Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Millions through license revenues

27.04.2017

Researchers at the ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence at the University of Bonn have managed to do what many scientists dream of: together with researchers from the USA, they have patented new molecules that allow the immune system to be directed against tumor cells. The license has already given the University of Bonn a first payment – and the scientists also gained a share. An exemplary success within the biomedical research landscape in Germany.

The discovery comes from the ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence at the University of Bonn, one of the leading centers for immunology. Prof. Gunther Hartmann, Prof. Winfried Barchet and Dr. Thomas Zillinger, together with scientists from three American universities, identified a new molecule produced naturally in the body that allows a person’s own immune response to be oriented against tumor cells.


In the lab: Prof. Gunther Hartmann (center), Prof. Winfried Barchet (right) and Dr. Thomas Zillinger (left) from the ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence at the University of Bonn.

© Photo: Rolf Müller/Ukom UKB

For the University of Bonn, PROvendis assumed the exclusive patent exploitation for the company Aduro Biotech based in the USA, which is now further developing the discovery until market maturity. With this patent, among other rights, Aduro Biotech managed to enter into a research and development cooperation with the pharma giant Novartis worth 750 million US dollars.

The immune system is often tricked by tumors, and the new treatment approach counteracts this. If the immune system identifies foreign genetic material (DNA) in a cell, an alarm is triggered and the defenses are immediately prepared for the possible intruder. This cry for help occurs via the signal protein STING. It sets a cascade of defense mechanisms in motion that detect and destroy altered body cells such as tumor cells. “We have found the molecular key to STING activation,” reports Dr. Winfried Barchet, professor for translational immunology at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) at University Hospital Bonn and member of the ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence.

A tiny molecular key activates the alarm button

This key is a tiny ring structure made up of just two nucleic acid components. These two components are linked to each other in a special way, called a 2’-5’ link. Until now, similar 3’-5’ linked molecules have been known for bacteria, although they display hardly any activity in people. “Only this special feature of the 2’-5’ link enables STING to be activated in people,” adds Dr. Thomas Zillinger, junior research group leader at the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology.

The discovery concerns a small molecule with a big effect. It allows a new signal path in the immune system to be controlled in a targeted way for the first time. “For us, this is a great scientific success that has led to top-class publications and is also considered one of the most groundbreaking new approaches for cancer immunotherapy,” says Prof. Hartmann, spokesman for the cluster of excellence and director of the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at University Hospital Bonn. Thanks to the acquisition of the license by the biotech company, the discovery is now being directly transferred into clinical development and is thus already reaching patients.

“Besides the prospect of better treatment for patients, it is not only the industry partners who are benefitting from this discovery, but also the University of Bonn and the scientists with inventor's rights to 30 per cent of the revenue,” says Dr. Wolfram Schleich, Manager Patents & Licenses at PROvendis GmbH, to welcome the deal. In the German university landscape, research results are often not protected and exploited as patients. According to the German patent office, only around 1.5 per cent of all patent registrations come from universities across the country. Schleich: “In many cases, research results lie dormant in the universities as inactive capital, although these could flow into the economic cycle of the knowledge society.”

Further discoveries in the pipeline

And that’s only the beginning of the success story: “A further discovery from the cluster of excellence recently achieved clinical development as cancer treatment. This shows once again: top immunological research at the ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence is spurring on clinical medicine,” Prof. Hartmann is convinced.

PROvendis GmbH

PROvendis drives forward technology transfer between science and business and works for universities and companies in the field of patent management and patent marketing. PROvendis GmbH is a subsidiary of the University of Bonn and a further 23 universities and, as a service provider, has been responsible for currently 30 universities and extramural research institutions since 2002. More information: http://www.provendis.info

Media contact:

Dr. Elisabeth Mettke
Press and Public Relations
ImmunoSensation: Cluster of Excellence
University of Bonn
Tel. ++49-228-28751283
Email: emettke@uni-bonn.de

Marion Kubitza
Head of Marketing
PROvendis GmbH
Muelheim an der Ruhr/Germany
Tel. ++49-208-9410517
Email: ku@provendis.info

Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Research offers clues for improved influenza vaccine design
09.04.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Injecting gene cocktail into mouse pancreas leads to humanlike tumors
06.04.2018 | University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>