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GenPat77 AG's Novel Approach To Immune Disorder Therapy Supported By Presentations At Medical Conferences

10/19/2005 5:10:03 PM

BERLIN, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- GenPat77, a company focused on the discovery of innovative immune modulatory products, announced today the presentation of encouraging preclinical data on its TIRC7 program at the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) annual meeting (May 12-16, Boston, USA) and its CEACAM1 program at Digestive Disease Week (May 14-19, Chicago, USA). TIRC7 and CEACAM1 are proteins involved in the activated immune response. GenPat77 is developing therapeutic strategies targeting these proteins for immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

"These data confirm earlier research with each of these immune targets. In arthritis, there are a growing number of patients that are not responding to anti-TNF treatment. This preliminary data suggest that targeting TIRC7 not only exerts an effect alone but also synergizes with anti-TNF therapy. Our research with CEACAM1 confirms that it is a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel disease," noted Nalan Utku, MD, CEO of GenPat77 and an investigator in the studies. "GenPat77 and its collaborators are already moving forward with additional studies to move both programs towards evaluation in clinical trials."

At the FOCIS meeting, GenPat77 and collaborators at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA revealed that anti-TIRC7 mAb therapy may offer a novel therapeutic strategy for rheumatoid arthritis. Studies in mice with collagen-induced arthritis showed that antibody targeting of TIRC7 demonstrated significant therapeutic efficacy as both a monotherapy and in combination with a TNF-alpha receptor-Ig-fusion protein. Anti-TIRC7 mAb treatment also significantly inhibited memory T cell function and B cell numbers.

GenPat77, along with scientists from Humbolt University, Berlin, Germany, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA, showed that TIRC7 was up-regulated in tissues isolated from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and kidney rejection following transplantation in a separate presentation at the FOCIS meeting. In peripheral blood lymphocytes, the over expression of TIRC7 was observed strongly in resting memory T cells but less so in naive and effector/memory cells. Combined, this data supports the potential role of TIRC7 as a therapeutic target in a number of immune disorders.

Studies with CEACAM1 presented at DDW demonstrated its role in the suppression of experimental murine colitis. In mice, administration of CEACAM1 fusion protein promoted suppression in the proliferation of T cells and maintained low Th1-type cytokine responses following challenge with Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) compared to control. The researchers concluded that induction of immune tolerance seems to be one of the major mechanisms behind the suppression in murine colitis seen with CEACAM1 therapy.

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: Nalan Utku, MD, Chief Executive Officer, GenPat77,+49-(0)30-24-62-66-80; Mike Sinclair, Director, HalsinPartners, +44-(0)870-747-0880

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