Zymeworks licenses new drug discovery platform from Innovative Targeting Solutions
Zymeworks, a biotech company working on bispecific antibodies, has signed a licensing deal with Innovative Targeting Solutions (ITS) for HuTARG, which works as a protein engineering platform, and is the first fully mammalian tech that has the ability to generate antibody diversity in vitro via RAG1/RAG2 mediated V(D)J recombination. The deal states that Zymeworks will pay an undisclosed amount for tech license fee to get hold of ITS’s HuTARG drug discovery platform.

NYU Langone Medical Center and Vedanta to codevelop microbiome-based cancer immunotherapies
A partnership between Vedanta Biosciences and NYU Langone Medical Center may lead to the development of microbiome-derived immunotherapies that might be specifically used to pair with checkpoint inhibitors. The main developmental goal is to use the microbiome to help improve the treatment of cancer, and also to increase the efficacy of this major developing class of oncology drugs.

Partnership between California Life Sciences Association and OCTANe Announce to Bolster Orange County’s Life Sciences Sector
USA’s largest statewide public policy and business solutions organization representing California’s leading life sciences innovators, and OCTANe, Orange County’s life sciences and technology accelerator organization, announced on August 17, 2016, an alliance to accelerate the growth of Orange County’s life sciences sector.

Pfenex gains back rights to Lucentis biosimilar from Pfizer
had partnered its biosimilar, PF582, with Hospira, under a collaboration in February 2015. Pfizer bought Hospira for $17bn last September. However, now Pfizer has pulled out of the biosimilar program, handing all the PF582 rights back to Pfenex. Pfizer has reconsidered developing Lucentis (ranibizumab) biosimilar due to mounting competition, and has decided to end a development deal with Pfenex. Lucentis (ranibizumab) is marketed by Roche and Novartis. These companies reported that sales  of Lucentis were affected by its competitor Eylea (aflibercept), which is a drug marketed by Regeneron and Bayer, whose sale figures in 2015 were up by 50% to hit $4.1 billion.

A Reverse Merger Deal Leads Rasna Therapeutics to Become a Publicly Traded Company
Rasna Therapeutics
, a Leukemia and lymphoma biotech company, has pulled off a reverse merger, and the previously privately held company will list the OTC Markets under the symbol “ATVM.” The newly emerged public company works on cancer drugs and is currently developing molecular targets LSD1 and NPM1, targets implicated in the progression of leukemia and lymphoma.