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2012 News Archive

July 16, 2012

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.

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May 7, 2012

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.”

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April 4, 2012

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.”

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March 30, 2012

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.”

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