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Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPXA), a biotechnology company developing Tcelna
®, a novel T-cell immunotherapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), today announced that several key patents have issued, further strengthening the Company's proprietary technology for the development of patient-specific immunotherapies.
Opexa licenses and maintains a variety of patents covering the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including MS. In the past year alone, Opexa has received eight patents or notices of allowance for related inventions, including a key patent recently issued by the European patent office. The European patent is the fiftieth (50
th) patent awarded worldwide under Opexa's direction for its proprietary T-cell platform and validates Opexa as a leader in the field of Precision Immunotherapy
TM. Opexa has a broad patent portfolio protecting its technology in the United States, Europe and Asia.
European patent no. 2335720 was recently granted and is valid in 18 European countries. The European patent covers the manufacture of patient-specific T-cell vaccines created using immunogenic fragments of myelin proteins. It further protects the use of Tcelna as a treatment for MS. Tcelna, Opexa's leading pharmaceutical candidate, is a personalized T-cell immunotherapy currently in a Phase IIb clinical development program for the treatment of Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS). Tcelna has been granted Fast Track Designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of SPMS.
Additional patents that have recently been granted include European patent no. 1677821, which is directed toward a T-cell vaccine enriched in CD8
+ T-cells for treating MS, and Israeli patent no. 195115, granted for personalized T-cell vaccines comprising T-cells specific to the most immunogenic epitopes of any autoantigen. A notice of allowance was received last month with respect to U.S. patent application no. 12/306,894, directed toward the use of a personalized T-cell vaccine for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
"As a leader in the novel field of Precision Immunotherapy, it is vital that we build and protect our intellectual property position globally. This serves to maintain our competitive advantage and also enables us to build incremental shareholder value," stated Neil K. Warma, President and CEO of Opexa. "It is critical that we not only maintain and defend the strong patent estate we have built for Tcelna in MS, but we believe it is also important to our long-term growth to seek patent coverage for the potential use of our proprietary technology to treat other autoimmune diseases.”