Ipsen and Hannover Medical School, one of the world’s leading university medical centres, have entered into a joint research collaboration agreement, signed in last September. Their objective is to develop new therapeutics for patients with serious neurological, endocrinological or oncological disease.
The research program aims at testing recombinant botulinum neurotoxin proteins to affect intracellular molecular pathways with targeted secretion inhibitors (TSIs). Ipsen’s proprietary platform of TSI proteins is selectively able to deliver neurotoxin endopeptidase into defined target cells and inhibit pathological secretion from that cell. This technology is based upon the endopeptidase activity found within clostridial (botulinum) neurotoxins, which cleaves SNARE proteins that have a fundamental role in vesicular cell secretion.
Dr Thomas Binz, Group Leader in the Institute for Physiological Chemistry, Hannover Medical School, is a world renowned expert in botulinum neurotoxins with extensive expertise in the molecular engineering and recombinant expression of these proteins. He is leading research to develop novel screening assays to test mutant botulinum neurotoxins with novel SNARE protein cleavage activities. Under the terms of the agreement, Ipsen will support research in Dr Binz’s laboratory for thirty months; and Hannover Medical School will receive R&D milestone payments and royalties on sales for any medical treatment emerging from the collaborative programme.
Dr Thomas Binz stated: “We at the Hannover Medical School are delighted to enable our breakthrough research on SNARE protein cleavage to be combined with the Ipsen TSI program to potentially lead to new treatments for patients with high unmet medical needs. This new collaboration with Ipsen also reflects the Hannover Medical School record for outstanding success in interdisciplinary collaboration”.
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