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2009 News Archive

December 15, 2009

Budapest, Hungary, and Zug, Switzerland (December 15, 2009) – ImmunoGenes announced today the signing of a collaboration and license agreement with The Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh to develop specialized sheep that use ImmunoGenes’ proprietary technology to produce higher than normal levels of polyclonal antibodies.

Under the partnership, The Roslin Institute will create sheep transgenic for the neonatal Fc receptor for IgG (FcRn). ImmunoGenes has shown that this receptor augments the immune response, resulting in a significant increase in the production of antibodies from a single animal. ImmunoGenes has used its proprietary FcRn technology to significantly increase yields of polyclonal antibodies in mice and rabbits. The collaboration with The Roslin Institute is intended to demonstrate that ImmunoGenes’ FcRn technology can be used in sheep to produce significantly higher levels of polyclonal antibodies than that produced by conventional animals. In addition to the scientific collaboration, the agreement also grants ImmunoGenes an exclusive license to commercialize the resulting transgenic animals.

“I am pleased that ImmunoGenes and The Roslin Institute have joined forces on a task which will meaningfully help the industry to meet the high expectations that physicians and patients have for polyclonal antibodies in various medical applications,” said Dr. Bruce Whitelaw, Group Leader and Head of the Division of Developmental Biology at The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of ImmunoGenes.

“The implications of ImmunoGenes’ technology for dramatically increasing polyclonal antibody production in large animals allows the scalability of their use for medical treatments. The advantages that are associated with this novel approach include increased consistency, reduced time to production as well as yields and qualities that may facilitate the rapid introductions of much needed medicines,” said Dr. Lennart Hammarström, Division of Clinical Immunology, Karolinska Institute, and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of ImmunoGenes.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with The Roslin Institute to further develop our technology in a promising space in antibody technologies. The excellence and leadership that The Roslin Institute brings in applying animal technology for medical use is an important part of commercializing ImmunoGenes’ valuable technology,” said Lee Schalop, MD, Head of Business Development and member of the Board of Directors of ImmunoGenes.

About The Roslin Institute

The Roslin Institute is a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-funded institute incorporated with the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the number one-ranked Veterinary School in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The Institute undertakes research within the framework of BBSRC Institute Strategic Programmes focused on the health and welfare of animals, and applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security. The Roslin Institute is a member of the Easter Bush Research Consortium (EBRC). On the web at: www.roslin.ed.ac.uk.

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October 2009

ImmunoGenes is Semi Final Winner at 2009 Eurocan European Venture Contest as evaluated by a panel of International Expert Reviewers (Europe Unlimited, NKTH)

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May 2009

Public tender (Közbeszerzés) – Invitation to tender (in Hungarian: Ajánlattételi felhívás); the process was successful and the name of winning tenderer is Charles River Hungary Kft (az eljárás sikeres volt, a nyertes ajánlattev? neve: Charles River Hungary Kft)

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April 2009

ImmunoGenes starts its transgenic service operation in strategic collaboration with PolyGene.

ImmunoGenes is now proud to announce that it starts its own transgenic service operation in generating transgenic rats. For this goal, ImmunoGenes joined forces with PolyGene AG, a world leading professional transgenic service provider. This strategic collaboration combines PolyGenes' two decades of experience in animal model development and its use of sophisticated exclusive and novel inducible expression systems with the excellent track record of ImmunoGenes in the generation of transgenic animals in a variety of species, including prominently rats and rabbits.

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February 2009

Successful creation of the first generation of transgenic rabbits overexpressing the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn).

In work led by Dr Imre Kacskovics, CEO of ImmunoGenes and leading immunologist, upregulation of FcRn expression has been shown to result in a significantly more powerful immune response that dramatically increases antibody production. Dr Zsuzsanna Bosze, CSO at ImmunoGenes and a pioneer in the development of transgenic animals, has created lines of transgenic mice and rabbits that overexpress this critical FcRn. The generation of these lines opens the door to the use of these uniquely engineered animals for the production of antibodies for applications in therapy, diagnosis and research.

The growing market for animal and human proteins for diagnostic and therapeutic applications has created a strong demand for animals larger than mice that are genetically engineered to produce such valuable proteins. Specifically the need for polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies which currently constitute markets of $5 billion and $18 billion, respectively, require production methods that are optimized for cost, quantity and quality. ImmunoGenes’ transgenic FcRn technology is expected to positively impact these markets by enhancing product efficiencies.

The ‘founder’ generation of FcRn transgenic rabbits opens the way to greatly increase the amount of antibody produced per animal. Also, the faster kinetics of the immune response in FcRn transgenics increases the rate of production very substantially. Using its novel technology as a foundation, ImmunoGenes is in a position to initiate planning and preparation for the next phase in its development. Closely guided by a panel of internationally renowned business and scientific advisors, ImmunoGenes has started its commercial planning process.

“I am delighted to see ImmunoGenes’ very elegant technology already on its way into the value chain of immunoglobulin applications. The data that this young Swiss/Hungarian company has generated are very promising and compelling.” said Richard A Goldsby, a co-founder of Hematech, LLC, and tenured Professor at Amherst College and member of ImmunoGenes’ Scientific/Business Advisory Board.

“I am pleased that our team was able to transfer the FcRn technology so quickly into the rabbit which is a challanging species for generating transgenic animals. This genetically modified animal has the potential to meaningfully impact the landscape of immunoglobulins and provide solutions for many challenges in this field”, said Dr Kacskovics.


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