Actinium Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, reported data from its Iomab-ACT program at the Transplantation and Cellular Therapy meeting in Houston showing that targeting CD45 with an antibody-radiation conjugate (ARC) can achieve potent yet transient lymphodepletion in a safe and effective manner. Those results support advancement of the Iomab-ACT program into human trials to study it as a single-dose, outpatient lymphodepletion regimen prior to administration of CAR T and other adoptive cell therapies, the company said. The ARC underpinning Iomab-ACT is a lower-dose version of Actinium's Iomab-B, which is in a pivotal phase III trial for conditioning prior to a bone marrow transplant.
Anixa Biosciences Inc., of San Jose, Calif., said it extended its collaboration with The Wistar Institute to focus on understanding the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in cancer progression and how they can be used in diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Knight Therapeutics Inc., of Montreal, entered a secure loan and exclusive license agreement with Triumvira Immunologics Inc., of Hamilton, Ontario, for a $5 million loan, with a term of one year, that will enable Triumvira to accelerate activities to bring its lead program into the clinic. In addition, Triumvira will grant Knight an exclusive license to commercialize Triumvira's future approved products for Canada, Israel, Mexico, Colombia and for TAC01-CD19 for Israel, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. Triumvira is developing its T-cell Antigen Coupler, or TAC, technology, designed to recruit the entire natural T-cell receptor while being independent of the major histocompatibility complex.
Landos Biopharma Inc., of Blacksburg, Va., said findings published in the Journal of Immunology elucidate the regulatory arm of the mechanism of action for BT-11, a candidate targeting Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Results showed BT-11 enhances CD25/STAT5 signaling to support the stable differentiation of regulatory CD4-positive T cells with greater suppressive functionality that are resistant to effector-biased phenotypic plasticity, thereby contributing to a faster mucosal healing. When tested in an in vivo, chronic model, the immune effects were retained after discontinuation of treatment as measured by cellular composition and reduction in histological lesions, indicating lasting immunological tolerance. BT-11-treated regulatory T cells (Tregs) also retained greater suppressive effects in the absence of IL-10 due to enhanced contact-mediated suppression in line with the observed natural Treg phenotype in vivo. BT-11, a gut-restricted drug targeting the LANCL2 pathway, is expected to begin phase II testing this year.
Magenta Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., presented data at the Transplant and Cellular Therapy meeting in Houston, showing that a single injection of MGTA-145, its candidate for stem cell mobilization, used in combination with plerixafor, mobilized two to three times more stem cells in a preclinical model than a multiday regimen of G-CSF and allowed same-day mobilization and collection. High doses of stem cells mobilized with the MGTA-145 combination led to rapid engraftment after autologous transplant in nonhuman primates.
Morphic Therapeutic Inc., of Waltham, Mass., said it entered a research and development collaboration with Janssen Biotech Inc., a unit of New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson, to discover and develop integrin therapeutics for patients with conditions not adequately addressed by current therapies. Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC facilitated the transaction. The collaboration focuses on several undisclosed integrin targets and will explore both inhibitors and activators of integrin function. Under the terms, Morphic will receive an undisclosed up-front payment and is eligible for multiple preclinical development, clinical and commercial milestone payments totaling more than $725 million if such milestones are achieved. Morphic will also receive royalties on worldwide net sales for any products resulting from the collaboration. (See BioWorld, Sept. 26, 2018.)
Neurovive Pharmaceutical AB, of Lund, Sweden, said it entered an exclusive agreement to license and supply two of its first generation of succinate/malonate prodrugs as research tool compounds to Oroboros Instruments, a global supplier of mitochondrial research technologies. Depending on bulk quantities supplied, the agreement has the potential to generate revenue to Neurovive in the range of €10,000 to €50,000 (US$11,340 to US$56,702) per annum.
Ohr Pharmaceutical Inc., of New York, said it received notice from Nasdaq indicating that it had regained compliance with the minimum bid price requirement for continued listing.
Valitacell Ltd., of Dublin, and Solentim, a company working in cell line development instrumentation, agreed to collaborate to enable earlier identification of biological candidates and to accelerate development of breakthrough medicines. The deal combines Valitacell's analytical profiling technologies and data-driven/machine learning approach with Solentim's image-driven liquid handing and cell measurement technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.