Amgen, Allergan join Rituxan biosimilar challenge with FDA filing

pharma news | December 20, 2019

Amgen and Allergan have filed for approval of their biosimilar version of Roche’s CD20-targeting drug Rituxan with the FDA, vying to become the third copycat version of the blockbuster drug approved in the US. If approved, Amgen and Allergan’s biosimilar – called ABP 798 – will follow in the footsteps of Teva/Celltrion’s Truxima and Pfizer’s Ruxience, approved by the FDA in 2018 and earlier in 2019, respectively. A fourth potential rival developed by Novartis subsidiary Sandoz has been cleared in Europe but won’t be developed for the US market after the FDA requested more information on the drug last year. Rituxan (rituximab) – known as MabThera in some markets outside the US – is used to treat blood cancers including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), as well as immunological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and various forms of vasculitis.

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Spotlight

Save the date, on the 17th of May we will be hosting our Annual Pharma R&D Review Webinar. In the meantime, enjoy Pharma project’s compelling view of R&D, past, present, and future. This report comes to you from Pharma projects. With 30+ years of R&D information across every global market, Pharma projects’ drug development database is the industry’s most trusted, go-to resource for complete preclinical, clinical, and pipeline coverage, and lifecycle management tracking.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Humanigen and Cenexi Announce Collaboration to Manufacture Lenzilumab in France

Humanigen and Cenexi | February 09, 2022

France Humanigen, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called ‘cytokine storm,’ and Cenexi, a French CDMO specializing in the formulation, analytical development, and manufacture of complex molecule drugs, announced a collaboration aimed at making Cenexi a preferred supplier of lenzilumab in France and the European Union. The initial step of the collaboration includes the execution of a Master Supply Agreement (“MSA”) providing for Cenexi to provide aseptic fill and finish services for lenzilumab for the next five years. Under the terms of the agreement, Humanigen will transfer the technology and knowledge to Cenexi to allow them to establish drug product processes utilizing their state-of-the-art high speed filling line at their Herouville-Saint-Clair facility in Normandy. Humanigen and Cenexi will enter into discussions to potentially expand the agreement to other services Cenexi offers. These include labeling and packaging, importation of bulk drug substance and quality release of materials in France and throughout Europe. Humanigen plans to include the Cenexi Normandy site in certain of its future regulatory filings for lenzilumab for COVID-19 and other indications. The companies will collaborate to secure potential funding and investment in capital equipment from AD Normandie, the regional authority and the Government of France, the national authority. In addition, Cenexi will assist Humanigen as it seeks an advanced purchase agreement for lenzilumab in France. “The goal of the collaboration with Cenexi is to further our efforts to establish a supply of lenzilumab made in Europe. Cenexi is an ideal partner for sterile filling and with their strong base of resources and aggressive growth plan, we may expand our collaboration beyond the typical customer/vendor relationship. We may work with Cenexi to become our preferred partner for multiple services and to establish a stable and secure supply chain for lenzilumab in France and Europe longer-term.” Cameron Durrant, chief executive officer of Humanigen In 2021, French authorities modified existing regulations to provide for early access to unauthorized medicinal products. The early access authorization allows for a manufacturer to supply product to a cohort of individuals for a specific use, for example, lenzilumab for COVID-19. Humanigen plans to file a request for AAP with the Haute Authorite de Sante in February 2022. “Cenexi desires a leadership position in France to assist in establishing a strong supply chain for COVID-19 and for future pandemics. Since 2004, Cenexi has been at the forefront of bringing critical medicines to patients and we continue to build on our strong reputation for value, high quality, flexibility and timeliness,” commented Christophe Durand, chief executive officer of Cenexi. “Our partnership with Humanigen will use our core competencies of sterile filling and to potentially expand into to an end-to-end solution for lenzilumab in France and other countries in Europe.” Pending positive results from the NIH-sponsored ACTIV-5/BET-B study, Humanigen plans to amend the Emergency Use Authorization application in the United States. For the European Union, Humanigen anticipates submission of a Conditional Marketing Authorization with a request for Accelerated Approval in the third quarter of 2022. Lenzilumab is an investigational product and is not approved or authorized in any country. About Humanigen Humanigen, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on preventing and treating an immune hyper-response called ‘cytokine storm’. Lenzilumab is a first-in class antibody that binds to and neutralizes granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Results from preclinical models indicate GM-CSF is an upstream regulator of many inflammatory cytokines and chemokines involved in the cytokine storm. Humanigen is developing lenzilumab as a treatment for cytokine storm associated with COVID-19 and CD19-targeted CAR-T cell therapies and is also exploring the effectiveness of lenzilumab in other inflammatory conditions such as acute Graft versus Host Disease in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, eosinophilic asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, Humanigen is progressing a Phase 1 program focused on another proprietary monoclonal antibody, ifabotuzumab, in solid tumors. About Cenexi Cenexi, a major French CDMO operating in Europe with 1,500 employees and some €200 million in turnover (2021), is experiencing steady growth with four production sites and a center of expertise dedicated to new product introduction.

