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Press News

2012.09.20 Patent for Next-generation Cancer Antigens MAGE-A4 Peptides Approved in United States

tella, Inc. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Yuichiro Yazaki) signed a contract in March 2009 with National University Corporation Hokkaido University for exclusive worldwide licensing rights concerning MAGE-A4 peptides, which are new cancer antigens. The patent concerning MAGE-A4 peptides submitted by Hokkaido University has now been approved in the United States. MAGE-A4 peptides are new cancer antigens that were invented by Professor Takashi Nishimura of Hokkaido University. MAGE-A4 peptides consist of two types of peptides. One is peptides with a site that activates helper T-cells*1. The other is a helper/killer-hybrid epitope long peptide (H/K-HELP)*3, which has a site that can simultaneously activate helper T-cells and killer T-cells (cytotoxic T-cells)*2. MAGE-A4 peptides are unlike the cancer antigens currently used for the DC vaccine therapy*4, for which tella provides technologies and know-how. These antigens activate only killer T-cells. But MAGE-A4 peptides activate helper T-cells in addition to killer T-cells. As a result, MAGE-A4 peptides have the potential to become next-generation cancer antigens that can stimulate an even more powerful immunological response to cancer.
Hokkaido University has submitted patent applications concerning MAGE-A4 peptides in the United States as well as Japan and other countries. In accordance with its contract with Hokkaido University, tella can exercise its exclusive licensing rights worldwide as countries approve the patents. tella is studying ways to effectively utilize these rights in Japan and other countries for clinical research and other activities with the aim of devising practical applications for MAGE-A4 peptides. tella will continue to perform R&D activities involving new cancer antigens and acquire associated intellectual property. The goal is to give the large number of cancer patients more treatment options.

This matter will have only a negligible effect on results of operations in fiscal 2012.

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