I am very impressed
with Pieris' recent progress and the opportunities in biotherapeutic
product development presented by the Anticalin® technology. PRS-050
exemplifies the enormous potential Pieris has in building a broad
pipeline of therapeutics across multiple disease areas."
Evert Kueppers, Chief Executive Officer of Pieris, commented: "I
am delighted to welcome Angelika Stern to our senior management team
at this exciting stage in the Company's evolution. Attracting such an
experienced executive is another milestone for Pieris, as we progress
our proprietary Anticalin® programs towards the clinic. Furthermore,
I am pleased to recognize the tremendous achievements made at Pieris
by Andreas Hohlbaum in the past 18 months."
For further information, please contact: Pieris AG
Phone +49 (0) 8161 1411 400 Evert Kueppers, Chief Executive
Notes to editors
About Pieris AG
Pieris is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and
development of Anticalins®, a novel class of targeted human proteins
designed to diagnose and treat serious 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 Anticalin product candidates.
About Anticalin® Technology
Anticalins® are engineered by Pieris from the scaffold of human
lipocalins, a family of natural ligand binding proteins. Anticalins
are selected to have prescribed binding properties with selectivity
and affinity fundamentally similar to that of monoclonal antibodies.
Being human in origin, Anticalins are predicted to have minimal
immunogenicity in man. Where Anticalins benefit compared to
conventional antibodies is in their small size (20 kDa), their robust
physicochemical properties and their simple composition that together
allow highly soluble, predictably stable products to be manufactured
from bacteria. Anticalins are amenable to further engineering to
balance their favorable tissue penetration with adjustable serum
clearance. Moreover, Anticalins have been developed as Duocalins®,
whose dual targeting format allows multiple targets to be bound and
modulated through a single molecule. Pieris and its collaborators are
not only able to develop superior biotherapeutics, but can do so
outside the complex patent landscape that encumbers the development
of conventional antibody products.
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 pro-angiogenic factor in cancer.
The PRS-050 program has been designed to develop Anticalins® that
specifically bind and block the signalling activity of VEGF in
cancer. PRS-050, an Anticalin with extended serum half-life, exhibits
comparable binding and functional in vitro activity to currently
approved VEGF antagonists. Potent inhibition of VEGF-induced enhanced
vascular permeability and angiogenesis, as well as anti-tumour
activity, have already been demonstrated by PRS-050 in various
well-validated preclinical studies.
Pieris' PRS-050 program exploits a number of favourable
characteristics of Anticalins, including compact protein structure,
high intrinsic stability, broad formulation flexibility and small
molecular size, to develop more effective products for the
penetration of neovascularized tumour tissue.
Further information is available at http://www.pieris-ag.com
Anticalin® and Duocalin® are registered trademarks of Pieris AG.
ots Originaltext: Pieris AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
For further information, please contact:
Phone +49 (0) 8161 1411 400
Evert Kueppers, Chief Executive Officer