Acceleron abandons muscular dystrophy drug

PharmaTimes | September 18, 2019

Acceleron abandons muscular dystrophy drug
Acceleron has announced the discontinuation of the development of its drug intended for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), ACE-083. The drug did not achieve statistically significant improvements in functional endpoints relative to placebo in a Phase II trial, which means that Acceleron will not conduct further clinical trials. Although the drug demonstrated a robust, statistically significant increase in mean total muscle volume, the primary endpoint of the trial, the increase failed to translate to statistically significant improvements in functional tests. The company says that it is “disappointed” with the results, and that it had “stated consistently, for ACE-083 to become an important new therapy for patients with FSHD, it would have to deliver a meaningful functional benefit on top of an ability to grow muscle,” said Habib Dable, President and chief executive officer of Acceleron. He continued, “Unfortunately, in this case, the data show no evidence of such a benefit and, therefore, do not support further development of ACE-083 for FSHD. We’re grateful to the patients, families, caregivers, and investigators who participated in this research.” The company also said it is “looking forward to the first quarter of next year”, as it expects topline results from the placebo-controlled Phase II trial of ACE-083 in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease—a neuromuscular disorder of different pathophysiology.

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Dr. Daniella Gutman, VP Teva GR&D IL, EMIA & APAC The word generic is so… generic. However, there is nothing generic about the way Teva has become the No. 1 generics company in the world.

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Confo Therapeutics Enters Collaborative Agreement with Regeneron

Confo Therapeutics | December 01, 2021

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PHARMACY MARKET

Thermo Fisher Scientific and AstraZeneca to Co-Develop NGS-based Companion Diagnostics

Thermo Fisher Scientific | September 03, 2021

Thermo Fisher Scientific's clinical sequencing business and AstraZeneca today announced they will co-develop next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based companion diagnostics (CDx) to support AstraZeneca's expanding portfolio of targeted therapies. The companies will collaborate under a multiyear, global agreement. "As the pipeline of targeted therapies expands, the availability of diagnostic tools that can interrogate multiple biomarkers simultaneously will ensure patients can be matched with the right therapies more rapidly – this is the promise of precision medicine," said Garret Hampton, president of clinical next-generation sequencing and oncology at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "Introduction of diagnostic tools early in the process of drug development can further facilitate the success of companion diagnostic development – and that's what we're doing with AstraZeneca." NGS-based companion diagnostics are increasingly used to match patients with new therapies for cancer and other diseases. More than 90 percent of AstraZeneca's clinical pipeline, across all main areas from oncology, cardiovascular and renal to metabolic and respiratory disease, are targeted precision medicine therapies. "Using the latest diagnostic science allows us to match the best treatment to the patient," said Ruth March, senior vice president, precision medicine and biosamples, AstraZeneca. "This collaboration with Thermo Fisher offers the technology, expertise and ability to decentralize CDx tests to local healthcare providers across our global markets, which will help us identify more patients around the world who may benefit from treatments and effective patient care." Thermo Fisher currently offers the only globally distributable NGS CDx solution approved and reimbursed by government and commercial insurers in more than 15 countries, including the U.S., multiple European nations, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East, and covering more than 550 million lives globally. To expand global access to a growing list of precision medicine therapies, in 2019 Thermo Fisher introduced the Ion Torrent Genexus System*, the first fully-integrated NGS platform featuring an automated specimen-to-report workflow that economically delivers results in a single day. The company's complete NGS workflow, powered by Ion AmpliSeq technology, includes multiple solutions for solid tumor biomarkers and liquid biopsy testing. About Thermo Fisher Scientific Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue exceeding $30 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, improving patient diagnostics and therapies or increasing productivity in their laboratories, we are here to support them. Our global team of more than 80,000 colleagues delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services and Patheon.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Zenas BioPharma Acquires Exclusive Worldwide Rights to Obexelimab from Xencor

Xencor, Zenas BioPharma | November 22, 2021

Xencor, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies and cytokines for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and Zenas BioPharma (“Zenas”), a global biopharmaceutical company based in the USA and China committed to the development and delivery of immune-based therapies, today announced that Zenas has acquired from Xencor exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize the investigational antibody obexelimab. Obexelimab is a potential first-in-class bifunctional antibody that targets CD19 with its variable domain and uses Xencor's XmAb® Immune Inhibitor Fc Domain to target FcγRIIb, a receptor that inhibits the function of B-cells, which are important components in the immune system. 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Today, we are pleased to add obexelimab to our portfolio, and based on its clinical profile, we believe it is positioned as a first-in-class candidate with the potential to treat numerous autoimmune diseases.” Hua Mu, Ph.D., MD, president and chief executive officer at Zenas “Obexelimab’s highly potent and broad blockade of B-cell activation—without depleting B cells—differentiates it from other B-cell targeting therapies, and it has demonstrated disease-modifying activity in settings where B-cell inhibition is a proven strategy,” said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Xencor. “In Zenas BioPharma, we have found a partner committed to broadly and aggressively developing therapeutics like obexelimab for patients with autoimmune diseases, enabling Xencor’s continued focus on the growing opportunities provided by our XmAb bispecific antibody and cytokine pipeline.” Under the terms of the new agreement, Zenas will issue to Xencor a warrant giving Xencor the right to acquire additional Zenas equity, such that Xencor’s total equity in Zenas would be 15% of its fully diluted capitalization following the closing of Zenas’ next round of equity financing, subject to certain requirements. Xencor previously received equity in Zenas under a separate license agreement. Xencor is also eligible to receive up to $480 million based on the achievement of certain clinical development, regulatory and commercialization milestones and is eligible to receive tiered, mid-single digit to mid-teen percent royalties upon commercialization of obexelimab, dependent on geography. Zenas will have sole responsibility for advancing the research, development, regulatory and commercial activities of obexelimab worldwide. About Xencor, Inc. Xencor is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies and cytokines for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Currently, 22 candidates engineered with Xencor's XmAb® technology are in clinical development internally and with partners. Xencor's XmAb antibody engineering technology enables small changes to the structure of proteins resulting in new mechanisms of therapeutic action. About Zenas BioPharma Zenas BioPharma is a global biopharmaceutical company based in the USA and China committed to becoming a leader in the development and delivery of immune-based therapies for patients in the US, China and around the world. Zenas is rapidly advancing a deep pipeline of innovative therapeutics that continues to grow through our successful business development strategy. Our experienced leadership team and network of business partners drive operational excellence to deliver potentially transformative therapies to improve the lives of those facing autoimmune and rare diseases. Xencor Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements include statements that are not purely statements of historical fact, and can generally be identified by our use of words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “may,” “could,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “seek,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” and similar terms, or by express or implied discussions relating to the development of obexelimab as a potential treatment for patients with autoimmune diseases; the commercial potential of obexelimab; the safety, tolerability, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of obexelimab; the quotations from Xencor’s president and chief executive officer; and other statements that are not purely statements of historical fact. Such statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions of the management of Xencor and are subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements and the timing of events to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Such risks include, without limitation, the risks associated with the process of discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics and other risks described in Xencor's public securities filings. For a discussion of these and other factors, please refer to Xencor's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 as well as Xencor's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended to date. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Xencor undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof, except as required by law.

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Dr. Daniella Gutman, VP Teva GR&D IL, EMIA & APAC The word generic is so… generic. However, there is nothing generic about the way Teva has become the No. 1 generics company in the world.