Advanz Pharma Corp., of London, is acquiring a portfolio of alprostadil products for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and peripheral arterial occlusive disease in 10 EU countries, the U.K., Russia, Ukraine and Brazil from UCB SA, of Brussels. Advanz is paying $84 million for the two injectable prostaglandin E1 formulations plus the cost of inventory, which is expected to be approximately $14 million. The deal is scheduled to close on or around April 1, 2020.
AJ Vaccines Group, of Copenhagen, Denmark, started development of a new vaccine for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, is exploring the use of NP-120 (ifenprodil) as a treatment for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The drug reduced acute lung injury and improved survival in mice infected with H5N1 influenza virus.
Amicus Therapeutics Inc., of Cranbury, N.J., opened its Global Research and Gene Therapy Center of Excellence in Philadelphia. The 75,000-square-foot center will house 200 scientists focused on gene therapies.
Biocartis Group NV, of Mechelen, Belgium, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of New York, expanded their partnership to include registering Biocartis' companion diagnostic, the Idylla MSI test, in China. The companies are developing the microsatellite instability (MSI) companion diagnostic in the U.S. for BMS immuno-oncology therapies Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab),
Coherus Biosciences Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., said it's well positioned to meet market demand for Udenyca (pegfilgrastim-cbqv), its biosimilar to Neulasta (pegfilgrastim, Amgen Inc.). The drug is manufactured in Boulder, Colo., and none of the active pharmaceutical ingredients for the drug are sourced from China or India.
Demelle Oncopharma LLC, of Tarpon Springs, Fla., licensed DM-3001 from the Moffitt Cancer Center. In a phase Ib study of 25 presurgical pancreatic cancer patients, the drug, which targets exportin-2, produced “promising activity with minimal adverse events.” Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Hansa Biopharma AB, of Lund, Sweden, reported data on the effect of positive crossmatches in kidney transplants at the Cutting Edge of Transplantation summit 2020. Patients with cPRA ≥99.9 who experienced a positive crossmatch refusal received a transplant 30% of the time, compared to 40% of the time for other positive crossmatch refusal waitlist patients. Hansa is developing imlifidase for desensitization of crossmatches before kidney transplants.
Heat Biologics Inc., of Durham, N.C., through subsidiary Zolovax Inc., is collaborating with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on the development of a vaccine to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 using Heat's gp96 platform.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals plc, of London, expanded the recall of certain lots of ketorolac tromethamine injection because of small visible particulate matter. In December 2019, the company recalled the product to the customer level, but it is now extending the recall to the medical facility and retail levels.
Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Wakefield, Mass., signed a material transfer agreement with an undisclosed major U.S. university to analyze its defensin mimetic, brilacidin, as a potential treatment for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Jaguar Health Inc., of San Francisco, sold $500,000 of future royalties on its noninfectious diarrhea treatment, Mytesi (crofelemer), to Iliad Research and Trading LLC, of Chicago, for $350,000.
Harbour Biomed Therapeutics Ltd., of Cambridge, Mass., and the Mount Sinai Health System have begun a multiyear collaboration to develop fully human monoclonal antibodies to treat and prevent diseases that include oncology and immunology. The project is designed to generate monoclonal antibodies against COVID-19. Those antibodies could be used therapeutically for people who have been exposed to the virus or prophylactically for individuals with a high risk of exposure, such as health care workers.
Results from a NNZ-2591 study in a model of Phelan-McDermid syndrome by Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Perth, Australia, showed a clear dose response demonstrated with four escalating dose levels and revealed an optimum dose for a phase II trial. It also achieved improved efficacy after six weeks of treatment compared with three weeks at the same dose level. The syndrome is a rare genetic condition whose most common characteristics are intellectual disability, delayed or absent speech, symptoms of autism, low muscle tone, motor delays and epilepsy. The study was conducted in the shank3 knockout mouse model in which the shank3 gene is deleted to mimic Phelan-McDermid syndrome in humans.
CRO Novotech has been selected for South Korea-based Komipharm International Co. Ltd.’s clinical trials of panaphix as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Panaphix is a cytokine storm inhibitor that restrains overproduction of immune cells and their activating compounds, cytokines. It is thought that an overproduction of immune cells and their signaling molecules causes severe inflammatory diseases such as pneumonia. Panaphix is a non-narcotic cancer pain reliever with no side effects, according to Komipharm.
Revive Therapeutics Ltd., of Toronto, completed its acquisition of all issued and outstanding securities in the capital of Psilocin Pharma Corp., of Ontario, which is developing psilocybin-based therapeutics for unmet medical needs, including rare and orphan indications. Revive acquired all of the issued and outstanding securities of Psilocin for an aggregate purchase price of $2.75 million. Revive is focused on researching, developing and commercializing psychedelic and cannabinoid-based treatments for pain, inflammation and wound care.
Spherix Inc., of New York, is changing its name to Aikido Pharma Inc. Effective at the start of trading on March 13, the company's shares will trade on Nasdaq under the stock symbol AIKI. The name change reflects the company's increased commitment to the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the drug development space, Spherix said. Separately, the firm disclosed it has executed an exclusive option agreement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore, for the technology set forth in a patent regarding methods for treating a coronavirus infection.
Royalty Pharma, of New York, acquired Massachusetts General Hospital's royalty interest in Entyvio (vedolizumab) for $94 million. Entyvio is a monoclonal antibody used for treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and is marketed by Osaka, Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Entyvio was approved by the FDA in 2014 and is available in more than 60 countries worldwide. In 2019, calendar year sales were in excess of $3 billion and grew more 30% from 2018.
Tetra Therapeutics Inc., of Grand Rapids, Mich., signed an expanded strategic alliance with Shionogi & Co. Ltd., of Osaka, Japan. The two companies will work together to develop and commercialize BPN-14770 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), fragile X syndrome and other indications marked by cognitive and memory deficits. Shionogi has increased its equity investment in the company to 50% and has the option to complete a structured buyout of the remaining equity if certain closing conditions are met based on the top-line results of the company’s phase II Picasso AD trial in patients with early AD, which is expected to read out later this month.