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.
Athenex Inc., of Buffalo, N.Y., said Johnson Lau, the company’s chair and CEO, informed shareholders that he received notice of a proposed administrative fine of ¥100,000 (US$14,300) from the China Securities Regulatory Commission in connection with accounting and compliance infractions by officials at Porton Pharma Solutions Ltd., of Chongqing, China, where Lau served as an outside director from March 2016 to December 2019. The infractions, which occurred in 2018, resulted in inaccurate financial disclosures by Porton that were reviewed and approved by its board. Lau did not serve on Porton’s audit committee, the administrative notice did not allege any wrongdoing by him and his decision to resign from the Porton board in December 2019 was amicable and unrelated to the matter. Lau said he intends to request a hearing to oppose the proposed fine. Following review of the disclosure, the Athenex board maintained its confidence in Lau's leadership.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it will immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. The support is designed to strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. That funding is inclusive of the $10 million it committed to the outbreak last month. Up to $20 million has been earmarked for the acceleration of the detection, isolation and treatment of people diagnosed with the virus with the goal of interrupting transmission and containing the disease and will go to multilateral organizations such as WHO and the U.S. CDC. Support will also be directed to national public health authorities in China and other countries that have reported confirmed cases. In order to help accelerate the discovery, development and testing of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for 2019-nCoV, the foundation will commit up to $60 million.
Bridge Biotherapeutics Inc., of Seongnam, South Korea, licensed a drug that inhibits an undisclosed target for back-eye diseases from Konkuk University. Bridge will pay the university ₩300 million (US$250,000) up front. The university is eligible for up to ₩9.7 billion in development and regulatory milestones.
Clover Biopharmaceuticals, of Chengdu, China, said it has successfully produced its trimeric spike-protein (S-trimer) subunit vaccine candidate for 2019-nCoV via a mammalian cell expression system. In addition, company scientists have used the newly obtained S-trimer and successfully detected antigen-specific antibody in sera from multiple fully recovered patients who were previously infected by the virus. Clover claims it is the first company in the world to disclose a 2019-nCoV vaccine candidate that can successfully be recognized by antibodies produced by previously infected patients, supporting that S-trimer has preserved the native structure of the viral spike (S) protein and thus may elicit a protective-immune response as a vaccine.
Curis Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said it has amended its collaboration, license and option agreement with Bangalore, India-based Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd. that specifies Aurigene will fund and conduct a phase IIb/III randomized study evaluating CA-170, an orally available, dual inhibitor of V-domain Ig suppressor of T-cell activation (VISTA) and PD-L1, in combination with chemoradiation, in approximately 240 patients with nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer. In return, Aurigene receives the rights to develop and commercialize CA-170 in Asia, in addition to its existing rights that cover India and Russia, based on the terms of their original agreement signed in January 2015. Curis retains the U.S., EU, and rest-of-world rights to CA-170, and is entitled to receive royalty payments on potential future sales of CA-170 in Asia.
Ibio Inc., of New York, and Beijing CC-Pharming Ltd., of Beijing, said they are collaborating to develop and test a new 2019-nCoV vaccine to be manufactured using Ibio’s Fastpharming System.
Oncosec Medical Inc., of Pennington, N.J., closed its partnership deal with Hong Kong-based China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Ltd. and its U.S. affiliate, Sirtex Medical US Holdings Inc., bringing Oncosec $30 million cash to help fund its ongoing KEYNOTE phase II study of Tavo (plasmid-based interleukin-12) with Keytruda (pembrolizumab, Merck & Co. Inc.) to treat metastatic, chemotherapy-refractory triple-negative breast cancer. Tavo enables the intratumoral delivery of DNA-based interleukin-12, a naturally occurring protein with immune-stimulating functions.
Q Biomed Inc., of New York, said research partner Mannin Research Inc. is developing new therapeutics to treat a variety of vascular diseases, including the new coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China. While Mannin is not generating a vaccine against infectious diseases, Q Biomed said it is developing a new class of therapeutics that may increase the survival rate of patients by reducing endothelial dysfunction and severity of infectious and other diseases through enhancement of host-directed therapeutic response.
Recce Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Sydney, reported preclinical data with RECCE-327, a synthetic antibiotic. A single 24-hour administration of up to 4,000 mg/kg was well-tolerated, as well as a seven-day continuous administration of 500 mg per/kg per day. No adverse events were reported.