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Merck Serono And Opexa Therapeutics Enter Into Option And License Agreement For Development Of Tcelna™ (imilecleucel-T) For Treatment Of Multiple Sclerosis

While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.

About Tcelna (imilecleucel-T)

Tcelna (imilecleucel-T) is a potential personalized therapy that is under development to be specifically tailored to each patient's disease profile. Tcelna (imilecleucel-T) is manufactured using ImmPath , Opexa's proprietary method for the production of a patient-specific T-cell immunotherapy, which encompasses the collection of blood from the MS patient, isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, generation of an autologous pool of myelin-reactive T-cells (MRTCs) raised against selected peptides from myelin basic protein (MBP), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) and proteolipid protein (PLP), and the return of these expanded, irradiated T-cells back to the patient. These attenuated T-cells are reintroduced into the patient via subcutaneous injection to trigger a therapeutic immune system response.

Opexa is currently conducting a Phase IIb study of Tcelna (imilecleucel-T). Named Abili-T, the trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in patients who demonstrate evidence of disease progression without associated relapses. The trial is expected to enroll 180 patients at approximately 30 leading clinical sites in the U.S. and Canada with each patient receiving two annual courses of Tcelna (imilecleucel-T) treatment consisting of five subcutaneous injections per year. The trial’s primary efficacy outcome is the percentage of brain volume change (atrophy) at 24 months. Study investigators will also measure several important secondary outcomes commonly associated with MS, including disease progression as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), annualized relapse rate and changes in disability as measured by EDSS and the MS Functional Composite.

About Opexa

Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPXA) is dedicated to the development of patient-specific cellular therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as MS. The Company’s leading therapy candidate, Tcelna (imilecleucel-T), is a personalized cellular immunotherapy that is in Phase IIb clinical development for MS. Tcelna (imilecleucel-T) is derived from T-cells isolated from peripheral blood, expanded ex vivo, and reintroduced into the patients via subcutaneous injections. This process triggers a potent immune response against specific subsets of autoreactive T-cells known to attack myelin.

For more information visit the Opexa Therapeutics website at

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.

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