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Hansa Medical acquires rights to cancer immunotherapy using antibody-modulating enzymes

19 Jul 2016, 13:00
Regulatory information
Hansa Medical AB (publ) today announced the acquisition of UK based Immago Biosystems Ltd, a University of Oxford-spinout focused on the enhancement of antibody based cancer therapies using antibody-modulating enzymes.

The founders of Immago Biosystems, Dr Chris Scanlan and Dr Max Crispin at the Glycoprotein Therapeutics Laboratory, at the University of Oxford, have discovered that IgG-antibody modulating enzymes can enhance the efficacy of antibody based cancer treatments. Together with their colleague, Dr Kavitha Baruah, they formed Immago Biosystems Ltd to help bring these concepts to the clinic. Immago Biosystems has applied for patent protection for this concept, and the research results have subsequently been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, 2012 Jun 29;420(1-2):1-7.

Hansa Medical has recently verified the research findings by combining its lead candidate IdeS with approved anti-cancer antibodies in preclinical cancer models, and has applied for further patent protection in this area.

By combining IdeS with a therapeutic antibody, the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of the antibody is significantly enhanced with maintained specificity. Potentially, this means that presently available antibody based cancer therapies could be made more effective”, commented Dr Christian Kjellman, Senior Vice President, R&D at Hansa Medical AB.

“Our verification of the research findings by Immago has encouraged us to further examine the potential of IdeS and EndoS within cancer immunotherapy. Although the findings are to be regarded as early preclinical research findings, we believe that this concept can hold significant potential for IdeS and EndoS in addition to the focus of our current clinical program in transplantation and autoimmunity,” said Göran Arvidson, CEO of Hansa Medical AB.

The global market for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for cancer is estimated at $23 billion, and is expected to grow to $33 billion by 2017, according to Cancer Monoclonal Antibodies Market Forecast to 2017 (August 13, 2013). 

The sum of the acquisition was not disclosed. The acquisition will not have a significant impact on the Hansa Medical result for 2016.

The information in this press release is disclosed pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was released for public disclosure through the agency of the contact person stated below on July 19, 2016 at 13.00 CET. 

For further information, please contact:
Hansa Medical AB
Göran Arvidson, CEO
Mobile: 46 70-633 30 42

About the antibody enhancement technology by Immago Biosystems
Many antibody based cancer therapies rely on activation of the immune system via so called Antibody Dependent Cell mediated Cytotoxicity (ADCC). These antibodies bind to antigens on cancer cells and once attached, the antibody attracts immune cells via the Fc-gamma receptors on the surface of cytotoxic immune cells, which then destroy the cancer cells. At physiological conditions, the majority of Fc-gamma receptors are bound to naturally occurring antibodies from the plasma, so activation of immune cells by a therapeutic antibody is dependent upon the displacement of irrelevant plasma antibodies prior to binding. Pretreatment with IdeS or EndoS prior to treatment with an antibody based cancer therapy, displaces the irrelevant antibodies, leaving room for the therapeutic antibodies to bind to Fc-gamma receptors on the surface of immune cells. This results in cytotoxic immune cells with a significantly higher load of therapeutic antibodies directed towards cancer cells. For more information, please visit

About Immago Biosystems Ltd.
Immago Biosystems Ltd was founded in 2013 from research arising in the Oxford Glycobiology Institute within the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. Dr Chris Scanlan and Dr Max Crispin invented ‘receptor refocusing’ which aims to enhances immune-mediated killing of cancer cells by modulating the endogenous antibody repertoire with enzymes such as IdeS and EndoS. Together with their colleague, Dr Kavitha Baruah, they formed Immago Biosystems Ltd to help bring these concepts to the clinic.

About Dr Chris Scanlan
Dr Chris Scanlan was a group leader in the Oxford Glycobiology Institute at the University of Oxford, and held lectureships at Corpus Christi College and Oriel College, Oxford. Dr Scanlan died from cancer in 2013, aged just 35. Dr Scanlan made seminal contributions to immunology and the global effort to develop an HIV vaccine, with one of his key papers attracting over 650 citations. His later work focused on biotherapeutics against cancer. It was this work, with Dr Max Crispin, that led to the founding of Immago Biosytems.

About Dr Max Crispin
Dr Max Crispin runs the Glycoprotein Therapeutics Laboratory within the Oxford Glycobiology Institute at the University of Oxford. Dr Max Crispin has published over 70 papers in the fields of glycobiology, immunology and virology.  He holds the Against Breast Cancer Fellowship at Oriel College, Oxford, which was awarded for his work on immunotherapeutics ( He is a Lecturer in Biochemistry at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Email:

About Hansa Medical AB
Hansa Medical is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on novel immunomodulatory enzymes. The lead project IdeS is an antibody-degrading enzyme in clinical development, with potential use in transplantation and rare autoimmune diseases. Additional projects focus on development of new antibody modulating enzymes, as well as HBP, a diagnostic biomarker for prediction of severe sepsis at emergency departments that is already introduced on the market. The company is based in Lund, Sweden. Hansa Medical’s share (ticker: HMED) is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.