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DSM and DecImmune Therapeutics sign agreement to develop N2 pathway blocking antibody

Parsippany NJ, US, 22 Apr 2013 08:00 CEST

DSM Pharmaceutical Products, the custom manufacturing and technology business of Royal DSM (NYSE, Euronext: DSM KON), announced today that it has signed an agreement with venture capital funded DecImmune Therapeutics of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

The agreement covers the initiation of development activities by DSM for DecImmune's lead monoclonal antibody program. The initial development will be performed at DSM Biologics' Groningen, the Netherlands, facility, with the objective of progressing manufacture of clinical trial material to DSM's facility in Brisbane, Australia. DecImmune's proprietary antibody therapeutic is designed to reduce tissue damage and improve ventricular function associated with myocardial infarction. Regaining full function after a heart attack can be complicated by irreversible tissue damage and scar formation that leads to a significant loss in cardiac pumping efficiency. In a range of experimental models, DecImmune has shown that it is possible to reduce damage to heart tissue by using their proprietary therapeutic antibody. In these models the reduction in damage to heart tissue results in pumping efficiency returning to normal levels. DecImmune is also investigating this targeted approach to reduce tissue damage for a range of other acute and chronic post-injury settings.

Karen King, President of DSM Biologics, commented “We are delighted to be working with DecImmune on their exciting project. DSM is committed to delivering our clients around the world the highest quality solutions and services.” DSM Biologics, a business unit of DSM Pharmaceutical Products, focuses on optimizing mammalian-based biopharmaceutical manufacturing through its unique set of technologies and expertise. In addition to an R&D and manufacturing site in Groningen, the Netherlands, DSM is starting up operations in 2013 in Brisbane, Australia, with the support of the Government of Queensland and the Commonwealth of Australia. The Brisbane facility is DSM's prototype 'biologics plant of the future' for the production of biopharmaceuticals employing DSM's proprietary technologies. DSM's technologies drive down cost, processing times, scale-up risk and capital requirements to meet market demand for developing cost-effective, lifesaving medications.

"Partnering with DSM for its antibody process development and manufacturing enables DecImmune to move rapidly through late preclinical studies and into clinical development. DSM's experience, capacity, and technical expertise in Groningen and Brisbane meet the full range of DecImmune's manufacturing needs. We look forward to working with one of the world's leading science-based companies as our manufacturing partner," stated Christopher K. Mirabelli, Ph.D., President and CEO of DecImmune and Managing Director at HealthCare Ventures, DecImmune's lead investor.

"In line with DSM's stated strategy, and fulfillment of its commitment to bring manufacturing and technological excellence to the global biopharmaceutical market, this agreement with DecImmune represents the best of what DSM is doing to help our customers serve critical needs in healthcare. The combination of the Groningen and Brisbane operations will support DecImmune throughout the development process and on to clinical trials." declared Alexander Wessels, President and CEO of DSM Pharmaceutical Products.

David Hughes, CEO of BioPharmaceuticals Australia (BPA), said "We have always been of the view that success for this facility would come from leveraging both local and global demand. BPA’s ongoing partnership with DSM brings a wealth of expertise to the region. Brisbane is home to sophisticated biomanufacturing technology and this contract with DecImmune bolsters the city as an internationally-recognized location for biotherapeutic development." BPA, an industry-development company owned by the Queensland State Government, put together the partnering deal with DSM Biologics, and is currently project managing the final stages of the construction of the new state-of-the-art facility in cooperation with DSM Biologics.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

DecImmune Therapeutics

DecImmune Therapeutics was founded by Michael Carroll Ph.D. (Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School), and Francis Moore Jr. MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School). Drs. Moore and Carroll discovered the non-muscle myosin heavy chain II (“N2”) cascade that is initiated following vascular injury. Shortly after expression of the N2 neoepitope on the cell surface in the vasculature, IgM components of the innate immune pathway bind and initiate the cascade responsible for localized tissue damage. DecImmune is developing an antibody-based therapeutic that can prevent tissue damage and preserve organ function by inhibiting activation of the N2 neoepitope in the innate autoimmune pathway. More information can be found at www.decimmune.com.