Zug, Switzerland, and Budapest, Hungary (March 6, 2013) – ImmunoGenes AG announced today that the company has been selected to present a poster describing its technology at the American Association of Immunology Centennial Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 5, 2013, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.
Imre Kacskovics, CEO and scientific co-founder of ImmunoGenes, will present the poster entitled “FcRn overexpression in transgenic animals results in a robust immune response,” describing how the company’s genetically engineered animals that overexpress the neonatal Fc receptor for IgG (FcRn) generate diverse antigen-specific antibodies and are thus able to mount a stronger immune response against weakly immunogenic targets aided by FcRn's role in antigen presentation. Dr. Kacskovics will be available to answer questions regarding the technology during his poster presentation at the AAI Centennial meeting. In addition, parties interested in meeting with Dr. Kacskovics on an individual basis should contact Lee Schalop at schalop @ immunogenes.com.
“We are particularly excited to be presenting at this year’s AAI,” said Dr. Kacskovics. “Our company’s proprietary technology facilitates an improved immune response and will lead to important advances in the development of critical drugs and diagnostics. This we believe fits perfectly with the AAI mission of featuring cutting edge, scientific developments in the field of immunology.”
Lee Schalop, COO of ImmunoGenes, added: “ImmunoGenes has recently signed agreements with both academic institutions and large pharmaceutical companies providing these organizations with the ability of using the company’s animals for the development of antibodies against targets that do not generate antibodies in wild-type animals. This presents a major advantage for researchers seeking to develop novel therapeutic or diagnostic antibodies. Introducing our technology at the AAI will allow more organizations to benefit from the company’s unique technology.”
ImmunoGenes AG is a biopharmaceutical company incorporated in Zug, Switzerland, with primary operation in Hungary that specializes in the generation of transgenic animals for medical use. ImmunoGenes' proprietary technology allows for the production of genetically modified animals that over-express a receptor called the neonatal Fc receptor for IgG (FcRn). ImmunoGenes has shown that increased levels of this receptor augment the immune response, resulting in a significantly enhanced formation and diversity, as well as quality and quantity of antibodies. ImmunoGenes was founded in 2008 around novel concepts that initially came from the Eötvös Loránd University and Agricultural Biotechnology Center in Hungary.
Zug, Switzerland, and Budapest, Hungary (February 11, 2013) – ImmunoGenes AG announces the incorporation of ImmunoGenes-ABS Zrt in Gödöllő, Hungary, as a fully owned subsidiary that will formalize the development and production of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies for a commercial program entitled “Customized Antibody Solutions” (CAS).
The CAS program utilizes the company’s IMG-AbS™ technology, based on ImmunoGenes’ genetically-modified mice and rabbits that overexpress the neonatal Fc receptor for IgG (FcRn). This proprietary FcRn technology platform (see www.immunogenes.com for more information) has reproducibly shown superior performance in addressing difficult antigens and has enabled several customers to remedy their unmet need for such antibodies. As a result, since the inception of the company’s CAS program, a lot of attention has been received from researchers in industry and academia who have not succeeded in developing antibodies against difficult targets such as small peptides, highly conserved domains of proteins or other non-immunogenic structures such as antigens for oncology and infectious diseases.
The new subsidiary company will also create novel transgenic animals for commercial purposes under the company’s ”Customized Transgenic Solutions” program.
The facilities accessible to Immunogenes-ABS Zrt include more than 2000 square feet of lab space with state-of the art equipment as well as animal housing with minimal disease (MD) and specified pathogen free (SPF) conditions that meet the highest international standards for antibody development, production and creation of transgenic animals.
Heading up the new facility is Istvan Kurucz, PhD, who recently joined the ImmunoGenes leadership team. Dr. Kurucz completed a remarkable education in some of the best academic groups in the field of molecular immunology, including Janos Gergely’s group at the Immunology Department of Lorand Eotvos University of Sciences in Budapest and the Experimental Immunology Branch of the US National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where he spent 5 years working on the creation of recombinant antibodies and T-cell receptors. Thereafter Dr. Kurucz transitioned into the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry and worked for several companies in senior positions, including BSI, TEVA, IVAX and Biorex.
