Pfizer agrees on $340M upfront to buy Therachon for dwarfism drug

fiercebiotech | May 08, 2019

Pfizer is set to pay $340 million (€304 million) upfront to buy Therachon for its treatment for a form of short-limbed dwarfism. The deal commits Pfizer to up to $470 million in additional milestones tied to the advance of the early-phase rare disease drug. Therachon has emerged as one of the better financed European rare disease biotechs in recent years, pulling in $100 million from investors including Novo Holdings and OrbiMed across its series A and B rounds. The funding has supported work on TA-46, a FGFR3 ligand trap designed to prevent the excessive signalling thought to suppress bone growth in people with achondroplasia. Limited data are available publicly on the drug, which only began testing in healthy volunteers last year. But Pfizer has seen enough promise in the preclinical and phase 1 results to put together an $810 million financial package and make TA-46 a key part of its plans in pediatric growth disorders.

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Depending on your point of view, red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are throwaways and a nuisance, ruining a good blood specimen if the cells burst and contaminate the sample. On the other hand, erythrocytes have significant value in specific types of research, and if your objective is biobanking these cells in an intact state then hemolysis and the need for a re-draw is equally as much to be avoided


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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

ALR Technologies Completes Definitive Manufacturing Agreement with Infinovo Medical for the GluCurve Pet CGM Hardware

ALR Technologies | June 30, 2022

ALR Technologies SG Pte. Ltd the diabetes management company, announces the completion of a definitive manufacturing agreement with Infinovo Medical Co. Ltd to manufacture and supply the Continuous Glucose Monitor hardware that will be utilized as part of the ALRT GluCurve Pet CGM. The Manufacturing Agreement gives ALRT the exclusive global rights to distribute the Infinovo CGM hardware for the animal health market, providing long-term production and supply. Subject to the satisfaction of all closing conditions it is expected that initial deliveries of product by Infinovo will be made during Q4 of 2022 “Executing the Manufacturing Agreement with Infinovo marks another major milestone in our path to commercialization and profitability. Our next targeted milestone is securing distribution for the ALRT GluCurve Pet CGM. We have been working with many of the largest global distributors and pharmaceutical companies in animal health, evaluating different distribution opportunities ranging from joint venture partnerships to sales and distribution agreements. We believe we have narrowed in on the right company and right deal structure to best bring value to our shareholders and to those who care for diabetic pets. We hope to announce the details of this pivotal next step in the near future.” Sidney Chan, Chairman and CEO of ALRT The Manufacturing Agreement is subject to certain closing conditions including the completion of a distribution agreement with a third party by July 31, 2022. About Infinovo Medical Co. Ltd Founded in 2016, Infinovo is an innovative medical technology company, focusing on developing an accurate and affordable CGM for patients which will be available for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics. ALR Technologies SG Pte. Ltd. ALRT is a data management company that developed the ALRT Diabetes Solution, a comprehensive approach to diabetes care that includes an FDA-cleared and HIPAA compliant diabetes management system that collects data directly from blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitoring devices, and a patent pending Predictive A1C algorithm to track treatment success between lab reports and an FDA-cleared Insulin Dosing Adjustment program. ALRT also offers an algorithm to provide prescribers support for timely non-insulin medication advancements. The overall goal is to optimize diabetes drug therapies to drive improved patient outcomes. The program tracks performance of all clinical activities to ensure best practices are followed. The ALRT Diabetes Solution gives healthcare providers a platform for remote diabetes care, helping to minimize patient exposure to potential infections in clinical settings. Currently, the Company is focused on diabetes and intends to expand its services to cover other chronic diseases anchored on verifiable data. In addition, the animal health division of ALRT has identified an unmet need in diabetes care and has developed GluCurve; a solution to assist Veterinarian Doctors to determine the efficacy of insulin and to help to identify the appropriate dose and frequency of administration of insulin for companion animals, thereby delivering the same optimization of diabetic drug therapies to pets as to humans. ALR Technologies SG Pte. Ltd. is controlled by ALR Technologies Inc., a Company with its shares traded on the OTC:QB under the symbol “ALRT”. On May 17, 2022, ALR Technologies Inc. announced an Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization for the sole purpose of changing the Company’s jurisdiction of incorporation from Nevada to Singapore (the “Redomicile Merger Agreement”). The Redomicile Merger Agreement is subject to the required approval of the Company’s stockholders, requisite regulatory approvals, the effectiveness of the registration statement on Form F-4 filed by ALRT related to the Redomicile Merger, and other customary closing conditions. The Redomicile Merger is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2022. See the Form 8-K filed May 20, 2022, by ALR Technologies Inc. for further information about the Redomicile Merger Agreement.

