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Antibody Targeted Amanitin Conjugate (ATAC)

Products Next higher product group antibody-drug conjugate (ADC)

Wilex AG. (2/2/16). "Press Release: US Patent Office Granted Patent for Amatoxin Conjugates for Tumour Therapy". Munich.

The grant of the patent strengthens the proprietary ADC technology of the subsidiary Heidelberg Pharma GmbH

The WILEX AG (ISIN DE000A11QVV0 / WL6 / FSE) today announced that an important patent for its own ADC technology for the manufacture of Antibody Amanitin Conjugates was granted in the USA. The patent is named “Amatoxin armed therapeutic cell surface binding components designed for tumor therapy” and was submitted by Prof Dr Heinz Faulstich and employees of the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ). Heidelberg Pharma exclusively in-licensed the patent in December 2009.

The subject matter of the patent is the chemical reaction to crosslink certain carrier molecules, e.g. antibodies, to amatoxins. Amatoxins are natural poisons occurring in, for example, the death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides). Heidelberg Pharma is the first company worldwide to work with the corresponding toxin Amanitin to develop Antibody Targeted Amanitin Conjugates (ATACs) for the use in cancer therapy.

Amanitin is known in oncology for its unique mode of action: the inhibition of RNA polymerase II, which leads the cells to programmed cell death (apoptosis) independent from cell division. This offers the opportunity to treat therapy-resistant tumours and kill quiescent tumour cells, which could result in significant clinical progress.

The chemical linkage to natural Amanitin is only possible at certain positions without loss of efficacy of the molecule. The granted US-patent protects the use of positions for the ATAC technology which are chemically easy to access and which produce the biologic function of the Amanitin.

Dr Jan Schmidt-Brand, Spokesman of the Executive Management Board of WILEX AG, comments: “This patent strengthens our position and, along with other patents and patent applications, is an important component in protecting our outstanding ATAC technology. Our goal is to develop highly effective and innovative cancer therapies with this interesting toxin Amanitin, both with pharma partners as well as developing our own ATAC candidates.”

About Heidelberg Pharma’s proprietary ATAC technology

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) combine the high affinity and specificity of antibodies with the potential of small cytotoxic molecules for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. ATACs are ADCs based on highly potent amatoxin payloads. Amatoxins are small bicyclic peptides naturally occurring in the Green Death Cap mushroom. Mode of action of amatoxins is the inhibition of mRNA transcription by binding to RNA polymerase II, a mechanism that is crucial for the survival of eukaryotic cells. Accordingly, ATACs exhibit comparable activity against proliferating and resting tumor cells. This proliferation independent activity differentiates ATACs from other ADCs, which preferentially target proliferating tumor cells. As an additional advantage ATACs could offer a substantial capability to overcome the resistance mechanisms that might limit the efficacy of other antibody drug conjugates.

About WILEX and Heidelberg Pharma

WILEX AG is a biopharmaceutical company which discontinued all clinical development activities at its Munich site and now exercises a holding function as the Group parent. Research and development focus on the operations of its subsidiary Heidelberg Pharma GmbH in Ladenburg, which primarily advances the development of the innovative platform technology for antibody drug conjugates (ADC technology) and provides pre-clinical drug discovery and development services. WILEX has the diagnostic and therapeutic drug candidates REDECTANE® and RENCAREX®, which are available for out-licensing and further development in Phase III for external partners. WILEX is listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: ISIN DE000A11QVV0 / WKN A11QVV / Symbol WL6. More information is available at


Sylvia Wimmer
Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 (0)89-41 31 38-29
Email: investors[at]
Grillparzerstr. 18, 81675 Munich, Germany

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This communication contains certain forward-looking statements relating to the Company’s business, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “estimates”, “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “future”, “potential” or similar expressions or by a general discussion of the Company’s strategy, plans or intentions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause our actual results of operations, financial position, earnings, achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, earnings or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Given these uncertainties, prospective investors and partners are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. We disclaim any obligation to update any such forward- looking statements to reflect future events or developments.

Record changed: 2020-10-26


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