Bial SA, of Porto, Portugal, regained full rights to epilepsy drug Zebinix (eslicarbazepine acetate) in Europe after its partnership with Tokyo-based Eisai Co. Ltd. ended. Bial plans to market the drug itself.
Biovaxys Technology Corp., of Vancouver, British Columbia, signed a term sheet with Bioelpida SAS, of Lyon, France, for Bioelpida to develop clinical-grade manufacturing process and aseptic packaging for BXV-0918A. The manufacturing process is expected to be in place later this year, in time for Biovaxys' phase I/II study of BXV-0918A in stage III/IV ovarian cancer that is scheduled to start in early 2022.
Blackfynn Inc., of Philadelphia, entered an agreement with an undisclosed company to acquire rights to a phase III-ready drug to treat Parkinson's disease. The company has partnered with Clintrex Research Corp., of Sarasota, Fla., to run the clinical development. Financial terms of the deals weren't disclosed.
Boston Immune Technologies and Therapeutics Inc. (BITT), of Boston, gave Beigene Ltd., of Beijing, an option to license its tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2) antagonist antibodies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, except Japan. The companies plan to run a phase I study of BITT's lead TNFR2 agonist antibody, BITR-2101, with Beigene's anti-PD-1 antibody, tislelizumab. BITT is eligible for an up-front payment and potential near-term milestone payments totaling $16.6 million, which includes Beigene's fee to exercise its option to license BITR-2101 after initial proof-of-concept studies. BITT could also receive up to $105 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and tiered royalties on sales within the licensed territories. Beigene is also making a $4 million equity investment in BITT in conjunction with the option agreement.
GT Biopharma Inc., of Beverly Hills, Calif., expanded its GMP manufacturing agreement with Cytovance Biologics Inc., a U.S.-based contract development and manufacturing organization and a subsidiary of the Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd., of Shenzhen, China. Cytovance will now manufacture all of GT's TriKE drugs, including GTB-3550 TriKE that had previously been manufactured at the University of Minnesota's GMP manufacturing center.
Hoth Therapeutics Inc., of New York, plans to expand development of anti-inflammatory HT-003 into the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, following the execution of its option from Baltimore-based Isoprene Pharmaceuticals Inc. Hoth is currently testing HT-003 as a treatment for acne and psoriasis.
Marinomed Biotech AG, of Vienna, published preclinical data in PLOS ONE on the ability of Carragelose to block infection of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Carragelose, the sulfated polymer iota-carrageenan, was more effective at binding and blocking the virus than other sulfated polymers, kappa-carrageenan, lambda-carrageenan and fucoidan. Polymers without sulfate groups, such as hydroxypropylmethylcellulose and carboxymethylcellulose, were ineffective at blocking infection.
Mind Medicine Inc. (Mindmed), of New York, will acquire Healthmode Inc., of New York, in a stock-and-cash deal valued at approximately CA$41.3 million (US$32.5 million), consisting of 82,508 voting shares of Mindmed and CA$300,000 in cash. Healthmode, which specializes in using artificial intelligence-enabled digital measurements for clinical research and patient monitoring, will be incorporated into Albert, Mindmed's new digital medicine division.
Neuraegis Inc., of Southborough, Mass., published preclinical data on the effects of blocking calpain-2 as a treatment for status epilepticus in Neurobiology of Disease. Deletion of calpain-2 or inhibition with Neuraegis' calpain-2 inhibitor in a mouse model of status epilepticus prevented seizure-induced neurodegeneration and brain inflammation. The deletion or inhibition also prevented seizure-induced cognitive impairment and mossy cell degeneration.
PPD Inc., of Wilmington, N.C., was awarded Defense Health Agency funds to run an adaptive clinical trial testing at least two pharmacotherapeutic drug candidates as treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder in U.S. military active duty personnel and veterans.
Provention Bio Inc., of Red Bank, N.J., licensed the rights to PRV-3279, a bispecific antibody-based molecule targeting CD32B and CD79B, in greater China to Hangzhou Zhongmei Huadong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Huadong Medicine Co. Ltd., of Hangzhou, China. Provention will receive $6 million up front and up to $11.5 million in funding of research conducted by Provention. The company is also eligible for up to $172 million in regulatory and commercial milestone payments and low-to-mid double digit royalties on sales in greater China.
Redhill Biopharma Ltd., of Tel Aviv, Israel, expanded its partnership with Cosmo Pharmaceuticals NV, of Dublin, to include the manufacturing of Redhill's mu-opioid receptor antagonist Movantik (naloxegol) for opioid-induced constipation and RHB-204, which is in phase III development for pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacteria disease. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Seelos Therapeutics Inc., of New York, reached an agreement with Phoenixus AG, of Zug, Switzerland, to repurchase 9% of the future royalties and reduce its royalty obligations to a mid-single-digit percentage on any future net sales of SLS-002 (intranasal racemic ketamine) for an undisclosed cash payment.
Silo Pharma Inc., of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., finalized its previously announced agreement with the University of Maryland Baltimore to license central nervous system-homing peptides for treatment of multiple sclerosis and other neuroinflammatory diseases. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Vaxil Bio Ltd., of Ness-Ziona, Israel, reported that its SP-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate generated a specific immune response in mice, but the vaccine didn't protect the animals in a challenge study. The company plans to conduct additional analyses of the data and potentially test additional dosing levels and regimens or use different animal models. The company is also planning to test alternative delivery methods, including oral administration.