DKFZ Press Release No. 15, April 02, 2001
Targeted Drug Development
New biotech company founded with the participation of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Dr. Eberhard Amtmann and Dr. Marc Roesel at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (German Cancer Research Center) have collaborated with chemist Dr. Otto Schuster to found BioSphings AG, a new biotechnology company. The Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum will have shares in BioSphings. Dr. Otto Schuster is a managing director with PAZ GmbH in Frankfurt and specializes in drug development. The aim of the new company is to develop innovative drugs against cancer, viral infections, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatism, and Crohn’s disease.
The scientists involved have many years of experience in the fields of signal transduction, immunology, and drug development. The treatment approaches followed by BioSphings are aimed at new drug targets from enzymes called phosholipases, which take part in the lipid metabolism. These could facilitate highly targeted therapies with little side effects.
BioSphings owns several innovative drug patents. A drug against the herpes simplex virus, which causes painful blisters around the mouth and in the genital area, has already successfully passed Phase I and II clinical studies. This drug intervenes specifically in the activation mechanism of herpes viruses. Approval and marketing of the drug are expected within the next three to four years.
The new biotech company does not intend to market their own drugs. Therefore, BioSphings has now entered into licensing negotiations with potential cooperation partners in the pharmaceutical industry.