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Dermaliq Therapeutics Signs USD 15 Million Series A Round to Advance Three Transformative Drug Therapies into Clinical Trials

Dermaliq Therapeutics | January 18, 2022

Novaliq GmbH, 3E Bioventures Capital and Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. today announced the establishment of Dermaliq Therapeutics, Inc (Dermaliq), a newly formed Delaware-based pharmaceutical development company, and the signing of a USD 15 million Series A financing round. 3E Bioventures Capital, a leading international life science investor, led the round and was joined by Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. Dermaliq's existing shareholder Novaliq has transferred, and licensed Intellectual Property (IP) related to the field of dermatology to Dermaliq. Skin diseases are the fourth leading cause of non-fatal disease burden worldwide, underscoring the role of dermatology in the growing field of global health. Skin conditions have significant impact on patients' well-being, mental health, and social participation. Although topical and local delivery of active ingredients to diseased skin is the preferred treatment route for the majority of patients, current therapies often lack satisfactory skin penetration and patient compliance. Dermaliq is developing the next generation of skin care therapies to enhance targeted penetration into skin tissues and to reduce unwanted side effects for millions of patients. The unique and proprietary technology now owned by Dermaliq, called hyliQ™, is designed to allow cutaneous drug delivery with unmatched bioavailability. The technology enables the development of superior, highly effective liquid drug products with exceptional cosmetic properties. The proceeds will be used to conduct three Phase 1/2a clinical dermatology programs with the goal to demonstrate safety and efficacy and to advance this novel skin care drug category to market to improve the lives of millions of patients: DLQ01 is a liquid drug candidate for the topical treatment of female and male androgenetic alopecia, targeting the prostamide E2 (PGE2) receptor in hair bulbs through specific follicular drug delivery. DLQ02 is a novel and liquid topical calcineurin inhibitor drug therapy for plaque psoriasis, particularly in difficult to treat areas. DLQ03 is a broad-spectrum liquid antibiotic drug candidate that targets topical treatment of bacterial skin and soft tissue infections, including the reduction of antibiotic-resistant strains. The Company has demonstrated proof-of-principle for enhanced topical drug delivery using hyliQ™ in nonclinical models for all three applications. "We are excited that 3E Bioventures Capital and Beijing Whale Technology Corporation have committed to support Dermaliq as new investors in the Series A round. Our spin-off from Novaliq and successful raising of significant funds provides us with the opportunity to build a leading specialty pharmaceutical company and expand the application of Novaliq's transformative drug delivery technology into dermatology." Dr. Frank Löscher, Chief Executive Officer of Dermaliq "3E is committed to investing in global leading life sciences and biomedical companies and help them grow with access to globalized resources and capabilities," said Karen Liu, Managing Director 3E Bioventures Capital. "Dermaliq is using a unique, and scientifically sound technology to achieve high efficiency drug delivery across the skin. The technology is already proven in ophthalmology and holds great promise for dermatology. We will be excited to explore additional drug pipelines in China and synergize with Dermaliq on both pre-clinical and clinical development." "Whale Technology values the solid science foundation of Dermaliq's proprietary hyliQ™ technology platform," said Ming Gao, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Whale Technology Co. Ltd. "Dermaliq's founding team demonstrates a great combination of science, clinical experience and commercialization strength. We see great potential of Dermaliq's pipeline in the field of dermatology after Novaliq's proven clinical and commercial success in ophthalmology." "Dermatology is the logical next step into using Novaliq's proprietary technology platform outside eye care," said Dr. Christian Roesky, Chief Executive Officer Novaliq. "The spin-off into an independent company allows Dermaliq to greatly benefit from our experience in ophthalmology while being fully committed to the multiple product development activities in dermatology, and likely to further broaden its pipeline to other skin conditions." To reflect the new shareholder structure, Karen Liu of 3E Bioventures Capital will join Dermaliq's Board of Directors. Dr. Löscher has also transitioned from his role as Chief Technology Officer at Novaliq to lead Dermaliq as its CEO & President. About Dermaliq Dermaliq Therapeutics, Inc. is a private company founded in 2021 through a spin off from Novaliq to reimagine topical dermatology. The Company is incorporated in Wilmington (DE), USA under Delaware law. The company has signed a USD 15 million series A round to advance three transformative skin care drug therapies through clinical trials. Key shareholders are Novaliq GmbH, 3E Bioventures Capital and Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. About 3E Bioventures Capital 3E Bioventures Capital is a healthcare venture capital firm, dedicated to investing in cutting-edge life sciences and biomedical technologies, with a focus on breakthrough first-in-class therapies and disruptive cross-disciplinary innovations in medical devices and diagnostics. 3E Bioventures takes on a science-driven, entrepreneur-friendly investment philosophy by working closely with companies and research institutions to develop drugs or products that have strong unmet medical needs. With offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area, 3E Bioventures leverages its experience, capabilities, and network to help companies tap into markets and resources across the Pacific and advance with greater speed and capital efficiency. The motto of 3E Bioventures Capital is captured in its name 3E: Expertise, Efficiency, Execution. About Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. is a China-based pharmaceutical group committed to the long-term sustainable development in the fields of chemistry, pharmaceuticals and aesthetics. With more than 20 years of history, Whale Tech. has developed two core business units. On one hand, Whale Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Whale Chemistry Co. Ltd. and Whale Pharmatech Co. Ltd. are grouped as pharmaceutical and chemistry business unit. On the other hand, Whale Biotech is a research stage biotech company with the focus of developing aesthetics products. About Novaliq Novaliq is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development and commercialization of first- and best-in-class ocular therapeutics based on EyeSol®, the worldwide first water-free eyedrop technology. Novaliq offers an industry-leading portfolio addressing today's unmet medical needs of millions of patients with eye diseases. Novaliq GmbH is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany and Novaliq Inc. has an office in Cambridge, MA, USA. The long-term shareholder is dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG, an active investor in Life and Health Sciences companies.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Virpax Pharmaceuticals Recaps Milestones and Highlights Product Portfolio

