Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said progress has been made in applying its site-selective linker technology to advance the field of antibody-radioisotope conjugates. It has created antibody-chelator conjugates site-selectively by combining Herceptin (trastuzumab, Roche Holding AG) with industry standard DOTA chelators used in targeted beta particle therapy employing lutetium-177, as well as other radionuclides. That provides the first examples of antibody-chelator conjugates that have been produced site-selectively by chemical modification at preferred lysine residues of the native antibody, the company said.
Axim Biotechnologies Inc., of New York, said it signed a letter of intent with Impression Healthcare Ltd., Australia's largest home dental impression company, for exclusive distribution of all its products throughout Australia and New Zealand. Both companies will endeavor to co-develop new products, initially for preclinical and phase I trials, including an oral rinse liquid targeted for the treatment of oral mucositis, strep throat, oral infections and gum disease. Pending initial discussions, Impression will also collaborate on the licensing and distribution of Axim's current and future cannabinoid-based therapeutic products for distribution in Australia and New Zealand.
Azitra Inc., of Farmington, Conn., which is developing microbiome-based therapeutics to treat skin diseases and conditions, and The Jackson Laboratory have been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Department of Defense to identify bioactive compounds produced by Staphylococcus epidermidis that can inhibit Staphylococcus aureus and ultimately treat skin infections. The research will explore the use of antimicrobials derived from S. epidermidis that may be able to act as natural defense mechanisms against skin infections. They will investigate both the bioactive compounds and also engineer strains of S. epidermidis to produce therapeutic levels of those bioactives that can be applied to the skin.
Crown Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, published preclinical data in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in conjunction with Carsgen Therapeutics Ltd., of Shanghai, and the Shanghai Cancer Institute showing CLDN18.2 targeting CAR T cells can eliminate gastric tumors in a PDX mouse model.
Cytrx Corp., of Los Angeles, received a $250,000 milestone payment from Orphazyme A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, triggered by the dosing of the first patient in a phase III study testing arimoclomol in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As part of the 2011 partnership, Cytrx is eligible for up to a total of $120 million in prespecified regulatory and business milestones as well as royalties on sales of the drug.
Fate Therapeutics Inc., of San Diego, licensed intellectual property covering the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells using CRISPR-mediated gene activation from the J. David Gladstone Institutes. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
Morphosys AG, of Planegg, Germany, and Galapagos NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, said the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 covering the license to develop MOR-106 with Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, has expired. With the agreement becoming effective, Novartis will pay the companies the up-front payment of €95 million (US$111 million). (See BioWorld, July 20, 2018.)
Oxford Biomedica plc, of Oxford, U.K., signed a lease for a fourth facility allowing the company to target 25 percent to 30 percent of the global lentiviral vector bioprocessing market that's expected to reach $800 million by 2026. The 84,000-square-foot facility will be rolled out in two phases with new offices and warehouse expected to be open in the first quarter of 2019 and GMP suites ready in the first quarter of 2020.
Poxel SA, of Lyon, France, established a wholly owned Japanese subsidiary, Poxel Japan KK, of Tokyo. Takashi Kaneko will lead the subsidiary as president, while also taking the title of senior vice president, medical, at Poxel.
Prokaryotics Inc., of Union, N.J., was awarded its second Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The two-year agreement, valued at up to $2.3 million, will support research by Prokaryotics on a natural product cell wall synthesis inhibitor for treating antimicrobial-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The grant allows for up to $300,000 to isolate and validate the natural product, while the remaining $2 million will be used for animal efficacy and preclinical studies.
Sanofi SA, of Paris, is establishing two new business units: primary care as well as China and emerging markets. Dieter Weinand will lead the primary care unit that will combine Sanofi's existing diabetes and cardiovascular unit with its established products, which are currently part of its general medicines and emerging markets (GEM) unit. Olivier Charmeil will lead the new China and emerging markets unit, formed out of the old GEM unit, which Charmeil currently leads.
Soligenix Inc., of Princeton, N.J., was selected by the NIH into the Commercialization Accelerator Program as part of a $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Commercialization Accelerator Program Phase II award to support the development of its innate defense regulator, SGX-942 (dusquetide), as a treatment of oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients.
Vistagen Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, licensed the worldwide rights to develop and commercialize PH-94B nasal spray, a synthetic neuroactive steroid, from Pherin Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Mountain View, Calif. The phase III-ready drug candidate is being developed as an as-needed treatment for social anxiety disorder. As part of the agreement, Vistagen also received an option to acquire an additional undisclosed central nervous system neuropsychiatry-focused product in phase II development. For the license and option, Vistagen is paying Pherin $2.25 million in unregistered common stock (1.6 million unregistered shares).