Biogen Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., licensed BAT-1806, a biosimilar referencing Actemra (tocilizumab, Roche Holding AG), in all countries excluding China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) from Bio-Thera Solutions Ltd., of Guangzhou, China. Biogen will pay $30 million up front, which is contingent on Bio-Thera’s phase III achieving satisfactory results. Bio-Thera is eligible to receive undisclosed commercial milestone payments and tiered royalties on sales of the biosimilar.
Context Therapeutics LLC, of Philadelphia, licensed rights to an anti-claudin 6 bispecific antibody for the treatment of gynecologic cancer from Integral Molecular, also of Philadelphia. Integral Molecular will receive an undisclosed up-front payment and is eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and high-single-digit to low-double-digit percent royalties on net sales. The companies expect clinical development for the drug will start in 2023.
Cytoimmune Therapeutics Inc., of Monrovia, Calif., licensed from City of Hope patent applications related to methods to generate large numbers of fully functional natural killer (NK) cells derived from umbilical cord blood and compositions of chimeric receptors (CAR) for targeting NK cells to tumors expressing prostate stem cell antigen, PD-L1 or FLT3. The technology was developed by City of Hope researchers Jianhua Yu and Michael Caligiuri, who co-founded Cytoimmune. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lexington, Mass., sold its royalty interest in primary hyperoxaluria treatment Oxlumo (lumasiran, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.) for $180 million up front and up to $60 million in contingent sales-based milestone payments. The capital will extend Dicerna’s projected cash runway into 2024.
DS Biopharma Ltd., of Dublin, licensed the rights to sell its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory cream Epadilin in the U.S. to Nuvothera Inc., of Fort Worth, Texas. As part of the deal, DS became an investor in Nuvothera. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Hemostemix Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, began trading its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under symbol 2VFO.F. The company is paying $18,000 for a three-month campaign run by HE Capital Markets Ltd. to increase investor interest in Hemostemix in North America and Europe.
Hyundai Bioscience Co. Ltd., of Seoul, South Korea, noted that its subsidiary, Cnpharm, published a paper in Polymers on CP-COV03, niclosamide reformulated using the company’s cationic drug delivery system, for treatment of COVID-19. The drug had 60% increased bioavailability compared to Yomesan, the current anthelmintic formulation of niclosamide.
Immunoprecise Antibodies Ltd., of Victoria, British Columbia, and its subsidiary, Talem Therapeutics LLC, launched its TATX-112 antibody program targeting an undisclosed protein involved in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
Preclinical data from Medolife Rx Inc., of Burbank, Calif., showed its lead candidate, Escozine, caused up to 95% specific induced apoptosis in various types of leukemia cancer cells. Cell death was observed in all cell lines when treated with Escozine after 48 hours of incubation, the company said. Escozine is a polarized solution of the Rhopalurus princeps scorpion peptide amplified by the company’s polarization technology. Medolife is a majority owned subsidiary of Quanta Inc.
Preclinical results from two toxicology studies in animals conducted by Metriopharm AG, of Zurich, confirmed the safety profile of its lead candidate, MP-1032. MP-1032 is the lead compound of a class of immune modulators and is designed to modulate the oxidative stress-mediated activation state of macrophages and down-regulate the M1 state. MP-1032 does not impact T cells and preferentially affects macrophages at the sites of inflammation, Metriopharm added.
New data from Moderna Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., showed antibody persistence out to six months after the second 100-μg dose of its mRNA vaccine. The study analyzed 33 healthy adult participants in the NIH-led phase I study. Antibody decay was estimated using two approaches and was consistent with published observations of convalescent patients with COVID-19 through eight months after symptom onset. Moderna is also pursuing clinical development against emerging variants. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Oncology Pharma Inc., of San Francisco, said it signed a license agreement with Regen Biopharma Inc., of San Diego, for intellectual property pertaining to mRNA to be used in developing a pancreatic cancer therapy. Regen is advancing small-molecule therapies for treating cancer and autoimmune disorders by modulating the checkpoint NR2F6.
Trisalus Life Sciences Inc., of Westminster, Colo., and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center will evaluate treating pancreas and liver tumors by intravascular delivery of SD-101, a Toll-like receptor 9 agonist, combined with checkpoint inhibition immunotherapy. The initial study will focus on liver metastases from uveal melanoma, followed by studies on metastatic disease from pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and colorectal cancer. Trisalus will provide funding and technology.
Preclinical research from Vir Biotechnology Inc., of San Francisco, revealed mechanisms SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter host cells and identified how auxiliary receptors may impact the clinical efficacy of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). The research highlights the mechanism of action of non-receptor-binding motif-targeting antibodies such as VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, the company’s SARS-CoV-2 MAbs that target a conserved non-RBM site within the receptor binding domain. The MAbs bind to an epitope on SARS-CoV-2 that is shared with SARS-CoV-2, indicating that the epitope is highly conserved, which may make it more difficult for resistance to develop, Vir said.