Lonza Signs Development and Manufacturing Agreement with Emerging Biotech Company Athera

March 17,2011 Basel, Switzerland
  • The agreement secures a development and cGMP manufacturing plan for Athera Biotechnologies, part of the Karolinska Development portfolio
  • Lonza will initiate cell line and process development, using Lonza’s GS Gene Expression SystemTM
  • Athera’s monoclonal antibody, PC-mAb, is intended for the treatment of patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome who are at an increased risk of secondary cardiovascular events and death

 

Lonza announced today a new development and manufacturing agreement with Athera Biotechnologies AB, part of the Karolinska Development AB portfolio. Lonza will initiate cell line and process development for Athera’s monoclonal antibody PC-mAb. Athera’s PC-mAb is intended for the treatment of patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome who are at an increased risk of secondary cardiovascular events and death.

This agreement secures a development and cGMP manufacturing plan for Athera. Lonza will initiate cell line and process development, using Lonza’s GS Gene Expression SystemTM.

“Lonza is pleased to continue our support of emerging biotech companies with this commitment to Athera’s promising pipeline,” said Stephan Kutzer, Head of Lonza’s Custom Manufacturing Division. “The PC-mAb project from Athera fits well with Lonza’s core competencies and technical experience.”

“We are very confident with Lonza as our development partner,” said Carina Schmidt, CEO of Athera Biotechnologies. “They have an excellent track record in the field of monoclonal antibody development.”

 

About PC-mAb

Naturally occuring antibodies to phosphorylcholine (anti-PC) have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent the uptake of oxidized LDL in macrophages. PC-mAb from Athera is currently in pre-clinical development, using a unique fully human monoclonal antibody developed for Athera by Dyax Corp. in Boston, USA. PC-mAb is being developed to restore cardio-protective levels of anti-PC and prevent secondary CVD events after acute coronary syndrome. In addition, Athera has developed a biomarker and companion diagnostic CVDefine® kit. The biomarker, anti-PC, is linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease and could in the future be used for identification of patients that benefit from Athera’s novel therapeutics.

 

About Athera Biotechnologies AB (publ)

Athera has a unique and in-depth understanding of the immunological components in atherosclerosis, the inflammatory process leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The company currently has two biopharmaceutical product candidates aimed at treating patients with cardiovascular conditions and a biomarker linked to the therapeutic approach. Athera, a Swedish company, is part of the Karolinska Development AB (publ) portfolio. www.athera.se

 

About Karolinska Development (publ)

Karolinska Development manages one of the largest portfolios of life science companies in Europe. Using a unique, highly cost efficient business model, the management team guides the commercialization of world class life science innovations, helping to shape the next generation Pharma industry. Since 2003, Karolinska Development has built a portfolio of some 40 companies; among the company's projects 12 compounds are undergoing clinical trials. The portfolio contains a total of 21 potential first-in-class products. www.karolinskadevelopment.com

 

About Lonza

Lonza is one of the world's leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Products and services span its customers’ needs from research to final product manufacture. It is the global leader in the production and support of active pharmaceutical ingredients both chemically as well as biotechnologically. Biopharmaceuticals are one of the key growth drivers of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Lonza has strong capabilities in large and small molecules, peptides, amino acids and niche bioproducts which play an important role in the development of novel medicines and healthcare products. In addition, Lonza is a leader in cell-based research, endotoxin detection and cell therapy manufacturing. Furthermore, the company is a leading provider of value chemical and biotech ingredients to the nutrition, hygiene, preservation, agro and personal care markets.

Lonza is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. In 2010, the company had sales of CHF 2.680 billion. Further information can be found at www.lonza.com.

 

For further Information

Lonza Group Ltd
Head of Corporate Communications
Dominik Werner
Tel +41 61 316 8798
Fax +41 61 316 9798
dominik.werner@lonza.com

Lonza Group Ltd
Investor Relations
Dirk Oehlers
Tel +41 61 316 85
Fax +41 61 316 9540
dirk.oehlers@lonza.com

Lonza Group Ltd
Media Relations
Melanie Disa
Tel +1 201 316 9413
Fax +1 201 696 3533
melanie.disa@lonza.com

Athera Biotechnologies
AB (publ)
Chief Executive Officer
Carina Schmidt
Tel +46 761938190
c.schmidt@athera.se

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