JN Nova Pharma Inc., of Ottawa, Ontario, said it entered a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada’s (NRC) Pandemic Response Challenge program to develop a therapeutic pipeline for severe pathologies observed in COVID-19. They will be co-developing a platform therapeutic approach based on multifunctional fusion protein(s) to address complex manifestations of COVID-19. The goal is to both prevent SARS-Cov-2 cellular invasion into those tissues (viral trap) and to mitigate pathology triggered by the host response to the virus, including overactivation of immune system and lung and heart failure. Building on previous joint work in the domain of brain diseases, this collaboration will also address severe neurological complications of COVID-19. The company will be a development partner for therapeutic modalities arising from this project, enabling their accelerated translation through biomanufacturing and toward clinical trials.

Lumos Pharma Inc., of Austin, Texas, reported in its second-quarter financial results the sale of its priority review voucher (PRV) to Merck & Co. Inc., of Kenilworth, N.J. The PRV was granted in conjunction with the FDA approval of Ervebo, a vaccine developed by the company’s licensee, Merck, for the prevention of the Zaire Ebolavirus disease. Under the terms of their license agreement, Lumos is entitled to retain 60% of the value of the PRV, based upon an agreed valuation of $100 million. The $60 million will be received in two non-contingent payments, $34 million anticipated in the third quarter and $26 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Prometheus Biosciences Inc., of San Diego, and Freiburg, Germany based Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH said they entered an agreement to develop and commercialize PR-600, Prometheus' cell signaling program that targets a receptor of the tumor-necrosis factor superfamily for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The companies will share responsibility for the global development of PR-600, with Falk contributing one-quarter of the costs associated with developing the product and its companion diagnostic from preclinical stage through commercial launch. Falk will exclusively commercialize PR-600 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and Prometheus is eligible to receive royalty payments on those sales; Prometheus retains all commercialization rights in the U.S. and rest of world. It will also receive an undisclosed initial up-front payment from Falk and is eligible to receive further payments in the first year upon achievement of certain development program milestones. Prometheus anticipates that the company will file an IND with the FDA by the end of 2022.

Revive Therapeutics Ltd., of Toronto, said it signed a memorandum of understanding establishing Attwill Medical Solutions Sterilflow LP, of Lodi, Wis., as a resource for clinical packaging and distribution of Revive’s phase III trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of bucillamine, a cysteine derivative, in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Attwill is a contract manufacturing and services organization.

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