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Coley Pharmaceutical group signs collaboration with Ludwig Institute.

Coley Pharmaceutical Group (Wellesley; 781-431-6400) and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Hilden, Germany) have established a clinical research collaboration for the development and evaluation of CpG DNA-based cancer products, the company announced. CpG DNA molecules are novel immune stimulants that activate the immune system and may enhance the body's ability to fight cancer. Through the collaboration, Ludwig researchers will conduct early clinical studies designed to examine the safety and potential utility of CpG DNA-based products as stand-alone treatments for cancer, as well as in combination with several of Ludwig's proprietary tumor-specific antigens for potential cancer vaccines.

"We are committed to the rapid development of a proprietary portfolio of CpG DNA-based products in oncology to improve existing treatments and to develop new cancer therapies," said Robert L. Bratzler, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Coley. "This relationship with the Ludwig is an important part of this commitment. We are encouraged by the promising results we presented from our first human clinical trial of CpG 7909, our lead immune stimulant, as well as the initiation of our first clinical studies in cancer."

Dr. Bratzler noted that in extensive preclinical studies, Coley has demonstrated the ability of CpG DNA to activate both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune system including natural killer and cytotoxic T cells, both of which are critical for destroying tumors. To date, Coley has seven clinical trials underway.

Under terms of the collaborative agreement, Coley Pharmaceutical Group will supply the Ludwig Institute with preclinical results and clinical supplies of its products. In return, Ludwig plans to conduct and fund early clinical studies involving CpG DNA in multiple cancer indications, including melanoma, myeloma, and renal cell carcinoma. Researchers at Ludwig will also evaluate the safety and utility of CpG DNA in combination with the Institute's own proprietary tumor-specific antigens. Coley will retain rights to all CpG DNA-based products resulting from these trials.

Coley Pharmaceutical Group's three lead products, CpG 7909, CpG 8916 and CpG 8954, consist of proprietary synthetic DNA mimics each of which induces distinctly different immune responses. In preclinical studies, these products provide potent anti-cancer and anti-infective activity when used alone or in combination with disease-associated antigens, monoclonal antibodies or traditional drug therapies. In addition, CpG DNA-based products can "restore" allergic and asthmatic responses into more normal, non-symptomatic responses. These fundamental discoveries in DNA-based immune stimulation are protected by Coley's extensive patent portfolio.

The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, consisting of ten distinct branches in seven countries, conducts basic and clinical research focused on many aspects of cancer biology. Laboratory and clinical scientists with expertise in the fields of genetics, virology, immunology, growth factors and cytokines and cell biology work in close collaboration to maximize innovative discoveries that are relevant to understanding the etiology and control of cancer.

Coley is a privately held biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutic and prophylactic products that harness the immune system to treat cancer, allergy, asthma and infectious diseases, and to accelerate recovery of immune system function after cancer chemotherapies or other immunosuppressive treatments. Coley Pharmaceutical Group was founded in 1997 with additional operations based in Hilden, Germany; Iowa City, Iowa, USA and Ottawa, Canada.
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Comment:Coley Pharmaceutical group signs collaboration with Ludwig Institute.
Publication:BIOTECH Patent News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2000
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