Fri, 16. January 2015

Press Release: BEYOND RESEARCH initiative of 4SC Discovery and CRELUX reaches first milestone in drug discovery project for Helmholtz Zentrum München

Drug research to be strengthened further in the Munich business area:

 

BEYOND RESEARCH initiative of 4SC Discovery and CRELUX reaches first milestone in drug discovery project for Helmholtz Zentrum München

 

-       Compounds for inhibiting oxygen radicals and associated signalling pathways optimised for developing innovative therapies for degenerative diseases.

-       Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs funding collaboration that will promote the commercial exploitation of a scientific product idea from Helmholtz Zentrum München.

-       BEYOND RESEARCH initiative of 4SC Discovery, CRELUX and Prefound GmbH to provide technology and expertise for transforming drug research from academic institutions into commercially exploitable pharmaceutical products in the Munich area.

 

Planegg-Martinsried and Munich, Germany, 13 January 2015 4SC Discovery GmbH, a subsidiary of the biotechnology company 4SC AG (Frankfurt, Prime Standard: VSC) and its partner CRELUX GmbH have successfully completed the first stage of a collaboration with the RỌScue Therapeutics working group at the Munich-based Helmholtz Zentrum München in the field of research and drug discovery of new compounds for treatment of degenerative diseases. The second stage of the project has been started now.

 

The work is being performed as part of the BEYOND RESEARCH initiative and is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Helmholtz Zentrum München. This is expected to lay the foundations for a possible later spin-off of RỌScue Therapeutics. The BEYOND RESEARCH initiative formed by the biotech companies 4SC Discovery GmbH and CRELUX GmbH, the start-up consultancy firm Prefound GmbH and the transMedChem consulting firm will provide technology and expertise for translating biomedical science from academic institutions into commercially exploitable pharmaceutical products in the Munich area.

 

Within the scope of the collaboration, several compounds will be analysed and optimised with the objective of generating a pharmaceutical development candidate that can subsequently be developed further into an effective therapy for degenerative diseases. The compounds studied inhibit certain signalling pathways in cells which are triggered by the release of free oxygen radicals and can lead to tissue damage in patients. Based on the research by Helmholtz scientists, corresponding compounds were enhanced in the first stage of the project and their effectiveness demonstrated in disease-related animal models. In the second stage of the project, the pharmacological properties of the compounds will now be investigated and optimised further.

 

In the BEYOND RESEARCH initiative, 4SC Discovery GmbH and CRELUX GmbH are using their joint i2c (idea to candidate) technology platform to translate the scientific idea for a new therapy discovered at Helmholtz Zentrum München into a validated therapeutic drug candidate that can subsequently undergo formal preclinical and clinical pharmaceutical development. The RỌScue team is also being assisted by transMedChem, a medical and chemical consulting firm, and by Prefound GmbH, a Munich-based company that provides business consulting to founders of start-up companies.

 

Dr Marcus Conrad, Helmholtz Zentrum München, commented: “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the BEYOND RESEARCH initiative and would like to thank the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Helmholtz Zentrum München for financing this drug discovery project. The finding that reactive oxygen radicals trigger new signalling pathways of regulated necrosis, which are ultimately responsible for organ and tissue damage in many diseases, paves the way for the research and development of new compounds to inhibit these harmful signalling pathways. The RỌScue Therapeutics working group at Helmholtz Zentrum München has established a high-throughput screening platform for this and identified new drug candidates that will now be developed further in cooperation with BEYOND RESEARCH.”

 

Dr. Daniel Vitt, Managing Director of 4SC Discovery GmbH and Chief Scientific Officer at 4SC AG, said: “We are delighted to continue our successful collaboration with Helmholtz Zentrum München. The discovery by the team of researchers headed by Marcus Conrad of how to inhibit cell death triggered by the release of oxygen radicals is fascinating. Together with our technology partner CRELUX we will use our knowledge in early-stage pharmaceutical research so that in the future this innovative idea can be turned into a pharmaceutically relevant therapy for the treatment of degenerative diseases in particular. Our thanks go to the Bavarian state government, which in supporting this collaboration is sending a clear signal that the Munich area is a strong biotechnology centre.”

 

Dr Michael Schaeffer, Managing Director for Strategy and Business Development at CRELUX GmbH, added: “We initiated BEYOND RESEARCH because we saw that in the Munich area there is a big gap between first-rate academic research and its market readiness in accordance with industrial standards. As an initiative originating from the corporate environment, BEYOND RESEARCH is perfectly positioned to close this gap, and we would like to thank the Bavarian state government for its strategic vision in supporting this pioneering cooperation model.”

 

Olivia Fedunik, Managing Director of Prefound GmbH: “We are pleased to have laid the foundations with BEYOND RESEARCH for the ability to transform ideas from basic research into realistic drug candidates faster and more efficiently. Important milestones in a candidate’s pharmaceutical development will be supported from the outset by the experienced biotech companies 4SC Discovery and CRELUX, while we at Prefound will add our contribution so that this exciting commercialisation idea can hit the ground running at a business level.”

 

Ends

 

About Helmholtz Zentrum München

 

Helmholtz Zentrum München, as German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of major widespread diseases such as diabetes mellitus and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The head office of the Center is located in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München has a staff of about 2,200 people and is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 34,000 staff members.

