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10th BioVaria: Two-Day Anniversary Edition on 22-23 May 2017 in Munich

Technology Sneak Peek from Ascenion: Human T-cell receptors for cancer therapy

4 April 2017, Munich, Germany – On 22-23 May 2017, dealmakers from biotech, pharma and finance will come together in Munich for the 10th BioVaria to learn about breakthrough academic inventions and emerging life-science trends, and to initiate partnerships with scientists, entrepreneurs and technology transfer professionals from all over Europe. To mark its 10th anniversary, BioVaria has been extended to two days, providing extra dedicated time for high-level networking and program highlights:

  • Presentation of over 50 commercially attractive, peer-selected technologies from about 50 European academic institutions, comprising innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches as well as platform technologies
  • Interactive BioVaria Spin-off Panel featuring 10 promising European start-ups, moderated by experts from Merck KGaA and Merck Ventures
  • Keynote on emerging opportunities and solutions in digital health by leaders from IBM and the Munich Leukemia Laboratory
  • BioVaria’s 10th birthday party in one of Munich’s wonderful beer gardens


The event is jointly organized by 14 technology transfer organizations from all over Europe, including long-standing as well as new BioVaria partners.

Ascenion and its academic partner institutes will present a total of five start-ups and six technologies. One of these, originating from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), was ranked amongst the very top technologies by BioVaria’s advisory board: a novel approach for generating human, tumour-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) to be used for adoptive T-cell therapy. The lack of T cells carrying such TCRs is a key bottleneck, because their expansion is effectively suppressed in cancer patients by self-tolerance mechanisms. MDC scientists have managed to overcome this hurdle by creating an innovative mouse model capable of producing human TCRs against human tumour antigens as a result of a natural immune response. These TCRs are then used to equip patient-derived T cells with tumour specificity. Based on this approach, a set of TCRs targeting MAGE-A1 has already been established and advanced up to Phase I / II clinical testing. Preclinical results suggest a significantly superior efficacy when compared to TCRs generated from patients using traditional approaches for ex vivoexpansion.

Further BioVaria projects presented by Ascenion and its partner institutes are:


  • Bispecific antibodies for cell-type-specific TNF inhibition (German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin)
  • Innovative inhibitors of Pseudomonas pathogenicity (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research / Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland)
  • Advanced dendritic cells for adaptive post-transplant therapy (Hannover Medical School)
  • Novel BCMA-CAR for the treatment of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (MDC)
  • JC Virus-like particles: an effective and specific delivery system with simplified retargeting (Leibniz Institute for Primate Research)


For the agenda and a full preview of technologies that have been selected for BioVaria 2017 visit




Esther Lange
T: +49 89 318814-22
E: info(at)biovaria(dot)org
Ascenion GmbH, Herzogstraße 64, 80803 Munich, GERMANY



Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology

BioM, AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Life Science Inkubator / Photonic Inkubator, Berlin Institute of Health, HERTIN & Partner, Vossius & Partner, Sachs Associates

Technology transfer partners: 
Ascenion, Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft, Bayerische Patentallianz, BTO Bergen Teknologioverføring, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas de Canarias, EMBLEM Technology Transfer, FIST, IOCB TTO, KU Leuven - Centre for Drug Design, Lead Discovery Center, Max Planck Innovation, MRC Technology, PROvendis, TechnologieAllianz

Network partners:
ASTP-Proton, BIO Deutschland

Communication sponsors:
Going Public,, transkript

About BioVaria

BioVaria brings together Europe’s top scientists and technology transfer professionals with potential licensees and investors from the international biopharmaceutical industry.

Key features of BioVaria 2017:


  • Unique gathering of Europe's top scientists, technology transfer professionals, investors and industry representatives
  • Presentation of more than 50 licensable technologies and spin-offs originating from public research institutions and universities across Europe
  • Focus on patent-protected, commercially attractive opportunities covering therapeutics, diagnostics and research tools in the fields of cancer, infectious diseases, metabolism, autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders, and in other disease areas
  • Interactive format combining 10-min oral presentations with a poster exhibition and plenty networking opportunities
  • Spin-off Panel presenting promising European life-science start-ups
  • Ample space to discuss scientific details face-to-face with the inventors
  • Jointly organized by Ascenion and a selected group of leading European technology transfer organizations


About Ascenion

Ascenion is an independent technology transfer company focussing on the life sciences. It is partner to over 20 research organizations, universities and university hospitals in Germany and Europe, including life-science institutes of the Helmholtz and Leibniz Associations, the Hannover Medical School and the Charité. Ascenion’s multidisciplinary, industry-experienced team works closely with its partners to tap the potential of their research by identifying promising results, obtaining patent protection, and turning pure science into applied technology. Particular strengths are spin-off support and project development, where early-stage projects are transformed into assets that attract potential investors and licensees. This has led to the founding of numerous new companies and the transfer of innovative medical approaches into approved drugs, changing the lives of thousands of patients. Profits from Ascenion’s operative business and exit proceeds flow via its parent company, the LifeScience Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Research, to fund further translational research at its partner institutes.

Ascenion has also initiated the pan European showcasing event BioVaria to stimulate deal making and early collaboration between Europe’s academia and the global life-sciences industry.

Further information at: