Deals in brief
Boehringer and CDR-Life to develop geographic atrophy therapies
Boehringer Ingelheim has signed a collaboration and licensing agreement with CDR-Life for the research and development of antibody fragment-based therapeutics to treat geographic atrophy (GA).
GA is a progressive, irreversible retinal disease that develops in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that could lead to blindness and lacks approved treatments.
The partnership will combine Boehringer’s therapeutic biologics development expertise with CDR-Life’s antibody engineering expertise. The companies intend to advance CDR-Life’s preclinical candidate for potentially preserving sight in GA patients.
Boehringer Ingelheim discovery research corporate senior vice-president and global head Clive Wood said: “Partnering with CDR-Life provides Boehringer Ingelheim with the opportunity to collaborate with a team that has a proven track record developing antibody fragment-based therapeutics for retinal diseases.
“The prospect of losing one’s sight is frightening. We are committed to transformational therapies that have the potential to succeed in preserving the health and vision of patients with retinal diseases, such as geographic atrophy.”
Antibody fragment-based technology helps to retain the specificity of an antibody and also significantly cuts the molecule’s size, noted Boehringer. This technology could have a significant benefit over standard large molecule approaches for retinal diseases treatment.
The company added that intravitreal injection to the eye may enable high-affinity antibody fragment therapies to reach the retinal pigment epithelial cells, where degeneration occurs.
This precise delivery of medication is expected to mitigate the cellular stresses associated with AMD and prevent further loss of sight.
As part of the deal, Boehringer will get an exclusive, worldwide licence to develop compounds based on CDR-Life's technology against a specific target. The company will carry out development and commercialisation globally. CDR-Life will be eligible for up to CHF474.5m ($488.9m) in upfront and milestone payments, along with research funding and sales royalties.
TAU and Neovii team up to develop Covid-19 vaccine
Gilead signs remdesivir licensing deals with five manufacturers
Gilead Sciences has signed non-exclusive, licensing agreement with five generic manufacturers to expand access to its experimental antiviral drug remdesivir for Covid-19 patients.
The licensees include Mylan, Cipla, Hetero Labs and Jubilant Life Sciences in India, as well as Ferozsons Laboratories in Pakistan. The companies will be able to manufacture and distribute remdesivir in 127 countries.
Acer Therapeutics, NCATS partner to develop emetine for Covid-19
Pharmaceutical company Acer Therapeutics has partnered with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to develop emetine hydrochloride for the potential treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Under the research collaboration agreement, the partners will work together to speed-up the clinical development of emetine, which showed broad and potent antiviral activity in preclinical and clinical studies.
Dyno Therapeutics launches with deals from Novartis and Sarepta
Biotechnology company Dyno Therapeutics has launched from stealth mode with focus on using artificial intelligence technology to develop adeno-Associated Virus vectors. The company signed gene therapy deals with Novartis and Sarepta Therapeutics.
Dyno Therapeutics and Novartis will create improved AAV vectors for research, development and commercialisation of gene therapies across ocular diseases.
CEPI to provide up to $388m for Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has agreed to provide up to $384m in funding to support Novavax in the development and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.
This funding is in addition to the initial $4m offered by the CEPI in March.
AstraZeneca regains global rights to brazikumab from Allergan
AstraZeneca has regained global rights to brazikumab (previously MEDI2070) from Allergan, following the termination of a prior licensing deal between the companies.
Brazikumab is a monoclonal antibody designed to attach to the IL23 receptor and is being developed to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.