Editas Medicine Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a decision in an interference between the University of California, the University of Vienna, Emmanuelle Charpentier (CVC) and the Broad Institute Inc. regarding certain Broad CRISPR/Cas9 patents Editas exclusively licenses. The office granted Broad’s motion for priority benefit while denying CVC priority benefit to its two earliest provisional patent applications. As a result, Broad will enter the priority phase of the interference as senior party while CVC remains the junior party for purposes of determining which entity was the first to invent the inventions at issue.

Harbour Biomed Therapeutics Ltd., of Suzhou, China, signed an agreement with Hualan Genetic Engineering Co. Ltd., of Xinxiang, China, to develop Harbour’s monoclonal and bispecific antibodies. Hualan will be responsible for preclinical and process development in exchange for exclusive rights for the development, manufacturing and commercialization in greater China. Harbour retains rights for advancing the clinical development and commercialization in the rest of the world. The parties will collaborate on clinical developments and drug manufacturing. Harbour will receive an up-front payment of $8.75 million and royalties based on sales in greater China.

Johnson & Johnson, of New Brunswick, N.J., disclosed new data from a real-world evidence study demonstrating high levels of fatigue and impacts on patients' lives in the areas of physical, cognitive/emotional and coping activities among a majority of adult patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS). The data are being shared during the joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting, held virtually. The study, which enrolled 200 U.S. patients with RMS, measured MS-related fatigue and its impact on daily life using the Fatigue Symptoms and Impacts Questionnaire – Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (FSIQ-RMS), a disease-specific scale developed using methods consistent with FDA guidelines.

Lavvan Inc., of New York, filed an $881 million lawsuit against Amyris Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., relating to Amyris's use of intellectual property related to biosynthetic cannabinoids and licensed exclusively to Lavvan, as well as the alleged misappropriation of Lavvan's trade secrets. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Medicinova Inc., of La Jolla, Calif., said that Biocomo Inc., of Mie, Japan, co-developer of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for COVID-19, announced that its respiratory syncytial (RS) virus vaccine using BC-PIV technology induced high neutralizing antibodies in mice. The RS virus-specific antigen was loaded into BC-PIV and VLP-BC-PIV and mice were inoculated by intranasal administration. Strong induction of neutralizing antibodies against the prefusion F antigen was confirmed. That supports the likelihood of successful induction of neutralizing antibodies by Medicinova’s intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which also uses BC-PIV technology, the company said.

VBL Therapeutics Ltd., of Tel Aviv, Israel, said it presented new data demonstrating ex vivo activity of its investigational anti-MOSPD2 monoclonal antibodies in patients with relapsing-remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) at the MS Virtual 2020, the Joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting. Data show that they significantly inhibited migration of monocytes isolated from all MS patients included in the study (n=33) by up to 97%, regardless of disease severity, gender or active treatment. The activity was seen not only in the monocytes from relapsing-remitting MS, but also those from primary progressive and secondary progressive patients with high Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores of 5.5-6.5. VBL is currently advancing lead anti-MOSPD2 candidate, VB-601, through IND-enabling studies, aiming to start a first-in-human study in the second half of 2021.

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