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Eporgen's Portfolio Company Genovax Sells GX301, its Clinical-Stage Therapeutic Vaccine for the Treatment of Various Types of Cancer, to Mediolanum Farmaceutici

MILAN and COLLERETTO GIACOSA, Italy, December 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Mediolanum Farmaceutici SpA, a privately owned company that leads the Mediolanum Farmaceutici Group of companies, and Genovax srl, a private company which belongs to the portfolio of Eporgen Venture and was originated from the University of Genoa , announced the acquisition by Mediolanum of the global rights to GX301, Genovax's therapeutic vaccine to treat various types of cancer.  The first clinical study with GX301 was successfully completed earlier this year in prostate and renal cancer patients. Further clinical studies are scheduled to be initiated in the next few months, and all future development and commercialization activities will be the responsibility of Mediolanum with the support of Genovax. Under the agreement, Genovax will receive upfront and milestone payments as well as royalties.  

The acquisition of Genovax's innovative therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of various type of cancer is part of a strategy that we initiated since the late '90s and is a testament to our commitment to Research and Development", said Dr Rinaldo Del Bono, founder and President of Mediolanum Farmaceutici. "The acquisition of GX301 expands the interests of Mediolanum to a new therapeutic area (oncology). We look forward to advancing the development of the product through to its worldwide registration and make it available to cancer patients as soon as possible" added Dr Del Bono.

Dr Domenico Criscuolo, President of Genovax commented: "The agreement with Mediolanum is a remarkable achievement, which confirms the vision of all researchers who trusted in the therapeutic potential of GX301. In only four years Genovax's team was able to consolidate with clinical results the original idea and to attract the interest of Mediolanum, which will lead the further development work. My personal thanks to all Genovax team members, for their dedication and support to GX301 project, and a special acknowledgement to the memory of Silvano Fumero, who shared my enthusiasm for this project, and was instrumental for the foundation of Genovax."

Genovax was founded in March 2008 in Ivrea by Prof. Francesco Indiveri, Prof. Gilberto Filaci, Dr Daniela Fenoglio, Dr Giuseppe Balbi and Dr Domenico Criscuolo, with the financial support of Eporgen Venture. The science behind Genovax's technology was originated at the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Research (CEBR), which is based at the University of Genoa. Konstantinos Efthymiopoulos, President of Eporgen Venture said: "We are delighted by this event which is the first major transaction of a company in our portfolio. It validates the vision of Eporgen's founder, the late Dr Silvano Fumero, and vindicates the 70 private shareholders of Eporgen who also believed in it and are nurturing innovation, Italian science and scientists and hope that new therapies will eventually emerge through their financial support. We would like to congratulate the Genovax team for bringing GX301 thus far and to wish every success in the further development of the product, hoping that it will become a life saving therapy for cancer patients."  

Further notes for Editors:

About GX301

GX301 is a telomerase-based vaccine against cancer, which completed in February 2012 the first phase I study in prostate and renal cancer patients with very promising results. The study was conducted in Italy and showed that GX301 was very well tolerated and that induced vaccine-specific immune response in all patients. Disease stabilisation was observed in about one third of the patients and overall survival was longer than expected.  GX301 is composed by multiple peptides and adjuvants and is designed to induce potent immune responses that are specific for cancer cells through the activation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. It is envisaged that GX301 may be useful also in other types of cancer and this will be explored in future clinical studies.

About Genovax

Genovax srl is a privately held company based in Colleretto Giacosa (Torino, Italy) and is focusing on the development of therapeutic vaccines against cancer, such as GX301, or chronic inflammatory diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), where the lead product is GX101.

About Mediolanum Farmaceutici

Mediolanum was founded in 1972 by Dr Rinaldo Del Bono and its headquarters are located in Milan (Italy). It is a private pharmaceutical group that develops, manufactures, promotes and markets ethical pharmaceutical products (internally-developed, acquired or in-licensed) and herbal nutritionals. About 25 products are being commercialized by the Group, to treat cardiovascular, respiratory, inflammatory and dermatological disorders, infections, allergies, epilepsy, anemia and neuropathic pain. The Group currently employs around 570 people and its main commercial activities are concentrated in Italy and France, while sales in other countries are currently obtained through out-licensing and export activities.  

About Eporgen Venture

Eporgen Venture (EV) is an Italian company, entirely funded by private, non-institutional investors, which is dedicated to seed capital investments in the area of life sciences. EV started its operations in 2005 and is based in the Bioparco "Silvano Fumero" in Colleretto Giacosa (Torino, Italy), where it created a portfolio of 11 companies (7 companies developing products and 4 companies developing technologies). These start-up companies are legally independent entities, controlled by EV, and are built around intellectual property that is being developed up to a proof-of-concept stage. The operating model of EV offers the virtues of the "asset-centric" investment model, but also the operating efficiencies of a small, virtual biotech with a centrally managed portfolio, guided by seasoned pharma and biotech executives. Since the start of its operations, EV has experienced a remarkable growth, by doubling the size of its investor base and of its portfolio of companies. Over the next six months EV is expected to complete further transactions and raise capital to advance the development of its assets.

Contacts:
Konstantinos Efthymiopoulos
President, Eporgen Venture SpA
T: +39-0125-561000
konstantinos@eporgen.com


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