Medigene AG has acquired the Munich-based company, Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH (Trianta), a spin-off of the Helmholtz Zentrum München. Trianta is developing three highly innovative and complementary immunotherapy platforms with programs in clinical development to treat various tumour types.
Trianta's proprietary technologies will enhance Medigene's advanced pipeline with cutting-edge therapies. Prof. Dolores J. Schendel, Managing Director of Trianta and Director of the Institute for Molecular Immunology at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, is intended to join the Executive Management Board of Medigene as Chief Scientific Officer and will be accompanied by her team of 15 immunotherapy specialists from the Helmholtz Zentrum.
Trianta is at the forefront of personalized T cell immunotherapy, focussing on next generation antigen-tailored dendritic cell (DC) vaccines, T cell receptor (TCR)-based adoptive cell therapy and T cell-targeted antibodies (TABs).
Trianta's DC vaccines are being evaluated in two ongoing, externally funded investigator-initiated trials: a clinical phase I/II trial in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Hospital Großhadern, Munich, and a clinical phase II trial in prostate cancer at the Oslo University Hospital. Previous clinical compassionate use studies with Trianta's DC-vaccines have already provided encouraging data for safety and clinical benefits in several tumour types.
Acquisition structure and financials: Medigene has acquired 100% of Trianta shares. The previous Trianta shareholders will receive 1,017,811 newly issued Medigene shares worth approximately EUR 4 million and potential incremental payments in further Medigene shares or in cash of up to a maximum total of EUR 5.875 million upon the achievement of future milestones.
Medigene will partly utilize its authorized capital to issue 1,017,811 new shares which will be subject to a lock-up period of 12 months. This capital measure will increase Medigene's share capital from currently EUR 9,872,139.00 by EUR 1,017,811.00 to EUR 10,889,950.00. Medigene's management continues to anticipate that funding is secured until at least the beginning of 2015. Additional financial and operational guidance will be provided with the annual financial and operations report and conference call on 27 March 2014.
Frank Mathias, Chief Executive Officer of Medigene, comments: "This is a truly transforming acquisition for Medigene. Immunotherapy is regarded as the future of cancer therapy with exciting scientific breakthroughs and increasing interest of the pharmaceutical industry. In this promising sector we have secured access to world-class science and innovative therapy platforms with programs that are being evaluated in patients. It strengthens our expertise in the fields of oncology and immunology and paves the way for sustainable growth. Prof. Dolores Schendel is a renowned expert in immunology with many years of management experience. She and her highly qualified, well-established team will make a significant contribution to Medigene's future."
Prof. Dolores J. Schendel, Managing Director of Trianta and designated Chief Scientific Officer of Medigene, explains: "T cells activated by dendritic cells are by nature the best weapons against cancer. The understanding of immune mechanisms has increased enormously over the last decade, and now our vision of activating T cells to effectively combat cancer is becoming a clinical reality. Trianta will benefit from Medigene's experienced team and established operational structures. The union of our two companies will unlock diverse synergies to take our therapy platforms and innovative drug candidates through clinical development with the goal to improve lives of seriously ill patients."
Peter Llewellyn-Davies, Chief Financial Officer of Medigene, states: "We will now combine promising proprietary immunotherapy platforms with late stage drug candidates and a marketed product. Medigene has developed drugs to market, is currently leading two other drug candidates to advanced clinical development and closed successful partnerships. With the acquisition of Trianta, we are now achieving our next strategic goal of strengthening Medigene's drug pipeline through high-quality clinical projects with innovative unique selling points. The newly acquired therapy platforms will provide a competitive and sustainable extension of our portfolio of drug candidates, opening up multiple partnering and financing opportunities."