VIENNA, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Vienna based biotech company APEIRON Biologics AG (Apeiron) strengthens its oncology pipeline: The company will support the clinical development of an immune therapy against high-risk neuroblastoma that is being conducted by the Children's Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) and the European Neuroblastoma Research Network (SIOPEN). It is presently under investigation in a phase III trial across various European clinical centers. In return, Apeiron obtains the rights to file for regulatory approval and to market the final product. The approach is based on a monoclonal antibody (ch14.18) and constitutes Apeiron's most advanced project. It also marks another milestone for the company and its development strategy to treat neuroblastoma. This strategy was initiated earlier this year with the licensing of a clinical phase II project from Merck KGaA.
Today, Vienna based Apeiron announced the conclusion of an agreement with the Children's Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) and the European Neuroblastoma Research Network (SIOPEN). Thereby, Apeiron obtains the rights to further develop, file for regulatory approval and market the antibody ch14.18. This monoclonal antibody exhibits therapeutic effect against high-risk neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of infant cancer. The antibody specifically targets the antigen GD2, a feature on the surface of neuroblastoma cells and thereby initiates an immune reaction against these cells.
As part of the agreement, Apeiron will provide substantial support for an ongoing European clinical phase III trial with ch14.18. Due to the limited number of clinical centers specializing in the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma, Apeiron is considering marketing the therapy on its own.
The Austrian company Polymun Scientific, a long-time business partner of Apeiron, has already been producing clinical supplies for the CCRI/SIOPEN spo