Abbvie Inc., of North Chicago, completed its acquisition of Dublin-based Allergan plc. Allergan shareholders received 0.8660 Abbvie shares and $120.30 in cash for each Allergan share. In conjunction with the closing of the deal, Astrazeneca plc, of Cambridge, U.K., completed its transaction with Allergan, sending rights to brazikumab (MEDI-2070), a monoclonal antibody targeting IL-23 for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, back to Astrazeneca.
Artara Therapeutics Inc., of New York, changed its name to Protara Therapeutics Inc. Shares of the company will continue to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker TARA.
Bluebird Bio Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Bristol Myers Squibb Co., of New York, amended their agreement for the development and commercialization of CAR T therapies targeting B-cell maturation antigen. BMS will buy out its obligations for future royalties on sales of idecabtagene vicleucel and bb-21217 outside the U.S. for $200 million. BMS will eventually be responsible for the production of lentiviral vector for sales outside the U.S. Separately, Bluebird expanded its manufacturing agreements with Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions LLC, of Allendale, N.J. and Apceth Biopharma GmbH, of Munich, to manufacture Lentiglobin in the U.S. and Europe and Zynteglo (autologous CD34+ cells encoding Beta-A-T87Q-globin gene) and Lenti-D in Europe.
Bionical Emas Ltd., of Willington, U.K., and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, of Dublin, entered an agreement for Bionical to distribute lurbinectedin to patients with relapsed small-cell lung cancer in the U.S. under an expanded access program.
Bridgebio Pharma Inc., of San Francisco, said its affiliate, QED Therapeutics Inc., published preclinical data on infigratinib in a special supplemental section of the Journal of the Endocrine Society for presentations scheduled for the canceled Endocrine Society's meeting. In a mouse model of achondroplasia, a 0.5-mg/kg dose of infigratinib produced an improvement in bone length of 7% to 14% in the upper limbs, 10% to 17% in the lower limbs and 12% in the foramen magnum. In a safety study, doses up to 5 mg/kg showed no relationship between dose and blood levels of phosphorus.
Burning Rock, of Shanghai, and Illumina Inc., of San Diego, expanded their collaboration in order to promote development and standardization of next-generation sequencing for cancer therapy selection in China using Illumina’s Nextseq 550Dx system.
Cellect Biotechnology Ltd., of Tel Aviv, Israel, published preclinical data on Apograft in Bone Marrow Transplantation showing treatment with Apograft led to robust engraftment following transplant of a graft that retained its immune reconstitution and antileukemic effects.
Cocrystal Pharma Inc., of Bothell, Wash., gave an update on the effect of COVID-19 on its preclinical programs. The company is working to secure its supply chain to synthesize a second lot of CC-42344, which is in IND-enabling studies for the treatment of influenza. Cocrystal plans to start a phase Ia study for CC-42344 in 2021. The company has initiated preclinical studies of COVID-19 inhibitors with plans to select a lead molecule in the fourth quarter of 2020. Proof-of-concept animal studies for its norovirus non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitors are expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Daré Bioscience Inc., of San Diego, signed an agreement with Health Decisions Inc., of Durham, N.C., for Health Decisions to be Daré’s exclusive provider of CRO services for an initial three-year period. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy, of Turku, Finland, said it has joined Cancer IO, a Finnish consortium, and received an €800,000 (US$864,829) grant from Business Finland to conduct state-of-the-art characterization of the immunological responses observed in cancer patients in the company’s ongoing phase I/II MATINS trial that is investigating the tolerability, safety and efficacy of Clevegen, its precision cancer immunotherapy targeting Clever-1-positive tumor-associated macrophages in selected metastatic or inoperable solid tumors. As part of the Business Finland-backed initiative, Faron will also study Clevegen in combination with other cancer molecules, in experimental settings together with other consortium members.
Inmune Bio Inc., of La Jolla, Calif, reported preclinical data showing INB-03 plus Tykerb (lapatinib, Glaxosmithkline plc), reverses resistance to therapy in HER2- positive breast cancer resistant to Herceptin (trastuzumab, Roche Holding AG).
Mimedx Group Inc., of Marietta, Ga., said it is repaying its federal Payment Protection Program loan. The money enabled the company to maintain full employment during a time of widespread uncertainty while producing skin-graft products for patients with serious wounds and burns. Mimedx said it experienced softened sales due to restricted access, both for patients and field personnel, and the cancellation of elective surgeries. The company said it implemented cost containment measures, including a temporary gradated reduction in compensation for all salaried employees in order to avoid layoffs. Mimedx develops and markets regenerative and therapeutic biologics using human placental tissue allografts.
Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc., of Dublin, Ohio, said it regained European commercialization and distribution rights for Lymphoseek (technetium Tc99m tilmanocept) injection from Amsterdam’s Norgine BV. Navidea and Norgine mutually agreed to end their existing license agreement from March 2015. Through the transition, Norgine is responsible for the continued commercialization and distribution in Europe for six months.
Plus Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, said it closed its agreement to license multiple rare cancer product candidates from privately held, Texas-based radiotherapeutic company Nanotx Therapeutics Inc. Terms include an up-front payment of $400,000 in cash and $300,000 in Plus’ voting stock. Plus may pay up to $136.5 million in development and sales milestone payments and a tiered single-digit royalty on U.S. and European sales. The licensed radiotherapeutic portfolio includes nanoliposome-encapsulated radionucleotides for several cancer targets. The lead asset is being developed for recurrent glioblastoma and is being evaluated in a phase I dose-finding trial.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Tarrytown, N.Y., and the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine will share 450,000 DNA samples and corresponding health records from de-identified, consented patient participants in the University of Colorado Health system. The Regeneron Genetics Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of Regeneron, will sequence the samples, producing genomic data for translational medical research.
Ritter Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Los Angeles, said it regained compliance with the stockholders’ equity requirement for continued listing on Nasdaq. Ritter plans to merge with Qualigen Inc. and the combined company needs to conduct a reverse stock split to meet Nasdaq’s initial listing minimum bid price requirement of $4 per share. Stockholders can vote on the split at the May 14 meeting.
Themis Bioscience GmbH, of Vienna, said it will collaborate with a CRO, ABL Europe, of Lyon, France, to manufacture a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate in France. ABL will manufacture Themis’ vaccine candidate for clinical trials. The vaccine is being developed using a measles virus vaccine platform technology licensed to Themis by Institut Pasteur in Paris. Themis uses the measles vaccine vector backbone to deliver selected, incorporated protein antigens, in this case from SARS-CoV-2, directly to macrophages and dendritic cells.
New data from Tiburio Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., show that its lead clinical asset, TBR-760, a dopamine somatostatin chimeric compound, arrests aggressive nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) growth in a mouse model. The preclinical data indicate that TBR-760 completely arrested tumor growth in the pro-opiomelanocortin gene knock-out mouse model of NFPA. Additionally, notable tumor shrinkage was observed in 20% of the mice treated with TBR-760. TBR-760 is being developed to shrink or stabilize nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas and may reduce or eliminate the need for surgery and radiation, both of which are associated with significant morbidity.