BURLINGTON, Mass., Sept. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coronado Biosciences, Inc., (Nasdaq:CNDO), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel immunotherapy agents for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer, today announced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a key patent for CNDO-109, licensed by Coronado Biosciences from the University College London Business PLC, for its Natural Killer (NK) cell therapy program. The patent, U.S. Patent Application No. 8,257,970, is entitled, "Method for activating natural killer cells by tumor cell preparation in vitro" and has a current expiration date of January 2029. "The issuance of this patent is central to our intellectual property portfolio around CNDO-109, and we are excited to have it in place as we prepare to begin the clinical development of this compound in oncology patients," said Dr. Bobby W. Sandage, Jr., Coronado's President and CEO. "We are continuing to pursue a global patent strategy for CNDO-109 through the prosecution of multiple patent applications in the United States, Europe and Asia. In addition, earlier this year we received Orphan-Drug Designation from the FDA for CNDO-109 for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia." The granted claim set is directed to methods of activating NK cells as well as to activated NK cell compositions and their use in methods for treating cancer. The claims broadly cover activating tumor cell preparations capable of priming NK cells to kill tumor cells, including tumor cells previously resistant to NK cell lysis. The core NK activation technology was developed in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Lowdell, Director of Cellular Therapy & Biobanking at Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust and Assistant Professor and Senior Lecturer in Hematology at University College London. Coronado acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and market CNDO-109 from the University College London Business PLC.