PRNewswire | August 10, 2023
The Project to Accelerate New Treatments for Tuberculosis (PAN-TB) collaboration announced today the start of a phase 2b/c clinical trial, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (Gates MRI). The trial will evaluate whether novel regimens that combine registered products and new chemical entities have the potential to effectively treat drug-sensitive TB (DS-TB) and inform the development of a "pan-TB" regimen capable of treating all forms of active pulmonary TB.
The regimens under evaluation are designed to explore shorter treatment durations compared to existing drug regimens, without the need for accompanying drug-resistance testing for individuals. The goal is to identify a candidate regimen suitable for phase 3 development.
Trial sites are being hosted in countries with a high burden of TB. The trial has started in South Africa with the first participant screened in the last week of July. Subsequent trial sites are expected to launch in the Philippines in August and in Peru in 2024, pending national approvals.
The collaboration is evaluating two novel drug regimens comprising five antibacterial agents—bedaquiline, delamanid, pretomanid, quabodepistat (formerly known as OPC-167832), and sutezolid
DBQS – delamanid, bedaquiline, quabodepistat and sutezolid
PBQS – pretomanid, bedaquiline, quabodepistat and sutezolid
The trial employs an innovative design that consists of two stages to assess the efficacy of the regimens and evaluate the potential to shorten treatment duration. In the initial stage, the trial will enroll approximately 129 participants. The safety, tolerability, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of the complete DBQS and PBQS regimens, with each drug administered daily for four months (17 weeks), will be evaluated in participants 18 to 65 years old with DS pulmonary TB. Approximately 43 participants will receive the six-month (26 weeks) standard-of-care treatment for DS-TB1 in the countries where trial sites are located.2
If successful, the second stage will enroll approximately 400 participants to test the selected regimen at shorter treatment durations, ranging from two to four months, across five arms. An additional 30-40 participants will be enrolled in the standard-of-care arm for the second stage of this trial.
To support participants during their treatment, the trial integrates a Stop Treatment and Watch (STrAW) Concilium, a group made up of expert clinical consultants that will evaluate trial participants' treatment response, blinded to the specific regimen they receive, and advise trial investigators on patient management.
The trial will utilize the best available tools including regular engagement with treatment support workers, direct observation of therapy with video technology, and medication reminder monitors. A novel Biomarkers Strategy will inform promising new biomarkers with the aim of enabling faster access to data to monitor treatment outcomes for future trials.
The need for novel TB treatment regimens
Despite the introduction of new medicines in recent years, treatment remains a long, complex, and demanding process for people diagnosed with TB and can place significant costs on households and the health system. The most used drug regimen for the treatment of DS-TB requires people to take multiple drugs for at least six months, often with routine monitoring.
TB treatment can place unmanageable financial strain on individuals and their households. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly half of TB-affected households face catastrophic total costs associated with treatment, including costs of travel to clinics, loss of income during treatment, and more, fueling cycles of poverty in vulnerable communities.
Further, accurate, rapid drug resistance testing is essential for early diagnosis of both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB, but access to testing can be limited due to high costs, technical challenges, and other barriers.
Emilio Emini, PhD, CEO, the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, said: "The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is committed to developing biomedical interventions that address global health concerns for those in the greatest need. The team at the Gates MRI looks forward to working with our partners across the PAN-TB collaboration, to evaluate the potential of these novel TB treatment regimens, in the hope that it may offer a potentially easier pathway for all people diagnosed with pulmonary TB by offering well-tolerated, shorter and simpler treatment options."
Masanori Kawasaki, Global TB Project Leader, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, said: "We are immensely proud to be part of this remarkable, trailblazing, collaboration which is now launching a clinical trial for a new, and shorter, pan-TB treatment regimen. We are excited too to be working closely with key partners to bring new treatment options to patients. Otsuka is dedicated to life-saving research and development as demonstrated by our sustained hard work and investment in developing a new chemical entity called quabodepistat. We are most grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute for bringing together leaders in the field of TB, towards the goal of ending TB for good."
Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, MD, PhD, Global Head of Global Public Health R&D, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, said: "Our medicine for multidrug-resistant TB has reshaped TB treatment regimens over the past decade, but more must be done to develop the even shorter, simpler regimens needed to treat all forms of the disease and end TB once and for all. Today's milestone is another step in this direction, and we look forward to seeing the results of this important study."
Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of TB Alliance, said: "Sincere thanks and congratulations to all who have made this innovative and exciting new journey a reality. Bringing revolutionary, highly impactful new treatments to all TB patients around the world is a goal that deserves and requires all our concerted dedicated efforts."
About the Project to Accelerate New Treatments for Tuberculosis
The Project to Accelerate New Treatments for Tuberculosis (PAN-TB) is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among philanthropic, non-profit and private sectors that aims to accelerate the development of an investigational drug regimen capable of treating all forms of tuberculosis.
The PAN-TB collaboration leverages members' collective assets, resources and scientific expertise to identify and evaluate new drug regimens with an acceptable safety profile, that have the potential to treat both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB and are well-tolerated, shorter in duration and simpler to use than existing options. The collaboration focuses on advancing research through phase 2 clinical efficacy studies to identify promising regimens for further development.
The PAN-TB collaboration plans to work closely and transparently with the European Regimen Accelerator for Tuberculosis (ERA4TB), which was launched in January 2020. New molecular entities identified by ERA4TB that show promise in initial human studies could later be incorporated into the PAN-TB collaboration's later-stage, clinical research. Several organizations, including Evotec, GSK, TB Alliance and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, are members of both projects, which will help to ensure coordination across collaborations toward the common goal of advancing TB drug and regimen development.
The members of the PAN-TB collaboration are Evotec, GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., based in Japan, TB Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Additional members may be announced in the future.
About Evotec SE
Evotec is a life science company with a unique business model that delivers on its mission to discover and develop highly effective therapeutics and make them available to the patients. The Company's multimodality platform comprises a unique combination of innovative technologies, data and science for the discovery, development, and production of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products. Evotec leverages this "Data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures" for proprietary projects and within a network of partners including all Top 20 Pharma and over 800 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, as well as other healthcare stakeholders. Evotec has strategic activities in a broad range of currently underserved therapeutic areas, including e.g., neurology, oncology, as well as metabolic and infectious diseases. Within these areas of expertise, Evotec aims to create the world-leading co-owned pipeline for innovative therapeutics and has to-date established a portfolio of more than 200 proprietary and co-owned R&D projects from early discovery to clinical development. Evotec operates globally with more than 4,900 highly qualified people.
globenewswire | September 12, 2023
Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc. a pharmaceutical company advancing medicines to solve patients’ problems with current standards of care and provide transformative products to improve their lives, today announced acceptance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Company’s NDA for Libervant™ (diazepam) Buccal Film in pediatric patients between two and five years of age and the assignment of a PDUFA goal date of April 28, 2024.
Aquestive’s NDA for approval of Libervant™ Buccal Film for the acute treatment of intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity (i.e., seizure clusters, acute repetitive seizures) in patients between two and five years of age has been accepted by the FDA. Diastat® (diazepam) Rectal Gel is the only treatment currently available to this patient population for this indication. The Company received tentative approval for Libervant for the treatment of intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity (i.e., seizure clusters, acute repetitive seizures) in patients 12 years of age and older in August 2022, but Libervant is currently under an orphan drug block to market access until January 2027.
“The FDA’s acceptance of our most recent filing for Libervant is another step forward in bringing this important treatment option to patients,” said Daniel Barber, Chief Executive Officer of Aquestive. “When it comes to the treatment of seizure clusters in pediatric patients with epilepsy five years of age and under, physicians and caregivers have limited options. We believe Libervant, as an oral alternative to existing device-based products, will be well-received by this patient population, if approved with market access.”
