Express Pharma

Apeiron Biologics and Columbia University sign exclusive license agreement

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To develop and commercialise active cellular immunotherapies under licensed patents, which cover inhibition of Cbl-b in T cells for treatment of cancer

Apeiron Biologics has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Columbia University through their technology transfer office, Columbia Technology Ventures. Under the terms of the agreement, Apeiron obtains worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialise active cellular immunotherapies under the licensed patents, which cover the inhibition of Cbl-b in T cells for the treatment of cancer.

Cbl-b is a central checkpoint for limiting immune responses. Inhibition of Cbl-b is a new strategy for checkpoint blockade, designed to activate the immune system against cancer. T cells that are deficient in Cbl-b are more strongly activated, produce enhanced levels of cytokines and proliferate longer. Hence, Cbl-b knockout mice spontaneously reject various tumors. Apeiron’s project APN401 is based on the collection, stimulation (by Cbl-b inhibition) and subsequent re-administration of a patient’s immune cells. A phase I clinical trial studying safety, tolerability and optimal dose of APN401 is ongoing at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, US.

Dr Hans Loibner, CEO, Apeiron Biologics, commented, “This license agreement represents an expansion of our intellectual property portfolio for the transient inhibition of Cbl-b in a patient’s immune cells, such as T cells and NK cells, for the treatment of cancer and is an important step forward in the development of a cancer immunotherapy based on the Cbl-b gene.”

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