TORONTO and HOUSTON, July 25, 2018 /CNW/ - Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. ("Medicenna" or the "Company") (TSX: MDNA, OTCQX: MDNAF), a clinical stage immunotherapy company, developing first-in-class Empowered Cytokines™ and Superkines, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a Notice of Allowance related to the Company's MDNA57 program. The allowed patent ("Interleukin-4 receptor-binding fusion proteins and uses thereof") issued to Medicenna covers the composition of engineered interleukin-4 ("IL-4") Superkines coupled to potent fully human cytotoxic payloads.
"The issuance of this patent provides solid support for our strategy of maximizing the value of our platform by combining Superkines with fully human payloads to create Empowered Cytokines™ with a unique ability to simultaneously target the tumor, its immunosuppressive micro-environment and cancer stem cells," said Dr. Fahar Merchant, Chairman, President and CEO of Medicenna.
The IL-4 receptor ("IL-4R") is an attractive target for the development of MDNA57, as it is frequently and intensely expressed by over 20 different types of solid and hematological cancers corresponding to an annual incidence of over a million IL-4R positive cancers. Furthermore, over-expression of the IL-4R is frequently associated with poor survival outcomes in various cancers including mesothelioma, bladder and pancreatic cancer and targeting the IL-4R in such indications may help in addressing serious unmet needs in oncology.
Empowered Cytokines™ covered under the patent represent next-generation versions of our lead clinical candidate MDNA55, currently in Phase 2 clinical development for recurrent glioblastoma, by combining the unique features of Superkines with a fully-human pro-apoptotic payload. IL-4 Empowered Cytokines™ have the potential to selectively eliminate tumors with enhanced targeting and improved safety for systemic administration in order to treat cancers outside of the brain.
Medicenna continues to protect its Superkine and Empowered Cytokine™ platforms which comprises of over 50 filed or issued patents in key territories including the US, Canada, EU and Asia.
About Medicenna Therapeutics
Medicenna is a clinical stage immunotherapy company developing novel highly selective versions of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-13 Superkines and first in class Empowered Cytokines™ (ECs). Our mission is to become the leader in the development and commercialization of targeted Empowered Cytokines™ and Superkines for the treatment of a broad range of cancers and immune-mediated diseases. We seek to achieve these successful treatments by drawing on our expertise, and that of world-class collaborators, to develop a unique set of Superkines. These Superkines can be developed either on their own as short or long-acting therapeutics or fused with pro-apoptotic proteins in order to precisely deliver potent cell-killing agents to the cancer cells as well as the immunosuppressive tumor micro-environment and the cancer stem cells without harming healthy cells. MDNA55 is Medicenna's lead EC in clinical development for the treatment of rGBM and is funded by a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). It is a fusion of a circularly permuted version of interleukin (IL-4), fused to a potent fragment of the bacterial toxin, Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE). MDNA55 has been studied in three clinical trials in 72 patients with rGBM, a uniformly fatal form of brain cancer, in which it has shown compelling indications of superior efficacy to the current standard of care. MDNA55 has secured Orphan Drug Status from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency as well as Fast Track Designation from the FDA for the treatment of rGBM.
For more information, please visit www.medicenna.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the future operations of the Company and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as "will", "may", "should", "anticipate", "expects" and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding including, without limitation, statements related to the future plans and objectives of the Company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include the risks detailed in the annual information form of the Company dated June 26, 2018 and in other filings made by the Company with the applicable securities regulators from time to time.
The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements only as expressly required by Canadian securities law.
For further information about the Company please contact: Fahar Merchant, President and Chief Executive Officer, 604-671-6673, email@example.com; Elizabeth Williams, Chief Financial Officer, 416-648-5555, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Medicenna Therapeutics Corp.