EditForce, Inc. | July 06, 2022
EditForce, Inc. has entered into a License Agreement with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation to research, develop and commercialize potential gene therapy products for a specific target disease in the field of CNS by utilizing EditForce's proprietary PPR protein platform technology.
In this alliance, MTPC and EditForce aim to create potential novel pharmaceuticals for the specific CNS disease by utilizing the drug R&D know-how and global business experience of MTPC and the novel biotechnology of EditForce. MTPC will acquire the exclusive right to conduct the selection of drug candidate molecules, preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization worldwide.
Under the terms of the Agreement, EditForce will receive an upfront payment and milestone payments amounting to over 20 billion yen depending on the development stage and commercialization progress, and royalties based on worldwide sales after the launch.
"I am so delighted to reach the agreement with MTPC, which has an interest in our proprietary PPR protein platform technology. We look forward to working closely with MTPC to develop and deliver breakthrough pharmaceutical products with our technology to patients suffering from diseases."
Takashi Ono, President and CEO of EditForce
About EditForce, Inc.
EditForce, Inc., a Kyushu University-originated venture company developing a unique DNA/RNA editing technology (PPR platform technology (*)), was established in May 2015 by KISCO Ltd. and Prof. Takahiro Nakamura of Kyushu University (former president of EditForce and currently its scientific advisor) and funded by companies and funds that have track records of investing in life sciences and biotechnology. EditForce aims for drug discovery that applies the PPR technology through joint research with universities and private companies.
Pentatricopeptide repeat protein platform technology
PPR is a protein discovered in plants that regulates gene expression by binding to DNA and RNA in a sequence-specific manner. The PPR proteins are also found in humans and yeasts, and they have similar functions. Prof. Takahiro Nakamura and Dr. Yusuke Yagi, CTO of EditForce, have focused on the PPR proteins and elucidated the mechanism that determines sequence specificity, and established a technology for creating various PPR proteins, each of which binds to a specific target DNA or RNA sequence. Furthermore, it is possible to manipulate and modify the target genome and RNA both inside and outside the cell by fusion with effector proteins.
About Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation the pharma arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Group is one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the world, founded in 1678, and focusing on ethical pharmaceuticals. MTPC is headquartered in Doshomachi, Osaka, the birthplace of Japan's pharmaceutical industry. MCG has positioned health care as its strategic focus in its management policy, "Forging the future." MTPC sets the MISSION of "Creating hope for all facing illness." To that end, MTPC is prioritizing work on "precision medicine" to provide drugs with high treatment satisfaction by identifying patient populations with high potential for efficacy and safety, focusing on the disease areas of the central nervous system and immuno-inflammation. In addition, MTPC is working to develop "around the pill solutions" to address specific patient concerns based on therapeutic medicine, including prevention of diseases, pre-symptomatic disease care, prevention of aggravation and prognosis.
NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 16, 2022
NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co., Ltd. announced that they have entered into a conditional exclusive license agreement for NeuroBo to develop and commercialize DA-1241 and DA-1726, which are currently being evaluated for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis obesity and type 2 diabetes.
DA-1241 is a novel G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 119 agonist, which promotes the release of key gut peptides GLP-1, GIP and PYY, which, in turn, play an important role in glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism and weight loss. DA-1241 is a synthetic, selective small molecule, suitable for oral administration and has been shown to be well tolerated in phase 1 studies. Further, its multimodal mechanism appears to induce strong anti-NASH effects, supported by potential best-in-class efficacy, as demonstrated in pre-clinical studies.
DA-1726 is a novel oxyntomodulin analogue functioning as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor and glucagon receptor dual agonist. OXM is a naturally-occurring, 37-amino acid peptide hormone that is released from the gut after ingestion of a meal, activating both the GLP-1 and glucagon receptors, prompting reduced food intake as well as an increase in energy expenditure, potentially resulting in superior body weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 receptor agonists. The beneficial effects of this dual mechanism of DA-1726 on weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 activity has been demonstrated in animal models. Additionally, DA-1726 has shown the ability to improve hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis when compared to the GLP-1 agonist, semaglutide in these same models.
Under the license agreement, NeuroBo will be responsible for global development, regulatory and commercial activities other than for certain Asian-Pacific geographies. Dong-A will manufacture clinical supplies and initial commercial supplies of the product at its manufacturing facility in Korea.
"The acquisition of these two cardiometabolic assets marks a seismic shift for NeuroBo, providing us with a highly promising, diversified pipeline with several upcoming value inflection points in the NASH and obesity space -- areas with enormous market opportunity," stated Gil Price, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NeuroBo. "Through this agreement, Dong-A, one of our largest shareholders, has reaffirmed its commitment to remain a long-term strategic partner of NeuroBo. Dong-A is dedicated to our success and we are grateful it has also committed to provide continued support to facilitate the clinical development of the licensed assets. Once the transaction has closed, which is contingent upon certain closing conditions, we will be uniquely positioned to initiate a phase 2a study of DA-1241 in NASH in the first half of 2023, with data expected in the second half of 2024. We also intend to initiate a phase 1a safety study of DA-1726 in the first half of 2023, for which data is expected in the second half of 2023. We are truly excited about the prospects of NeuroBo as we transition to a cardiometabolic company across the large and growing markets of obesity and NASH."
