Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited Acquires TheraPharm GmbH, Broadening Reach to Hematologic Cancers and Transplant Medicine

MELBOURNE, Australia and BAAR, Switzerland, Nov. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: TLX, ‘Telix’, the ‘Company’) announces it has entered into an agreement with Scintec Diagnostics GmbH (‘Scintec’) to acquire TheraPharm GmbH (‘TheraPharm’), a Swiss-German biotechnology company developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions in the field of hematology.

The acquisition of TheraPharm provides Telix with access to a portfolio of patents, technologies, production systems, clinical data and know-how in relation to the use of Molecularly Targeted Radiation (MTR) in hematology and immunology. TheraPharm is developing antibody MTR technology against CD66, a cell surface target highly expressed by neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. As such, the technology has potentially very broad applications in the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases (e.g. blood cancers), lymphoproliferative disorders and immune-mediated diseases (e.g. lupus, and multiple sclerosis). Of particular interest is the demonstrated use of the technology to safely and effectively perform bone marrow conditioning (BMC) prior to bone marrow stem cell transplant.

Telix CEO, Dr. Christian Behrenbruch stated, “Telix is committed to extending and improving the lives of patients with serious diseases. As such, the acquisition of TheraPharm and its MTR assets are uniquely aligned to Telix’s mission and technical strengths in antibody engineering and radiochemistry. TheraPharm’s technology has a significant role to play in BMC and stem cell transplantation across a broad range of blood cancers and rare diseases. The current approach to BMC employs highly toxic drugs that have a poor morbidity and mortality profile, and for which many patients are ineligible. MTR offers an excellent safety profile that may greatly expand the number of patients able to undergo life prolonging stem cell transplantation while greatly reducing the hospitalisation burden and cost associated with such procedures.”

TheraPharm co-founder and Managing Director, Dr. Klaus Bosslet added, “Over the past 5 years, TheraPharm, in collaboration with Dr. Kim Orchard from the University of Southampton (UK), has made excellent progress developing 90Y-besilesomab for the treatment of hematologic cancers and several related conditions including multiple myeloma, leukemia and amyloidosis. This unique asset is a logical addition to Telix’s portfolio, offering a potentially rapid development path to a first commercial indication for the treatment of patients with SALA, while at the same time having potentially broad applications for stem cell transplantation in patients with more common cancers of the blood, including multiple myeloma and leukemia. We look forward to joining the Telix team in order to expedite the development of products for this under-served field.”

Full transaction details, including financial terms, can be found via the Telix website and ASX portal here.

About Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT)

Bone marrow conditioning (BMC) followed by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is presently performed to treat patients with hematologic malignancies (blood cancers), with the objective of extending patient survival or achieving cure. HSCT is also performed for a broad range of non-cancer conditions. HSCT is preferentially performed in countries of high income (Europe >30,000, Americas >20,000, worldwide >65,000 p.a., respectively)

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Convalescent Plasma Of Limited Use For Covid-19: Study

Plasma taken from the blood of people who have recovered from Covid-19 and given to people sick with the disease does not reduce their chances of getting seriously ill or dying, new research has found.

The findings are from one of the first clinical trials to report the effects of convalescent plasma, which has been given emergency approval in countries including India and the United States.

As a potential treatment for patients with moderate Covid-19, particularly in places where laboratory capacity is limited, the study conducted across India and published in the medical journal BMJ Friday concluded that “convalescent plasma showed limited effectiveness”.

But the researchers said future studies could explore using only plasma with high levels of neutralising antibodies to see if this might be more effective.

With few useful treatments and no cure or vaccine, nations are scrambling to find ways to blunt the severity of the new coronavirus.

One idea has been to harvest recovered patients’ antibodies, which float in plasma — the liquid component of blood — and then inject this into the blood of someone fighting infection.

The technique was first tried against diphtheria in 1892 and was shown to help speed recovery from Ebola and SARS, which is caused by the same family of pathogens as the novel coronavirus.

Observational studies recently carried out suggested convalescent plasma could be beneficial.

But in a randomised clinical trial at dozens of public and private hospitals across India, researchers found that it failed to reduce mortality or stop progression to severe Covid-19 in moderately ill patients.

Convalescent plasma has been given emergency approval for use in countries including India and the United States Convalescent plasma has been given emergency approval for use in countries including India and the United States Photo: AFP / TAUSEEF MUSTAFA

The study, funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research, enrolled 464 adult patients, with an average age of 52, between April and July and split them randomly into two groups.

A control group of 229 was given the normal best standard of hospital care, while 235 people received two transfusions of convalescent plasma and were then given the best standard of hospital care.

After 28 days, 44 (19 percent) of the participants in the plasma group and 41 (18 percent) in the control group progressed to severe disease or died from any cause.

When they restricted the comparison to patients who received plasma with detectable levels of antibodies, the results were the same, the authors said.

They did however find that the use of convalescent plasma seemed to improve resolution of shortness of breath and fatigue and led to higher conversion to a negative result for the virus — a sign of it being neutralised by antibodies — after 7 days.

The trial “was a rigorous randomised controlled study on a topic of enormous global importance” said public health scientist Elizabeth Pathak in a separate commentary also published in the BMJ.

But the results were greeted with caution by a spokesman from Britain’s National Health Service, which is also in the process of carrying out large, randomised control

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