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Medical concept of cancer. 3d illustration of T cells or cancer cells.
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Helmholtz Munich partners with Medigene to accelerate Tumor Therapy


Helmholtz Munich and Medigene AG expand their partnership in order to further discover and develop T-cell immunotherapies for solid tumors. Medigene acquired from Helmholtz Munich the exclusive, worldwide rights to the CD40L-CD28 Costimulatory Switch Receptor adding to the portfolio of technologies within Medigene’s end-to-end platform. This T-cell receptor engages in the broader immune system by interacting with and activating non-tumor cell types residing in the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME).

Medigene’s immunotherapies help activate the patient’s own defense mechanisms by harnessing T-cells in the battle against cancer. Their end-to-end platform combines multiple exclusive and proprietary technologies to create best-in-class T-cell receptor engineered T-cell (TCR-T) therapies. The end-to-end platform includes multiple product enhancement technologies and development optimization technologies to aid the development of differentiated TCR-T therapies. Partnerships with multiple companies and with Helmholtz Munich continue to validate the platform’s assets & technologies. The connection between Medigene and Helmholtz Munich goes way back. Prof. Dolores J. Schendel, Chief Scientific Officer at Medigene used to be Director of the Institute of Molecular Immunology at Helmholtz Munich. She founded Trianata Immunotherapies in 2014, which was later acquired by Medigene.

The newly acquired CD40L-CD28 Costimulatory Switch Receptor plays a major role in immune regulation and homeostasis. CD40 is primarily expressed on activated T-cells in a wide variety of solid tumors like melanoma, prostate, and lung cancers, as well as in carcinomas of the nasopharynx, bladder, cervix, and ovary, while CD28 is expressed on T-cells providing costimulatory signals required for T-cell activation and survival. Thus, the CD40L-CD28 Costimulatory Switch Receptor may contribute to an enhancement of cellular immune responses in several ways. The CD40L-CD28 Costimulatory Switch Receptor provides the potential to break down tumor stroma components allowing for better penetration of engineered T-cells into the tumor with greater access to tumor cells, thereby adding and potentially complementing the already existing technologies at Medigene.