"We are highly enthusiastic about this opportunity to accelerate development of our novel treatments in partnership with NeuroBo. Dong-A plans to continue to strengthen its R&D capability and to seek additional collaboration opportunities to establish ourselves in the US market",
Min Young Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Dong-A
About the Proposed Licensing Transaction
Under the terms of the license agreement, Dong-A will receive an upfront payment of $22 million in Series A convertible preferred stock, which will automatically convert into common stock upon receipt of requisite stockholder approval, and will be eligible to receive commercial- and regulatory-based milestone payments, dependent upon the achievement of specific regulatory and commercial developments. Dong-A will also be entitled to single digit royalties on net sales of the two assets. Dong-A has also agreed to commit $15,000,000 toward financing the assets, subject to NeuroBo's ability to obtain additional financing under the terms of the license agreement.
The license agreement has been approved by the board of directors of NeuroBo. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to obtaining third party financing for development of the assets and other customary closing conditions.
About NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals
NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company historically focused on therapies for neurodegenerative, infectious, and, upon closing of the license agreement, cardiometabolic diseases. Its therapeutics programs currently include ANA001, an oral niclosamide formulation, which is in Phase 2/3 clinical trials to treat patients with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19); NB-01 for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy; NB-02 for the treatment of symptoms of cognitive impairment and to modify the progression of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the malfunction of tau protein; and gemcabene currently being assessed as an acute treatment for COVID-19 in combination with ANA001. NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dong-A ST Co. is a leading healthcare company in South Korea with a business focus on developing, manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical products and medical devices worldwide. Dong-A has successfully developed and marketed several products globally and continues to develop prospective clinical candidates. Dong-A also provides licensed-in and licensed-out drugs, and medical devices, including high-technology medical devices, custom-made products, and sets of artificial cardiac circuits for use in open-heart surgery. Dong-A has over 5,500 employees including 2,300 in the pharmaceutical sector. Dong-A was founded in 1932 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.
Alira Health and Artisan Healthcare Consulting | September 07, 2022
Alira Health, a patient-centric, global health care advisory, clinical research and technology company, announced the acquisition of Artisan Healthcare Consulting, a US-based consulting firm that provides strategic insights to healthcare companies. Artisan serves 12 of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies in the US, supports the C-Suite of leading biotechnology companies, and has deep expertise in over 30 therapeutic areas.
The acquisition of Artisan strengthens and extends Alira Health’s Market Access and Management Consulting advisory practices in North America and globally. Clients of Alira Health and Artisan Healthcare Consulting now have access to the full breadth of advisory offerings from both firms. Alira Health clients can leverage Artisan’s deep expertise in brand strategy and analytics, new product differentiation, US market access, go-to-launch strategies, and product lifecycle management. Artisan Healthcare Consulting clients can benefit from Alira Health’s clinical operations, real-world evidence, and patient-centric technology offerings, including decentralized clinical trials (DCT), patient support programs (PSP) and digital therapeutics (DTx).
“Artisan Healthcare Consulting is recognized for delivering the highest level of strategic and quantitative analysis to help healthcare leaders act decisively across their business. Artisan Healthcare Consulting’s leadership has decades of experience serving as a long-term partner to healthcare executives. We welcome them to the Alira Health team.”
Jean-Francois Ricci, Chief Access Officer at Alira Health
“We are delighted to join a company with such a broad and complementary set of capabilities,” said Bob Delise, CEO and Founder of Artisan Healthcare Consulting. “It is a pleasure to work with our new colleagues, and we now have access to an international team of strategists and experts who can help our customers succeed. We embrace Alira Health’s mission to humanize healthcare and look forward to offering new capabilities to all our clients.”
Artisan Healthcare Consulting partners Bob Delise, Brad Ship, and Greg Wolfe will join Alira Health’s global consulting leadership team as they continue to work with their long-term clients.
About Artisan Healthcare Consulting, Inc.
Artisan Healthcare Consulting Inc. was founded in 2009 on the principle that outstanding client service differentiates a great consulting firm from a good one. Artisan provides strategic and analytic advice to a wide range of healthcare product companies. Artisan works across the biopharma industry to help clients steer emerging therapies through clinical development, launch them successfully, and drive success throughout the life cycle of their products.
About Alira Health
Alira Health is an international patient-centric, global health care advisory, clinical research, and technology company, whose mission is to humanize healthcare. We work with healthcare and life sciences organizations looking for support across their entire solutions lifecycle. From development to medical care, we complement our clients’ expertise with a full spectrum of services including research and clinical development solutions, technology-powered consulting, and real-world evidence.
Our integrated and multidisciplinary team of over 600 scientists, strategists, economists, clinicians, and biostatisticians collaborate across our North American, European, and Asian offices and advise 80% of the top 50% of MedTech companies and 75% of the top 50% of Pharma companies.