Swiss pharmaceutical company licensed Göttingen cell lines

Göttingen 10.08.2011

Göttingen technology transfer organization MBM ScienceBridge GmbH succeeded in closing a license deal for antibody-producing cell lines with an international company - the Swiss pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. The cell lines derived from the Department of Immunology of the Göttingen Universitätsmedizin is a further example of successful commercialization of research materials from antibody research.

The scientists led by Professor Martin Oppermann of the Department of Immunology, Georg-August-University Göttingen mainly work on the physiological and pathological functions of the complement system, an integral part of the body's immune system and have developed a variety of monoclonal antibodies and cell lines against factors of complement system in the last years, which are used for research purposes, but also find applications in the development of diagnostic tests and therapeutic solutions.

The company Roche has now in-licensed several cell lines from the Immunology Department to develop and commercialize an immunological detection method for complement factor H determination. This diagnostic procedure, a so-called ELISA (immunological detection method using an enzymatic reaction), should be used specifically for the quantitative determination of complement factor H in the blood. In return, the Göttingen Universitätsmedizin will receive a six-digit amount as an upfront payment and will participate on Roche's ELISA sales over a period of 20 years.

The human body's complement system has strong cell-destroying properties if it can not be regulated. The complement factor H is a critical negative regulator that counteracts an overshooting of the complement cascade. If factor H is missing, for example due to a gene mutation, this can lead to uncontrolled activation of the complement system, which could cause severe damages. The result may be chronic kidney disease (membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II) or visual disturbances.

F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.. Head-quartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leading research-focused healthcare company in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic area. As the world's biggest biotech company, Roche is developing differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolic diseases and disorders of the central nervous system. Roche, a pioneer in diabetes management is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer tests.

The Universitätsmedizin of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen includes the school of medicine and its hospital. It is one of the leading educational and research centers for medical doctors in Germany and in Europe and one of the universities in Germany awarded with the title “University of Excellence”.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH is the technology transfer organization of the Georg-August-University of Göttingen and acts for nine German universities and research facilities in Lower Saxony. The IP portfolio managed by MBM ScienceBridge covers innovation in the areas of Life Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Agriculture, Forestry and Medical Technologies. More information: 

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