Another active week for Canadian deals, headed by Merck’s new deal with Xenon, along with some new funding, some new collaborations, and some new products coming to, and going from, Canadian companies all for your easy-reading pleasure
Æterna Zentaris, Inc. (TSX: AEZ, NASDAQ: AEZS) announced that it entered into an agreement with the administrators of Ardana Biosciences Ltd., which is in voluntary administration in the UK, to acquire all of Ardana’s assets relating to the growth hormone secretagogue (“GHS”) / ghrelin agonist, AEZS-130, for $232,000. AEZS-130 had been developed up to the initiation of Phase 3 trials, and the assets include development data, inventory of compound, regulatory authorizations, and a patent application protecting the use of AEZS-130 for the diagnosis of growth hormone secretion deficiency.
AEterna Zentaris also announced the opening of an extended study in the Phase 3 program with cetrorelix pamoate for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which it is developing with Sanofi-Aventis for the U.S. market.
Medifocus, Inc. (TSXV: MFS) announced that it has been granted the ITA from Health Canada’s Medical Device Bureau for initiating its pivotal trial with the Microfocus APA 1000 Breast Thermotherapy System for the treatment of breast cancer.
The Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery (CQDM) announced four investments this week, from the first competition on drug discovery launched by the CQDM in the fall of 2008. This year’s projects will focus on:
- Developing a method to rapidly identify and test new vaccines against the influenza virus (for instance the A(H1N1) virus) and other families of viruses (Louis-Philippe Vézina, Medicago Inc.);
- Developing tools to allow the early identification of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (Louis Collins, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University);
- Discovering and validating new biomarkers to better monitor the progression of diabetes and the response to treatments (Eustache Paramithiotis, Caprion Proteomics Inc.);
- Developing molecular and cellular tools to predict efficacy of new drugs (Michel Bouvier, IRIC, Université de Montréal).
Along similar lines in Ontario, Jennerex, Inc. issued a press release about a $10 million grant from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) to Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) that will, in large part, fund research and development being conducted by OHRI and Jennerex. The project is for novel therapeutics including the development of Jennerex’s oncolytic viral therapy products.
Options and Warrants:
SQI Diagnostics (SQD-V) is extending the expiry date of 1,783,776 outstanding common warrants that were issued in connection with the Corporation’s June 2007 private placement financing. Each warrant, at an exercise price of $2.40 per common share, will be exercisable until June 29, 2010.
MedMira Inc., (NASDAQ: MMIRF, TSX-V: MIR) announced that a total of 1,800,000 options to purchase common shares of the company will be issued. These options are at an exercise price of $0.10 per share and are exercisable for a period of three years. The grant is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
One outbound deal — Advitech, Inc. (TSXV: AVI) announced an exclusive agreement with Pelpharma Handels GmbH for the distribution of Dermylex® in Austria that includes minimum yearly commitment levels from Pelpharma.
And one inbound deal — Havel’s Incorporated, based in Cincinnati, announced the appointment of Canadian Hospital Specialties as the exclusive distributor of Havel’s EchoStim® and EchoBlock® Ultrasound Needles throughout Canada.
No news on the bid this week, but Patheon announced its Q2 results and also made press release hay out of a performance guarantee program for their customers.