SOURCE: Athera Biotechnologies AB

March 17, 2011 03:00 ET

Emerging Biotech Company Athera and Lonza Sign Development and Manufacturing Agreement

BASEL, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) -

-- 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

Athera and Lonza announced today a new development and manufacturing agreement. 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 tocontinue 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 occurring 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)

About Karolinska Development AB (publ)

Karolinska Development aims to create value for investors, patients, and researchers by developing innovations from world class research into products that can be sold or out-licensed with high returns. The business model is to: SELECT the most commercially attractive medical innovations; DEVELOP these to the stage where the greatest return on investment can be achieved; and COMMERCIALIZE the innovations through the sale of companies or out licensing of products. This will result in upfront payments, milestone payments and royalties.

An exclusive deal flow agreement with Karolinska Institutet Innovations AB, along with other cooperation agreements with leading Nordic universities, delivers a continuous flow of innovations.

Karolinska Developments flexible exit strategy enables projects to be exited at whichever stage of development offers the greatest return on investment, usually after Phase II clinical trials have indicated the desired pharmaceutical effect on patients - this being an important value enhancing step.

Today, the portfolio consists of over 40 projects at various stages, from concept development to Phase II clinical trials, twelve projects are in clinical trials with six in Phase II. The portfolio is particularly strong in the areas of cancer, dermatology, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, women's health and diseases that affect the central nervous system.

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

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Source: Athera Biotechnologies AB via Thomson Reuters ONE


Contact Information

  • For further Information:

    Athera Biotechnologies
    AB (publ)
    Chief Executive Officer
    Carina Schmidt
    Tel +46 761938190
    Email Contact

    Lonza Group Ltd
    Corporate Communications
    Dominik Werner
    Tel +41 61 316 8798
    Fax +41 61 316 9798
    Email Contact

    Investor Relations
    Dirk Oehlers
    Tel +41 61 316 8540
    Fax +41 61 316 9540
    Email Contact

    Lonza Group Ltd
    Media Relations
    Melanie Disa
    Tel +1 201 316 9413
    Fax +1 201 696 3533
    Email Contact