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BIO-Europe® 2019: Life sciences companies follow the footsteps of Hamburg’s ancient merchants as they gather to celebrate innovation and partnership

In the life sciences industry, innovation is only as powerful as a company’s ability to share the story of its research and products with partners, investors and ultimately patients. BIO-Europe, now celebrating 25 years of facilitating partnerships that drive life science dealmaking, is the perfect stage for budding biotech and pharmaceutical companies to meet and engage with delegates from all parts of the life sciences value chain. Held this year in the ancient merchant city of Hamburg, Germany, BIO-Europe is set to attract more than 2,300 companies from 60 countries.

Highlighted below are just a few of the companies who will attend BIO-Europe this year. Each of these biotechs tackle hard-to-treat diseases in new, potentially paradigm-shifting ways.

The first company is headquartered right in Hamburg and a great example of the innovation coming out of this dynamic biotech scene. Topas Therapeutics tackles major unmet medical needs, including autoimmune diseases, allergies and anti-drug antibodies. The Company’s lead proprietary program, expected to enter the clinic in Q4 2019, is for the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris, an orphan autoimmune disorder for which there currently is no cure. Topas’ technology platform induces antigen-specific immune tolerance by harnessing the liver’s natural immunology capabilities, targeting liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) which generate tolerance against bloodborne antigens. Topas Particle Conjugates mimic such bloodborne antigens and follow their natural processing in LSECs, generating long-lasting antigen-specific regulatory T cells, a critically important type of immune cell for maintaining immune tolerance. Topas has collaborations with Eli Lilly and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim, supporting the broad potential application of Topas’ technology platform. Topas sees BIO-Europe as a great event for meeting with potential partners for both its proprietary programs and platform technology, this year right in their own backyard.

Imcyse is a Belgian clinical-stage company developing active and specific immunotherapeutics for the treatment and prevention of severe chronic diseases such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Recently, Imcyse announced results from its Phase I first-in-human clinical trial with the Company’s lead candidate IMCY-0098 in patients with early type 1 diabetes. The insulin-based Imotope™ shows an excellent safety profile and promising clinical trends. Preparations are now underway for the next clinical phase. Moreover, their unique technology platform, based on specifically modified peptides (Imotopes™) that drive the generation of cytolytic CD4 T cells, and lead candidate IMCY-0098, can potentially be applied in various indications, and therefore has the potential to address numerous important unmet medical issues. Imcyse looks forward to introducing its first-in-class technology at BIO-Europe to potential partners and network with industry leaders.

In September 2019, the global health watchdog GPMB (Global Preparedness Monitoring Board) issued a first-of-its-kind warning that the world is severely unprepared for a fast-spreading pandemic such as influenza. However, seasonal influenza is already a serious public health threat with an estimated 1 billion cases reported annually resulting in several hundred thousand deaths each year. Atriva Therapeutics, a German biopharmaceutical company from Tübingen and Frankfurt, aims to tackle these challenges with first-in-class MEK inhibitors against severe and potentially life-threatening respiratory viral infections, such as influenza and hantavirus. ATR-002, the Company’s lead compound, blocks a central signaling cascade in infected host cells, preventing the formation of new virus particles. It has shown an excellent safety and tolerability profile in a Phase I clinical trial for influenza treatment. For a potential treatment of hantavirus infections, proof of concept has already been demonstrated and the Company is preparing the submission of an application for US Orphan Drug Development. All Atriva projects are globally patent protected. Atriva Therapeutics currently aims to expand its running Series A/B venture round to a total of €32 million and strives to foster relations and future partnerships with globally and regionally acting pharmaceutical companies.

The German translational medical company, ORYX, develops highly innovative immunotherapy projects in cancer indications until clinical proof of concept and has exclusive global licenses to three premier cancer projects stemming from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Heidelberg. ORYX currently seeks partnering opportunities for its lead project ParvOryx, an oncolytic parvovirus H1(H-1PV) that infects and lyses a wide variety of human tumors. ParvOryx has shown positive results for safety and efficacy, changes in the tumor microenvironment and induction of immune responses in clinical trials with recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM) and metastatic pancreatic cancer. In follow-up programs, the enhancement of ParvOryx’ efficacy in combination with immune modulators was investigated. Patients with primary or recurrent glioblastoma multiforme were treated with ParvOryx in combination with either bevacizumab alone or in combination with bevacizumab and a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor. Furthermore, patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were treated with ParvOryx and a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor. The therapy was well tolerated and led to objective tumor responses. Together with the regulatory authorities in Europe and the US, ORYX has designed a clear regulatory path for a pivotal trial with ParvOryx in combination with bevacizumab for the therapy of rGBM. For ORYX, BIO-Europe will be an exciting opportunity to share their regulatory and developmental strategy with interested potential partners and industry leaders.

BIO-Europe 2019 offers companies like these a platform to share their transformative technologies and therapies with industry executives, KOLs, investors, the media and service providers. Together, they work to achieve the common goal of ensuring medical needs are met with innovative healthcare.

BIO-Europe® 2019