SOURCE: Geneart AG

July 10, 2008 01:00 ET

GENEART Receives a Grant for the Targeted Design of Vaccine Candidates

REGENSBURG, GERMANY--(Marketwire - July 10, 2008) -


- The  German  Federal Ministry  for  Education and  Research  (BMBF)
awards GENEART a grant of approximately EUR 0.2M
- This grant supports advancements in targeted protein design
- The objective of the project is the development of a novel  vaccine
technology
-  The  project  is  coordinated  by  the  Dutch  Company   Crossbeta
Biosciences

Regensburg, July 10, 2008 - GENEART AG, the global leader in gene synthesis and specialist in the field of Synthetic Biology, participates in a joint project to develop a novel vaccine technology by designing a vaccine against the H5N1 avian influenza virus as a test case. GENEART receives a quarter of the total public project funding of about EUR 0.8M. The project offers GENEART another opportunity to advance the company's expertise in the conceptual design of safe and effective vaccines. Moreover, the project also feeds into the company's rapidly advancing work on the targeted design of proteins.

The project entitled "Crossbeta Adjuvation of the H5 Subunit Vaccine against the Influenza Virus H5N1: A new Technology for aquiring an Unmet Need" is part of the EuroTransBio Initiative (ETB) and is coordinated by the Dutch company Crossbeta Biosciences. The objective is the development of novel vaccine technologies based on certain misfoldings in proteins, called crossbeta structures. In the past, various studies have shown that these crossbeta structures boost desired immune responses. Crossbeta structures help the immune system to recognize viral proteins as antigens, and therefore are properly suited for the use as immune stimulators (immunological adjuvants). Already today, many vaccines contain adjuvants to boost the immune response in a vaccinated person. So far, however, the available choices of adjuvants for human vaccinations are very limited. The project partners will develop a technique for the general use of crossbeta structures in protein-based vaccine strategies.

Aside from optimizing the gene sequences using the proprietary GENEART GeneOptimizer® technology for the efficient production of the vaccine, GENEART will also use an iterative process to optimize the design of the desired protein antigen. The objective is the production of an antigen that shows the optimal crossbeta structure for the desired immune response.

Professor Dr. Ralf Wagner, CEO of the GENEART AG, comments: "This project supports our activities in the area of targeted protein design. Today, we are the global leaders in the design of customized genes. In the medium term, we plan to extend our business and leadership role by offering the design of customized proteins as well. This does not only complement our current services but also adds additional value for our customers, for example in the pharmaceutical industry."

Further scientific information is available under www.crossbeta.com

For further inquiries, please contact:

Bernd Merkl
GENEART AG
Josef-Engert-Str. 11
93053 Regensburg
Germany
Phone: +49-(0)941-942 76-638
Fax: +49-(0)941-942 76-711
ir@geneart.com
www.geneart.com

Frank Ostermair
Better Orange IR & HV AG
Haidelweg 48
81241 Munich
Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-8896906-10
Fax: +49-(0)89-8896906-66
info@better-orange.de
www.better-orange.de

Legal Information

This document may contain estimates, prognoses and opinions about company plans and objectives, products or services, future results, opinions about these results or opinions leading up to these results. All these projections into the future are subject to risk, uncertainty and unforeseeable change outside the control of the GENEART Group. Many factors may lead to actual results, which considerably deviate from the given projections for these results.


About GENEART AG

In 2000, GENEART entered the gene synthesis market and has since become the global market leader. Today, the company is one of the leading specialists in the Synthetic Biology field. Experts at GENEART provide key technologies for the development and production of new therapeutics and vaccines. Customers also take advantage of GENEART services to customize enzyme attributes, such as the attributes of enzymes used as detergent additives, and to construct bacteria, which produce complex biopolymers or break down polymers, such as synthetics, petroleum components, etc. Our production and service spectrum spans a wide range, from the production of synthetic genes according to DIN EN ISO 9001-2000, to the creation of gene libraries in the combinatorial biology, to the development and production of DNA-based biologically active substances. The GENEART AG in Regensburg (Germany) and the subsidiary GENEART Inc. in Toronto (Canada) employ more than 190 people. Since May 2006, GENEART is listed on the German Stock Exchange.

About Crossbeta Biosciences BV

Crossbeta Biosciences is a spin-off biotechnology company of the University Medical Center Utrecht and the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Crossbeta Biosciences offers innovative solutions for vaccine adjuvation and develops a drug discovery platform to provide dedicated solutions for the detection and treatment of diseases that are caused by misfolded proteins. A key discovery at Crossbeta Biosciences was the recognition of a non-native protein fold, the crossbeta structure, as an immunogenic entity that is able to induce a desired immune response when used as a vaccine, and that should be removed in order to prevent unwanted immune responses inflicted by for example aggregates in biologicals. In June 2008, Crossbeta Biosciences moved from the UMC Utrecht laboratories to its own facilities at the campus of the University of Utrecht. Today's crew of nine employees is about to be expanded to twenty plus for increasing our R&D activities in vaccine development and drug discovery platform development.

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