NRx Pharmaceuticals Announces Partnership with the Israel Institute for Biological Research to Complete Development and Commercialization of BriLife™ COVID Vaccine
TEL AVIV, Israel and RADNOR, Pa., July 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- NRx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NRXP), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company announced today that it has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Government of Israel to license exclusive worldwide development, manufacturing, and marketing rights to a novel Coronavirus vaccine developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR).
The BriLife™ vaccine (technical name VSV ΔG1) is based on a previous, FDA-approved vaccine platform that was further optimized by IIBR and targeted towards COVID-19. Because BriLife™ is a self-propagating, live-virus vaccine, NRx anticipates rapid and affordable industrial scaleup and manufacturing. The vaccine will initially be delivered by traditional injection.
The initiative will be led by NRx Chairman and CEO Jonathan Javitt, together with NRx Director Chaim Hurvitz, who chairs CH Health, an Israeli Private Equity group.
"We at NRx are honored to have been selected by the Government of Israel to carry forward this life-saving mission," said Mr. Hurvitz. As the first generation COVID vaccines are increasingly challenged by rapid mutation of the Coronavirus, we aim to develop a vaccine that can rapidly scale at low cost to serve the needs of both the developed and the developing world."
"As a physician and public health professional, I am inspired by the privilege of collaborating with an institution whose scientific roots date to Jonas Salk and the fight against Polio," said Prof Jonathan C Javitt, MD, MPH, CEO and Chairman of NRx, who has been involved in the fight against Coronaviruses since the 2002 SARS epidemic. "In its first year, the COVID pandemic has killed four million people worldwide, constituting the worst public health catastrophe since the 1918 Influenza epidemic. As the virus mutates and challenges the immunity we have built through first-generation vaccines, we are excited to expand our focus on COVID by including a vaccine platform that has potential to scale at high speed and low cost."
In its collaboration with NRx, the IIBR will provide technical assistance, while receiving customary royalty and milestone payments for its intellectual property. NRx has further committed to supplying all required doses of the vaccine for the population of Israel.
About NRx Pharmaceuticals
NRx (www.nrxpharma.com) draws upon more than 300 years of collective, scientific and drug-development experience to bring improved health to patients. Its investigational product, ZYESAMI™ (aviptadil) for patients with COVID-19, has been granted Fast Track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration, (FDA) and is currently undergoing phase 3 trials funded by the US National Institutes of Health, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the Medical Countermeasures program of the US Department of Defense. The FDA has additionally granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation and a Special Protocol Agreement to NRx for NRX-101, an investigational medicine to treat suicidal bipolar depression. NRX-101 is currently in Phase 3 trials, with readouts expected in 2022.
NRx is led by executives who have held senior roles at Allergan, J&J, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, and the US FDA. NRx is chaired by Prof. Jonathan Javitt, MD, MPH (Adj. Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), who serves as a Senior Fellow in the National Security Health Policy Center of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. In addition to 30 years of experience in drug development, Dr. Javitt has been appointed to leadership roles under Presidents Reagan, Bush ('41), Clinton, and Bush ('43), where he served as a Special Employee of the Undersecretary of Defense. The NRx board includes Dr. Sherry Glied, former US Assistant Secretary for Health (ASPE), Daniel E. Troy, JD, former Chief Counsel of the US FDA, Chaim Hurvitz, former director of Teva and President of the Teva International Group, and General HR McMaster, Ph.D. (US Army, Ret.) the 26th United States National Security Advisor. NRx is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Exchange under the stock ticker NRXP.
About CH Health
CH Health is a Tel Aviv-based private equity group that has played a key role in the founding and advancement of a series of pharmaceutical companies including Kite Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:KITE, now owned by Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq:GILD), Urogen (Nasdaq:URGN), Polypide (Nasdaq:PYPD), Galmed (Nasdaq:GLMD), and NRx (Nasdaq:NRXP). CH Health is led by Mr. Chaim Hurvitz, former director of Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) and former President of the Teva International Group, where he led global development and sales of Copaxone throughout its life cycle. Mr. Hurvitz is a graduate in political science from Tel Aviv University and serves as President of the pharmaceutical section of the Israel Manufacturer's Organization. As Chairman of the Tel-Aviv Yafo Foundation, he plays an active philanthropic role in the community.
About the Israel Institute for Biological Research
The IIBR is a center for research and development in the fields of biology, chemistry and the environment. Its mission is to strengthen the capabilities and resilience of the State of Israel. The scientists at IIBR have accumulated extensive knowledge and expertise over the decades in areas including: the development and implementation of advanced methods for detection and identification, research of disease processes, planning and development of vaccines and diverse therapeutic methods and more. The institute employs hundreds of scientists, some of them leaders in their fields in Israel and around the world. They work in laboratories and biotechnological facilities that enable the development and production of advanced products and vaccines, under strict regulatory conditions.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This announcement of NRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our financial outlook, product development, business prospects, and market and industry trends and conditions, as well as the company's strategies, plans, objectives, and goals. These forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs, expectations, estimates, forecasts, and projections of, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, the company's management.
The company assumes no obligation to revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Accordingly, you should not place reliance on any forward-looking statement, and all forward-looking statements are herein qualified by reference to the cautionary statements set forth above.
1 Pronounced "VSV delta G"
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Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:NRXP