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GenPat77 AG Receives BMBF Grant To Accelerate Development Of CEACAM1 Into Clinical Trials

10/19/2005 5:13:20 PM

BERLIN, Germany, October 11 /PRNewswire/ -- GenPat77, a company focused on the discovery of innovative immune modulatory products, announced today that it has received funding from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the BioChancePLUS support program. The grant has been awarded to support development of GenPat77's novel immunomodulator program in inflammatory bowel disease, CEACAM1, and for the selection of the most promising biological therapeutic for clinical use. The BioChancePLUS program helps small and medium-sized biotech companies to develop and implement biotechnological processes and products.

GenPat77 is developing two types of biological therapeutics, fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies, targeting CEACAM1. The most advanced, CEACAM1-Fc fusion protein, is currently in advanced preclinical studies. These molecules have already shown significant efficacy in models of inflammatory bowel disease.

"We believe that therapies targeting CEACAM1 have potential to address several disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, other autoimmune diseases and cancer," noted Nalan Utku, MD, CEO of GenPat77. "This BioChancePlus grant will provide the resources needed to advance this very promising program through to IND filing."

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) comprises two diseases of the intestine characterized by chronic inflammation of the bowel: ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). At present there is no cure for IBD and approximately 100 people per 100,000 in the general population is affected. There appears to be an equal incidence of UC and CD, and overall, men and women are affected to the same degree. There is still a high unmet medical need as existing medications only reduce the symptoms of pain or are mired by severe side effects, toxicity to specific organs or increased risk of infections and cancer. In the last few years, new and exciting medications, so called biological response modifiers (BRMs) have been introduced. These are highly effective and fairly benign in their side effects, however, only a portion of patients respond.

GenPat77 is focused on the discovery of innovative immune modulatory products for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and the prevention of transplant rejection. Based on a fundamental understanding of the human immune system, GenPat77 is able to target key proteins in the immune cascade and appropriately modulate the immune response according to each specific indication.

The company was founded in Berlin, Germany (1998) based on exclusively licensed intellectual property rights on immune related targets from Brigham and Women's Hospital, an affiliate hospital of Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. The company has licensed TIRC7, a novel molecule involved in immune regulation, to MedImmune for development of biologics and small molecule drugs. For further information visit the company's website at


CONTACT: GenPat77, Nalan Utku, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Tel:+49-(0)30-24-62-66-8-0, Halsin Partners, Mike Sinclair, Tel:+44-(0)870-747-0880, Heike Heinrichs, Tel: +49-(0)89-25-55-06-50

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