US-based biopharmaceutical company miRagen Therapeutics plans to raise $40m through private placement of its common stock shares with the help of placement agent Wedbush PacGrow.

The company will invest the proceeds to lead its assets in haematological malignancy and pathological fibrosis, which are in early clinical stage evaluation, into later stage clinical evaluation.

The placement is expected to be completed by March 2017.

Zhongyuan Union Cell & Gene Engineering and Union Stemcell & Gene Engineering have announced a joint venture (JV) for the establishment of a diagnostic reagents development company that will be engaged in the research and development (R&D) of diagnostic reagents.

"US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Bellicum Pharmaceuticals has entered a R&D agreement with Italian paediatric research centre Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu."

The former company is engaged in the detection and storage of stem cell sources and will have a 51% stake, while the latter owns and operates a hematopoietic stem cell bank and a hospital and will own 49% in the JV, which will have an initial registered capital of ¥3.3 million ($0.48m).

Health Advance has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Patrick O'Charchin to acquire the latter’s proprietary product formulations, subject to due diligence by Health Advance and analysis of the value of the formulations.

Based in the US, Health Advance is a home medical product and service provider, whereas Patrick O'Charchin is based in Canada.

US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Bellicum Pharmaceuticals has entered a R&D agreement with Italian paediatric research centre Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu.

As part of the agreement, the companies will collaborate for the pre-clinical and clinical development of CD19 and other CAR T and TCR therapeutics that are engineered with the former’s molecular safety switch technology.

The former will provide financial support of up to $4.4m for the research and will in return gain exclusive worldwide rights to commercialise the developed cell therapies, while the latter will retain the research rights.

The agreement will be valid up to 30 June 2017 unless extended by both parties.

South Korean biotechnology company Alzther Industries has signed an agreement to research and develop a blood-based test in patients with mild cognitive impairment.

Diagnosis of the condition is a disorder associated with risk for Alzheimer’s disease and can help understand and identify the very early stages of Alzheimer’s.

The test will use Alzther’s peripheral gene expression profiling and will be used in conjunction with a PET imaging agent, which is currently in Phase III development, to identify blood-based gene expression signature.

MorphoSys and LEO Pharma have entered an agreement to discover and develop therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of skin diseases, for which large unmet medical needs exist.

The two companies will work on identifying, validating and developing antibodies by applying the MorphoSys’ proprietary Ylanthia technology to generate them and develop therapeutics up to the start of clinical testing, while LEO Pharma will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialisation of the drugs in indications other than cancer.

The former company will have the option to co-develop the antibody drugs for skin cancer, while also co-promoting the same in Europe. It will also have options for development of commercialisation of programmes in other cancer types.

LEO Pharma will provide funding to MorphoSys for the R&D and make milestone-based payments of up to $122.67m per antibody programme, as well as royalties on net sales of the drugs commercialised by LEO.