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Medicenna Solidifies Patent Protection For Long-Acting IL-2 Superkines

Announces Notice of Allowance of US Patent for IL-2 Superkine Agonists and Antagonists

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2018 /CNW/ - Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. ("Medicenna" or the "Company") (TSX: MDNA, OTCQB: MDNAF), a clinical stage immunotherapy company, developing first-in-class Superkines, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a Notice of Allowance related to its IL-2 Superkine program MDNA109, the only next generation IL-2 in development that selectively targets CD122 due to its enhanced affinity.

The allowed patent ("Superagonists and Antagonists of Interleukin-2") issued to the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University and licensed exclusively to Medicenna, covers the composition MDNA109 with extended half-life characteristics as well as MDNA109 fused to therapeutic proteins such as antibodies, a new class of molecules referred to as immunocytokines. 

"Medicenna is continuing to build a strong patent estate around our IL-2 Superkine program with multiple layers of patent protection," stated Dr. Fahar Merchant, Chairman, President and CEO of Medicenna.  "This patent covers long acting versions of IL-2 super-agonists (MDNA109) and antagonists currently in pre-clinical development including IL-2 superkines with reduced binding to CD25, and supplements patents already issued covering high-affinity CD122 mutants. Additionally, combining the highly selective CD122 targeting and anti-tumor potency of MDNA109 with antibodies, offers an unparalleled opportunity to develop novel immunoctyokines.  While we are focused on advancing our lead IL-2 Superkine program, we believe there are compelling opportunities to leverage our platform by partnering with companies developing therapeutic antibodies."

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 MDNA109
Developed by scientists at Stanford University, MDNA109 is an engineered version of IL-2 that binds up to 1,000 times more effectively to IL-2Rβ (CD122), thus greatly increasing its ability to activate and proliferate the immune cells needed to fight cancer. MDNA109 is an IL-2 Superkine that preferentially drives the expansion and responses of effector T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells over Treg cells.  It is the only IL-2 in development with a distinct mechanism by virtue of its high affinity towards CD122 allowing it to effectively combat NK cell anergy (exhaustion) which occurs frequently after cancer immunotherapy. 

About Medicenna
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 ECs and Superkines for the treatment of a broad range of cancers and immune-mediated diseases. MDNA55 is Medicenna's lead EC currently enrolling in a multi-centre Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM), the most common and uniformly fatal form of brain cancer. 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 that MDNA109 is the only IL-2 candidate in development that selectively targets CD122, that there is an unparalleled opportunity to develop novel immunoctyokines, that there are compelling opportunities to leverage our platform by partnering with companies developing therapeutic antibodies, the half-life characteristics of MDNA109 and 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.

SOURCE Medicenna Therapeutics Corp.

For further information: Medicenna: Fahar Merchant, President and Chief Executive Officer, 604-671-6673, fmerchant@medicenna.com; Elizabeth Williams, Chief Financial Officer, 416-648-5555, ewilliams@medicenna.com; MZ Group: Mike Cole, 1-949-259-4988, mike.cole@mzgroup.us
Investor Contact
For more investor information, Please contact:
 
Elizabeth Williams, Chief Financial Officer
 
Mike Cole, MZ Group 
1-949-259-4988
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