Avior Bio secures licensing agreement for chronic itch therapy
Avior Bio, a small Cary startup developing a treatment for pruritus, or chronic itchy skin, has secured an agreement to license its clinical-stage therapy to a New Jersey pharmaceutical company.
Tharimmune Inc. in Bridgewater, N.J., announced Nov. 6 it had executed a global licensing agreement with Avior for the Cary company’s AV104 therapy. AV104 is an oral thin film - a method of drug delivery involving absorption in the mouth - that targets pruritus associated with chronic liver disease. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Tharimmune said it would rename the compound to TH104 and seek regulatory approval for the treatment of pruritus in patients with a rare liver disease known as primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). The company recently changed its name from Hillstream BioPharma.
“This license agreement allows the company to bring a clinical-stage asset into the organization as we shift into a business model focused on clinical development signifying our next step as we grow into a patient-focused biotechnology organization,” Tharimmune CEO Randy Milby said in a news release.
Avior got its start in 2018 when Niraj Vasisht, a former chief technology officer with Biodelivery Sciences International, left to start his own company to explore treatments for neurological conditions.
Its AV104 therapy focuses on treatment of pruritus associated with PBC. About 2.5 million people are known to suffer from pruritus in chronic liver disease, according to Avior.
The company has been approved for up to $700,000 in loans from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. In addition, Vasisht raised funds to start the company from angel investors, friends and family.