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Pieris nets €1m grant from German Federal Ministry for Education and Research

8 Feb 2012

German biotechnology company Pieris has received a €1m grant from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research to support the development of its PRS-110 compound targeting c-Met, a cellular receptor that plays a key role in cancer cell growth and metastasis.

The goal of the funded research will be to delineate a biomarker strategy for early clinical development and to aid in the progression of a personalised medicine approach with PRS-110.

Stephen Yoder, CEO of Pieris, said, “This grant represents a validation of PRS-110′s potential as a powerful targeted cancer therapeutic and recognises the progress we have achieved in moving the program closer to the clinic. We believe we have developed a ‘best in class’ drug candidate that rivals other advanced targeted therapies addressing the c-Met pathway based on PRS-110′s monovalent mode of target engagement and positive develop ability profile.”

The PRS-110 grantwas provided by the BMBF (Bundesministeriumfür Bildung und Forschung, or German Federal Ministry for Education and Research) Leading Edge Cluster programme, which endows grants of up to up to €200m. The Munich Biotech Cluster has brought together a consortium of biomedical companies and academic institutions under the  ‘m4 – Personalized Medicine and Targeted Therapeutics’ objective. The grant, managed by BioM, will match Pieris’ funding of the PRS-110 project by underwriting the company’s internal efforts and collaborative research from additional companies and academic institutions.

Prof Dr Horst Domdey, a managing director at BioM, added, “Based on the strengths of companies like Pieris, we are developing the vision of the Munich Biotech Cluster as a model region for personalised and target-oriented medicine. The BMBF’s Cluster grants will have a rapid effect on driving the success of innovation not only by providing funding, but also by encouraging collaborations between the leading companies and scientists in the area.”

Anticalins are therapeutic proteins derived from human lipocalins, rationally engineered to solve for the pharmacological and pharmaceutical limitations of both protein and non-protein based drug platforms.

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