Acer Therapeutics Axes 60% of Workforce after FDA Rebuff

Genengnews | July 05, 2019

Acer Therapeutics said today it has eliminated about 60% of its workforce—29 jobs—and halted pre-commercialization activities for its lead candidate Edsivo™ (celiprolol) in a restructuring that comes two weeks after the FDA refused to approve Edsivo for a rare connective tissue disorder. The FDA has sent Acer a Complete Response Letter (CRL) stating it would not approve the company’s NDA for Edsivo in vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS). The CRL directed Acer to “conduct an adequate and well-controlled trial to determine whether celiprolol reduces the risk of clinical events in patients with vEDS,” the company stated on June 25. As a result of the CRL, Acer said, its board decided to reduce operating expenses and conserve cash by cutting its workforce and ending pre-commercialization activities related to Edsivo. “The Company estimates that it will record a one-time severance-related charge of approximately $1.5 million associated with the workforce reduction in the second quarter of 2019,” Edsivo stated in a regulatory filing. Acer says it will be able to fund its planned business operations through 2020. The company finished the first quarter with $31.8 million in cash and cash equivalents, which Acer in May said was believed to be sufficient to fund current operating and capital requirements into the first half of next year.

Spotlight

The evolution of the generic drug market in recent decades has introduced many benefits to the healthcare industry lower pharmaceutical costs and greater consumer access to needed medicines. By offering the bioequivalent product of a brand name drug that is no longer protected by a patent, the generic market has carved out a significant niche within the U.S. healthcare landscape, representing approximately eight out of 10 prescriptions.

Spotlight

The evolution of the generic drug market in recent decades has introduced many benefits to the healthcare industry lower pharmaceutical costs and greater consumer access to needed medicines. By offering the bioequivalent product of a brand name drug that is no longer protected by a patent, the generic market has carved out a significant niche within the U.S. healthcare landscape, representing approximately eight out of 10 prescriptions.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

invoX Pharma Extends Tender Offer to Acquire F-star Therapeutics, Inc.

invoX Pharma Limited | August 05, 2022

invoX Pharma Limited a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited focused on research and development and business development activities outside of China, and F-star Therapeutics, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and improved lives, today announced that invoX has extended the expiration of its previously announced tender offer for all of the issued and outstanding shares of F-star common stock for a price of $7.12 per share. The tender offer is now scheduled to expire at 05:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on September 19, 2022, unless it is further extended. The tender offer was previously scheduled to expire at one minute after 11:59 P.M., Eastern time, on August 3, 2022. The tender offer is being extended in order to allow additional time for the satisfaction of the regulatory conditions to the offer. The depositary for the tender offer has advised invoX that as of the previous expiration time there were validly tendered and not withdrawn a total of approximately 13,026,582 shares of F-star common stock, and approximately 2,704,867 shares of F-star common stock tendered pursuant to a notice of guaranteed delivery. All terms and conditions of the tender offer remain unchanged during the extension period. F-star shareholders who have already tendered their shares do not have to re-tender their shares or take any other action as a result of the extension. Complete terms and conditions of the tender offer are set forth in the Offer to Purchase, Letter of Transmittal and other related materials, which have been filed by invoX with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 7, 2022, as amended. In addition, F-star filed a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 with the SEC on July 7, 2022, as amended, which includes, among other things, the recommendation of F-star’s board of directors that F-star stockholders tender all of their shares in the tender offer. The Information Agent for the tender offer is Innisfree M&A Incorporated. The Depositary and Paying Agent for the tender offer is Computershare Trust Company, N.A. For all questions relating to the tender offer, please call the Information Agent, Innisfree M&A Incorporated toll-free at (888) 750-5830; banks and brokers may call collect at (212) 750-5833. About invoX invoX was incorporated in March 2021 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharm, a global top 40 pharmaceutical company with more than 24,000 employees. United Kingdom-based invoX is Sino Biopharm’s international expansion platform, focusing on R&D and business development activities outside of China, with a core focus on oncology and respiratory therapeutics. At its core, invoX aspires to improve patients’ lives by creating access to innovative medicine. About Sino Biopharm Sino Biopharm, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading, innovative research and development driven pharmaceutical conglomerate in China, with a business scope that is vertically integrated including research and development, manufacturing and sales and marketing infrastructure. Sino Biopharm’s product offerings include a variety of biologics and small molecule drugs, and in therapy areas that include hepatology, oncology, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, orthopaedics, digestive and immune and respiratory diseases. About F-star F-star is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and have improved lives. F-star is committed to working towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases, through the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies to create a paradigm shift in treatments. F-star has four second-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics in the clinic, each directed against some of the most promising immuno-oncology targets in drug development, including LAG-3 and CD137. F-star’s proprietary antibody discovery platform is protected by an extensive intellectual property estate. F-star has over 500 granted patents and pending patent applications relating to its platform technology and product pipeline. F-star has attracted multiple partnerships with biopharma targeting significant unmet needs across several disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and CNS.

