Advanz Pharma Corp., of Toronto, will hold a shareholders meeting Dec. 10 to vote on a resolution approving continuance of the company from Canada to Jersey, Channel Islands, U.K. If passed, Advanz will become a U.K. tax resident company domiciled in Jersey. Should the resolution pass, the company expects to improve its operational and cost efficiencies.
Copenhagen-based Forward Pharma A/S’s board approved the number of its ordinary shares represented by American depositary shares (ADS) from two ordinary shares per ADS to 14 ordinary shares per ADS. The change will have the same effect as a 1-for-7 reverse stock split of the ADSs, the company noted. The new ADS ratio, effective Dec. 6, is designed to increase the per-share trading price of Forward’s ADSs to satisfy the $1 minimum bid price requirement for continued listing on Nasdaq.
Homology Medicines Inc., of Bedford, Mass., published new data in Plos One demonstrating that its adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVHSCs) crossed the blood-brain barrier and blood-nerve barrier in nonhuman primates (NHPs), highlighting their potential to deliver gene therapy for central and peripheral nervous system disorders. Following I.V. administration of AAVHSC -7, -15 and -17 in NHPs, analyses showed transduction and transgene expression throughout the central nervous system in white and gray matter regions as well as the retina, including glial and neuronal cells. AAVHSCs are naturally occurring vectors originally isolated from human hematopoietic stem cells.
Hoth Therapeutics Inc., of New York, and North Carolina State University will study N.C. State’s exon-skipping approach for treating allergic diseases, a new way for antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon skipping to specifically target and down-regulate IgE receptor expression in mast cells. The research is designed to determine the most effective approach for targeting genes that regulate surface expression of FcεRI in mast cells mediating allergic airway inflammation. Hoth focuses on developing therapies for dermatological disorders that include atopic dermatitis, chronic wounds, psoriasis and acne.
Lonza, of Basel, Switzerland, and Switzerland-based Dinaqor AG, a global gene therapy platform company, agreed to advance Dinaqor’s preclinical programs for treating cardiac myosin-binding protein-C (MYBPC3) cardiomyopathies, a genetic condition that can result in heart failure. Lonza will provide Dinaqor preclinical, clinical and commercial production support for the company’s lead preclinical program DiNA-001, an AAV gene therapy program for patients with MYBPC3-linked cardiomyopathy. Lonza’s manufacturing facility in Houston will handle all product supply. No financial terms were disclosed.
Orexo AB, of Uppsala, Sweden, acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to commercialize vorvida, a digital therapy for alcohol use disorder, from Gaia AG. Orexo is responsible for regulatory approval and commercialization of vorvida in the U.S., and Gaia is entitled to an up-front payment, milestone payments and royalties.
OSE Immunotherapeutics SA, of Nantes, France, said it inked a collaboration with diagnostic company Haliodx to conduct a translational investigation of immune biomarkers as part of the ongoing phase III trial testing neoepitope combination Tedopi in non-small-cell lung cancer. The collaboration will focus on the testing and analysis of clinical biopsy tissue samples from the Atalante 1 trial, which is enrolling patients with advanced disease who are HLA-A2-positive and have failed previous treatment with PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors.
PCI Biotech AS, of Oslo, Norway, extended until June 2020 its research agreement with Cambridge, U.K.-based Astrazeneca plc to determine if synergies established in its oncology in vivo models are transferrable to additional disease areas. The collaboration, created in 2015, was initiated to determine whether PCI's technology can enhance delivery of Astrazeneca's nucleic acid therapeutic compounds.
Peptidream Inc., of Kanagawa, Japan, reached a milestone in its collaboration with Merck & Co. Inc., of Kenilworth, N.J., by identifying candidates meeting predefined criteria. Peptidream will receive an undisclosed payment and is eligible for additional future preclinical and clinical development milestones, as well as royalties on future sales, as the discovery and development programs continue to advance. The deal between the two companies began in 2015.
Recce Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Sydney, reported positive data in a rat topical burns model from an assessment of its lead compound, RECCE-327. Top-line results showed significant in vivo antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in rats with topical burns that showed reduced bacterial load and enhanced wound closure. A separate human skin model showed the antibiotic was non-irritating, even at high concentrations. RECCE-327 received the qualified infectious disease product designation from the FDA as a broad-spectrum antibiotic for intravenous indication against bacteremia.