Libervant is a buccally, or inside of the cheek, administered film formulation of diazepam, a benzodiazepine intended for the acute treatment of intermittent, stereotypic episodes of frequent seizure activity (i.e., seizure clusters, acute repetitive seizures) that are distinct from a patient’s usual seizure pattern. Aquestive developed Libervant as an alternative to the device-based products currently available for patients with refractory epilepsy, including a rectal gel and nasal spray products. The FDA has granted tentative approval for Libervant for treatment of these epilepsy patients 12 years of age and older, with U.S. market access for Libervant for this age group of patients subject to the expiration of the existing orphan drug market exclusivity of a previously FDA approved drug scheduled to expire in January 2027. The NDA submitted today for Libervant for epilepsy patients between two and five years of age is subject to FDA approval, including for U.S. market access.
Aquestive is a pharmaceutical company advancing medicines to solve patients’ problems with current standards of care and provide transformative products to improve their lives. We are developing orally administered products to deliver complex molecules, providing novel alternatives to invasive and inconvenient standard of care therapies. Aquestive has five commercialized products marketed by its licensees in the U.S. and around the world, and is the exclusive manufacturer of these licensed products. The Company also collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to bring new molecules to market using proprietary, best-in-class technologies, like PharmFilm®, and has proven drug development and commercialization capabilities. Aquestive is advancing a late-stage proprietary product pipeline focused on treating diseases of the central nervous system and an earlier stage pipeline for the treatment of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
Businesswire | July 25, 2023
ImmunoGen, Inc. a leader in the expanding field of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer, today announced a multi-target license and option agreement to research novel, first-in-class ADCs with ImmunoBiochem Corporation, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery of unique tumor targets and development of novel biological therapeutics. The collaboration will combine ImmunoGen's proprietary linker-payload technology with ImmunoBiochem's antibodies directed against specific targets.
"We are excited to partner with ImmunoBiochem, which brings a novel approach to tumor targeting for ADCs," said Eric Westin, ImmunoGen's Vice President of Clinical Development and Translational Sciences. "This agreement reflects our commitment to leverage our rich IP portfolio through strategic partnering in order to further reinvigorate our research and development in support of our pipeline."
Under the terms of the agreement, ImmunoBiochem will receive an upfront payment in exchange for providing ImmunoGen with an exclusive license to existing antibodies directed against a specific undisclosed target. ImmunoBiochem will be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties based on the achievement of pre-specified development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. ImmunoGen will collaborate with ImmunoBiochem on preclinical activities and assume responsibility for the program's future clinical development and commercialization activities. ImmunoGen will also have the option to select additional targets and antibodies to license based on certain preclinical work undertaken by ImmunoBiochem. If ImmunoGen chooses to exercise this option, ImmunoBiochem will receive an option exercise payment and ImmunoGen will assume responsibility for all subsequent R&D associated with that program.
"ImmunoBiochem is extremely pleased that ImmunoGen, one of the world's leading ADC companies, will help catalyze the unique science and assets that we have been developing to engender novel strategies to tackle difficult solid tumors, particularly for patients that lack common tumor targets," said Dr. Anton Neschadim, CEO of ImmunoBiochem. "This partnership validates our differentiated thinking and will enable ImmunoBiochem to significantly expand its discovery platform and innovative pipeline."
ImmunoGen is developing the next generation of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) to improve outcomes for cancer patients. By generating targeted therapies with enhanced anti-tumor activity and favorable tolerability profiles, we aim to disrupt the progression of cancer and offer our patients more good days. We call this our commitment to TARGET A BETTER NOW™.
ABOUT IMMUNOBIOCHEM CORPORATION
ImmunoBiochem is an innovative biopharmaceutical company on a mission to develop novel biological therapeutics to address significant unmet need in oncology and immuno-oncology. ImmunoBiochem uses a combination of high-throughput functional screens, bioinformatics and AI/ML to unravel unique biology in the tumor microenvironment, particularly in the cancer cell secretome, and to discover novel tumor targets that could be exploited with various targeted therapeutic modalities. ImmunoBiochem, a Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS alumnus, is headquartered in Toronto, at the heart of Canada's largest biomedical research hub, and has worked closely on some of its novel programs with the University of Toronto, Canada's top university and amongst the world's leading institutions in research and innovation.