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Life Sciences Report 2019 / 2020

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8 Life

8 Life Sciences Report – Cutting Edge Technologies

Life Sciences Report – Drug Discovery and Development: New Drugs 9 Biomedicine: Drug Discovery and Development – Potential, Deals and Milestones In industrialized and emerging countries, diseases of civilization and multiple diseases are increasing, which can be favorably treated by targeted drug therapies. Both non-communicable chronic diseases and infectious diseases are increasingly threatening our health and posing major challenges for the healthcare system. There is a high global demand for new, innovative active ingredients for effective and safe drugs. Research into innovative active substances and the development of drugs make a decisive contribution to medical progress. Numerous companies and academic institutions of modern biomedicine in the Berlin-Brandenburg region are meeting this challenge for the development of innovative drugs. In addition to the development of innovative cancer therapies and new immunotherapy concepts on proprietary technology platforms, companies in the region are increasingly using digital technologies, the key to personalized medicine. New Drugs The Berlin-Brandenburg region is home to more than 20 biotech companies involved in the development of new drugs. The entire product pipeline covers all phases, from pre-clinical development and Phase I to Phase III. Many companies develop their products on the basis of proprietary platform technologies in order to secure a significant competitive advantage. Different strategies, be it on the basis of novel mRNA constructs, monoclonal antibodies or new first-in-class small molecules, are pursued. For example Pantherna Therapeutics GmbH, a life science startup located in Hennigsdorf, develops a novel pharmaceutical agent preventing the formation of edema and lung tissue injury over the course of ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). ARDS is a life-threatening condition characterized by widespread and excessive inflammation in lung tissue. Currently, ARDS has a mortality rate of 30-45%, whereas survivors are often unable to work for several months or years. So far, no pharmacological therapy is available. The startup presents a proprietary, innovative technology platform for the development of novel mRNA therapeutics. Another one, OMEICOS Therapeutics GmbH, a Berlinbased biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and ophthalmic diseases, closed a EUR 17 million Series C financing round. The proceeds from this round will finance a Phase II study on OMT-28 in maintenance of sinus rhythm after electrical cardioversion in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. Additionally, OMEICOS will continue to drive the expansion of its pipeline into novel indications including ophthalmology, led by its US-based subsidiary OMEICOS Ophthalmics. Adrenomed AG was able to raise 24 million euros in venture capital in a series D-round. The capital will be used for a clinical development program of the main product Adrecizumab. The monoclonal first-in-class antibody is currently being tested in a Phase II clinical trial in patients with early septic shock and elevated adrenomedullin plasma concentration. AudioCure Pharma, dedicated to the development of drug treatments for hearing disorders with a high unmet medical need, receives EMA orphan drug designation for the treatment of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). AudioCure’s lead compound may be of significant benefit for patients suffering with the rare and chronically debilitating disease of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). Berlin Cures AG started a phase IIa trial for its β1-adrenoceptor autoantibody (β1-AAb) neutralizing ssDNA product BC 007. β1-AAbs have been identified as a relevant pathogenic cause of heart failure. BC 007 is now being tested as the first causative drug for patients with β1-AAb associated heart failure. The company is based on the idea of binding autoantibodies with a highly specific aptamer. Service Provider Many service providers in the area of drug discovery and development are located in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. The companies cover the entire spectrum, from specific research tools for pre-clinical studies and technology platforms for drug discovery and screening new drugs to

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