To bring new therapeutic options to the market as quickly as possible, Relief seeks partnerships with companies that have late-stage clinical assets that can be rapidly advanced.

Criteria to evaluating new assets include:

  • A focus on the development of peptide and biologic medicinal product candidates,
  • Molecules already assessed in human subjects with an excellent safety profile allowing for
  • Short, capital-efficient clinical trials with objective endpoints.


When lives are at stake there is no time to waste

Our talented team of scientists, determined to do their part to contribute to the fight against the worst healthcare disaster in 100 years, had a brilliant idea to repurpose a legacy compound, RLF-100™ (aviptadil), a synthetic form of a naturally occurring peptide predominantly found in the lung - Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) - to protect the lung from injury due to COVID-19. Taking advantage of the extraordinary measures implemented in the U.S. to speed up clinical research for COVID-19 therapeutics, Relief partnered with NeuroRx Inc., a U.S.-based biotech with strong experience in innovative novel therapeutic development. Ten weeks from concept to clinic, we began our journey to providing this potentially life-saving drug to critical COVID-19 patients.

Learn more about RLF-100™

On September 21, 2020, Relief and NeuroRx announced the completion of their partnership agreement for the commercialization of RLF-100™ worldwide. Under the terms of the agreement, NeuroRx will lead commercialization in the United States, Canada, and Israel, while Relief will lead commercialization in Europe and the rest of the world.

Relief and NeuroRx have taken steps to set up the manufacturing of RLF-100™ to prepare for potential future commercialization. NeuroRx contracted Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for the manufacture and fill & finish of commercial supply of RLF-100™ in order to ensure that adequate drug inventory will be available when needed. Relief similarly contracted with Bachem Americas to manufacture sufficient RLF-100™ drug substance to supply an initial 1 million doses. Bachem was the first peptide manufacturer to synthesize RLF-100™ and has played a leading role in the development of the drug substance over the past 20 years. In addition, NeuroRx entered into an agreement with a leading nationwide pharmaceutical logistics partner to ensure overnight supply to U.S. hospitals.


A new therapeutic option to address debilitating rare diseases

Urea Cycle Disorders (UCDs) and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) are rare genetic metabolic disorders for which current treatment options are limited, or non-existent in the case of MSUD. Both diseases greatly affect patients’ quality of life. True to our mission to provide patients with therapeutic RELIEF from serious illnesses with high unmet medical needs, we partnered with Acer Therapeutics, a U.S.-based biotech company with strong capabilities in accelerated development of therapies for rare disease, for the worldwide development and commercialization of ACER-001.

ACER-001, a proprietary powder formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate (NaPB), is designed to be both taste-masked and immediate release. These characteristics could make it a compelling alternative to existing NaPB-based treatments for UCD, as the unpleasant taste associated with NaPB is cited as a major impediment to patient compliance with those treatments.

Learn more about ACER-001

On March 22, 2021, Relief and Acer Therapeutics announced the signing of a collaboration and license agreement for the worldwide development and commercialization of ACER-001 for the treatment of UCDs and MSUD.

Under the terms of the agreement, Acer received an approximately $10 million cash payment (originally $14 million, to be offset by repayment of the $4 million outstanding balance of the prior loan, plus interest, from Relief to Acer). Relief will also pay Acer up to $20 million in U.S. development and commercial launch costs for the UCDs and MSUD indications. Acer will retain development and commercialization rights in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Turkey and Japan. The companies will split net profits from Acer’s territories 60%:40% in favor of Relief. In addition, Relief has licensed the rights for the rest of the world, where Acer will receive from Relief a 15% royalty on all revenues received in Relief’s territories. Acer may also receive a total of $6 million in development milestone payments following the first European (EU) marketing approvals for UCDs and MSUD.