WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 18, 2003--Pintex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that, in connection with its work on the Pin1 enzyme, it has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize technology originated at the Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding, an institute of the Max Planck Society, through Max Planck Society's technology transfer agent, Garching Innovation GmbH. "The license agreement gives us access to a number of important scientific developments, which further strengthen our technology base and enhance our ability to develop therapies and diagnostics that target the Pin1 enzyme," said Janusz M. Sowadski, Ph.D., president of Pintex.
The Pin1 enzyme, which has been linked to numerous human cancers, including prostate and breast cancer, may be one of the most prevalent tumor markers found to date.
In a recent article in Cancer Research, researchers from Pintex, Harvard Medical School, and Baylor College of Medicine described the Pin1 enzyme as "an independent marker that outperforms many other known and currently used indicators of prostate cancer disease-free survival."
In addition, there is strong scientific evidence that the Pin1 enzyme plays a significant role in preventing Alzheimer's disease.
Pintex's actively expanding portfolio of intellectual property currently includes more than 75 patent applications and/or issued patents in the U.S. and overseas which are focused on the Pin1 enzyme. These patent rights include issued patents that provide broad patent protection for compositions of matter, including Pin1 DNA, Pin1 polypeptides, peptide and peptide mimetic inhibitors of Pin1, as well as methods for inhibiting the activity of the Pin1 enzyme using peptides, peptide mimetics, and small organic molecules.
Dr. Sowadski said Pintex will start preclinical development shortly on a small-molecule Pin1 inhibitor.
The market for new cancer therapeutics is large and growing. Current annual global spending on cancer therapeutics, estimated to be $25 billion, is expected to grow about 3.5 percent a year over the next several years.
About Max Planck Society/Garching Innovation GmbH
The Max Planck Society (www.mpg.de), one of Germany's largest non-profit research organizations, is comprised of 80 individual institutes each of which conducts research in areas of the natural sciences and the humanities.
As the technology transfer agency for the Max Planck Society, Garching Innovation GmbH (www.garching-innovation.de) fosters and manages relationships between the Max- Planck institutes and the biotech and pharmaceutical industry for the commercialization of inventions and know-how discovered or created at the Max- Planck institutes.
About Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding
Based in Halle, Germany, and founded in 1997, the Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding (www.enzyme-halle.mpg.de) originated from the non-permanent research group "Enzymology of the Peptide Bond" of the Max Planck Society. The Research Unit focuses its work on developing an understanding of protein folding in a living cell in general, and on the principles of conformational changes controlling the biological activity of peptides and proteins in particular. Pin1 belongs to the important class of enzymes that assists other enzymes to communicate within phosphate signaling pathways.
About Pintex Pharmaceuticals
Founded in 1999, Pintex (www.pintexpharm.com) is a private pharmaceuticals company engaged in the discovery and development of structure-based cancer therapeutics that are based on its exclusive rights to technology which originated at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Harvard University. Dr. Walter Gilbert, a 1980 Nobel Laureate in chemistry and co-founder of Pintex, is chairman of its board of directors. Investors include BioVentures Investors, Canaan Partners, POD Holding, and Zero Stage Capital.
Pintex Pharmaceuticals George Hillman, 617-924-9200, ext. 15 firstname.lastname@example.org or Business Communication Strategies Peter Lowy, 781-326-9980 email@example.com
Source: Pintex Pharmaceuticals