Virpax® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | December 29, 2021

Virpax® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "Company" achieved significant milestones relating to its pipeline of product candidates as of the end of 2021, which are summarized below. “I believe that Virpax has made significant progress this past year toward our stated goalsThese accomplishments include accelerated development of our existing product candidates, broadening our pipeline of product candidates, and utilizing grants where appropriate. We recently announced that we anticipate commencing our initial human trial for Epoladerm™ in the second quarter of 2022. Anthony P. Mack, Chairman and CEO of Virpax “Virpax initially focused strictly on pain product candidates. However, our unique Molecular Envelope Technology delivery platform licensed from Nanomerics, Ltd. has enabled the development of product candidates for central nervous system and anti-viral indications. In the second half of 2021, we advanced the development of AnQlar™, a prophylactic, over-the-counter anti-viral product candidate formulated to prevent the spread of respiratory infections like influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and rhinovirus. We added VRP324 which is an intranasally delivered cannabidiol formulation for the management of epilepsy in adults and children. Our Envelta™ IND-enabling studies, completed by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences as a part of our Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, determined that the MET intranasal delivery formulation bypasses the liver which we believe reduces drug-to-drug interaction concerns for treatments using this technology. “On the corporate front, we strengthened our Board by appointing two new members adding expertise in commercialization and financial strategy. Additionally, in 2021 we raised approximately $58 million in aggregate gross proceeds from our initial public offering and an underwritten follow-on public offering. These funds are being used for research and development activities of our product candidates. We are on track to add accomplishments in 2022 and I remain confident that we have the significant financial strength to continue advancing our pipeline,” concluded Mr. Mack. Epoladerm™ Epoladerm is a diclofenac topical spray film product candidate that is being developed for pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Virpax recently reported successful results of a Charles River Laboratories single dose toxicology and pharmacokinetic study of dermal administration of Epoladerm in minipigs as part of the required Investigational New Drug Application enabling trials. Single-dose transdermal delivery of Epoladerm was well-tolerated in all minipigs. There were no treatment-related clinical observations, changes in body weight, or dermal irritation observed. The maximum plasma concentration was reached at 4 hours post-dose, and concentrations of plasma Epoladerm remained at 24-hour post-dose for all animals. Upon completion of all the required IND enabling studies and subsequent review by the FDA, Virpax intends to conduct a Phase 1 study to evaluate the relative bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of Epoladerm™. Virpax recently announced the execution of a clinical trial agreement with Altasciences Company, Inc., to conduct this study in Canada. Virpax anticipates enrollment of the first patient by early second quarter of 2022. Probudur™ Probudur is an injectable bupivacaine liposomal hydrogel for postoperative pain management which Virpax believes has improved onset and extended duration of action compared to existing treatment options. Additional pre-clinical trials are being conducted with Lipocure, the product developer, to improve the formulation to potentially enhance manufacturing efficiencies, prolong duration and extend patent protection. Once completed, we plan to perform seven preclinical animal studies as part of required FDA IND enabling trials. Envelta™ Envelta is an endogenous enkephalin intranasal spray for acute and chronic pain, including pain associated with cancer. This product leverages Nanomeric’s MET