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Can-Fite BioPharma Licenses Potential Inflammatory Disease Rxs from Leiden U, NIH

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Can-Fite BioPharma said late last month that it has licensed a patent from Leiden University and the National Institutes of Health covering allosteric modulators of the A3 adenosine receptor for use in potential inflammatory disease treatments.

Terms of the agreement call for Can-Fite, based in Petach Tikva, Israel, to pay an upfront fee of €25,000 ($36,000) and annual minimal royalties of €10,000 to Leiden University and NIH.

In addition, Can-Fite will pay milestone payments of up to €850,000 based on clinical development progress until marketing approval, and royalty payments of 2 percent to 3 percent of net sales of future products.

It is unclear how the payments will be split between Leiden University and NIH, although Can-Fite said that Leiden University was the lead institution on the agreement.

Ad Ijzerman, professor of medicinal chemistry at the Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, and Kenneth Jacobs, chief of the Molecular Recognition Section at the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, co-developed the allosteric modulators.

According to Can-Fite, allosteric modulators are orally available small molecules that enhance the affinity of the natural ligand adenosine to its A3 adenosine receptor. The advantage of the A3 modulators is their ability to target specific areas where adenosine levels are increased, namely inflammation sites, the company said.

The approach is complementary to Can-Fite's platform technology, which uses the G-coupled protein A3 adenosine receptor as a target in developing inflammatory disease treatments.

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