Trianta is developing three innovative and complementary immunotherapy platforms with programs in clinical development to treat various tumor types. Dolores J. Schendel, managing director of Trianta and director of the Institute for Molecular Immunology at the Munich Helmholtz Center, will join Medigene as chief scientific officer. In all, 16 Trianta scientists will transfer to Medigene.
Trianta focuses on personalized T cell immunotherapy—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 already have provided encouraging data for safety and clinical benefits in several tumor types.
Frank Mathias, CEO of Medigene, told analysts on a conference call that the deal will add some sparkle to the company’s pipeline. "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,” he said. “It strengthens our oncology and immunology fields and paves the way for sustainable growth.”
Schendel said, "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."
Medigene already has a 17.45% stake in U.K.-based Immunocore, from its 2006 acquisition of Avidex. It spun out the company as Immunocore two years later.