“We are delighted by the response to our FcRn technology that we have received from scientific leaders in our industry. It enables us to offer customized products and solutions for our biopharma and biotech clients and their sophisticated projects. Having a skilled person like Istvan at the helm of this novel unit is a testimony to the quality of our technology. Istvan’s track record of taking part in the creation of more than 1000 antibodies adds a tremendous body of experience to our capabilities and assures our customers of highest quality and professionalism,” said Wolfgang Oster, MD PhD, Chairman of the Board of ImmunoGenes.
“I am delighted that someone with the credentials of Istvan has joined our endeavor in offering our technology to customers in need of solutions. Istvan is a recognized authority in the antibody field and represents the reassurance our customers are looking for when they entrust us with their projects“, said Imre Kacskovics, DVM, PhD, Vice Chairman and CEO of Immunogenes.
Budapest, Hungary, and New York (July 16, 2012) – ImmunoGenes AG and NYU School of Medicine have announced the initiation of a collaboration between ImmunoGenes and NYU’s Feske Lab focused on the development of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases.
Under the collaboration, The Feske Lab will identify key targets in calcium release activated calcium (CRAC) channels, and ImmunoGenes will generate antibodies against those targets using its proprietary FcRn-overexpressing transgenic (tg) mice. The Feske Lab has previously published extensively on the role of CRAC channel function mediated by ORAI and STIM proteins in generating pro-inflammatory effector T cell function in autoimmunity. Similarly, ImmunoGenes has previously published at length on the ability of its FcRn tg mice to generate antibodies against difficult targets as a result of their improved antigen presentation and generation of increased antibody diversity. “We are delighted by the interest of The Feske Lab at NYU School of Medicine in our unique antibody generating technology,” said Imre Kacskovics, Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoGenes. “We are excited to have the opportunity to work with a wellrespected scientist like Stefan Feske, who is a leader in the emerging area of targeting CRAC channels.”
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with ImmunoGenes to develop antibodies against challenging antigens that are the focus of our research,” said Stefan Feske, assistant professor of Pathology at NYU School of Medicine and principal investigator in The Feske Lab. “We believe that the ImmunoGenes technology, which offers the ability to achieve superior antibodies against difficult antigens, may help us to develop novel therapeutic antibodies against difficult to treat autoimmune disorders.”
About NYU School of Medicine and The Feske Lab
NYU School of Medicine is one of the nation’s preeminent academic institutions dedicated to achieving world class medical educational excellence. For 170 years, NYU School of Medicine has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history and enrich the lives of countless people. An integral part of NYU Langone Medical Center, the School of Medicine at its core is committed to improving the human condition through medical education, scientific research and direct patient care. The School also maintains academic affiliations with area hospitals, including Bellevue Hospital, one of the nation’s finest municipal hospitals where its students, residents and faculty provide the clinical and emergency care to New York City’s diverse population, which enhances the scope and quality of their medical education and training. Additional information about the NYU School of Medicine is available at http://school.med.nyu.edu/.
The Feske Lab investigates calcium signaling pathways in cells of the immune system with a focus on the molecular regulation of CRAC channel proteins of the STIM and ORAI families. By analyzing transgenic animal models and human patients with inherited immunodeficiency, the lab investigates the role of CRAC channels for immune responses to infection and in autoimmunity.
Budapest, Hungary, and Zug, Switzerland (May 7, 2012) – ImmunoGenes AG announced the publication of a paper describing that the company’s FcRn overexpressing mice produce an increased diversity of antigen-specific antibodies. The article, entitled “FcRn Overexpression in Transgenic Mice Results in Augmented APC Activity and Robust Immune Response with Increased Diversity of Induced Antibodies,” was published in “PLoS One” on April 30, 2012. It is available to the public under the Open Access model of PLoS One.
