European Patent covering TCR library suitable for the development of neoantigen-specific TCRs

Martinsried/Munich – Medigene AG (FSE: MDG1, Prime Standard, SDAX) reported today that the European Patent Office intends to grant a European Patent for the patent application EP3303591A1 covering a T cell receptor (TCR) building block library that is suitable for rapid reconstruction and testing of newly discovered TCR sequences against classical antigens as well as neoantigens.

TCRs are composed of two different protein chains, an alpha chain and a beta chain, which together determine the specificity of the TCR. EP3303591A1 covers a plasmid library comprising the variable alpha and beta chains of all human TCRs. This library includes TCR constructs for the 45 different TCR alpha chains and the 47 different TCR beta chains that are needed as starting materials for recombinant expression of any TCR of interest. These 92 constructs serve as the basic building blocks of the newly patented TCR library of Medigene that also includes design elements for flexible exchange of any other TCR region and adaptor sequences that enable reconstructed TCRs to be shuttled into recipient T cells by different means.

This plasmid library was initially developed for rapid high-throughput reconstruction of large numbers of candidate TCRs specific for selected antigens. Recent advances in TCR sequencing of single T cells now also allow multiple TCRs that are potentially specific for neoantigens to be identified in patient tumors. The Medigene TCR library can thereby fulfill a second use by providing tools to reconstitute TCRs specific for mutations on a patient-individualized basis. Efficient reconstitution of many TCRs in parallel enables those sequences with the best functionality to be rapidly identified and selected for TCR-T cellular therapeutics.

Prof. Dolores Schendel, CEO and CSO of Medigene AG, comments: “The European Patent for our library of TCR building blocks covers not only our past and recent TCR research, it moreover can be used for speedy research and development in the broad and exciting field of neoantigens for truly personalized cancer treatments of the future.”

About Medigene’s TCR-Ts: Medigene’s first TCR-T candidate, MDG1011, is in a Phase I/II clinical trial for various blood cancer indications started in 2018. The TCR-T technology aims at arming the patient’s own T cells with tumor-specific T cell receptors. The receptor-modified T cells are then able to detect and efficiently kill tumor cells. This immunotherapy approach attempts to overcome the patient’s tolerance towards cancer cells and tumor-induced immunosuppression by activating and modifying the patient’s T cells outside the body (ex vivo). TCR-T therapy is developed to utilize a higher number of potential tumor antigens than other T cell-based immunotherapies, such as chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy.

Medigene is establishing a pipeline of recombinant T cell receptors and has a collaboration with bluebird bio, Inc. for the development of six TCR-Ts.

Medigene AG (FSE: MDG1, ISIN DE000A1X3W00, Prime Standard, SDAX) is a publicly listed biotechnology company headquartered in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. The company is developing highly innovative immunotherapies to target various forms and stages of cancer. Medigene concentrates on the development of personalized T cell-based therapies with the focus on T cell receptor-modified T cells (TCR-Ts) and has projects currently in preclinical and clinical development.

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This press release contains forward-looking statements representing the opinion of Medigene as of the date of this release. The actual results achieved by Medigene may differ significantly from the forward-looking statements made herein. Medigene is not bound to update any of these forward-looking statements. Medigene® is a registered trademark of Medigene AG. This trademark may be owned or licensed in select locations only.

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