Pieris confirms in vivo activity of potent VEGF-specific Anticalin®

Geschrieben am 25-10-2006

Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany - (ots) - Pieris AG, a
bio-pharmaceutical company developing therapeutic products comprising
of Anticalins®, a novel proprietary class of human binding proteins,
announced today that it has confirmed the functional antagonistic
activity of its lead PRS-050 Anticalin® in vivo, supporting the
development of superior biotherapeutics with enhanced penetration
into neovascularized tissues.

PRS-050 targets VEGF, a key positive regulator of angiogenesis
important in several diseases including cancer and neovascular eye
disorders. PRS-050 binds to all splice variants of VEGF-A with
picomolar affinity and antagonizes VEGF binding to its receptors
VEGF-R1 and VEGF-R2. PRS-050 inhibits in vitro VEGF-induced human
endothelial cell proliferation with favorable potency compared to all
currently approved VEGF antagonists. Complete inhibition of
angiogenic and vascular permeability activities of VEGF by the
Anticalin® have now been demonstrated in appropriate in vivo models.
The data will be presented in Europe at Informa's Next Generation of
Protein Therapeutics Conference in Basel (Nov. 7th - 9th) and in the
USA at IBC's Protein Engineering for Biotherapeutics Conference in
San Diego (Dec. 12th - 14th).

"This example highlights how guided selection and rational protein
engineering of Anticalins® can be readily achieved, thereby yielding
candidates with a clear drug development potential", comments Dr
Andreas Hohlbaum, Director of Science and Preclinical Development of

"Excellent data from our lead programs targeting VEGF and CTLA-4,
as well as our partnered programs, show that our proprietary protein
scaffold has all the necessary components for providing a platform,
which is not dependent on antibody patents. This enables partners to
develop and to market effective and safe biotherapeutics
economically", says Evert Küppers, CEO of Pieris. "We have now
started to look for a well-rounded strategic partner to address novel
targets and to advance programs into the clinic."


Originaltext: Pieris AG
digital press kits: http://presseportal.de/story.htx?firmaid=61954
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For further information, please contact:

Pieris AG
Dr Andreas Hohlbaum, Dir. of Sci. & Preclin. Dev., Phone +49 (0) 8161
1411 400

Notes to editors

About Pieris AG
Pieris is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and
development of Anticalins® for the diagnosis and treatment of
life-threatening human disorders. Exploiting extensive know-how in
protein engineering as part of a broad intellectual property
portfolio, the Company applies a balanced risk business model to the
development of its Anticalin® candidates. To date, Pieris has reached
all development milestones on time under the agreements with its
industry partners. Recognizing the enormous market potential of
protein-based drugs, Pieris is committed to becoming an integrated
drug discovery and development company.

About the Anticalin® technology
Anticalins® as engineered human proteins with prescribed binding
properties are derived from the lipocalin scaffold and exhibit
fundamental similarities with fully human antibodies e.g. picomolar
potency and expected low immunogenicity. Anticalins® have several
additional advantages over conventional antibodies due to their small
size (20 kDa), robust tertiary structure and straight composition
that confer high solubility, predictable stability and bacterial
manufacturability. Fast pharmacokinetics and favorable tissue
penetration of Anticalins® can be balanced through adjustable
modulation of serum half-life and valency by established

By developing Anticalin® based products, Pieris and its collaborators
are not only able to develop superior biotherapeutics, but they also
have the ability to overcome the encumbering patent landscape as
currently present for developing conventional antibodies.

About VEGF and PRS-050
Angiogenesis - the development of new blood vessels from pre-existing
vasculature - plays an important role in several diseases. Although
various pro- and anti-angiogenic factors have been identified,
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) has been implicated as the
key angiogenic factor in cancer and neovascular eye disorders.
The PRS-050 program has been designed to develop Anticalins® that
specifically bind and block the signalling activity of VEGF. Pieris
will exploit in the PRS-050 program the compact structure, intrinsic
stability, broad formulation flexibility and small molecular size of
Anticalins® to develop products with enhanced penetration into
neovascularized tissues for indications such as age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

Further information is available at http://www.pieris-ag.com

Anticalin®, Anticalins® are registered trademarks of Pieris AG.


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