Aduro Biotech Inc., of Berkeley, Calif., said it earned a $10 million development milestone payment under its worldwide licensing agreement with Merck & Co. Inc., of Kenilworth, N.J., following the start of a phase II trial of MK-5890, an anti-CD27 agonist, in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study is designed to assess the efficacy and safety of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with MK-5890 in patients with advanced squamous or nonsquamous NSCLC that have been previously treated with anti-PD-L1 therapy. The study is one of three pembrolizumab substudies being conducted under one pembrolizumab umbrella master protocol (MK-3475-U01).
Alterity Therapeutics Ltd., of Melbourne, Australia, said it has been notified that it is currently noncompliant with Nasdaq's requirement that listed securities maintain a minimum bid price of $1 per share. The company has until Aug. 3 to regain compliance.
Applied DNA Sciences Inc., of Stony Brook N.Y., said it has expanded its existing joint development agreement with Takis Biotech Srl, of Rome, to include the preclinical development of a linear DNA vaccine against the coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The company indicated the advantages posed by PCR-produced linear DNA for that challenge include the speed of production, the absence of antibiotics and their resistance genes, the purity of the DNA, the simplicity of design, the powerful immunogenicity proved in a prior linear DNA vaccine, the absence of any bacterial contaminants and the fact that the vaccine gene is effective without insertion into the patient’s genome. Clinical trials using the linear DNA form of the cancer vaccine in companion animals are being planned.
Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc., of Warren, N.J., filed to effect a 1-for-15 reverse stock split of the company’s shares (NASDAQ:BLPH). The move, scheduled to take place after market close on Feb. 7, is intended to enable the company to regain full compliance with Nasdaq listing rules.
Inceptua SA, of Luxembourg, and Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc., of South San Francisco, said they entered an agreement for Inceptua to become Portola’s exclusive distribution partner for Ondexxya (andexanet alfa) in Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Spain. The drug is a recombinant modified human factor Xa protein intended for patients treated with rivaroxaban or apixaban, when reversal of anticoagulation is needed due to life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding.
Oncosec Medical Inc., of San Diego, said shareholders have approved the proposed investment by and partnership with Grand Decade Developments Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Ltd., and its U.S. affiliate, Sirtex Medical US Holdings Inc.
Proqr Therapeutics NV, of Leiden, the Netherlands, said it is participating in the Foundation Fighting Blindness My Retina Tracker program, a collaborative, open access program run by Blueprint Genetics and InformedDNA providing no-cost genetic testing and genetic counseling for individuals with a clinical diagnosis of an inherited retinal disease (IRD) such as Leber’s congenital amaurosis and Usher syndrome, among others. The program provides patients with a 285-gene panel targeting relevant genes associated with IRDs.
Therapix Biosciences Ltd., of Tel Aviv, Israel, said it received notice on Feb. 5 that Nasdaq granted the company an extension until April 1 to regain compliance with the minimum $2.5 million stockholders’ equity requirement for continued listing.
Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it transferred its Nasdaq listing to the Nasdaq Capital Market and is in compliance with the stockholders’ equity standard to remain listed.