Previously, ImmunoGenes has shown that overexpression of the neonatal Fc receptor for IgG (FcRn) leads to an increase in the humoral immune response, characterized by larger numbers of antigen-specific B cells and higher levels of circulating antigen-specific antibodies. The company has also completed additional studies that showed strong expression of the FcRn transgene in peritoneal macrophages and bone marrow derived dendritic cells as well as enhanced phagocytosis of antigen-IgG immune complexes by both macrophages and dendritic cells and significantly improved antigen presentation by dendritic cells. As a result of these previous findings, the company expected increased diversity of the induced antibody repertoire, and is now pleased to have completed experiments demonstrating this increased diversity.
“We are excited to have completed these studies demonstrating that the immunized FcRn overexpressing mice produce a much greater diversity of antigen-specific IgM,” said Judit Cervenak, senior scientist at ImmunoGenes Kft. “Although there was not a similar increase in the diversity of IgG, we believe that the increased diversity of IgG in the transgenic mice was prevented by a selective bias towards the immunodominant epitopes of ovalbumin, which was used in this study as a model antigen. These results are also in line with our previous reports describing a substantial increase in the levels of antigen-specific IgG in FcRn transgenic mice and number of antigen specific hybridomas derived from these animals immunized with antigens that are weakly immunogenic and, therefore, not affected by immunodominance.”
“We are delighted by the ability to publish result showing increased diversity, a data point of great importance to developers of novel therapeutics and diagnostics,” said Imre Kacskovics, Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoGenes. “As our partners work to generate antibodies against difficult targets, this important study provides a scientific explanation for the factors at play in the ability of our FcRn overexpressing mice to generate a more robust humoral immune response.”
Budapest, Hungary, and Zug, Switzerland (April 4, 2012) – ImmunoGenes AG announced today the initiation of a research collaboration with Amgen Inc. (NASD: AMGN) which is dedicated to explore the opportunities provided by ImmunoGenes’ proprietary FcRn-overexpressing transgenic mice to generate antibodies against “difficult” antigen targets. ImmunoGenes has previously published extensively on the demonstrated ability of the company's FcRn transgenic mice to improve antigen presentation and generate increased antibody diversity.
“We are delighted by the interest of Amgen in our technology which we believe offers the ability to achieve superior antibody generating results against antigens that are of significant interest to developers of novel therapeutics and diagnostics,” said Lee Schalop, Chief Operating Advisor of ImmunoGenes. “We are excited to have the opportunity to work with a company like Amgen, a proven pioneer in the biotechnology industry, as we advance our technology from the scientific to the commercial stage.”
Budapest, Hungary, and Zug, Switzerland (March 30, 2012) – ImmunoGenes AG, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the generation of transgenic animals for antibody development, announced today that it has closed a CHF 1 million financing round. The financing is being led by LSWorks LLC and PolyTechnos Venture Partners and includes the majority of the company’s existing investors. Proceeds of the funding will be used to continue the commercialization of the company’s IMGMouse and IMGRabbit technologies that improve the immune response allowing the development of antibodies against difficult targets for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. The company believes that this financing, combined with existing cash on hand, will be sufficient to fund operations through early 2014.
“We are very pleased to have the continuing support of our existing investors and to have attracted LSWorks to join our investor group,” said Imre Kacskovics, the company’s CEO and scientific co-founder. “This additional financing enables us to continue our program to commercialize the company’s patented technology to produce antibodies against challenging targets of interest, moving another step closer to closing licenses with a number of major pharmaceutical companies that are currently testing the technology in their own facilities.”
“ImmunoGenes is one of the most exciting technologies that we have seen in the antibody development space,” said Lee Schalop, founder of LSWorks and partner at PolyTechnos Venture Partners who currently serves chief operating advisor of ImmunoGenes. “And given the importance of difficult to make antibodies in the current market for novel therapeutics and diagnostics, we believe that there is going to be increasing demand for ImmunoGenes’ technology from biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies around the world.”
“The body of data which has been generated both in our own labs as well as in collaboration with several leaders in the field speaks to the potential of the ImmunoGenes platform technology for the formation of novel antibodies,” said Wolfgang Oster, managing partner of PolyTechnos and currently Chairman of ImmunoGenes. “The increasing appreciation of the technology from the antibody community is reassuring for the emphasis and prioritizations we have put on our programs.”