Apceth GmbH and Co. KG

München, Germany

Apceth GmbH and Co. KG

München, Germany

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Pacifici P.G.,Max Planck Institute for Medical Research | Peter C.,Max Planck Institute for Medical Research | Peter C.,Apceth GmbH and Co KG | Yampolsky P.,Max Planck Institute for Medical Research | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The balanced action of both pre- and postsynaptic organizers regulates the formation of neuromuscular junctions (NMJ). The precise mechanisms that control the regional specialization of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) aggregation, guide ingrowing axons and contribute to correct synaptic patterning are unknown. Synaptic activity is of central importance and to understand synaptogenesis, it is necessary to distinguish between activity-dependent and activity-independent processes. By engineering a mutated fetal AChR subunit, we used homologous recombination to develop a mouse line that expresses AChR with massively reduced open probability during embryonic development. Through histological and immunochemical methods as well as electrophysiological techniques, we observed that endplate anatomy and distribution are severely aberrant and innervation patterns are completely disrupted. Nonetheless, in the absence of activity AChRs form postsynaptic specializations attracting motor axons and permitting generation of multiple nerve/muscle contacts on individual fibers. This process is not restricted to a specialized central zone of the diaphragm and proceeds throughout embryonic development. Phenotypes can be attributed to separate activity-dependent and -independent pathways. The correct patterning of synaptic connections, prevention of multiple contacts and control of nerve growth require AChRmediated activity. In contrast, myotube survival and acetylcholine-mediated dispersal of AChRs are maintained even in the absence of AChR-mediated activity. Because mouse models in which acetylcholine is entirely absent do not display similar effects, we conclude that acetylcholine binding to the AChR initiates activity-dependent and activity-independent pathways whereby the AChR modulates formation of the NMJ. © 2011 Pacifici et al.


Wegmeyer H.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Broske A.-M.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Leddin M.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Kuentzer K.,Hoffmann-La Roche | And 11 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2013

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are rare progenitor cells that can be isolated from various tissues. They exhibit multilineage differentiation potential, support regenerative processes, and interact with various immune cells. Therefore, MSCs represent a promising tool for regenerative medicine. However, source-dependent and donor-dependent differences of MSC properties, including implications on their clinical application are still largely unknown. We evaluated MSCs derived from perinatal tissues umbilical cord (UC) and amniotic membrane (AM) in comparison to adult MSCs from bone marrow (BM), which were used as gold standard. We found genetic background-independent differences between MSCs from UC and AM. While AM- and UC-MSCs were closer to each other than to BM-MSCs, they also exhibited differences between each other. AM-MSCs from different donors but not UC-MSCs displayed high interdonor variability. In addition, we show that although all MSCs expressed similar surface markers, MSC populations from UC and AM showed differential profiles of gene expression and paracrine factor secretion to BM-derived MSCs. Notably, pathway analysis of gene expression data revealed intriguing differences between MSCs suggesting that MSCs from UC and AM possess in general a higher potential of immunomodulatory capacity, whereas BM-MSCs showed a higher potential of supporting regenerative processes as exemplified by neuronal differentiation and development. These differences between perinatal and BM-derived MSCs may be relevant for clinical applications. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Specht H.M.,TU Munich | Ahrens N.,University of Regensburg | Blankenstein C.,TU Munich | Duell T.,Thoracic Oncology | And 16 more authors.
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2015

Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is frequently overexpressed in tumor cells. An unusual cell surface localization could be demonstrated on a large variety of solid tumors including lung, colorectal, breast, squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, prostate and pancreatic carcinomas, glioblastomas, sarcomas and hematological malignancies, but not on corresponding normal tissues. A membrane (m)Hsp70-positive phenotype can be determined either directly on single cell suspensions of tumor biopsies by flow cytometry using cmHsp70.1 monoclonal antibody or indirectly in the serum of patients using a novel lipHsp70 ELISA. A mHsp70-positive tumor phenotype has been associated with highly aggressive tumors, causing invasion and metastases and resistance to cell death. However, natural killer (NK), but not T cells were found to kill mHsp70-positive tumor cells after activation with a naturally occurring Hsp70 peptide (TKD) plus low dose IL-2 (TKD/IL-2). Safety and tolerability of ex vivo TKD/IL-2 stimulated, autologous NK cells has been demonstrated in patients with metastasized colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a phase I clinical trial. Based on promising clinical results of the previous study, a phase II randomized clinical study was initiated in 2014. The primary objective of this multicenter proof-of-concept trial is to examine whether an adjuvant treatment of NSCLC patients after platinum-based radiochemotherapy (RCTx) with TKD/IL-2 activated, autologous NK cells is clinically effective. As a mHsp70-positive tumor phenotype is associated with poor clinical outcome only mHsp70-positive tumor patients will be recruited into the trial. The primary endpoint of this study will be the comparison of the progression-free survival of patients treated with ex vivo activated NK cells compared to patients who were treated with RCTx alone. As secondary endpoints overall survival, toxicity, quality-of-life, and biological responses will be determined in both study groups. © 2015 Specht, Ahrens, Blankenstein, Duell, Fietkau, Gaipl, Günther, Gunther, Habl, Hautmann, Hautmann, Huber, Molls, Offner, Rödel, Rödel, Schütz, Combs and Multhoff.


Niess H.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | von Einem J.C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Thomas M.N.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Michl M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 6 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2015

Background: Adenocarcinoma originating from the digestive system is a major contributor to cancer-related deaths worldwide. Tumor recurrence, advanced local growth and metastasis are key factors that frequently prevent these tumors from curative surgical treatment. Preclinical research has demonstrated that the dependency of these tumors on supporting mesenchymal stroma results in susceptibility to cell-based therapies targeting this stroma. Methods/Design: TREAT-ME1 is a prospective, uncontrolled, single-arm phase I/II study assessing the safety and efficacy of genetically modified autologous mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) as delivery vehicles for a cell-based gene therapy for advanced, recurrent or metastatic gastrointestinal or hepatopancreatobiliary adenocarcinoma. Autologous bone marrow will be drawn from each eligible patient after consent for bone marrow donation has been obtained (under a separate EC-approved protocol). In the following ~10 sweeks the investigational medicinal product (IMP) is developed for each patient. To this end, the patient's MSCs are stably transfected with a gamma-retroviral, replication-incompetent and self-inactivating (SIN) vector system containing a therapeutic promoter - gene construct that allows for tumor-specific expression of the therapeutic gene. After release of the IMP the patients are enrolled after given informed consent for participation in the TREAT-ME 1 trial. In the phase I part of the study, the safety of the IMP is tested in six patients by three treatment cycles consisting of re-transfusion of MSCs at different concentrations followed by administration of the prodrug Ganciclovir. In the phase II part of the study, sixteen patients will be enrolled receiving IMP treatment. A subgroup of patients that qualifies for surgery will be treated preoperatively with the IMP to verify homing of the MSCs to tumors as to be confirmed in the surgical specimen. Discussion: The TREAT-ME1 clinical study involves a highly innovative therapeutic strategy combining cell and gene therapy and is conducted at a high level of pharmaceutical quality ensuring patient safety. This patient-tailored approach represents the first clinical study worldwide utilizing genetically engineered MSCs in humans. © Niess et al.


PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg and Apceth GmbH and Co. KG
Type: | Journal: BMC cancer | Year: 2015

