AFFiRiS AG Strengthens its Development Pipeline With the Foundation of a Christian-Doppler-Laboratory
VIENNA, Austria, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AFFiRiS AG is the industrial Partner of the newly-established Christian-Doppler-Laboratory for Cardiometabolic Immunotherapy. In partnership with the Medical University of Vienna the laboratory will work on basic research for the development of a vaccination therapy against Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The reason for AFFiRiS' commitment is its decision to establish an additional top priority field. In this way, the company's versatile AFFITOME(R)-technology will also be applied for the development of vaccines against cardiometabolic diseases.
Today AFFiRiS AG announced its role as industrial partner in the newly-established Christian-Doppler-Laboratory for Cardiometabolic Immunotherapy at the Medical University of Vienna. Headed by Prof. Thomas Stulnig, Department of Internal Medicine III at the General Hospital Vienna, the Christian-Doppler-Laboratory (CD-Laboratory) will work on chronic inflammatory processes of adipose tissue and of the cardio-vascular system and thereby contribute to the basic research for a vaccination therapy against Type 2 Diabetes mellitus and cardio-vascular diseases. The initial plan for the CD-Laboratory is for seven years and is financed by public funding and AFFiRiS as an investor.
Additionally, AFFiRiS provides the CD-Laboratory with its proprietary AFFITOME(R)-technology, which allows the development of highly specific therapeutic vaccines and is the basis for all previous achievements of AFFiRiS in the development of vaccinations. These have to date focused mainly on neurodegenerative diseases. The collaboration with the CD-Laboratory now implements a new field of attention: Vaccines against inflammatory diseases. CEO and co-founder of AFFiRiS, Walter Schmidt comments: "Inflammatory processes are more and more identified as a contributory cause of many chronic diseases. Taking this into account, we are now investing in the basic research of the corresponding pathophysiological principles, so that our technology can contribute to combating inflammatory-induced chronic diseases. This perfectly fits with our strategy of sustainable diversification and risk spreading."
The CD-Laboratory will initially focus its activities on the evaluation of relevant target structures with functions in the immune system and inflammatory processes. These same structures will be investigated and characterized within the framework of the CD-Laboratory. Guenther Staffler, Head of the Immunology Department at AFFiRiS, adds: "There is increasing evidence that some of the body's own structures are involved into the cause of inflammatory reactions of the adipose tissue. As a consequence, these reactions contribute to the emergence of Type 2 Diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases in a way that's still not fully understood. The underlying fundamental inflammatory mechanisms will now be investigated at the CD-Laboratory. It will also be explored, whether and how an active immunization approach based on our AFFITOME(R)-platform-technology can unfold its therapeutic efficacy/impact."
Frank Mattner, CSO and co-founder of AFFiRiS, explains the strategic relevance of an investor in a CD-Laboratory: "Investments in the basic research of a disease are important for the sustainable generation of innovative therapies - for nations as well as for companies. Programs like that of the CD-Laboratory in which the Republic of Austria and an industrial investor both contribute to the funding together, are therefore future-oriented and contribute significantly to the appeal of Austria as a business and industry location, allowing the growth of research-intensive companies like AFFiRiS AG."
About AFFiRiS AG (date May 2011):
On the basis of the company's own patent positions AFFiRiS develops tailor-made peptide vaccines for Alzheimer's disease, Atherosclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Hypertension and several other conditions with unmet medical need and attractive market sizes. Alzheimer's is the current lead indication. For the Alzheimer's vaccine program, a license and option agreement with GlaxoSmithKline was closed in October 2008, triggering an upfront payment of EUR 22.5 million. The contract envisages ( milestone-dependent) payments of up to EUR 430 million. A first milestone payment of EUR 10 million was made in October 2009 followed by EUR 3.5 million as announced recently. AFFiRiS currently employs 80 highly-qualified staff at the Campus Vienna Biocenter in Vienna, Austria ( http://www.affiris.com).
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SOURCE AFFiRiS AG