November 26, 2012 / 7:30 am, CET
Lanthio Pharma B.V., a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing a new class of therapeutic peptides with high target selectivity and improved “drug-like” properties, announced today that it has signed a Technology Alliance deal with MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) to jointly develop LanthioPepTM, Lanthio Pharma’s drug discovery platform technology. No financial details of the deal were disclosed.
In parallel, Lanthio Pharma has raised €4.8m in the first close of a Series A investment round by a syndicate led by BioGeneration Ventures and INKEF Capital that also included MorphoSys and Hanzepoort as investors. Lanthio Pharma is a spin-off of the University of Groningen and launched in 2011 with seed funding from BioGeneration Ventures. The Series A round will remain open for one additional investor.
The aim of the Technology Alliance between Lanthio Pharma and MorphoSys is to jointly develop the LanthioPepTM technology, which can be used to identify lantipeptides, a novel class of peptides with improved “drug-like” properties. Lanthio Pharma and MorphoSys will jointly apply their respective technologies to establish highly diverse lantipeptide libraries. Under the Technology Alliance MorphoSys receives preferred rights to exclusively license the LanthioPepTM technology for drug discovery, including drug discovery services.
Lanthio Pharma will continue to focus on building its pipeline of lantipeptide drugs. This alliance follows closely on the out-licensing deal of Lanthio Pharma’s lantipeptide PanCyte to Tarix Pharmaceuticals. PanCyte is expected to start clinical testing in 2013.
Bart Wuurman, CEO of Lanthio Pharma commented: “We are very pleased to welcome a number of new investors that offer Lanthio Pharma the opportunity to further develop its portfolio of innovative lantipeptide drugs for diseases with high medical need. Furthermore, we see the Technology Alliance with MorphoSys as a great endorsement of our technology and as an opportunity to benefit from the world leading capabilities that MorphoSys brings in the field of library design and commercialization.”
“We are very pleased to have access to this novel technology platform and promising class of therapeutic peptides,” commented Jens Holstein, Chief Financial Officer of MorphoSys. “This transaction represents a new approach for MorphoSys providing innovation capital to promising start-ups with technologies and product candidates being close to our core capabilities.”
“Therapeutic peptides and especially so called stapled or constrained peptides comprise an emerging compound class which offers the potential to address multiple
target classes and disease categories currently beyond reach for therapeutic proteins or small molecules. The combination of Lanthio Pharma’s platform and our expertise in intelligent library design offers unique opportunities for both companies and that’s what got us excited,” commented Dr. Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG.
About Lanthio Pharma
Lanthio Pharma is a privately held drug discovery company that applies its proprietary lanthionine-peptide drug discovery technology LanthioPepTM for the generation of novel peptide therapeutics with increased resistance to peptidase degradation, high receptor specificity and increased intrinsic activity. Lanthio Pharma has generated stable, peptidase-resistant lanthionine peptides with highly specific agonistic activity for a number of GPCR targets, which is a focus area of the company.
The LanthioPepTM technology includes a proprietary bacterial display library capability, which allows for the construction of focused or randomized libraries of up to 107 lanthionine-peptides. These libraries allow for immediate functional screening and easy production of peptides of interest for further in-vivo and in-vitro testing.
Lanthio Pharma is building a pipeline of therapeutic lantipeptides drugs. Its lead product is a lanthionine-stabilized specific agonist of the AT2 receptor, which has great potential in diseases where tissue protection is important, like fibrosis.
MorphoSys developed HuCAL, the most successful antibody library technology in the pharmaceutical industry. By successfully applying this and other patented technologies, MorphoSys has become a leader in the field of therapeutic antibodies, one of the fastest-growing drug classes in human healthcare. The company’s AbD Serotec unit uses HuCAL and other antibody technologies to generate superior monoclonal antibodies for research and diagnostic applications.
Together with its pharmaceutical partners, MorphoSys has built a therapeutic pipeline of more than 70 human antibody drug candidates for the treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. With its ongoing commitment to new technology and drug development, MorphoSys is focused on making the healthcare products of tomorrow. MorphoSys is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol MOR. (www.morphosys.com)
About INKEF Capital
For information about INKEF Capital, please visit: www.inkefcapital.com
About BioGeneration Ventures
BioGeneration Ventures invests in seed and early stage Dutch Life Sciences companies. BioGeneration’s team specialises in developing the value of novel and innovative technologies, and in the management of start-up companies. BioGeneration Ventures was co-founded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Holding of the University of Leiden, and ABN- AMRO. BioGeneration Ventures cooperates closely with Forbion Capital Partners. (www.biogenerationventures.com)
For further information please contact:
Amber Bielecka, Hollie Vile
T: +44 (0)20 7920 2352
Bart Wuurman, CEO ;
or visit Lanthio Pharma’s website: www.lanthiopharma.com
Lanthio Pharma, Nijenborgh 4, 9747AG Groningen, The Netherlands