SuppreMol receives public research funding to advance its lead project SM101 into SLE as further indication
SuppreMol to address Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Martinsried/Munich, Germany, December 6, 2010 -- SuppreMol GmbH, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, today announced it has been awarded research funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The EUR 1.6 million grant supports a research project to explore the therapeutic potential of SuppreMol‘s lead candidate SM101 in clinical studies with patients suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), in particular Lupus Nephritis, a subcategory of this autoimmune disease affecting primarily the kidneys, and a project to evaluate SM101 in animal models for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
The program is part of the biotechnology initiative "m4 - Personalized Medicine and Targeted Therapies - New Dimension in Drug Development in the Munich Region", which received high-tech cluster status in a German government funding competition this year. The initiative involves more than 100 partners from industry, research institutes and clinics. The aim is to enhance the efficiency in the drug development process and the effectiveness of drugs through the implementation of personalized and targeted medicine along the entire value chain.
At present, SM101 is being developed in Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), for which SuppreMol has been granted orphan drug designation in the EU and in the US. A clinical Phase I trial in healthy volunteers has been completed in 2009 and demonstrated an excellent safety and tolerability profile as well as favorable pharmacokinetics. A multi-center Phase Ib/IIa clinical trial for the treatment of ITP started earlier this year. Interim results are anticipated for next year.
„We are very pleased about the funding“, said Peter Buckel, CEO of SuppreMol. „We already know from preclinical experiments and biological assays that SM101 has great potential for the treatment of SLE and other autoimmune diseases. The grant now allows us to advance the development of SM101 into further indications. We will collaborate with the m4 cluster‘s clinical study centers and the University of Erlangen, which is a partner of m4“.
SuppreMol is a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. The company is pioneering the development of soluble Fc gamma receptors (sFcγRs), which are recombinant autologous therapeutic proteins with a proven strong immunosuppressive potential. The company plans to develop sFcγRs for the treatment of Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune conditions.
SuppreMol was founded in 2002 as a spin-off from the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Robert Huber, Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1988, at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. The company just recently closed its Series C financing round of EUR 15.5 million. Investors include the existing investors MIG AG, BioMedInvest AG. Santo Holding GmbH, ZETACUBE s.r.l., KfW Mittelstandsbank, Bayern Kapital GmbH, and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft e.V. as well as the FCP Biotech GmbH as a new investor. SuppreMol raised a total of EUR 35.2 million in three financing rounds since May 2006 and received over EUR 2 million from BMBF research grants since 2007.
SuppreMol's lead candidate SM101 is a recombinant, soluble, non-glycosylated version of the Fc gamma receptor IIb. The protein binds to autoantibody/autoantigen complexes and blocks the triggering of Fc-receptors on the surface of immune cells. As a result, the immune response is downregulated and the activation of the inflammation cascade typically seen in autoimmune diseases is prevented.
SM101 has been validated in relevant animal models and has shown strong efficacy in terms of decrease in inflammation and immune reaction.
At present, SM101 is being developed in Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). SuppreMol has been granted orphan medicinal product designation in the EU as well as orphan drug designation in the US for ITP. The company believes SM101 may also have potential in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases.
Dr Peter Buckel, CEO
Am Klopferspitz 19
Tel +49 (0)89 30 90 50 680
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