platform technology which Virpax licensed to deliver the endogenous enkephalin formulation through an intranasal delivery enabling the enkephalin to permeate the blood-brain barrier while bypassing the liver. This product candidate is being funded through an in-kind CRADA with the NCATS. Virpax recently announced that under this CRADA, the National Institutes of Health has awarded multiple contracts to support the research, development and manufacturing of Envelta. These contracts are to support Good Manufacturing Practices production of drug substance and drug product, as well as to support Good Laboratory Practices toxicology, safety studies and preclinical efficacy studies. The NIH has contracted with a clinical research organization to conduct additional pre-clinical efficacy studies and has procured a device to be used with the manufactured GMP drug product for preclinical and clinical studies. The NIH has also engaged a firm to manufacture Leu-enkephalin, the active ingredient in Envelta, and a company to manufacture the MET carrier that delivers L-ENK to the brain to promptly suppress pain. AnQlar™ AnQlar is a high-density intranasal molecular masking spray in development as an anti-viral OTC product for protection against respiratory infections, such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza, that Virpax anticipates will be used as an adjuvant to barrier-based personal protective equipment. Virpax recently announced a manufacturing and supply agreement with Seqens to provide AnQlar for both clinical studies and the long-term commercial supply of AnQlar. Additionally, Virpax engaged Sinclair Research to initiate IND-enabling studies for AnQlar. The Company anticipates that these preclinical animal studies will begin in early 2022. VRP324 Virpax has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights from Nanomerics to use its MET platform for the nasal delivery of CBD for the management of epilepsy in children and adults. Under this agreement, Virpax has the global rights to develop, manufacture, market and sell VRP324, the first investigational formulation delivered via the nasal route to enhance CBD transport to the brain. This product candidate will be formulated to potentially treat seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients one year of age and older. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome are rare CNS diseases considered serious epileptic encephalopathies that cause epileptic seizures, as well as cognitive and behavioral changes, and are generally resistant to treatment. Preclinical studies of VRP324 have been initiated by Nanomerics which it anticipates will be completed in the first quarter of 2022. Upon completion, Virpax will collaborate with RRD International, a clinical drug development company which Virpax has engaged, to prepare the pre-IND briefing documents for the FDA. About Virpax Pharmaceuticals Virpax is developing branded product candidates for non-addictive pain management and neurological disorders using its proprietary technologies that optimize and target drug delivery. Virpax is initially seeking FDA approval of its three different patented drug delivery platforms. Epoladerm™ is a topical diclofenac spray film formulation being developed to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Probudur™ is a single injection long-acting liposomal bupivacaine formulation being developed to manage post-operative pain. Envelta™ is an intranasal Molecular Envelope Technology enkephalin formulation being developed for the management of acute and chronic pain, including pain associated with cancer, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder under the name PES200. MET technology is also used in AnQlar™, a candidate to inhibit viral replication caused by influenza or SARS-CoV-2. Virpax acquired global rights to VRP324, a product candidate for the nasal delivery of a pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol for the management of epilepsy in children and adults.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Ultivue Announces Co-Marketing Agreement with Aignostics for Unique Spatial AI-Powered Imaging Solutions for Translational Medicine

