New data from Anokion SA, of Cambridge, Mass., and Lausanne, Switzerland, highlights the company’s erythrocyte-targeting approach to inducing immune tolerance for treating autoimmune diseases. The findings showed that targeting antigens to erythrocytes, red blood cells, in vivo led to efficient presentation of antigen to T cells, driving antigen-specific T cells to suppress inflammation and autoimmune pathology. The immune system is designed to target foreign antigens on the surfaces of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens by activating specialized cells to address the threat. Antigen-presenting cells interact with T cells to produce an inflammatory response that neutralize invading pathogens.
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, of Ingelheim, Germany, and Gubra ApS, of Horsholm, Denmark, said they established a new research and licensing agreement to identify and validate targets and peptide compounds for treating obesity. This is the companies’ third joint research program in obesity since 2017. Gubra is responsible for early research and Boehringer Ingelheim is responsible for moving candidates into nonclinical and clinical development. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Chinook Therapeutics Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Evotec SE, of Hamburg, Germany, said they will jointly identify, characterize and validate new mechanisms and precision medicines for treating polycystic kidney disease lupus nephritis, IgA nephropathy and other primary glomerular diseases. The collaboration will also involve further characterization of pathways and patient stratification strategies for programs in Chinook’s clinical and preclinical pipeline. Chinook will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of product candidates developed under the collaboration. Evotec will receive an undisclosed up-front payment, research funding, progress-dependent milestone payments and tiered royalties on net sales for targets identified through the collaboration.
Claritas Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Francisco and Toronto, formerly Kalytera Therapeutics Inc., said it will focus on developing its nitric oxide-releasing compound, R-107, for treating vaccine-resistant COVID-19 and other viral infections. R-107 is a nitric oxide-releasing compound that, if administered orally or by nasal spray or injection, enters the bloodstream to release nitric oxide over 24 hours. Nitric oxide has a broad antiviral activity against multiple viruses, including those whose genes are encoded by RNA, the company said.
Clene Nanomedicine Inc., of Salt Lake City, said it was awarded a new grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to accelerate development of CNM-Au8, its lead neuroreparative nanocatalyst, for treating Parkinson’s disease (PD). The project is designed to evaluate the effects of CNM-Au8 on the survival and bioenergetic profiles of human PD patient dopaminergic neurons in the presence of PD-related neurotoxins and characterize the effects of CNM-Au8 on motor behaviors and neuronal survival in an animal model of PD for advancing CNM-Au8 into phase II efficacy trials.
Enlivex Therapeutics Ltd., of Nes Ziona, Israel, and Mount Sinai Health System will collaborate to develop Allocetra with checkpoint inhibitors. Allocetra is a macrophage-reprogramming immunotherapy product candidate in clinical development by Enlivex for treating life-threatening immune-mediated diseases. The companies said they plan to develop and execute a preclinical program to investigate synergies between Allocetra and commercially approved checkpoint inhibitor therapies for select solid cancers.
Hitgen Inc., of Chengdu, China, said it entered a discovery research collaboration with Uppthera Inc., of Incheon, South Korea, to identify small-molecule hits against previous known-to-be undruggable targets and E3 ligase. Hitgen’s platform is based on design, synthesis and screening of DNA-encoded libraries to discover compounds that bind to certain targets. The identified compounds will be exclusively licensed to Uppthera for further development. Hitgen will receive an undisclosed up-front payment, success fee and license/milestone fee from Uppthera.
Homology Medicines Inc., of Bedford, Mass., said it regained worldwide exclusive rights from Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland, to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize Homology’s nuclease-free gene editing technology platform for an ophthalmic target. In 2017, Homology granted Novartis worldwide exclusive rights to the company’s human hematopoietic stem cell-derived adeno-associated virus vectors using its nuclease-free gene editing platform for certain ophthalmic targets, which are now fully owned by Homology.
Hoth Therapeutics Inc., of New York, said it expanded its licensing agreement from North Carolina State University to include worldwide development and commercialization of treatments targeting mast cell-derived cancers and anaphylaxis. The drug is designed to more specifically target the receptor tyrosine kinase in mast cells, which is required for the proliferation, survival and differentiation of bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells.