MUNICH & COPENHAGEN, February 4, 2020— SIRION Biotech GmbH (“SIRION”), a world leader in viral vector-based gene delivery technologies for gene and cell therapy, and Hervolution Aps (“Hervolution”), a Danish start up supported by Novo Nordisk Foundation’s BioInnovation Institute (BII), today announced a broad licensing agreement which includes coverage of SIRION’s adenovirus technologies to cancer vaccines encoding Endogenous Retrovirus (ERV)-derived antigens for active immunotherapy. In addition, the companies have agreed to the assignment of ownership rights in a patent application for an adenoviral vector capable of encoding a virus-like particle (VLP), which displays an inactive immune-suppressive domain (ISD). This vaccine shows an improved immune response from either or both of the response pathways initiated by CD4 T cells or CD8 T cells. SIRION and Hervolution have been collaborating for over five years in the fields of HPV vaccine development and ERVs.
Hervolution is an immunotherapy company that is applying adenovirus technologies both for cloning large nucleic acids and increasing the yield of replication-incompetent adenoviruses. The goal is to develop the world’s first adaptive immune therapy capable of targeting immunosuppressive genes of ancient retroviruses that normally are dormant in the human genome. The retroviral genes are reactivated in cancer and essential for tumor development. Hervolution’s proprietary combination of novel technologies is designed to break tolerance to this unique antigen family, thus providing broad anti-cancer efficacy.
As part of this agreement, SIRION Biotech will receive shares of Hervolution Aps, as well as representation on their Board of Directors. The parties have also agreed on milestones and royalties should Hervolution’s developments pass clinical development hurdles.
“This innovative cancer vaccine approach holds great promise, and our adenovirus was initially developed for such a vaccination. We congratulate Hervolution as they prepare to enter clinical development with the support of the BII,” said Dr. Christian Thirion, Chief Executive Officer of SIRION.
Peter J. Holst, Ph.D., Interim CEO and CSO of Hervolution, is a former Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen with long-standing experience in immunology, having made pivotal discoveries in the field. “Hervolution’s proprietary combination of novel technologies is designed to break tolerance to this unique antigen family, thus providing broad anti-cancer efficacy. SIRION has been a creative, loyal and responsive partner over the years, and their adenovirus technology is ideally suited to our needs.”
About SIRION Biotech GmbH
SIRION Biotech was founded in 2005 to lead the next generation of viral vector technologies for gene and cell therapy as well as vaccine development. Now SIRION offers one of the world’s most comprehensive viral vector technology platforms based on lenti-, adeno-, and adeno-associated viruses which expedites gene therapy research and advances drug development. SIRION is becoming a partner of choice in this growing sector. LentiBOOST™ has been used in several clinical trials from early stage clinical Phase 1/2 through late stage clinical Phase 3 trials and demonstrated clinical success in improving transduction of the therapeutic vector.
About Hervolution Aps
Hervolution is an immunotherapy company dedicated to developing the world’s first adaptive immune therapy capable of targeting immunosuppressive genes of ancient retroviruses that normally are dormant in the human genome. The retroviral genes are reactivated in cancer and essential for tumor development. Hervolution’s approach is based on the research of founder and CSO, Dr. Peter Holst, and CTO, Dr. Anne-Marie Andersson. Key in the anti-cancer approach is the Virus-Like-Vaccine technology delivered by hAd19a/64 vaccine vectors. Hervolution is funded by the Novo Nordisk BioInnovation Institute and by grants from The Danish Innovation Fund and EUROSTARS.
Chief Operating Officer
Investor/Media Contact USA
Vice President, Integrated Communications
BD & Licensing Contact
Sabine Ott, Ph.D., VP Licensing & BD
Peter J. Holst, Ph.D., Interim CEO and CSO