Industrial Impact

Providence Therapeutics Signs Licensing Agreement with SickKids for Immunotargeting Technology

Providence Therapeutics
Providence Therapeutics, Canada's premier mRNA medicines company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with The Hospital for Sick Children of Toronto, ON, for an immunotargeting technology platform. This platform provides an innovative approach to generating adjuvant-free vaccines and works by targeting Antigen Presenting Cells of the immune system via the MHC Class II molecules on their surface. This can result in an enhanced immune response to antigens which are coupled to the targeting monoclonal antibody (mAb).

The technology builds on the earlier pioneering work done by Dr. Brian Barber, Professor Emeritus of Immunology at the University of Toronto, and has been extensively refined in the laboratory of Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien, Senior Scientist in the Molecular Medicine program at SickKids. The versatile technology platform can generate both monovalent and multivalent therapeutics, in a varied field of applications, including vaccines. With additional features, such as incorporating T-cell epitopes with the aim of generating a broader and longer immune response, the technology can engage both the humoral and cellular components of the immune system.

Providence Therapeutics, an emerging specialty Biopharma, has successfully developed a robust, scalable, and effective mRNA medicine platform as exemplified by the clinical success of PTX-COVID19-B. The company is currently applying this platform to a variety of other infectious diseases and to an emerging oncology pipeline. The immunotargeting technology will enable the development team at Providence to explore the development of a new generation of unique mRNA medicines and vaccines by combining both platforms synergistically, potentially offering a multivalent dimension which will be new and unique in the field.

"We are very excited to be working with a prestigious institution like SickKids. The immunotargeting technology is an excellent addition to our existing world class mRNA platform and will be important in enhancing the depth and scope of our portfolio of development programs."

Brad Sorenson, CEO of Providence Therapeutics 

"We are excited to identify and potentially develop further novel applications for our immunotargeting technology, which provides an alternative to the use of adjuvants in vaccines," says Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien, the co-inventor of the technology.

"This opportunity, emerging from Drs. Julien and Barber's research, is an example of how SickKids Industry Partnerships & Commercialization is working to support promising research and provide access to the robust research and clinical innovation ecosystem at SickKids," says Ihor Boszko, Executive Director, SickKids Industry Partnerships & Commercialization.

The financial terms of the License are not being disclosed, but does include a provision for development of the technology through future sponsored research at SickKids. The company is committed to commercializing the technology and has an option for licensing of additional related technologies from the PI's laboratory in the future.

About Providence Therapeutics
Providence is a leading Canadian clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering mRNA therapeutics and vaccines with operations in Calgary, AB and Toronto, ON. In response to a worldwide need for a COVID-19 vaccine, Providence expanded its focus beyond oncology therapies and devoted its energy and resources to develop a world-class mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, PTX-COVID19-B, which is currently in the planning stages for a Phase 3 booster study to begin before the end of the year. Providence is focused on serving the needs of Canada, and other countries that may be underserved by large pharmaceutical programs.

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Heron Therapeutics Announces FDA Approval of ZYNRELEF® Indication Expansion to Include Additional Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Procedures

