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Cystic Fibrosis - Axentis Pharma Takes Over Patents and Continues Development of Innovative Platform Technology
Date:6/26/2008

ZURICH, Switzerland, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The rights to key patents for an innovative screening tool for treatments for cystic fibrosis were transferred today to Swiss biotech company Axentis Pharma AG. The company has acquired the rights from an Austrian firm that has made a vital contribution to the development of new approaches to treating the disease. The core element of the platform technology involves human proteins which - despite offering sufficient functionality - are subjected to enzymatic digestion in untreated cells due to genetic mutations in their structure.

Axentis Pharma AG (Switzerland) today announced that, as part of its takeover of an Austrian research company, it has also acquired two patent families that incorporate a series of international patent applications. The company is taking over these rights from Austrian-based BioDevelops Pharma GmbH, which three years ago identified the therapeutic potential offered by a new approach to the treatment of cystic fibrosis and secured the relevant rights.

The technology directly targets the functional cause of cystic fibrosis - the process whereby the body destroys mutated proteins which were originally designed to regulate the concentration of salt in the epithelial cells of the lungs and other organs. In patients with cystic fibrosis, a genetic defect means that many such proteins are produced with minor structural mutations. Although the mutated proteins still offer sufficient functionality, they are eliminated by quality control functions in the endoplasmic reticulum of the cells. The therapeutic approach now under development at Axentis Pharma enables these proteins - which are still functional despite their mutated structures - to escape enzymatic digestion.

Dr. Gergely Lukacs who guided the experimental set-up in his labs at the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto explains: "In patients with cystic fibrosis, the protein CFTR (cystic fibrosis conductance regulator) with mu
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SOURCE Axentis Pharma AG
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