Pharma Focus Europe

Tonix Pharmaceuticals Announces Acquisition of Preclinical Infectious Disease Portfolio from Healion Bio, Inc.

Friday, February 03, 2023

Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced an agreement whereby Tonix has acquired all of the assets of Healion Bio, Inc. (Healion) including its entire portfolio of next-generation antiviral technology assets. Healion’s drug portfolio includes a class of broad-spectrum small molecule oral antiviral drug candidates with a novel host-directed mechanism of action. Host-directed antivirals modulate human cells and tissues and are different from direct-acting antivirals which inhibit virus proteins and processes. Tonix’s TNX-3900, formerly known as HB-121, are cathepsin protease inhibitors, some of which have strong activity in vitro against SARS-CoV-2.

“We are excited to develop Healion’s drug programs that include TNX-3900, which is a class of drugs with potential broad spectrum anti-viral activity, either as monotherapies or in combination with other antivirals”, said Seth Lederman, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Tonix Pharmaceuticals. “Broad-spectrum antiviral agents have the potential to reduce viral load and allow the adaptive immune system to alert the other arms of the immune system to mount a protective response. Examples of other classes of host-directed antivirals that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include alpha interferon like Pegasys® (peginterferon alfa-2a) for viral hepatitis, the CCR5 antagonist Selzentry® (maraviroc) for HIV, and the anti-IL-6 receptor antagonist monoclonal antibody Actemra® (tocilizumab) for COVID-19.”

Sina Bavari, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Infectious Disease Research at Tonix said, “I am pleased to be reunited with the infectious disease assets of Healion, since I was the scientific founder of Healion after I retired from my position as Chief of R&D at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID). While Healion made some progress developing these advanced technologies, Tonix’s state-of-the art facilities and depth of drug development expertise have the potential to advance the TNX-3900 class of drugs into clinical trials. On behalf of the talented scientific team that I direct at our 48,000 square-foot cutting-edge infectious disease research facility in Frederick, Md., I am pleased to add this technology to the therapeutic development programs underway.”

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