Heron Therapeutics, Inc. | January 29, 2024

Heron Therapeutics, Inc. a commercial-stage biotechnology company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the "FDA") has approved its supplemental New Drug Application ("NDA") for ZYNRELEF® extended-release solution to expand the indication for soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures including foot and ankle, and other procedures in which direct exposure to articular cartilage is avoided. ZYNRELEF was previously approved for foot and ankle, small-to-medium open abdominal, and lower extremity total joint arthroplasty surgical procedures in adults. This expanded indication for ZYNRELEF will now cover an estimated 13 million procedures annually, an estimated increase of 86% over prior indicated procedures. To obtain this labeling expansion, Heron successfully conducted studies for cesarean section, spinal surgery, augmentation mammoplasty, and total shoulder arthroplasty. No unique safety issues were identified from the new clinical trials, and the bupivacaine and meloxicam blood concentrations were consistent with previous experience following ZYNRELEF administration. "The expanded indication is poised to have a transformative impact on patient care, providing healthcare professionals with a versatile and effective solution for managing postoperative pain across an even wider range of surgical procedures. The new label expansion and recent partnership with CrossLink, combined with the potential approval of the Vial Access Needle ("VAN") later this year, are expected to have a significant positive impact for ZYNRELEF and the Company," said Craig Collard, Chief Executive Officer of Heron. "We're excited for the opportunity to give even more healthcare providers and patients a new, safe and effective option for achieving long-lasting non-opioid pain control after painful surgical procedures," said Bill Forbes, Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer at Heron. "This new approval further reinforces our commitment to providing meaningful solutions to address unmet medical needs in the acute care and oncology settings." ZYNRELEF is the first and only therapy for postoperative pain management to be rigorously tested in Phase 3 studies and demonstrate superiority to bupivacaine solution, the current standard-of-care. ZYNRELEF demonstrated superiority compared to bupivacaine with lower pain scores, fewer patients experiencing severe pain, and lower opioid consumption. ZYNRELEF was initially approved by the FDA in May 2021 and received approval of the first supplemental NDA for an expanded label in December 2021. "Patients undergoing orthopedic procedures often experience severe pain, slowing down their recovery time and potentially leading to other complications. Reducing patients' pain within the first three days is critical for patient satisfaction, and having a product like ZYNRELEF now available for additional orthopedic procedures is a great benefit to have in my practice," said Alexander Sah, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Sah Orthopaedic Associates. "ZYNRELEF helps my patients recover fully, be discharged sooner, and have significantly less pain, with little to no opioid use." Important Safety Information for Patients ZYNRELEF contains an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), a type of medicine which Can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This risk increases with higher doses and longer use of an NSAID. Cannot be used during heart bypass surgery. Can increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, and tears. ZYNRELEF should also not be used if you are allergic to any component of ZYNRELEF, similar local anesthetics, aspirin or other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), or have had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic reaction after taking any of these medicines. as a paracervical block, during childbirth. The most common side effects of ZYNRELEF are soft tissue procedures: vomiting and orthopedic procedures: constipation and headache. The medicines in ZYNRELEF (a local anesthetic and an NSAID) may affect the nervous and cardiovascular system; may cause liver or kidney problems; may reduce the effects of some blood pressure medicines; should be avoided if you have severe heart failure; may cause adverse effects on cartilage; may cause a rare blood disorder, or life-threatening skin or allergic reactions; may harm your unborn baby if received at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later; and may cause low red blood cells (anemia). Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions and about all the medicines you take including prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements to discuss if ZYNRELEF is right for you. Talk to your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. Report side effects to Heron at 1-844-437-6611 The information provided here is not comprehensive. Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning. About ZYNRELEF ZYNRELEF is the first and only dual-acting local anesthetic that delivers a fixed-dose combination of the local anesthetic bupivacaine and a low dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam. ZYNRELEF is the first and only extended-release local anesthetic to demonstrate in Phase 3 studies significantly reduced pain and significantly increased proportion of patients requiring no opioids through the first 72 hours following surgery compared to bupivacaine solution, the current standard-of-care local anesthetic for postoperative pain control. ZYNRELEF was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the "FDA") in May 2021 for use in adults for soft tissue or periarticular instillation to produce postsurgical analgesia for up to 72 hours after bunionectomy, open inguinal herniorrhaphy and total knee arthroplasty. In December 2021, the FDA approved an expansion of ZYNRELEF's indication to include foot and ankle, small-to-medium open abdominal, and lower extremity total joint arthroplasty surgical procedures. On January 23, 2024, the FDA approved ZYNRELEF for soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures including foot and ankle, and other procedures in which direct exposure to articular cartilage is avoided. Safety and efficacy have not been established in highly vascular surgeries, such as intrathoracic, large multilevel spinal, and head and neck procedures. ZYNRELEF was granted a marketing authorization by the European Commission in September 2020 and by the United Kingdom Regulatory Authority in January 2021. In August 2023, we cancelled the ZYNRELEF U.K. marketing authorization and, in October 2023, we cancelled the ZYNRELEF European Union (EU) marketing authorization, as we do not plan to commercially launch ZYNRELEF in the U.K. or the EU. About Heron Therapeutics, Inc. Heron Therapeutics, Inc. is a commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on improving the lives of patients by developing and commercializing therapeutic innovations that improve medical care. 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Biocytogen Enters into Bispecific Antibody Drug Conjugate Agreement with Radiance Biopharma

Biocytogen | January 15, 2024

Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. a global biotech company focusing on the discovery of novel antibody therapeutics, announces that it has entered into an Exclusive Option and License Agreement with Radiance Biopharma Inc. a biotechnology company specializing in developing next generation Antibody Drug Conjugates. The agreement grants Radiance an option to license from Biocytogen a first-in-class fully human anti-HER2/TROP2 bispecific antibody-drug conjugate (BsADC) for therapeutic product development, manufacturing and commercialization for all human indications worldwide. HER2 and TROP2 are two tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) that have been found to be commonly expressed and co-expressed by multiple tumor types, including breast, gastric, colorectal, bladder, pancreatic, and non-small-cell lung cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, upon the option exercised, Biocytogen will be entitled to receive an option fee, licensing fee, development and commercialization milestone payments, as well as single-digit royalties on net sales. In addition, Biocytogen has the right to collect the sharing of sublicensing fee, if any, between Radiance and third party. Dr. Yuelei Shen, President and CEO of Biocytogen, said: “We are excited to collaborate with Radiance, a strong team with extensive experience in drug development, to develop a leading proprietary fully human bispecfic antibody drug conjugate. We are optimistic that the combination of our strength in BsADC discovery and the extensive experience of Radiance’s team will help expedite the commercialization of this dual-targeting BsADC.” Marc Lippman, MD, Chairman of the Board of Radiance said: “We are excited to enter into this Exclusive Option and License Agreement with Biocytogen for a novel human anti- HER2 and Trop2 Bispecific Antibody Drug Conjugate. Preclinical data from in vitro and in vivo assays of this BsADC shows promising high potency of anti-tumor activities in leading tumor indications. We are eager to work with Biocytogen to move the product to the clinic to benefit patients.” About Biocytogen Biocytogen is a global biotechnology company that drives the research and development of novel antibody-based drugs with innovative technologies. Founded on gene editing technology, Biocytogen leverages genetically engineered proprietary RenMice® (RenMab™/RenLite®/RenNano®/RenTCR-mimic™) platforms for fully human monoclonal/bispecific/multispecific antibody discovery, bispecific antibody-drug conjugate discovery, nanobody discovery and TCR-mimic antibody discovery, and has established an off-the-shelf library of over 400,000 fully human antibody sequences against approximately 1000 targets for worldwide collaboration. As of June 30, 2023, 50 therapeutic antibody and multiple clinical asset co-development/out-licensing/transfer agreements and 42 target-nominated RenMice® licensing projects have been established around the globe, including several partnerships with multinational pharmaceutical companies (MNCs). Biocytogen pioneered the generation of drug target knock-in humanized models for preclinical research, and currently provides a few thousand off-the-shelf animal and cell models under the company’s sub-brand, BioMice™, along with preclinical pharmacology and gene-editing services for clients worldwide. Headquartered in Beijing, Biocytogen has branches in China (Haimen Jiangsu, Shanghai), USA (Boston, San Francisco), and Germany (Heidelberg). About Radiance Biopharma Radiance is focused on developing a pipeline of antibody-based cancer therapeutics including mono and bispecific Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer and to address other unmet medical needs. Marc Lippman, MD, a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Radiance is a renowned oncologist and former founding board member of Seagen, a leader in the field of ADCs, recently acquired by Pfizer. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Radiance has a world class, proven leadership team that brings together the best of ADC engineering, clinical, managerial expertise and track record. Radiance is an affiliated company to Alphageneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing unique targeted cell and gene therapies for treating cancer and other unmet medical needs.

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Nimbus Therapeutics Announces Expansion of Its Immunology Drug Discovery Pipeline

Nimbus Therapeutics | January 08, 2024

Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC a biotechnology company that designs and develops breakthrough medicines through its powerful computational drug discovery engine, announced the advancement and expansion of its pipeline with the addition of discovery programs targeting innate immunity pathways. These programs, targeting the salt-inducible kinase (SIK) family and cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), represent promising opportunities to leverage Nimbus’ industry-leading computational and structure-based drug design expertise to develop highly selective, potent medicines addressing areas of significant unmet need. "Building on the success of our TYK2 program, we are broadening our drug discovery engine to unlock new difficult-to-drug targets with compelling biology,” said Peter Tummino, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Nimbus. “SIK and cGAS are critical targets in highly prevalent diseases that are well suited to Nimbus’ structure-based drug design approach. We look forward to advancing our discovery and development programs across oncology, immunology, and metabolism to deliver transformative medicines to patients.” Nimbus is advancing its Phase 1/2 trial (NCT05128487) of NDI-101150, a small molecule inhibitor of hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1), and has reported positive dose escalation data showing potential monotherapy clinical benefit for patients with solid tumors. Furthermore, the company expects to initiate IND-enabling activities this year for its oncology program targeting Werner syndrome helicase (WRN). In collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company, Nimbus continues to progress the development of novel targeted therapies that activate AMPK to potentially treat a broad range of metabolic disorders. Nimbus continues to expand its platform capabilities with ongoing investments in cutting-edge technology for drug discovery. Alongside proprietary computational tools which the company has developed in-house, Nimbus’ platform leverages state-of-the-art technology through collaborations such as its recently announced partnership with Anagenex, a leader in generative AI for drug design. Jeb Keiper, M.S., MBA, Nimbus’ Chief Executive Officer, will provide an overview of the company’s progress and pipeline and anticipated milestones for 2024 and beyond at the 42nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Monday, January 8, 2024 at 7:30 am PT. About Nimbus Therapeutics Nimbus Therapeutics is a clinical-stage, structure-based drug discovery company developing novel small molecule medicines designed to act against well-validated but difficult-to-drug targets implicated in multiple human diseases. Nimbus combines leading-edge computational technologies with a tailored array of machine learning-based predictive modeling approaches. Nimbus’ pipeline includes a clinical-stage HPK1 inhibitor for the treatment of cancer (NCT05128487), as well as a diverse portfolio of preclinical programs focused on cancer, autoimmune conditions, and metabolic diseases. Nimbus is headquartered in Boston, Mass.

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