AiCuris Anti-infective Cures AG and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have announced the signing of a collaboration and license option agreement.

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As part of the collaboration, DZIF and AiCuris will jointly work on the identification of novel targets for antiviral therapy and the discovery of new active agents for the treatment and prophylaxis of infections of immunocompromised patients.

AiCuris, a leading clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutic candidates for the prevention and treatment of severe and potentially life-threatening infectious diseases in immunocompromised patients, will have the option to in-license resulting compounds for further development and worldwide commercialisation.

High medical need

“We are excited about the partnership with the German Center for Infection Research as it provides us with the opportunity to combine exceptional German antiviral research with our development capabilities and clinical expertise to develop novel therapies for patients with proven high medical need,” says Dr Holger Zimmermann, Chief Research and Development Officer of AiCuris Anti-infective Cures AG. “We look forward to collaborating with these leading scientists.”

“With its clear focus on the development of antiviral medicines to treat immunocompromised patients and its proven track record in bringing drugs through preclinical and clinical development to the market, the collaboration with AiCuris provides a great opportunity for DZIF,” Prof. Dirk Busch, Chair of the Executive Board of the German Center for Infection Research, DZIF, adds.

“It will enable us to incorporate clinical and market considerations already in our early-stage projects, thus strengthening DZIF’s focus on translating scientific findings into clinical applications. We look forward to optimally utilising resources at both AiCuris and DZIF to advance projects and bring research results to patients.”Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Antiviral drugs

AiCuris aims to discover, develop, and deliver innovative, anti-viral drugs to immunocompromised patients aiming to prevent severe condition and life-threatening diseases. The company has developed a commercial drug as well as a pipeline of clinical-stage and pre-clinical anti-viral candidates. Its lead product PREVYMIS® (letermovir), a first-in-class non-nucleoside cytomegalovirus (CMV) inhibitor, was licensed to MSD and is commercialised for the prevention of human CMV infections in immunocompromised patients who underwent an allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation or kidney transplantation.

AiCuris’ wholly owned product candidate, Pritelivir, targeting resistant herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections in immunocompromised patients, is in phase III clinical development. Therapeutic candidates for the treatment of other virus infections such as BK virus and adenovirus are in earlier stages of development.