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Pipex Pharmaceuticals, Thomas Jefferson University, Aethlon Medical, Boston University, Archimedes Development, Ploughshare Innovations, Miragen Therapeutics

Thomas Jefferson U, Licensee Pipex Win US Patent for CD4 Modulation
Pipex Pharmaceuticals said this week that Thomas Jefferson University has been issued a US patent related to CD4 inhibitors. Pipex’s majority-owned subsidiary CD4 Biosciences is the exclusive licensee of the patent.
The issued patent, US No. 7,345,020, entitled “Mimetics of CD4 that inhibit immune responses,” covers new chemical entities relating to inhibitors of the CD4 T-cell receptor, a key protein in T-cell antigen-presenting cell immunological synapse formation and T-cell activation in CD4-mediated conditions such as transplantation rejection, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis, Pipex said.
Steve Kanzer, Pipex's chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the patent issuance supplements the firm’s intellectual property estate, “which now constitutes over 40 issued and pending patent[s] … that broadly claim the use of any small molecule to specifically inhibit the highly immunologically relevant CD4 T-cell receptor as well as … claim the composition-of-matter of our lead anti-CD4 802-2 peptidomimetic nearing completion of a Phase I/II clinical trial in the US for graft-vs.-host disease.”

Aethlon Medical Licenses Anti-Metastasis Patent from BU
Aethlon Medical said this week that it has exercised an option to exclusively license a pending patent from Boston University covering methods for inhibiting cancer metastases.
The patent, entitled “Method to inhibit proliferation and growth of metastases” covers a rapid development strategy for new cancer therapies by uniting drug agents that inhibit the spread of cancer-related metastases with filtration techniques already proven in the Aethlon Hemopurifier, the company said.
Aethlon said that the resulting devices would inhibit tumor growth by reducing the presence of circulating growth factors without interfering with surgical wound healing or the recovery of tissue injured by radiation therapy.
Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Archimedes Licenses Drug-Delivery IP from UK MoD
Archimedes Development, a subsidiary of UK-based specialty pharmaceutical company Archimedes Pharma, has licensed a portfolio of patents related to the use of chitosan for drug delivery from Ploughshare Innovations, the technology-transfer arm of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, part of the UK Ministry of Defence.
The licensed technology covers the use of a more water-soluble form of chitosan, a bioadhesive polysaccharide excipient derived from natural sources. The new IP allows Archimedes to extend the applicability of ChiSys, its intranasal drug-delivery technology. Archimedes said.
Andy Tulloch, chief executive of Ploughshare Innovations, said in a statement that “Ploughshare is tasked by the UK MoD to license DSTL technologies to industry so that all the benefits of taxpayer-funded research can be realized.
“The integration of DSTL’s oral vaccine technology with Archimedes’ ChiSys platform is another example of the successful commercialization of defense technology,” he added.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Miragen Therapeutics Closes $8M Financing Round
Miragen Therapeutics, a Boulder, Colo.-based startup developing microRNA-targeting drugs for cardiovascular disease and related muscle disorders, said this week that it has completed an $8 million Series A financing round.
The financing was co-led by founding investors Atlas Ventures and Boulder Ventures, and includes investments from private individuals. Miragen will use the funding to expand its R&D programs aimed at regulating microRNA for the treatment of heart failure and related diseases.
Miragen was founded in 2007 to exploit discoveries made at various academic institutions showing that specific perturbations in microRNA expression are correlated with various forms of cardiovascular disease.
Co-founders of the company include: Eric Olson, professor and chairman of molecular biology and associate director of the D.W. Reynolds Center of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Michael Bristow, chairman and chief medical and scientific officer of ARCA Biopharma and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; Marvin Caruthers, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CU; Bruce Booth, principal at Atlas Ventures; and William Marshall, president and CEO.

The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.