Adenocarcinoma originating from the digestive system is a major contributor to cancer-related deaths worldwide. Tumor recurrence, advanced local growth and metastasis are key factors that frequently prevent these tumors from curative surgical treatment. Preclinical research has demonstrated that the dependency of these tumors on supporting mesenchymal stroma results in susceptibility to cell-based therapies targeting this stroma.TREAT-ME1 is a prospective, uncontrolled, single-arm phase I/II study assessing the safety and efficacy of genetically modified autologous mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) as delivery vehicles for a cell-based gene therapy for advanced, recurrent or metastatic gastrointestinal or hepatopancreatobiliary adenocarcinoma. Autologous bone marrow will be drawn from each eligible patient after consent for bone marrow donation has been obtained (under a separate EC-approved protocol). In the following ~10weeks the investigational medicinal product (IMP) is developed for each patient. To this end, the patients MSCs are stably transfected with a gamma-retroviral, replication-incompetent and self-inactivating (SIN) vector system containing a therapeutic promoter - gene construct that allows for tumor-specific expression of the therapeutic gene. After release of the IMP the patients are enrolled after given informed consent for participation in the TREAT-ME 1 trial. In the phase I part of the study, the safety of the IMP is tested in six patients by three treatment cycles consisting of re-transfusion of MSCs at different concentrations followed by administration of the prodrug Ganciclovir. In the phase II part of the study, sixteen patients will be enrolled receiving IMP treatment. A subgroup of patients that qualifies for surgery will be treated preoperatively with the IMP to verify homing of the MSCs to tumors as to be confirmed in the surgical specimen.The TREAT-ME1 clinical study involves a highly innovative therapeutic strategy combining cell and gene therapy and is conducted at a high level of pharmaceutical quality ensuring patient safety. This patient-tailored approach represents the first clinical study worldwide utilizing genetically engineered MSCs in humans.EU Clinical Trials Register/European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials Database number: 2012-003741-15.


Bao Q.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Bao Q.,Zhejiang University | Zhao Y.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Niess H.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2012

Mesenchymal stem (or stromal) cells (MSCs) are nonhematopoietic progenitor cells that can be obtained from bone marrow aspirates or adipose tissue, expanded and genetically modified in vitro, and then used for cancer therapeutic strategies in vivo. Here, we review available data regarding the application of MSC-based tumor-targeted therapy in gastrointestinal cancer, provide an overview of the general history of MSC-based gene therapy in cancer research, and discuss potential problems associated with the utility of MSC-based therapy such as biosafety, immunoprivilege, transfection methods, and distribution in the host. Copyright © 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.


Look J.,University of Munster | Wilhelm N.,Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering | Von Briesen H.,Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering | Noske N.,Apceth GmbH and Co. KG | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Pharmaceutics | Year: 2015

The development of nonviral gene delivery systems is a great challenge to enable safe gene therapy. In this study, ligand-modified nanoparticles based on human serum albumin (HSA) were developed and optimized for an efficient gene therapy. Different glutaraldehyde cross-linking degrees were investigated to optimize the HSA nanoparticles for gene delivery. The peptide sequence arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) and the HIV-1 transactivator of transduction sequence (Tat) are well-known as promising targeting ligands. Plasmid DNA loaded HSA nanoparticles were covalently modified on their surface with these different ligands. The transfection potential of the obtained plasmid DNA loaded RGD- and Tat-modified nanoparticles was investigated in vitro, and optimal incubation conditions for these preparations were studied. It turned out that Tat-modified HSA nanoparticles with the lowest cross-linking degree of 20% showed the highest transfection potential. Taken together, ligand-functionalized HSA nanoparticles represent promising tools for efficient and safe gene therapy. © 2015 American Chemical Society.


Wehner K.A.,Stanford University | Schutz S.,Stanford University | Schutz S.,Apceth GmbH and Co. KG | Sarnow P.,Stanford University
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2010

Cells possess mechanisms that permit survival and recovery from stress, several of which regulate the phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α). We identified the human OGFOD1 protein as a novel stress granule component that regulates the phosphorylation of eIF2α and the resumption of translation in cells recovering from arsenite-induced stress. Coimmunoprecipitation studies revealed that OGFOD1 associates with a small subset of stress granule proteins (G3BP1, USP10, Caprin1, and YB-1) and the ribosome in both unstressed and stressed cells. Overexpression of OGFOD1 led to increased abundance of phosphorylated eIF2α, both in unstressed cells and in cells exposed to arsenite-induced stress, and to accelerated apoptosis during stress. Conversely, knockdown of OGFOD1 resulted in smaller amounts of phosphorylated eIF2α and a faster accumulation of polyribosomes in cells recovering from stress. Finally, OGFOD1 interacted with both eIF2α and the eIF2α kinase heme-regulated inhibitor (HRI), which was identified as a novel stress granule resident. These findings argue that OGFOD1 plays important proapoptotic roles in the regulation of translation and HRI-mediated phosphorylation of eIF2α in cells subjected to arsenite-induced stress. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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