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MedUni Vienna and AKRON Molecules cooperate in the fight against aggressive tumours in the lymphatic system

Vienna (12th September 2011) – MedUni Vienna and AKRON Molecules cooperate in the fight against aggressive tumours in the lymphatic system Vienna (12th September 2011) – The MedUni Vienna and AKRON Molecules have signed a licence and cooperation agreement for the development of a new therapy with few side effects for a group of rare, malignant tumours in the lymphatic system. Lukas Kenner from the Clinical Institute of Pathology has discovered this therapy. It shall now be further developed and commercialised.

The agreement foresees initial advance payments as well as licence payments to the Medical University of Vienna. Furthermore long-term cooperation is planned between the MedUni and AKRON Molecules, predominantly through the performance of the necessary clinical studies. “The MedUni’s Department of Technology Transfer has thereby achieved another success in the commercial assessment of its research results and has made an important step towards the development of a new therapeutic agent for cancer patients”, said Markus Müller, Head of the Department of Research Support at MedUni Vienna.

For AKRON this agreement with the MedUni Vienna is the first step into cancer therapy. Manfred Reichl, Managing Director of AKRON Molecules says: “In addition to the ongoing development of medications for pain therapy as well as against obesity, the implementation of results for cancer research shall be AKRON Molecules’ third main pillar of focus”. Therapy blocks lymphoma mechanism The cooperation is based on molecular cancer therapy, which has been patented at the MedUni. The aims are aggressive, highly malignant lymphomas, which occur relatively rarely, and from which around three percent of all lymphoma patients suffer. “We have discovered that with the aid of an already approved active ingredient, a previously unknown mechanism in these tumours can be blocked”, explains Lukas Kenner. “We are, in a manner of speaking, switching off the lymphoma. The cooperation with Akron now enables us to perform the clinical studies too.” In addition, the researchers hope that new treatment options in solid tumours can also be found as a result of this finding.

Summary profile
AKRON Molecules GmbH is a pharma company founded in Vienna at the start of 2010, which focuses on so-called “Drug Repurposing” (or “Drug Repositioning”). Drug Repurposing describes a forward-looking field of pharma research, which applies previously known and tested substances to new, patentable indications. The founders of Akron Molecules are Josef Penninger, Head of the Austrian Institute for Molecular Biology, Martin Bartenstein, CEO of the Styrian GL Pharma GmbH, and Manfred Reichl, former Head of Roland Berger A/CEE, now a businessman and investor.