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Launches Modular Closed Cell Processing System for Cell Therapy Manufacturing

Thermo Fisher | October 15, 2020

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced the launch of its Gibco CTS Rotea Counterflow Centrifugation System, a modular, closed cell therapy processing system that enables scalable, cost-effective cell therapy development and manufacturing. The CTS Rotea system is the first Gibco instrument for cell therapy processing applications and facilitates workflows from research through GMP clinical development and commercial manufacturing. As of mid-2020, 675 clinical trials were underway globally for cell therapy and cell-based immune-oncology, according to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. Yet few cell therapies in development become commercially available due to several factors: safety and efficacy requirements, difficulties in transferring research protocols to manufacturing processes, lack of scalability of these therapies, high cost of facilities, labor and equipment, and complexity of the processes involved.

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PHARMA TECH

PharmaJet partner Zydus Cadila Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Expansion Plan to Multiple Countries With Korean Firm

PharmaJet | January 05, 2022

PharmaJet®, the maker of innovative, needle-free injection technology, announced that its partner Zydus Cadila, is partnering with Enzychem Lifesciences to manufacture their COVID-19 plasmid DNA vaccine in Korea. The plan is to manufacture 80+ million doses of the ZyCoV-D vaccine, which was recently granted emergency use approval by India’s national regulatory agency for those aged 12 years and above. The vaccine will be manufactured in Korea and exported to several lower-middle income countries in Latin America and Asian New Southern Policy member countries. It is exclusively delivered by the PharmaJet Tropis® Needle-free Injection System. Under the terms of this agreement, Zydus will transfer its manufacturing technology and provide technical assistance to Enzychem Lifesciences. The vaccine is administered intradermally using the PharmaJet needle-free system, which can be deployed more readily, especially in resource-poor populations where these are urgently needed. “This manufacturing agreement will enable people in lower-middle income countries access to a safe, well-tolerated and efficacious vaccine, delivered by a proven delivery system. Our systems have been successfully used to deliver millions of doses for polio immunization initiatives in Pakistan, Somalia, The Gambia, and numerous other countries. We are prepared for this commercialization initiative and have scaled our operations to meet the demand driven by COVID-19 vaccinations as we continue to fulfill our company mission of improving peoples’ lives through our needle-free delivery technology.” Chris Cappello, President and CEO of PharmaJet About PharmaJet PharmaJet’s mission is to improve people’s lives through needle-free technology. PharmaJet Needle-free Systems provide increased vaccine effectiveness, a preferred patient and caregiver experience, and a proven path to commercialization. They are also safe, fast, and easy-to-use. The Stratis® System has U.S. FDA 510(k) marketing clearance, CE Mark, and WHO PQS certification to deliver medications and vaccines either intramuscularly or subcutaneously. The Tropis® System has CE Mark and WHO PQS certification for intradermal injections. About Enzychem Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, Enzychem Lifesciences is developing novel small molecule therapeutics to target fundamental pathways in inflammation, patients with significant unmet needs in oncology, inflammatory, and severe respiratory diseases. Enzychem lead candidate, EC-18, has successfully completed US FDA phase 2 clinical testing in cancer patients. In response to the Korean government pledge for a Vaccine Hub, Enzychem has formed a consortium with Hanmi Pharma and several domestic companies in Korea to manufacture vaccines against COVID 19. The company plans to leverage its expertise in lipid chemistry and manufacturing to establish itself as a regional producer of lipid-based formulations for improved delivery of nucleic acids and other biologicals and drugs. About Zydus Zydus Cadila is an innovative, global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of healthcare therapies, including small molecule drugs, biologic therapeutics and vaccines. The group employs over 23,000 people worldwide, including 1,400 scientists engaged in R & D, and is dedicated to creating healthier communities globally.

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