Altimmune Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said it pre-published a preclinical evaluation of its single-dose, intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AdCOVID. The studies were conducted as part of the company’s ongoing collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. AdCOVID is based on an adenovirus intranasal vaccine platform and expresses the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The authors presented data demonstrating strong activation of all three arms of the adaptive immune system following a single intranasal dose of AdCOVID. These data, conducted in two strains of mice, show that it stimulated strong immune responses. The company anticipates filing an IND with the FDA and starting a phase I safety and immunogenicity trial of AdCOVID in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Antengene Corp., of Shanghai, and Wuxi Biologics, also of Shanghai, said they will co-operate in the development and production of novel drugs, and jointly promote the R&D of innovative oncology therapies.

Auravax Therapeutics Inc., of Houston, said it entered an exclusive license option agreement with the University of Houston covering the intellectual property for a novel intranasal vaccine technology. The company is developing a differentiated platform of vaccines against various respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.

Bausch Health Cos. Inc., of Laval, Quebec, said an affiliate has acquired an exclusive license in the U.S. and Canada for the development and commercialization of an investigational microdose formulation of atropine ophthalmic solution, which is being investigated for the reduction of pediatric myopia progression, also known as nearsightedness, in children ages 3-12, from New York-based Eyenovia Inc. The investigational formulation of atropine is delivered with Eyenovia's Optejet dispenser technology. Bausch Health will make an up-front $10 million payment upon signing of the agreement and will assume oversight and costs related to the ongoing phase III Chaperone trial. Eyenovia is also eligible to receive up to $35 million in additional payments based on approval- and launch-based milestones, as well as royalties on sales.

Cstone Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., of Suzhou, China, said it completed the share subscription agreement through which an affiliate of New York-based Pfizer Inc. subscribed for approximately $200 million newly issued Cstone shares that initiates a multifaceted strategic collaboration that the companies announced last month. The shares represent approximately a 9.9% stake in the company, and Pfizer also receives the exclusive licensing rights to commercialize lead asset, the anti-PD-L1 antibody sugemalimab, in mainland China.

Hitgen Ltd., of Chengdu, China, signed a definitive agreement with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, to acquire Vernalis Ltd. for $25 million in cash. The closing is expected before the end of this year. Vernalis combines protein science and structure determination, fragment screening and biophysics with medicinal chemistry.

Innocan Pharma Corp., of Herzliya, Israel, said an animal study in mice demonstrated a prolonged release of cannabidiol (CBD) into the blood for at least three weeks after one administration. This study was conducted by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, based on Innocan's licensed CBD loaded liposome platform technology for injectable CBD. It was conducted in more than 35 mice.

Novabay Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., said it believes that it has regained full compliance with the New York Stock Exchange’s continued listing standards, subject to the exchange’s formal confirmation. The company was notified in April of last year that it was not in compliance.

Rhizen Pharmaceuticals SA, of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and Curon Biopharmaceutical Ltd., of Shanghai, signed an exclusive licensing agreement for the development and commercialization of tenalisib, a dual PI3K delta and gamma inhibitor in the greater China region. Under the terms, Rhizen will receive an undisclosed up-front cash payment and is eligible to collect development and commercial milestone payments with an overall deal value of $149.5 million plus double-digit royalties on annual net sales. Curon obtains the exclusive development and commercialization rights of tenalisib for greater China across all oncology indications, and will lead the clinical development in that territory.