Continuing to focus the epigenetics strategy on key oncology assets
Planegg-Martinsried, Germany, 28 September 2016 - 4SC AG (4SC, FSE Prime Standard: VSC) today announced that it has executed an agreement with Immunic AG (Immunic) to sell 4SC's immunology portfolio, which includes two drug development programs and associated intellectual property and know-how. Immunic will continue all research and development activities for these drug development programs and 4SC will receive a one-time upfront payment as well as milestone payments and royalties.
"We are delighted that we are able to acquire these high-quality drug development programs with targets that have already been proven of high relevance in various immune and autoimmune diseases", says Dr Manfred Gröppel, Immunic's co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. "Thus, Immunic is well positioned to soon become a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with two innovative development programs."
Dr Jason Loveridge, CEO of 4SC, states: "We are very pleased to successfully sell our non-core immunology assets to the very motivated and experienced team at Immunic. This transaction generates additional cash for 4SC and further demonstrates our commitment to focus 4SC on its core portfolio of epigenetic anti-cancer compounds, resminostat and 4SC-202."
About epigenetic cancer therapy
Epigenetic changes modify the activation of certain genes, but not the genetic code of DNA itself, causing activation or silencing of genes. This mechanism enables differentiated cells such as those in the lungs, nerves or skin to serve very different functions despite containing identical genetic code.
Epigenetic alterations are as important as genetic mutations in a cell's transformation to cancer, and their manipulation holds great promise for cancer therapy. Epigenetic compounds such as 4SC's resminostat and 4SC-202 may convert these epigenetic alterations back to normal. For example, treatment with epigenetic cancer compounds interrupts or combats the mechanism that is responsible for the onset of cancer, makes cancer cells visible to the body's own immune system or renders them more responsive to immuno-oncological treatment.
Epigenetics is considered as a future growth market in the field of Oncology based on its significant promise as both a monotherapy and in combined approaches with immuno-oncology drugs and other therapeutic agents. In an October 2015 report by business information publisher Grand View Research, the worldwide epigenetics market was projected to generate revenues of US-$16 billion in 2022, up from US-$ 4 billion in 2014.
4SC (www.4sc.com) is a biotech company dedicated to the research and development of small-molecule drugs focused on epigenetic mechanisms of action for the treatment of cancers with high unmet medical needs. These drugs are intended to provide innovative treatment options for cancer patients that are more tolerable and efficacious than existing therapies, provide a better quality of life and offer increased life expectancy. The Company's pipeline comprises promising products that are in various stages of clinical development. 4SC's aim is to generate future growth and enhance its enterprise value by entering into partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Founded in 1997, 4SC had 50 employees as of 30 June 2016. 4SC has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since December 2005.
Immunic AG (www.immunic.de) is a start-up biotech company founded in April 2016 and focused on the development of immune modulators to block Th17- and Th1-mediated immune and autoimmune responses. The company's two development programs include orally available, small molecule inhibitors of DHODH (IMU-838 program) and RORT (IMU-366 program) relevant to diseases such as Crohn's disease and psoriasis. The final aim is to develop these drug candidates to clinical proof of concept. Immunic, with headquarters in Planegg-Martinsried near Munich, Germany, is privately held and supported by several renowned sector investors.
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of 4SC as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond 4SC's control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. 4SC expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
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