Ultivue, Inc., | March 10, 2022

Ultivue, Inc., an industry leader in multiplexing tools and novel image analysis solutions for tissue biomarker studies, and Aignostics GmbH, a global leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered precision diagnostics focused on pathology to assist with research, clinical trials and CDx development, announced a partnership to collaborate on the co-development of AI-powered spatial multiplexed immunophenotype solutions for translational research groups and Biopharma. The companies have already been working together since early 2021 to adapt Aignostics’ client platform to support visualization and analysis for some of Ultivue’s products and services, as well as provisioning of results and corresponding reports. The resulting co-developed platform will now be made available to joint clients. Additionally, proof of concept work conducted on the Ultivue 12-plex Immunophenotyping biomarker panel in over 1,000 clinical NSCLC cases has demonstrated encouraging results for the capacity of AI-based analysis of multiplexed images for more consistent and reproducible readouts at scale. These results will be published later this year and respective AI models made available via the platform. The companies are now expanding their relationship under a co-marketing agreement to offer the multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) platform to their respective biotech and pharma clients, initially for research use, with a GCP-compliant version to follow later this year. Moreover, Ultivue and Aignostics will offer AI-powered image analysis services within the platform via Aignostics “Explainable AI” approach for the consistent and precise analysis of mIF cohorts at scale, for both translational research and clinical trial research services in Ultivue’s CLIA accredited clinical research laboratory. “We are excited to extend our workflow offering to include mIF AI for highly automated image analysis by partnering with Aignostics,” says Florian Leiss, VP Digital Health at Ultivue. “Improved viewing capabilities enable us to interactively explore the interplay of mIF-labeled cell populations in the histological context of same-slide H&E.” “We believe that development of Ultivue’s assays with our AI-powered image analysis will create insights from data at scale that are unprecedented in spatial biology today. We are excited to start offering this approach to our clients for translational science and clinical trials,” Viktor Matyas, CEO of Aignostics Besides offering research and development services to its clients, Ultivue and Aignostics will also develop products for standardized analysis of certain Ultivue products, paving the way for more widespread use of these technologies in both clinical trials and clinical routine. About Ultivue Ultivue provides researchers and scientists in translational medicine with multiplex biomarker assays for tissue phenotyping and digital pathology. Its proprietary InSituPlex® technology enables advanced exploration and interrogation of tissue samples for precision medicine research. These highly customizable solutions coupled with our scientific consultative approach strengthen and accelerate biomarker discovery and drug development programs. About Aignostics Aignostics, a Berlin based company with offices in the US, is a digital pathology company dedicated to novel precision diagnostics through the use of a proprietary “Explainable AI” platform in pre-clinical and translational research and clinical trials. The use of such technology is expected to be crucial to implementation of AI-powered algorithms in routine diagnostics in order to verify (explain) the model’s decision outputs. Additionally, through its close alignment to Charité and TU Berlin amongst other collaborators, only Aignostics offers the combination of data access, sample testing and pathology expertise to develop digital pathology algorithms spanning multi-modal biomarker assay detection systems such as H&E, IHC and mIF, amongst others.

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Spotlight

Depending on your point of view, red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are throwaways and a nuisance, ruining a good blood specimen if the cells burst and contaminate the sample. On the other hand, erythrocytes have significant value in specific types of research, and if your objective is biobanking these cells in an intact state then hemolysis and the need for a re-draw is equally as much to be avoided

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