Alx Oncology Inc. and Tallac Therapeutics Inc., both of Burlingame, Calif., will collaborate to manufacture and commercialize cancer immunotherapeutics. They will share equally in the cost of R&D and profits or losses incurred. Alx is developing therapies that block the CD47 checkpoint pathway. The companies said they plan to advance an anti-SIRPα antibody conjugated to a Toll-like receptor 9 agonist for targeted activation of both the innate and adaptive immune systems.
Fauna Bio Inc., of Berkeley, Calif., said it received a grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to study the genetic makeup of animals. The R41 grant leverages comparative genomics to identify new targets. Fauna's platform has identified four genes key to heart protection and recovery from cardiac events including heart attacks and strokes using data from hibernators. The grant also supports a partnership between Fauna and the Monarch Initiative, an integrative data and analytic platform identifying shared traits across species for identifying animal models of human diseases.
Hyloris Pharmaceuticals SA, of Liege, Belgium, and Aft Pharmaceuticals Ltd., of Auckland, New Zealand, said they signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the Aguettant Group, of Grenoble, France, for Maxigesic I.V., a non-opioid pain treatment delivered by I.V., in eight European markets. Aguettant gained exclusive rights to Maxigesic I.V. in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. Aft said it expects sales to begin in early 2022.
Immune Regulation Ltd. has moved its primary operations to New Orleans and is changing its name to Revolo Biotherapeutics. The company is seeking to address several indications across multiple phase II trials. It's advancing IRL-201805, a potentially first-in-class modified analogue of chaperonin binding immunoglobulin protein into a second trial for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis as well as a study in uveitis. It's also advancing IRL-201104, a peptide derived from a Mycobacterium tuberculosis chaperonin 60.1 protein, through a trial in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis and another allergen sensitivity study.
Jaguar Health Inc., of San Francisco, said it entered a binding agreement of terms for a third nondilutive royalty financing transaction in which Jaguar would sell to the lender for an aggregate purchase price of $5 million a royalty interest in future Mytesi (crofelemer) sales for the proposed COVID-19-related indication in long-hauler patients. The company said it is exploring a CMA in the European Union. Jaguar said it will use the proceeds to support regulatory activities associated with its development pipeline, including supporting the development program for crofelemer for the prophylaxis and/or symptomatic relief of inflammatory diarrhea, initially to be studied in a long-hauler COVID-19 recovery patient population. The $5 million royalty financing transaction follows a $6 million royalty transaction in October 2020 and a $6 million royalty transaction in December 2020.
Keros Therapeutics Inc., of Lexington, Mass., disclosed preclinical results from studies of KER-050 and the company’s ALK2 inhibitor program at the virtual European School of Hematology conference. Data from multiple in vivo disease models continue to support the positive observations in phase I trials, the company noted. The ability to target multiple stages of erythropoiesis makes KER-050 a potential therapeutic candidate for diseases that cause anemia due to ineffective erythropoiesis, the data suggest.
Nanobiotix SA, of Paris, and Pharmaengine Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., agreed to terminate the license and collaboration agreement signed in August 2012. The decision represents a full resolution of outstanding disagreements over a number of issues with respect to the development of NBTXR-3 in the Asia-Pacific region, the companies said.
Seagen Inc., of Bothell, Wash., was notified of an unsolicited “mini-tender” offer dated Feb. 22, 2021, made by TRC Capital Investment Corp. in Ontario to purchase up to 1 million shares of Seagen's common stock at $151 each, about 4.28% below the closing price of Seagen shares on Feb. 19, 2021, the last trading day prior to the date of its offer. Seagen said it does not endorse the offer.
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, said it will post a loss for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. Following a failure to meet the primary endpoints in the analysis results of the phase III study of cancer agent napabucasin for colorectal cancer as made public on Feb. 9, the firm is discontinuing all phase I and II studies underway and will write off all of the in-process research and development costs, resulting in a loss in the amount of ¥26.9 billion (US$254 million).
Twoxar Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said two leads for the potential treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD), TXR-1208 and TXR-1210, demonstrated significant efficacy and excellent tolerability in preclinical studies. TXR-1208 and TXR-1210 represent two different, novel mechanisms of action. The overall timing to complete predictions, select hits and begin in vivo testing was a total of four weeks, significantly faster than traditional drug discovery processes, the company noted. Data were presented at the 3rd Chronic Kidney Disease Drug Development Summit.