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February 1, 2019updated 04 Feb 2019 3:43pm

Deals this week: Medicines for Malaria Venture, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, aTyr Pharma

Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has entered a collaboration with Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi) to create a pandemic response box.

Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has entered a collaboration with Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi) to create a pandemic response box.

Comprising 400 structurally diverse antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal compounds, the box will be available for researchers from universities and pharmaceutical companies for free of charge.

Researchers will have to publicly share the results from their research and development (R&D) on the compounds within two years of collecting a box.

The initiative is aimed at accelerating the discovery and development of new pandemic disease treatments.

Switzerland-based MMV is a product development partnership focused on developing new anti-malarial drugs, while DNDi is a Dundee-based R&D organisation that is engaged in developing new treatments for neglected diseases.

Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) has acquired US rights to AstraZeneca’s Synagis (palivizumab) drug for $1bn in cash and $590m in shares that represent an 8% equity in the company.

AstraZeneca has transferred 130 of its employees to Sobi as part of the transaction.

Sobi will also own the right to have a share in the US profits or losses for an investigational new drug, MEDI8897, as part of the agreement.

“AstraZeneca has transferred 130 of its employees to Sobi as part of the transaction.”

Sobi is a Swedish biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for rare diseases, while AstraZeneca is a UK-based biopharmaceutical company engaged in commercialising treatments for oncology and infectious diseases.

aTyr Pharma has expanded its pilot study and entered a research collaboration agreement with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to investigate the role ATYR1923 and Resokine: NRP-2 play respectively on modulating and interacting with functional properties of myeloid cells.

The collaboration will also assess the impact of anti-NPP 2 antibodies in immunology and cancer biology and the role of individual NPP 2 co-receptors/ligands on myeloid cell biology.

Based in the US, aTyr Pharma is a biotherapeutics company engaged in research and development of Physiocrine-based therapeutics.

scPharmaceuticals has signed a development agreement with West Pharmaceutical Services to incorporate its SmartDose drug delivery system with the former’s lead product candidate, FUROSCIX.

West Pharma has received an upfront payment of approximately $1.7m and is also eligible to receive $4.5m in milestone-based payments related to the device development and validation.

It will receive an additional $5m in fixed exclusivity fees and $2m in contingent exclusivity fees if scPharma exercises its option to obtain worldwide exclusivity rights for the device incorporation.

ScPharmaceuticals develops heart failure treatments, while West Pharmaceutical Services is a pharmaceutical packaging and delivery systems developer.

Both the companies involved in the deal are based in the US.

Merck has entered an exclusive licensing agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for a clinical inhibitor and a pre-clinical DNA-PK inhibitor.

Vertex will be able to use the inhibitors in gene editing applications in six specific genetic disease areas, while Merck will retain the rights for both the compounds in all other disease areas, including oncology.

Merck is a pharmaceutical company engaged in providing healthcare solutions, while Vertex Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company that focuses on developing therapies for cystic fibrosis.

Both the companies involved in the deal are based in the US.

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