 

About the Beyond Research initiative

 

The Beyond Research initiative established by CRELUX GmbH, 4SC Discovery GmbH, Prefound GmbH and transMedChem. Applying established industry standards, Beyond Research aims to sustainably close the gap between academic research and the pharmaceutical industry by translating fundamental biomedical science into commercially viable pharmaceutical products. The strategic objective of Beyond Research is to increase the number of start-ups in the life sciences sector in the Munich area and the whole of the Bavarian state. After the successful completion of a pilot project phase, the organisation will be established as a service provider for the academic research community in Bavaria going forward.

 

About the i2c drug discovery platform of CRELUX and 4SC Discovery

 

The integrated drug discovery platform i2c (idea to candidate) (www.i2c-discovery.com) set up by CRELUX and 4SC Discovery offers biotech and pharmaceutical companies flexible and high-quality solutions for pharmaceutical early-stage research. i2c covers the key elements of the drug discovery value chain from the project idea to a preclinical development candidate; this is a clearly defined and optimised chemical compound (small molecule) ready to further advance into formal pharmaceutical development, first in animal models and thereafter in clinical trials. Both partners contribute their leading-edge expertise in complementary areas of drug discovery to i2c. The services provided by CRELUX comprise the production of high-quality proteins, crystallography and compound screening. Next to its in silico screening and medicinal chemistry capacities, 4SC Discovery adds to that a team of pharmacologists with a proven track-record of bringing small molecule compounds from drug discovery to clinical trials.

 

About CRELUX GmbH

 

CRELUX (www.crelux.com) is a provider of high-quality research services in early-stage drug development. Its core expertise lies in the production of prime proteins and their use in biophysical compound screenings and protein crystallography. The privately-owned company has established itself as a reliable premium partner for the global pharma and biotech industry. As a research partner, CRELUX has a portfolio of premium technologies and top-level expertise in protein biochemistry. These include innovations in protein expression for the production of ultra-pure protein for use in research and diagnostics (PRIME PROTEIN services), a wide selection of target proteins for X-ray crystallography that are relevant for human therapy (XPRESS portfolio), customised programmes for the solution of new protein structures (XPERT service) and innovative technology for fragment and compound screening (INTRACT).

 

About 4SC and 4SC Discovery GmbH

 

The Group managed by 4SC AG (www.4sc.de) discovers and develops targeted small-molecule drugs for the treatment of diseases with a high unmet medical need in various autoimmune and cancer indications. Founded in 1997, 4SC had 65 employees (headcount) or 55 full-time equivalents (FTEs) at 30 September 2014. 4SC AG has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since December 2005. 4SC Discovery GmbH (www.4sc-discovery.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of 4SC AG, specialises in early-stage research and discovery of novel therapeutic compounds against cancer and autoimmune diseases. 4SC Discovery engages in partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to advance the development and commercialisation of its own therapeutic programmes. In addition, as a drug discovery service provider 4SC Discovery offers its expertise via research collaborations to companies from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

 

About Prefound GmbH

 

Prefound GmbH (www.prefound.de) provides assistance to company founders throughout the entire start-up process. With its interdisciplinary team of business administrators and scientists, Prefound has a proven track record in establishing sustainable business concepts and strategic plans, especially in the life sciences and technology sectors. Thanks to its extensive network in the investor community, Prefound is a strong partner for company founders when it comes to capital procurement. Working in close cooperation with lawyers, patent agents, tax advisers and experts from industry, Prefound assists founders with the establishment of their company. In this project, Prefound GmbH will be tasked with advising on the start-up.

 

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

 

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement applies only on the date of this press release. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may or may not occur in the future and as a result of which the actual results and performance may differ substantially from the expected future results or performance expressed or implied in the forward looking statements. No warranties or representations are made as to the accuracy, achievement or reasonableness of such statements, estimates or projections, and 4SC AG has no obligation to update any such information or to correct any inaccuracies herein or omission herefrom which may become apparent.

 

 

For more information about 4SC please visit www.4sc.com / www.4sc-discovery.de or contact:

 

4SC AG

Jochen Orlowski, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations

jochen.orlowski(at)4sc.com, Tel.: +49-89-7007-6366

 

MC Services

Katja Arnold, Michelle Kremer

katja.arnold(at)mc-services.eu, Tel.: +49-89-2102-2840

 

The Trout Group

Chad Rubin

crubin(at)troutgroup.com, Tel.: +1-646-378-2947

 

For more information about CRELUX please visit www.crelux.com or contact:

 

CRELUX GmbH

Dr. Michael Schaeffer, Executive Director Strategy & Business

schaeffer(at)crelux.com, Tel.: +49-89-7007-60-170

 

For more information about transMedChem (www.transmedchem.com) please contact:

Dr. Peter Sennhenn

sennhenn(at)transmedchem.com; Tel: +49-151-62440011

 

For more information about Prefound GmbH (www.prefound.de) please contact:

Olivia Fedunik, Managing Director

info(at)prefound.de, Tel.: +49-89-54-34-41-83

 

For more information about „RỌScue Therapeutics“ at Helmholtz Zentrum München GmbH (www.helmholtz-muenchen.de) please contact:

Dr. Marcus Conrad

marcus.conrad(at)helmholtz-muenchen.de. Tel.: +49-89-3187-4608