Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics Amends Amgen GDNF Gene License AgreementBy Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics B.v, PRNE
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
AMSTERDAM, December 2, 2010 - Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (AMT) Holding N.V. (Euronext:
AMT), a leader in the development of gene-based therapies, today announced
that it has amended and restated its licensing agreement with Amgen (Nasdaq:
AMGN) for gene therapy applications incorporating the GDNF (glial cell
derived neurotrophic factor) gene, to which Amgen holds rights. Financial
terms were not disclosed.
The GDNF gene contains the information to produce a protein
necessary for the development and survival of nerve cells. The positive
effect of GDNF on nerve cells has already been demonstrated in early
research. Studies with a GDNF gene therapy, AMT-090, in a Parkinson's disease
model are being conducted by AMT in collaboration with the University of
Lund, Sweden. AMT also plans to combine the GDNF gene with its proprietary
adeno-associated virus (AAV) technology to develop gene therapies for a range
of CNS applications, such as Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS), with an aim to protect and enhance the function of the
affected nerve cells.
"Based on the promising early results of our GDNF gene therapy
product in Parkinson's disease models, we believe there is an opportunity for
a similar approach in other debilitating CNS disorders. For many of these
disorders, current therapies are limited and tend only to treat symptoms.
Treatment with our gene therapies has the potential to halt or reverse
disease progress," said Jörn Aldag, CEO of AMT. "This agreement will allow us
to progress the program for Parkinson's Disease forward and at the same time
find a partner who will support the funding of our GDNF programs in
alternative indications. Expanding the partnering opportunities could mean
even greater interest as the widened therapeutic applications offer more
chances of success, potentially less complex product development paths and in
many cases fewer patients to enroll in clinical trials."
About Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics
AMT is a leader in the development of human gene based
therapies. Using adeno-associated viral (AAV) derived vectors as the delivery
vehicle of choice for therapeutic genes, the company has been able to design
and validate what is probably the first stable and scalable AAV production
platform. This proprietary platform can be applied to a large number of rare
(orphan) diseases that are caused by one faulty gene. Currently, AMT has a
product pipeline with several AAV-based gene therapy products in LPLD,
Hemophilia B, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Acute Intermittent Porphyria, and
Parkinson's Disease at different stages of research or development. AMT was
founded in 1998 and is based in Amsterdam.
Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements"
including those that refer to management's plans and expectations for future
operations, prospects and financial condition. Words such as "strategy,"
"expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "will," "continues,"
"estimates," "intends," "projects," "goals," "targets" and other words of
similar meaning are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.
Such statements are based on the current expectations of the management of
AMT only. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements because, by
their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and can be affected
by factors that are beyond the control of AMT. Actual results could differ
materially from current expectations due to a number of factors and
uncertainties affecting AMT's business. AMT expressly disclaims any intent or
obligation to update any forward-looking statements herein except as required
For further enquiries: Jörn Aldag, CEO, AMT, Tel : +31-20-566-7394, j.aldag at amtbiopharma.com; Mike Sinclair, Partner, Halsin Partners, Tel : +44-20-7318-2955, msinclair at halsin.com
Tags: Amsterdam, Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics B.V, December 2, Netherlands