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Pevion Launches New Immune Enhancement Platform Called Defensomes

November 8, 2012

ITTIGEN, Switzerland, November 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

– Patent already granted in Europe -

Pevion Biotech AG today announced the launch of a new program called Defensomes, a
platform for broad spectrum immune enhancement via mechanisms of innate immunity. The
proprietary technology is derived from a vaccine platform with a solid safety track record
comprising more than 80 million doses applied to humans to date. Defensomes offer
opportunities for a wide range of prophylactic and therapeutic indications, where boosting
of the body’s own natural defense is beneficial.

“Ways of stimulating the body’s own natural defense in a broad manner is not new,”
says Pevion CEO Evert Kueppers, “however, you need to have a technology capable of doing
it in a smart and gentle way. More importantly, you need the safety on your side. That’s
why Defensomes are particularly well suited for this task.”

Defensomes are influenza virus-like particles (VLP) that are produced by a
commercially validated in vitro process. They act as a subtle activator of innate
immunity. This is characterized by a protective effect within a few hours after
application, as opposed to adaptive-immunity addressing vaccines, that need a few weeks to
develop full protection. Triggering an innate response can be useful in providing
immediate and broad protection in situations where people are at elevated risk of
infection, either due to increased exposure or susceptibility, such as hospital admission,
travel, or during the cold season. An innate response may also exert a helper function to
an adaptive immune response induced by natural infection or vaccination. Here, Defensomes
support and enhance long-term protection. Innate immunity only recently has become subject
to more intense research, thereby providing the insights required for a solid
pharmaceutical product development.

Defensomesare fully protected by two patent families, owned and controlled by Pevion,
covering both process and field of application. Granting has occurred for Europe and
Russia, while applications for other territories are pending.

“Defensomes are a prime example of research serendipity,” comments Christian Moser,
Head of Research at Pevion. “The Company develops specific vaccines based on its
proprietary virus-like particle (VLP) technology called virosomes. Screening or
preclinical experiments done over the years included negative control groups, namely the
basic particles without any specific antigen(s) for the respective target indication. Once
we noticed the Defensome effect in different bacterial and viral challenge models, and
even in a tumor model, we successfully patented the application.”

About Virosomes

Virosomes are a regulatory and market-approved vaccine technology that fulfills
carrier and adjuvant functions in one. Essentially, virosomes are empty influenza virus
envelopes, which are assembled in vitro and devoid of the genetic material of the source
virus. As such, virosomes do not replicate and are therefore an ideal combination of
carrier plus adjuvant for almost any given subunit antigen, including peptide or
protein-derived antigens. The technology enables the use of poorly immunogenic antigens
and thereby provides access to new indications and markets. Two virosome-based vaccines
(Epaxal(R) and Inflexal(R) V, marketed by Crucell Switzerland AG) are licensed in over 40
countries, and more than 80 million doses of these vaccines have been commercially
distributed, thereby providing a solid safety and efficacy track record. Pevion has
developed and owns the second generation of virosomes, which have an excellent stability
profile through lyophilization and allow alternative product formulations and innovative
routes of application.

About Pevion Biotech AG

Pevion Biotech AG is a fully independent Swiss company that develops innovative
immunotherapies and vaccines for unmet medical needs based on its clinically and
commercially validated virosome technology. Its proprietary clinical pipeline includes a
first-in-class immunotherapy of RVVC. A clinical stage malaria vaccine candidate has been
successfully out-licensed, and the Company’s technology has been out-licensed for use as
an HIV vaccine, currently in human trials. Pevion has in-house development capability and
expertise, including a state-of-the-art and industrially scalable GMP manufacturing
process. Located near Bern, Pevion was established by two founding companies, Bachem AG
(SWX: BANB) and Berna Biotech (now Crucell, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary). To date,
Pevion has raised a total of CHF 45 million from its founders and investors, BZ Bank,
Bachem, BB Biotech Ventures and private investors.

For more information, please visit http://www.pevion.com

        For further information, please contact:

        Julian Wagner, PhD, BBA, Business Development
        Phone: +41-31-550-44-44, E-Mail : info@pevion.com

SOURCE Pevion Biotech AG


Source: PR Newswire