Novosom AG Acquires Exclusive Option for CD40-Targeted Antisense Inhibitors From Isis Pharmaceuticals

    Deal Strengthens Inflammation and Oncology Therapeutic Development

    HALLE, Germany, April 11 /CNW/ - Novosom AG today announced that it has
purchased an exclusive option from Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that, if
exercised within six months, enables it to acquire an exclusive, worldwide
license to antisense inhibitors targeting the CD40 membrane protein for all
indications. CD40 is a validated target for both inflammatory diseases and
B-cell cancers and Novosom plans to target CD40 for indications such as
Crohn's disease, transplant, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and multiple
sclerosis. If acquired, the license from Isis would include rights to the
target and to oligonucleotides targeting CD40 and incorporating Isis' second
generation antisense chemistry, 2' MOE oligonucleotides in exchange for
financial considerations including an upfront exercise fee, milestone payments
and royalties.
    Novosom is using its proprietary Smarticles(R) technology to enable
systemic delivery of antisense targeting CD40. This encapsulated antisense
approach has demonstrated targeted delivery to specific cell types with a
rapid onset of action and greater in vivo efficacy than the anti-inflammatory
blockbuster Remicade.
    Elias Papatheodorou, CEO of Novosom AG, commented:
    "We are very happy to have reached an agreement with the industry leader
in oligonucleotide therapeutics for Novosom's first proprietary therapeutic
program. We feel that of the current oligo-based technologies, Isis' antisense
2' MOE chemistry offers the most commercially mature option. We plan to
further extend our pipeline with antisense and siRNA programs while taking
advantage of the targeted properties of our Smarticles(R) technology in
oncology and inflammation."
    "Novosom is pioneering new formulation chemistries to improve systemic
delivery of RNA-based drugs, a powerful new class of therapeutics," said
Dr. Frank Bennett, Isis Senior Vice President of Research. "This agreement
underscores how Isis is leveraging its IP to form productive outlicensing
partnerships. We look forward to collaborating further with Novosom on the
development of a CD40 antisense oligonucleotide."
    Dr. Steffen Panzner, Founder and CSO of Novosom AG, commented:
    "We have chosen CD40 because it is a key molecule in the development of
autoimmune and oncology indications and a license from Isis will give us the
freedom to develop novel therapeutics based on their 2' MOE antisense agents.
CD40 further adds to a growing list of therapeutic projects where our
Smarticles(R) technology is used to enable the delivery of oligonucleotide
therapeutics. The preclinical studies we have already conducted support a very
favorable safety profile and our ability to transfect selected cell types at
the site of disease with high specificity."

    About Novosom

    Novosom is working with its partners to develop unique antisense and
siRNA based therapeutics with a current focus in inflammation, oncology and
liver diseases. Novosom's Smarticles(R) liposomal vectors allow partners to
deliver their active substance (siRNA, antisense, decoy etc) inside the cell
either for topical or systemic applications. Smarticles are an enabler of
systemic treatments and an enhancer of topical treatments. The Company has
several active therapeutically-relevant collaborations in oncology and
inflammation. Novosom AG main investors include IBG Beteiligungsgesellschaft
Sachsen-Anhalt mbH and MBG Mittelstandische Beteiligungs-gesellschaft Sachsen

    Notes to editors:

    About CD40

    CD40 is a membrane protein that is expressed on the antigen presenting
cells (APCs) and facilitates integration of feedback signals from T cells via
CD154 and danger signals from Toll-like receptors sitting on the APCs. Such
signal integration is key to refine the antigen presentation and results in a
straightforward immune response.
    Novosom's Smarticles(R)/CD40 antisense combination has achieved targeted
delivery that is specific to APCs.
    In addition, CD40 provides critical signals for B cell proliferation
meaning that Novosom researchers foresee an applicability in B cell cancers.

For further information:

For further information: Media relations: Douglas Pretsell, Ph.D.,
Account Director, Northbank Communications, t: +49-(0)89-57-00-18-06, e:; Novosom: Elias Papatheodorou, CEO,
Novosom AG, t: +49-(0)345-55-59-836, e:

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