Akelos Inc., of New York, said a grant from the NIH awarded to a Weill Cornell Medicine investigator will bolster Akelos-supported research to develop a non-opioid alternative to treat chronic and neuropathic pain. Akelos is in a research collaboration with Weill Cornell to develop the antihyperalgesic drug. The award is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or the NIH HEAL Initiative.

Evotec SE, of Hamburg, Germany, reached a milestone as part of its 2017 partnership with Aeovian Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Francisco, which triggered an undisclosed payment to Evotec.

Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., has committed more than $500 million to research and development and delivery programs for HIV and tuberculosis (TB) over the next four years to help accelerate the goal of eliminating both diseases by 2030. The funds will support a mosaic-based vaccine regimen to prevent HIV infection and the development of a long-acting injectable treatment in conjunction with Viiv Healthcare Ltd., of London. Within TB, J&J plans to improve detection of undiagnosed cases, broaden access to its bedaquiline medication and develop next-generation TB treatments.

Medicure Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba, reached a preferred pricing agreement with the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Crisis Task Force for its statin, Zypitamag (pitavastatin). The agreement will allow access to low income, underinsured and uninsured Americans who qualify in states where the drug is included on the ADAP formulary.

Peptide Logic Inc., of San Diego, said it was awarded up to $3 million in a Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant to develop non-addictive, peripherally restricted and long-acting somatostatin receptor 4 agonists for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, reducing the need for opioid use. The award is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or the NIH HEAL Initiative.

PTC Therapeutics Inc., of South Plainfield, N.J., reported data from the Stride observational study of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the 24th International Annual Congress of the World Muscle Society in Copenhagen. Of the patients receiving standard of care, 32.1% had a forced vital capacity of less than 50%, compared to 2.2% of patients receiving Translarna (ataluren) after a mean total exposure of 633 days.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Henderson, Nev., said preclinical data published in Cancer Cell showed, of 11 EGFR/HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), poziotinib was the most potent HER2 mutant-selective TKI tested. In an initial clinical cohort, research showed poziotinib was highly active in non-small-cell lung cancer patients with HER2 exon 20 mutations. Preclinical data also showed that poziotinib is synergistic with a HER2-targeting antibody-drug conjugate.

Theratechnologies Inc., of Montreal, said the Canadian Cancer Society and the government of Quebec, through the Consortium Québécois sur la découverte du médicament, will contribute to a grant totaling CA$1.7 million (US$1.3 million) to l'Université du Québec à Montréal as part of the overall investment made by Theratechnologies toward the development of its targeted oncology platform. Funds will support efforts to develop the targeted oncology platform in triple-negative breast cancer.

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