Aim Immunotech Inc., of Ocala, Fla., announced that the U.S. Department of Defense granted a four-year, $6.42 million award to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to support a clinical trial testing combination therapies, including Aim's drug Ampligen, in patients with brain-metastatic breast cancer. The phase II study is scheduled to open in 2020.
Allogene Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, and Stanford University are collaborating to test the Charge-altering Releasable Transporter system for delivering nucleic acids into lymphocytes, including T cells, which was developed by Stanford researchers. Allogene plans to test the efficiency, cell viability, cytotoxicity and functional cell performance of the system, which will be further optimized by the Stanford researchers.
Aptevo Therapeutics Inc., of Seattle, reported preclinical data on APVO-603, a bispecific antibody targeting 4-1BB (CD137) and OX40 (CD134), at the 10th Annual World Bispecific Summit in Waltham, Mass. In multiple T-cell activation assays, APVO-603 outperformed a monospecific 4-1BB antibody. The drug promoted CD4, CD8 T-cell and NK cell activation and proliferation. Dual activation of 4-1BB and OX40 promoted synergistic co-stimulation of T cells.
Caribou Biosciences Inc., of Berkeley, Calif., granted Oxford Nanopore Ltd., of Oxford, U.K., a worldwide, nonexclusive license under foundational CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property controlled by Caribou for nanopore sequencing. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated enrichment for nanopore sequencing enables targeted sequencing and is designed to reduce cost, data output and turnaround time.
Celsius Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., signed collaboration agreements with Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Institut Gustave Roussy and the University Health Network in Toronto. Celsius will use its single-cell genomics platform to test tissue samples from patients before and after receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies for triple-negative breast cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer with a goal of discovering novel molecular mechanisms and targets for drug discovery.
China Biologic Products Holdings Inc., of Beijing, received a preliminary nonbinding proposal letter, from Beachhead Holdings Ltd., Citic Capital China Partners IV LP, PW Medtech Group Ltd., Parfield International Ltd., HH Sum-XXII Holdings Ltd. and V-Sciences Investments Pte. Ltd., to take the company private by acquiring the outstanding ordinary shares of the company that the group doesn't already own for $120 per share. The company's board hasn't made a decision about the offer. Shares of China Biologic (NASDAQ:CBPO) closed up $10.85, or 10.5%, to $113.99 on Thursday.
Hookipa Pharma Inc., of New York, will report preclinical data on TheraT, its replication-attenuated, arenavirus vector platform, at the Cicon Cancer Immunotherapy Conference in Paris. In mouse models, TheraT, targeting human papillomavirus type 16 antigens, was immunogenic, safe and effective in clearing tumors and providing long-term protection. Addition of checkpoint inhibitors potentiated TheraT's efficacy. Use of TheraT with two different arena viruses triggered up to 50% tumor-associated self-antigen epitope-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes and eliminated established tumors. TheraT was also able to eradicate melanoma tumors.
Linearx Inc., of Stony Brook, N.Y., and Takis SRL and Evvivax SRL, both of Rome, completed preclinical animal studies of two vaccine candidates produced with linear DNA. In mouse models, the vaccines were able to eliminate tumors and potentially prevent initial occurrence. Evvivax's vaccine, which targets telomerase, is designed to produce immunity in companion animals. Takis' vaccine targets multiple antigenic epitopes that have been identified from the tumor of a human patient. Both linear DNA candidates were produced by Linearx.
Quebec will reimburse patients for Kisqali (ribociclib) from Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (letrozole) under the province's program for first-line treatment of postmenopausal women living with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer that has spread to other areas of the body. Kisqali is a protein kinase inhibitor and was approved by Health Canada for treating postmenopausal women with HR-positive, HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer as first-line endocrine-based therapy.
Selvita SA, of Krakow, Poland, said shareholders adopted a resolution to approve the plan to separate the firm's oncology therapeutics and contract research business units into two separate companies. The therapeutics company, which will maintain public listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, will operate under a new name, Ryvu Therapeutics, and will focus on oncology drug discovery and development, with CEO Pawel Przewiezlikowski retaining his position at Ryvu. The contract research services company will continue to use the name Selvita. Formal completion of the split is expected in October.
Theratechnologies Inc., of Montreal, has an agreement with the AIDS Drug Assistance Crisis Task Force to help provide access to Egrifta (tesamorelin) for low-income, underinsured and uninsured Americans living with HIV in all states and territories of the U.S. Egrifta, a growth hormone-releasing factor to reduce excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy, launches in the U.S. this year.
Valneva SE, of Saint-Herblain, France, said the Vienna Stock Exchange (VSE) resolved to revoke the admission of the company's shares through a resolution dated Sept. 18. Shares will no longer trade on the VSE after Dec. 20. They will remain tradeable on Euronext Paris. Valneva submitted a delisting application to the VSE in July.
Solna, Sweden's Xbrane Biopharma AB ceases trading on Nasdaq's First North Growth Market Sept. 20, and begins trading on Nasdaq Stockholm on Monday, Sept. 23, as XBRANE. In March, Xbrane's board authorized a new share issue up to a maximum of 1.97 million shares with preferential rights for the company's existing shareholders at a subscription price of SEK30 per share. The company will receive SEK59.33 million (US$6.4 million) before deduction of transaction costs.
Y-Trap Inc., of Baltimore, signed a collaboration and license agreement with Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, to exclusively develop antibody-ligand traps for cancer immunotherapy. Y-Trap's platform is designed to treat some advanced and treatment-refractory cancers that evade monoclonal antibodies and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Y-Trap receives an up-front payment plus milestone and royalty payments, while Merck is responsible for development, manufacturing and commercialization.