Beigene Co. Ltd., of Cambridge, Mass., said it closed its license and collaboration agreement with Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, to develop, manufacture and commercialize Beigene’s anti-PD-1 antibody, tislelizumab, in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, member countries of the European Union, the U.K., Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Russia and Japan.

Canbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Beijing, and Puma Biotechnology Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said they agreed to terminate their 2018 license deal, in which Puma granted Canbridge exclusive rights to develop and commercialize breast cancer drug Nerlynx (neratinib) in greater China, and to settle their arbitration to the agreement. Simultaneous to the termination of that agreement, Puma has agreed with Pierre Fabre SA, of Toulouse, France, to amend the terms of the 2019 license agreement, which grants Pierre Fabre exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Nerlynx within Europe, Turkey, Middle East and Africa, to also include greater China, which includes mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Canbridge and Pierre Fabre have also simultaneously entered agreements pursuant to which Canbridge will provide Pierre Fabre certain transition services in greater China and distribute and market Nerlynx for Pierre Fabre in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan until year-end 2022, with an option to renew. Under the terms of the various agreements implementing that transaction among the three companies, Puma will receive an up-front payment of $50 million from Pierre Fabre in consideration for the amendment to their 2019 license agreement, and Canbridge will receive a one-time $20 million termination fee from Puma to return all rights to neratinib in greater China back to Puma. Finally, Puma agreed to dismiss the arbitration demand it filed on July 28, 2020, against Canbridge related to the parties’ 2018 agreement, and as part of the settlement, Canbridge agreed to dismiss its counterclaims against Puma. In its earnings report Feb. 25, Puma reported full-year 2020 revenue for Nerlynx totaling $196.7 million.

Inventiva SA, of Daix, France, said it will collaborate on non-invasive biomarkers to identify patients responding to lanifibranor regarding nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) resolution and fibrosis improvement with Jérôme Boursier, professor of medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of Angers University and a researcher in the area of non-invasive diagnosis of liver lesions in chronic liver diseases. The two said they will use a multivariate statistical approach to finding a biomarker signature of lanifibranor in NASH treatment. Lanifibranor is a small-molecule PPAR agonist.

New data from FCC Horiuchi Co. Ltd., of Kurume City, Japan, and Kyushu University show that Horiuchi’s L-fucoidan inhibits the binding between angiotensin converting enzyme II and the COVID-19 spike protein. If the binding of viral spike protein to ACE2 can be inhibited, viruses cannot enter human cells, the company said. Horiuchi L-fucoidan is a low-molecular-weight fucoidan composed of 500 or less molecular weight.

Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, said the U.S. government will buy a minimum of 100,000 doses of bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) 700 mg and etesevimab (LY-CoV016) 1,400 mg. Bamlanivimab and etesevimab have emergency use authorization for treating recently diagnosed, mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. The purchase agreement is for $210 million, with doses to be delivered through March 31. The U.S. government has the option to purchase up to an additional 1.1 million doses through Nov. 25.

Motif Bio plc, of London, said it entered a stock purchase agreement in which Orange Avenue Technologies LLC acquired all outstanding shares of Motif Inc. Motif said it will receive the nominal amount of $1 in addition to an interest in revenue derived from Motif Inc.’s iclaprim, an antibiotic to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections caused by gram-positive pathogens. Should Motif Inc. generate revenue from iclaprim above its outstanding liabilities, Motif will retain the first $250,000 in revenue. After that, 90% of any additional revenue will be paid to Tamarack Associates Inc., whose president, John Palmer, owns Orange Avenue.

Shepherd Therapeutics Inc., of Boston, and the Mayo Clinic will collaborate to research treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare pediatric cancer. They will use Shepherd’s precision-oncology platform to identify mechanisms for drug response and resistance in RMS patients, and to identify new single drug and multidrug combinations that have the potential to impact RMS care. The platform integrates bioinformatics, machine learning and mathematics.

Silence Therapeutics plc, of London, said it will receive a $2 million milestone payment from Dublin-based Mallinckrodt plc after initiating work on a third target in their RNAi research collaboration for treating complement pathway-mediated diseases. In July 2019, Silence received an up-front $20 million from Mallinckrodt for an exclusive worldwide license to one complement target and options for up to two additional targets, which Mallinckrodt exercised at $2 million per target. Silence is responsible for preclinical activities and executing development of each target through phase I, after which Mallinckrodt assumes clinical development and global commercialization. Silence is also eligible to receive tiered double-digit royalties on net sales for each optioned product candidate and up to $2 billion in total milestone payments across all three targets.