Chromadex Corp., of Los Angeles, said the results of a preclinical study conducted by partner Nestlé Health Science SA, of Lausanne, Switzerland, were published last month in Nature Communications. The study investigated the impact on the liver when its cells lose the ability to use the nutrient nicotinamide riboside (NR). Researchers concluded that the tissue's natural ability to utilize NR is important for maintaining resilience during periods of metabolic stress such as a high-fat diet. It is also the first study to show the physiological consequences that arise when cells lose the ability to use NR.

Hepion Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Edison, N.J., said the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics has published the company's research article, titled "A Pan-Cyclophilin Inhibitor, CRV431, Decreases Fibrosis and Tumor Development in Chronic Liver Disease Models." The study presents findings on CRV-431 that highlight its potential as a drug candidate for chronic liver diseases. In an in vitro cyclophilin isomerase assay, CRV-431 potently inhibited all cyclophilin isoforms tested, suggesting multiple disease mechanisms in the liver could be targeted, the company said.

Mesoblast Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, and Lonza Group AG, of Basel, Switzerland, signed an agreement for commercial manufacture of Mesoblast's lead allogeneic cell therapy product candidate, remestemcel-L, for pediatric steroid-refractory acute graft-vs.-host disease. The agreement will facilitate inventory build ahead of the planned U.S. market launch of remestemcel-L and commercial supply to meet Mesoblast's long-term market projections. Mesoblast expects to complete filing of the rolling BLA to the FDA by the end of this year.

Mymetics Corp., of Epalinges, Switzerland, said Stallergenes Greer plc, of London, and Mymetics partner Anergis SA, of Lausanne, Switzerland, started a new research study. The goal is to evaluate the effects of the second-generation virosome-based Continuous Overlapping Peptides allergen immunotherapy from Greer in a therapeutic model of birch allergy in mice. The aim is to shorten Greer's allergen immunotherapy administration scheme.

Promis Neurosciences Inc., of Toronto, continues to further develop antibody candidates that have shown selectivity for the toxic forms of tau. The firm said new preclinical data show that those antibody candidates can block the spread of pathogenic tau aggregate formation in a cellular model. Continued advancement of Promis' dual approach for Alzheimer's disease, which also includes antibody PMN-310 targeting the toxic oligomers of amyloid beta, aligns with research indicating that both misfolded proteins play a major role in disease progression and represent highly validated targets for therapy, the company said.

New preclinical data from QED Therapeutics Inc., of San Francisco, shows a positive low dose-response relationship between infigratinib, an orally administered fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and bone growth in a mouse model of achondroplasia. Achondroplasia is the most common cause of dwarfism and is caused by a mutation of the gene for FGFR3, which is part of bone elongation. Infigratinib is designed to bind to FGFR3. Bridgebio Pharma Inc. is QED's parent company.

Rafael Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cranbury N.J., and the NIH's National Cancer Institute will test CPI-613 (devimistat), Rafael's lead compound, in cytokine independent (acute) human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Rafael will provide the compound for the study and the institute will conduct preclinical studies to test devimistat's efficacy as a single agent and combined with other molecules. Devimistat targets enzymes in the mitochondria of cancer cells that are involved in cancer cell energy metabolism.

To study pancreatic, breast and small-cell lung cancers, Sunshine Biopharma Inc., of Montreal, has initiated studies of Adva-27a, designed to shrink tumors, in xenograft mice with tumors. Adva-27a is a GEM-difluorinated C-glycoside derivative of podophyllotoxin and is designed to inhibit the enzyme topoisomerase II. Clinical trials for pancreatic cancer will be conducted at McGill University's Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.

Teneobio Inc., of Newark, Calif., and Selexis SA, of Geneva, signed the latest of three commercial license agreements to develop Tenebio's human heavy-chain antibodies (Uniabs), a class of multispecific biologics to treat multiple myeloma, lymphoma and prostate cancer. Selexis will provide Teneobio with access to research cell banks developed with Selexis' platform, each expressing a unique Uniab product candidate. The agreements extend the companies' previous agreements created this past December and in June 2017. (See BioWorld, Dec. 19, 2018.)

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