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PLZEN, Czech Republic and CASTRES, France, June 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AbCheck s.r.o, a wholly owned subsidiary of Affimed N.V., Heidelberg, Germany, and Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals announced today that they have expanded their ongoing collaboration into a strategic research partnership in the field of human antibody discovery and optimization.
AbCheck is recognized for its expertise in human antibody discovery and optimization throughout the US and Europe. Pierre Fabre, the third largest French pharmaceutical company, has a long-standing commitment to oncology and immunology. The Pierre Fabre Immunology Centre (CIPF) in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, France, is dedicated to the identification, development and manufacturing of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in focused therapeutic areas.
Under the expanded agreement, AbCheck will use its proprietary human antibody discovery and optimization platform technologies, AbSieve and AbAccel, to deliver antibodies against two or more targets provided by Pierre Fabre per year over a period of three years. This period can be extended to up to five years. Pierre Fabre has secured full rights to all antibodies selected in exchange for discovery fees and milestone payments to AbCheck. Additional deal terms as well as financial details were not disclosed.
"We are extremely pleased that our technology platform, performance and business attitude has encouraged Pierre Fabre to select AbCheck as its main provider for therapeutic antibodies," said Dr. Volker Lang, Managing Director of AbCheck. "This validation once more proves our ability to efficiently address the needs of our partners, which is instrumental to AbCheck's future development."
"At Pierre Fabre Immunology Center, we are working on a wide range of new promising targets and are always looking to reinforce our capabilities through collaborations with world-class platforms. This strategic partnership with AbCheck will support and accelerate our antibody discovery," said Dr. Nathalie Corvaïa, Managing Director of the Pierre Fabre Immunology Center.
"Pierre Fabre is deeply committed to bringing targeted therapies to patients that need them as quickly as possible. This partnership with AbCheck coupled with our internal capabilities provides us with a platform to achieve this objective," added Prof. Laurent Audoly, Head of R&D, Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals.
AbCheck s.r.o., set up 2009 in Plzen, Czech Republic, as a wholly owned but independent unit of Affimed N.V., focuses on the discovery and/or optimization of human antibodies for partner companies. AbSieve, the combined phage and yeast display platforms, is used to develop antibodies in all antibody formats including full-length IgGs as well as customer specific and novel antibody formats. AbAccel, a proprietary algorithm for affinity maturation and optimization, is combined with Phage or Yeast Display and addresses affinity maturation, develop ability and stability optimization of antibodies in just one step. Furthermore, the use of yeast display allows screening in the final antibody drug format. AbCheck has entered into several partnerships and is recognized for its expertise in antibody discovery throughout the US and Europe.
About CIPF (Center of Immunology Pierre Fabre)
A center of excellence in the area of biotechnologies, the Center of Immunology Pierre Fabre (CIPF) develops research programs in the area of cancer immunotherapy, in particular identification of monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic purposes. The departments of Research and Industrial Biotechnology pool their specific expertise and know-how to identify antibodies, define their therapeutic properties and produce them on the industrial scale. The research conducted at CIPF over the past several years is currently taking shape with the clinical development of the Pierre Fabre Group's first antibody. Cancer immunotherapy is a major focus in anti-tumor therapy; CIPF is spearheading it.
About Pierre Fabre Laboratories
Pierre Fabre is the 3rd largest French pharmaceutical group and the 2nd largest dermo-cosmetics company in the world. In 2014, its sales reached €2.1 billion, with Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals accounting for 44% of total sales and international sales for 55%. Founded and still headquartered in the south-west of France, Pierre Fabre employs 10,000 people worldwide with branches in 44 countries and distribution agreements in over 130 countries. Its portfolio covers a continuum of healthcare products, from prescription drugs (oncology, CNS, women's health, dermatology) and consumer health care products (family care, oral care, natural health) to dermo-cosmetics (Avène, Ducray, A-Derma, Klorane, etc.). In 2014, the Group dedicated more than 17% of its drug revenues to R&D with a focus on oncology, SNC and dermatology. Through the Pierre Fabre Participations holding company, the Pierre Fabre Foundation, a government-recognized public-interest foundation, owns 86% of Pierre Fabre Laboratories. Remaining shares are owned by employees, amounting to 7,3 %, and through treasury stock. The French certification group AFNOR has audited Pierre Fabre Laboratories for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance at advanced level (AFAQ 26 000). To find out more, please visit www.pierre-fabre.com.
About Affimed N.V.
Affimed is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing highly targeted cancer immunotherapies. Affimed's product candidates are being developed in the field of immuno-oncology, which represents an innovative approach to cancer treatment that seeks to harness the body's own immune defenses to fight tumor cells. The most potent cells of the human defense arsenal are types of white blood cells called natural killer cells, or NK-cells, and T-cells. Affimed's proprietary, next-generation bispecific antibodies, called TandAbs for their tandem antibody structure, are designed to direct and establish a bridge between either NK- cells or T-cells and cancer cells, triggering a signal cascade that leads to the destruction of cancer cells. Affimed has focused its research and development efforts on three proprietary TandAb programs for which it retains global commercial rights. For more information, please visit www.affimed.com.
CONTACT: AbCheck s.r.o.: Dr. Volker Lang, Managing Director +420 378 051500 firstname.lastname@example.org Affimed N.V.: Caroline Stewart, Head IR & Communication +1 347394 6793 IR@affimed.com or email@example.com Pierre Fabre: Valerie Roucoules, Communication +1 33 49 10 83 84 firstname.lastname@example.org