Collegium Pharmaceutical Inc., of Stoughton, Mass., closed its acquisition of the pain drug Nucynta (tapentadol) franchise from Assertio Therapeutics Inc., of Newark, Calif., for $375 million. The deal includes both extended-release and immediate-release formulations of the drug. Collegium also announced the funding of its $200 million senior secured term loan from Biopharma Credit plc and the closing of its underwritten public offering of $143.75 million aggregate principal amount of 2.625% convertible senior notes due 2026.

Exicure Inc., of Skokie, Ill., and the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science will collaborate on genetic disease studies using Exicure's spherical nucleic acid architecture, designed to unlock the potential of therapeutic oligonucleotides in a range of cells and tissues. The university’s Center for Genetic Diseases studies the mechanisms of dysfunction in inherited disorders to discover treatments using small-molecule and nucleic acid-based approaches.

Genix Pharmaceuticals Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, having acquired 30 World Health Organization-approved ophthalmic drugs and product dossiers from the TSX Venture Exchange, issued 15 million common shares to the shareholders of Canagen Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Richmond, British Columbia, to complete the acquisition. The shares are subject to a resale restriction that expires four months and one day from their date of issuance. Genix is prepping to submit its abbreviated new drug submissions to Health Canada for approvals and issuance of a drug identification number for each generic molecule.

Melinta Therapeutics Inc., of Morristown, N.J., said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware entered an order approving Melinta’s proposed bidding procedures and chapter 11 sale process timeline, establishing a framework for the near-term acquisition and continuation of Melinta’s business as a going concern. The order was entered with the consent of the major constituents in Melinta’s chapter 11 cases, following negotiations to achieve consensus concerning the framework for Melinta’s sale process. All bids to acquire the company’s assets or reorganized common stock are due to Jefferies LLC and Melinta on or before March 2. Melinta, like other anti-infective-focused firms, has struggled. The firm went into chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 27. In the nine months leading to the end of this past September, Melinta had a net loss of $276,000 and said it did not expect to break even within the next 12 months.

Morphic Therapeutic Inc., of Waltham, Mass., presented preclinical data at the Congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation meeting in Vienna supporting MORF-057 as a selective and orally bioavailable small-molecule inhibitor of the α4β7 integrin. MORF-057 showed greater than 41,600-fold selectivity for α4β7 over α4β1. High specificity for α4β7 over α4β is necessary to avoid inhibiting α4β1, which enables potentially pathological migration of lymphocytes to the central nervous system, Morphic said. Data also showed the drug acts through its intended mechanism of action, by blocking the migration of α4β7-high-expressing lymphocytes. Those results were replicated in both murine and primate models, with MORF-057 activity being equivalent to the murine equivalent of vedolizumab.

Recce Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Sydney, disclosed positive efficacy data in a rat infection model for its Recce-327 antibiotic in the treatment of kidney and urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli, which often progresses to sepsis. The new data demonstrate the potential of the treatment in new indications to form part of a broader anti-infective treatment model in pre-sepsis. The findings also expand Recce-327’s patent protection and claims, the company noted.

Vaxil Biotherapeutics Ltd., of Ness-Ziona, Israel, completed in silico analyses and said it believes it has successfully identified a coronavirus vaccine candidate. The candidate is based on patent-protected signal peptide technology, Vaxil said, using the firm’s Vaxhit bioinformatics platform. In vivo experiments testing a tuberculosis signal peptide vaccine also informed the design.

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