Cyclenium Pharma Inc., of Montreal, and Haplogen Bioscience GmbH, of Vienna, said they have been awarded the Eureka label in recognition of the high degree of innovation and market potential for their joint program on the development of pan-flaviviral pharmaceuticals. Eureka is an intergovernmental network of funding bodies and ministries of more than 40 countries, primarily in Europe, and associated countries, including Canada. The project focuses on the development of small-molecule macrocycle inhibitors of an enzyme target critical to the life cycle of flaviviruses. It exploits Cyclenium's CMRT drug discovery technology together with Haplogen's expertise in flaviviral biology to identify new agents for therapeutic and prophylactic use against all major pathogenic organisms from that family, including dengue, Zika, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever viruses.
Glythera Ltd., of Newcastle, U.K., said it changed its name to Iksuda Therapeutics to signify the firm's transition from technology licensing to drug development, with a focus on cancer therapeutics and treating solid tumors.
Neurosearch A/S, of Hellerup, Denmark, said it will receive a $450,000 cash payment from Teva Pharmaceutical International GmbH, a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., of Petah Tikva, Israel, after completing a definitive agreement relating to the sale and transfer of its right in and to pridopidine, targeting Huntington's disease. In May, Neurosearch released Teva from all outstanding obligations relating to a 2012 agreement covering the transfer of its rights in pridopidine.
Oncolytics Biotech Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, said it has established a clinical collaboration with SOLTI, an academic research group dedicated to clinical and translational research in breast cancer. Under a window of opportunity study in the neoadjuvant setting for breast cancer, patients will receive the appropriate standard of care for their cancer subtype plus Reolysin (pelareorep), an intravenously delivered immuno-oncolytic virus, with or without the anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq (atezolizumab, Roche Holding AG). Patients will be biopsied on day one, followed immediately by treatment and a final biopsy after three weeks, on the day of their mastectomy. Data generated from the study are intended to confirm that the virus is acting as a novel immunotherapy and to provide comprehensive biomarker data by breast cancer subtype, to support the company's phase III study in metastatic breast cancer.
Opiant Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Santa Monica, Calif., and Consort Medical plc, of Hemel Hempstead, U.K., inked a development and manufacturing agreement for Opiant's OPNT-003 (intranasal nalmefene), a long-acting opioid antagonist for the treatment of opioid overdose. Under the terms, wholly owned subsidiaries of Consort will work with Opiant to produce a prefilled delivery nasal spray with nalmefene, including product clinical samples and registration batches for the purposes of performing clinical studies and obtaining regulatory approvals. Upon FDA approval, they will manufacture and supply the commercial device for Opiant.
Respirerx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Glen Rock, N.J., said it inked a dronabinol development and supply agreement with Noramco Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed. Respirerx is developing dronabinol for obstructive sleep apnea.
Samabriva, of Amiens, France, and Affilogic SAS, of Nantes, France, said they entered an option and license agreement to develop biotherapeutics for the treatment of patients with lysosomal storage disorders (LSD). Samabriva will have sole responsibility to evaluate nanofitin candidates selected by Affilogic from its libraries in combination with lysosomal enzymes and will be entitled to commercialize products worldwide incorporating nanofitins resulting from the collaboration. In return, Affilogic will receive an up-front payment and is eligible to receive further research funding, milestones payments and royalties. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Titan Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, said it was awarded a two-year grant of about $6.7 million from the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse for the development of a Proneura-based six-month implantable formulation of nalmefene, an opioid antagonist, intended for the prevention of relapse to opioid addiction, following opioid detoxification. The grant provides about $2.7 million for the project now through Aug. 31, 2019, with the balance to be funded over the subsequent year, subject to satisfactory project progress, fund availability and other conditions.
Triumvira Immunologics Inc., of Austin, Texas, inked a licensing agreement with the University of Toronto providing the company with exclusive rights to antibodies developed at the university on specified therapeutic targets. The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics is the assigned agent for the university. Under the terms, U of T will receive up-front fees, milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products on three therapeutic targets: BCMA, ROR1 and one undisclosed target.
Xbrane Biopharma AB, of Stockholm, said its board decided to shift strategic focus to biosimilars. Lead candidate Xlucane, a biosimilar of Lucentis (ranibizumab, Roche Holding AG), is moving into pivotal testing, and Xbrane is accelerating development of Xcimzane, a biosimilar of Cimzia (certolizumab pegol, UCB SA), and Xoncane, a biosimilar of Oncaspar (pegaspargase). It also will initiate two additional biosimilar programs targeting biologics with patent expirations in the 2026 to 2028 range. As a result of the change of focus, further development of generic long-acting injectables beyond Spherotide (generic long-acting triptorelin) will be pursued only if additional resources become available.
Xonovo Inc., of Ness Ziona, Israel, inked a service-based partnership with contract research biotech Inoviem Scientific aimed at generating information regarding Xonovo's lead compound, XN-001, an autophagy modulator for neurodegenerative disease. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Vivus Inc., of Campbell, Calif., said stockholders approved a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, effective Sept. 10.