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PHARMA TECH

Nucleai Announces a Partnership with Sirona Dx for AI-Driven Discovery of Novel Spatial Biomarkers in Solid Tumors

Nucleai and Sirona Dx | July 14, 2022

Nucleai, a leader in AI-powered spatial biology transforming precision medicine by unlocking the power of pathology data, and Sirona Dx, a leading provider of multiomic single-cell analytical services, today announced a collaboration to advance the discovery of novel spatial biomarkers in solid tumors. The partnership combines Nucleai’s powerful AI spatial analytics platform with Sirona Dx’s leading multiplex assay development expertise to identify novel spatial signatures in high-plex assays that predict response to therapy and inform treatment decisions. Through this strategic collaboration, Sirona Dx will provide Nucleai and its customers with a CRO partner that will enable the deployment of AI-based diagnostic algorithms to support biopharma clinical trials. Nucleai’s robust computational AI-powered spatial biology algorithm supports various image modalities and cancer indications, offering a highly customizable, deployable solution across the drug development ecosystem. These capabilities earned Nucleai the position of one of the top 10 spatial biology companies in 2022. “Multiplex imaging technologies have improved rapidly over the years; however, identifying actionable insights from all the data collected remains immensely challenging. This powerful synergy between Sirona Dx and Nucleai is very exciting as it will allow us to identify actionable spatial signatures that can predict response to immunotherapy.” Avi Veidman, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Nucleai Sirona Dx is recognized as the original pioneers of spatial biology, having launched the first spatial-omics CRO service to biopharma in 2018. Today, their technology-agnostic, spatial biology suite includes the leading multiplexed imaging platforms and combines deep technical expertise required to develop high-performance multiplexed assays as large as 50 markers. Sophisticated multiplexed tissue imaging capabilities contributed to their selection as a Top 10 CRO of 2021 by Medhealth Outlook. “We are delighted to announce a partnership with Nucleai,” said Andrew Brown, Ph.D. Chief Commercial Officer at Sirona Dx. “Nucleai’s AI-driven analytical capabilities are exceptional. Our combined expertise in multiplexed tissue assay development, data generation and state-of-the-art analysis will unlock new spatial insights and accelerate the spatial biology revolution in precision medicine.” About Nucleai Nucleai is an AI-powered spatial biology company with a mission to transform drug development and clinical treatment decisions by unlocking the power of pathology data. Nucleai provides pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, and diagnostics laboratories with a state-of-the-art AI platform to improve clinical trials and clinical decision-making. About Sirona Dx Sirona Dx is a technical, CLIA accredited CRO, founded in 2016 to accelerate the pace of immunotherapy and targeted therapy development. With a leading-edge menu of specialized high complexity, single-cell proteomics and genomics services, Sirona Dx supports exploratory biomarker programs and advanced precision medicine initiatives to deliver safer and more effective treatment solutions.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Amylyx Pharmaceuticals Announces ALBRIOZA™ is Now Available in Canada for the Treatment of ALS

Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc | August 01, 2022

Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that ALBRIOZA™ is now commercially available in Canada for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALBRIOZA is an oral fixed-dose combination therapy that may reduce neuronal cell death as a stand-alone therapy or when added to existing treatments. In a clinical trial, ALBRIOZA significantly slowed disease progression and loss of functional decline in people living with ALS. “We have remained steadfast in our commitment to ensure ALBRIOZA would be available in Canada as quickly as possible following Health Canada’s decision to approve ALBRIOZA, with conditions, in June,” said Margaret Olinger, Chief Commercial Officer at Amylyx. “We are pleased that starting this week, we are ready to fill prescriptions for ALBRIOZA.” Amylyx filed reimbursement submissions to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies and Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux in Quebec as part of an aligned Health Technology Assessments (HTA) review with Health Canada in parallel with the regulatory process to reduce the timelines required for patient access. The Company is continuing to work with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, Federal, Provincial, and Territorial public drug plans, and private insurers to expeditiously achieve listing and reimbursement, so that eligible Canadians living with ALS can have access to ALBRIOZA as quickly and efficiently as possible. “In Canada, prescription drugs undergo a thorough and often long review and approval process across regulatory, HTA, pricing negotiations, and formulary listing with public drug plans. In addition, private insurers have their own review and listing processes. We continue to work diligently to navigate reimbursement processes to pursue broad and equitable access to ALBRIOZA across all provinces in Canada.” Chris Aiello, General Manager and Head of Canada at Amylyx “Market availability is an important milestone in the available treatment options for people living with ALS,” said Tammy Moore, CEO of the ALS Society of Canada. “As we look forward, we do not want to see coverage decisions become a barrier to access, and we urge the decision-makers throughout the drug access and reimbursement process to work expeditiously to provide equitable access for all eligible Canadians living with ALS who are in desperate need.” As part of Amylyx’ continued commitment to the ALS community, through the Amylyx Care Team Support Program, Amylyx provides insurance navigation, treatment coordination and educational support for people living with ALS who have been prescribed ALBRIOZA in Canada and their caregivers. Eligibility and enrollment into the ACT Support Program can be discussed with prescribing health care professionals. About ALBRIOZA™ ALBRIOZA™ is an oral fixed-dose medication approved with conditions to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in Canada and with marketing applications pending in the United States and European Union. The combination of sodium phenylbutyrate and taurursodiol may reduce neuronal cell death, hypothesized to occur by simultaneously mitigating endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. ALBRIOZA is also being explored for the potential treatment of other neurodegenerative diseases. About Amylyx Pharmaceuticals Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is committed to supporting and creating more moments for the neurodegenerative community through the discovery and development of innovative new treatments. Amylyx is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has operations in Canada and EMEA.

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