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NewLink Genetics Receives Notice of Allowance from the Japan Patent Office

17-Apr-2012 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 5812
AMES, Iowa - NewLink Genetics Corporation today announced in a press release that the Japan Patent Office has issued a notice of allowance for a patent entitled "Antitumor Vaccination Using Allogeneic Tumor Cells Expressing Alpha (1,3)-Galactosyltransferase," which contains broad pharmaceutical composition claims covering NewLink's HyperAcute products for the treatment of cancer. NewLink holds exclusive rights to the allowed application as well as to previously issued counterpart patents in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. 

"These patents are valuable additions to our intellectual property portfolio in the immunotherapy arena," commented Dr. Charles Link, NewLink's Chairman and CEO, "We expect them to facilitate our partnering efforts." 

NewLink's lead product candidate, HyperAcute Pancreas cancer immunotherapy, is being studied in a Phase 3 clinical trial in surgically-resected pancreatic cancer patients (patient information is available at http://www.pancreaticcancer-clinicaltrials.com) that is being performed under a Special Protocol Assessment with the United States Food and Drug Administration. Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of death by malignant neoplasm in Japan, where the incidence of the disease has increased rapidly since the early 1960s, resulting in a relative risk that is almost forty percent greater in Japan than the United States. It has been estimated that approximately 26,000 patients with pancreatic cancer die per year in Japan. 

NewLink is also currently engaged in clinical development of HyperAcute immunotherapies specific for pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma, has initiated clinical development of product candidates for prostate cancer and breast cancer, and is actively developing the HyperAcute technology for other indications. 

NewLink's HyperAcute cancer immunotherapy product candidates are composed of live, irradiated, allogeneic (non-patient specific) human cancer cells that have been modified to express alpha (1,3)-Galactosyl (alpha Gal) carbohydrates, a non-human form of carbohydrate, on the surface of the affected cells. The company believes its HyperAcute immunotherapy technology offers several advantages over other cancer immunotherapy approaches. Specifically, our HyperAcute products are designed to: 

• harness the human body's innate immune response to alpha-Gal to fight cancer;
• utilize a complex targeted approach that is multi-faceted and involves combined antibody-mediated and multi-cellular responses; and
• use allogeneic (non-patient specific) cells from previously-established cell lines, enabling a simpler, more consistent and scalable manufacturing process than therapies based on autologous (patient-specific) tissues or cells. 

NewLink Genetics Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel immunotherapeutic products to improve cancer treatment options for patients and physicians.
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