7th BioVaria to Take Place in Munich on 6 May 2014

Ascenion unveils first technology highlights: PET tracer for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease

Munich, (PresseBox) - On 6 May 2014, BioVaria will bring together Europe's top scientists and technology transfer professionals with potential licensees and investors from the international biopharmaceutical and medtech industries. Their shared vision is to transfer high-potential projects from academia into industrial product development for the benefit of patients.

In a peer-review process, Ascenion and its technology transfer partners have selected the most promising in-licensing opportunities from 24 universities and research institutes in six European nations: diagnostic and therapeutic projects as well as platform technologies.

A preview is now available at www.biovaria.org/programme/technologies/. Ascenion and its partner institutes will present a total of five projects, the most advanced of which is a clinical-stage PET tracer for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease originating from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), Leipzig University (UL) and ABX GmbH Radeberg (ABX).

'The approach has two potential benefits,' explains Dr Thilo Förster, Technology Manager with Ascenion. 'First, it could help to stratify neurodegenerative processes associated with Alzheimer's disease years before overt symptoms occur. This would open a window for early intervention. Secondly, the time-span needed for PET-based diagnosis is significantly reduced compared to other approaches, which enables clinical routine use.'

The invention is based on Flubatine - a radiotracer targeting neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), an established target for diagnostic neuroimaging. Prof. Peter Brust at the HZDR, Prof. Osama Sabri at the Department of Nuclear Medicine of the UL and Dr Alexander Hoepping at ABX with their teams have already completed preclinical testing and a Phase I clinical trial. A second Phase I study is ongoing. Moreover, a GMP-compatible production process for both the radiotracer and the precursor has been established at the Department of Nuclear Medicine and ABX, respectively. A German patent has already been granted, and an international PCT patent application has been filed and nationalized in several countries worldwide.

Further BioVaria projects originating from Ascenion's partners are:

- New hand and finger motion capture glove (German Primate Center)
- Use of MAS-G-protein-coupled receptor agonists for the treatment of metabolic syndrome (Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch)
- Innovative inhibitors of notch trafficking and signaling for the treatment of cancer (Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute)
- SPECS - technology platform for identification of biomarkers and drug target validation (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases / Technical University of Munich)

The proven BioVaria format, with its short presentations and all-day poster exhibition, provides an unprecedented density of life-science innovation in just one day. At the same time, it allows plenty of opportunity for individual discussions with scientists and their technology transfer representatives.

For further information and a full preview of technologies that have been accepted for BioVaria 2014 visit www.biovaria.org

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