Covagen Nominates Bispecific TNF/IL-17A Inhibitor as Drug Candidate to Enter Preclinical Development

Published: Dec 12, 2011

Zürich-Schlieren, Switzerland, December 12, 2011 -- Covagen announced today that it is entering preclinical development with its first drug candidate, a first-in-class bispecific TNF/IL-17A inhibitor for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This drug candidate comprises an interleukin 17A (IL-17A) neutralizing Fynomer which has been fused to a fully human anti-TNF antibody.

Dragan Grabulovski, CSO of Covagen, said: “Based on the exciting results from our research and the views of key opinion leaders in rheumatology and psoriasis, we anticipate that targeting both TNF and IL-17A in RA as well as other inflammatory diseases will provide a more effective therapy than inhibition of TNF or IL-17A alone.” With its expected efficacy profile in patients, Covagen’s bispecific TNF/IL-17A inhibitor has the potential to capture a significant share of the market for TNF blockers. In 2010, global sales of the three most prescribed TNF inhibitors amounted to USD 22 billion.

Mark Genovese (MD), Professor of Medicine in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University School of Medicine stated: “I have been following the development of Covagen’s dual TNF/IL-17A inhibitor with great interest. I believe that simultaneous blockade of TNF and IL-17A for the treatment of RA and other inflammatory disorders is a highly promising approach.”

For further details, please contact:

Covagen AG

Dr. Julian Bertschinger, CEO

Tel: +41 (0) 44 732 46 60

About Covagen:

Covagen is a privately held company pioneering the commercialization of Fynomers as next generation protein drugs to address unmet medical needs in inflammatory diseases and cancer. Fynomers represent a novel class of protein therapeutics. Due to their favorable biophysical properties, Fynomers with different binding specificities can be combined in a single molecule, thus creating drugs with new mechanisms of action. Fynomers are ideally suited to enhance the potency and functionality of antibodies without compromising the antibodies' beneficial drug-like properties, and therefore, new biological entities based on clinically validated antibodies can be created rapidly.

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