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4SC AG. (3/20/14). "Press Release: 4SC Discovery Collaborates with Heidelberg University Hospital and Receives EUR 1.3 Million for Research and Preclinical Development of New Malaria Drug". Planegg-Martinsried.

Region Region Germany
Organisations Organisation 4SC Discovery GmbH
  Today BioNtech Small Molecules GmbH
  Group BioNTech (Group)
  Organisation 2 Heidelberg University Hospital
  Group University of Heidelberg (Ruperto Carola)
Products Product anti-infective drug
  Product 2 drug development
Person Person Vitt, Daniel (Immunic 201701– CEO before 4SC 1997–201612 CSO + Co-Founder before Univ Würzburg)

- The two-year R&D project is aimed at delivering a lead compound that can be brought to clinical development with the help of potential partners

- 4SC plans to out-license the compound to an industry or development partner following the successful conclusion of this collaboration, since malaria is not one of 4SC's core indication areas

4SC AG (Frankfurt, Prime Standard: VSC), a discovery and development company of targeted small molecule drugs mainly focusing on cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announced that its subsidiary 4SC Discovery GmbH will cooperate with Heidelberg University Hospital and receive a EUR 1.3 million government grant for preclinical development work on a new active ingredient targeting resistant strains of malaria. The research work at Heidelberg University Hospital is a project of the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) conducted as part of its "Malaria" focus.

Funding this project is intended to ensure the completion of all research and formal preclinical development work required on an innovative potential active ingredient for malaria identified by 4SC Discovery. The collaboration between 4SC Discovery and Heidelberg University Hospital is already underway, with the partnership scheduled to continue over the next two years. Work completed during the joint research venture will focus on developing and optimising the formulation of the compound for intravenous and oral delivery, as well as GMP (good manufacturing practice) production. 4SC Discovery will also be assuming responsibility for the coordination and completion of preclinical trials (in vitro and in vivo) aimed at testing the drug's pharmacokinetic properties, its safety profile (incl. toxicology) and its efficacy.

The project's ultimate objective is to produce a new clinical drug candidate that can be transitioned directly to clinical development. Ideally, 4SC intends to proceed with out-licensing the compound to an industry or development partner following the successful completion of the project.

The small molecule compound identified by 4SC Discovery has exhibited an encouraging efficacy profile in initial preclinical testing (both in cell cultures and animal models) by successfully killing off the malaria pathogen and effectively inhibiting its proliferation. The aim is to generate a compound that is also effective against plasmodia (malaria causing parsasites), which are resistant to conventional malarial drugs. World Health Organisation (WHO) figures show that malarial disease still posed a threat to 3.4 billion people in 97 countries in 2013. In 2012, about 207 million cases of malaria were recorded, around 627,000 of which were fatal. A tropical disease, malaria is spread by the Anopheles mosquito. Drug resistance is one of the greatest challenges, according to the WHO.

Dr. Daniel Vitt, Managing Director of 4SC Discovery GmbH and Chief Scientific Officer at 4SC AG, comments: "This collaboration once again confirms the high levels of quality and innovation exhibited by 4SC's drug discovery and early-stage research - even outside our core indication areas of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The project enables us to proceed with work on our innovative compound without major investment on our part. We are also very pleased to have the opportunity to work in this area of medical research with a partner as distinguished as the University of Heidelberg's Parasitology Unit. Aside from the commercial potential in this project, our work is also motivated by the opportunity to generate a clinical drug candidate against malaria and thus conceivably contribute to supporting a major humanitarian cause."

Prof. Dr. Michael Lanzer, Director Parasitology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Heidelberg University Hospital, and scientist at the DZIF, comments: "Malaria remains one of humanity's most important unresolved infectious diseases. We are delighted about the collaboration with 4SC. It enables us to provide further scientific validation of the highly promising approach taken by 4SC's compound while researching important new treatment options for malaria."

End of press release

About 4SC Discovery GmbH and 4SC Group

4SC Discovery GmbH (, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 4SC AG, specialises in the early-stage research and discovery of novel therapeutic compounds against cancer and autoimmune diseases. 4SC Discovery engages in partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to advance the development and commercialisation of its own therapeutic programmes. In adition, as a drug discovery service provider 4SC Discovery offers its expertise via research collaborations to companies from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. 4SC Group ( focuses on the discovery and clinical development of targeted small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases in order to enhance patients' quality of life. The company was founded in 1997 and has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since December 2005.

About the Department of Infectious Diseases at Heidelberg University Hospital

Within the field of life sciences, infectious diseases are an important and internationally relevant focus of research at Heidelberg University. Headed by Prof. Lanzer, the Parasitology unit is part of the Department of Infectious Diseases, which also includes the Virology (Prof. Kräusslich), Molecular Virology (Prof. Bartenschlager), Microbiology (Prof. Heeg) and Tropical Diseases (Prof. Junghanss) units. Research on infectious diseases focuses on globally significant human diseases such as AIDS, chronic hepatitis and malaria, infections of immunocompromised hosts and host response (in conjunction with the research focus of immunotherapy and transplantation) as well as infectious tropical diseases.

About the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) (

At the DZIF, more than 150 scientists from 32 institutes throughout Germany jointly develop new approaches for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases with the objective of quickly and effectively translating research findings into clinical practice. In so doing, the DZIF is paving the way for the development of new vaccines, diagnostic agents and drugs to combat infections.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement applies only on the date of this press release. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may or may not occur in the future and as a result of which the actual results and performance may differ substantially from the expected future results or performance expressed or implied in the forward looking statements. No warranties or representations are made as to the accuracy, achievement or reasonableness of such statements, estimates or projections, and 4SC AG has no obligation to update any such information or to correct any inaccuracies herein or omission herefrom which may become apparent.

For more information on 4SC or 4SC Discovery please visit and or contact:

Jochen Orlowski, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
jochen.orlowski(at), Tel.: +49-89-7007-6366

MC Services
Raimund Gabriel
raimund.gabriel(at), Tel.: +49-89-2102-2830

The Trout Group
Chad Rubin
crubin(at), Tel.: +1-646-378-2947

Record changed: 2017-04-02


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