PHARMACY MARKET

Avacta Announces FDA Approval of its Investigational New Drug (IND) Application for AVA6000

Avacta | November 29, 2021

Avacta Announces FDA Approval of its Investigational New Drug (IND) Application for AVA6000
Avacta Group plc, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative cancer therapies and powerful diagnostics based on its proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms, is pleased to announce that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for AVA6000. This will allow the Group to expand its Phase I clinical trial, ALS-6000-101, into clinical trial sites in the United States.

AVA6000 is a novel form of doxorubicin that has been modified with Avacta’s pre|CISION™ platform to improve its safety and therapeutic index. Anthracyclines such as doxorubicin, a generic chemotherapy for which the market is expected to grow to $1.38bn by 20241, are widely used as part of standard of care in several tumour types, but their use is limited by cumulative toxicity. AVA6000 has been designed to limit cell penetration of the drug, and therefore its cell killing effect, until it is specifically activated by fibroblast activation protein α (FAP) which is in high concentration in many solid tumours compared with healthy tissues. The resulting reduced exposure of healthy tissues to active doxorubicin has the potential to significantly increase its therapeutic index by reducing the incidence of adverse effects, including cardiotoxicity and myelosuppression.

The FDA has completed its 30-day review of Avacta’s IND application, which was submitted ahead of schedule in October 2021, and has concluded that the Group may proceed with its proposed clinical investigation. This allows Avacta to enroll eligible patients into US clinical trial sites for the company’s Phase I multi-centre study, ALS-6000-101. As previously announced in August 2021, the Company has begun recruiting and dosing patients for this study at several clinical trial sites in the UK, and continues to expect the dose escalation phase for this trial to complete by Q2 2022 followed by completion of the dose expansion phase around mid-2023. Enrollment in US clinical trial sites is expected to begin in early 2022.

We are delighted to have received approval from the FDA to add clinical trial sites in the United States as part of the Phase I study for AVA6000. This is a major milestone in our development of pre|CISION™ chemotherapies and is testament to the performance of our clinical development team and the quality of the pre-clinical data for AVA6000.

Dr. Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta Group

Provided that the study shows that the pre|CISION™ technology is effective in reducing systemic toxicity of Doxorubicin, then that would open up an extensive and proprietary pipeline for Avacta of next-generation pre|CISION™ chemotherapies with significant clinical and commercial advantages in a chemotherapy market that is expected to exceed $74 billion by 20272.

We now look forward to opening up clinical trial sites in the United States and additional clinical trial sites in the UK.”

Neil Bell, Chief Development Officer of Avacta Life Sciences, commented: “We are excited to bring the first FAP-activated chemotherapeutic to the clinic in the US, which has the potential to meaningfully impact patients with difficult-to-treat tumours. The clearance of the AVA6000 IND by the FDA enables the opening of key US sites to support the ALS-6000-101 clinical trial which is currently recruiting patients across clinical sites in the UK.”

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ABC delivers a broad array of GLP and CGMP-compliant product development and analytical testing services to the pharmaceutical, biotech, animal health, crop protection, consumer products and chemical industries. This cross-industry, cross-regulatory experience adds value to the process of product development--and will become increasingly important as public scrutiny and global regulations converge on the interrelationships between human, animal and environmental health.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Takeda is poised to commercialize next generation Hunter's disease therapy through collaboration with JCR Pharmaceuticals

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited | October 01, 2021

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. today announce a geographically focused exclusive collaboration and license agreement to commercialize JR-141, a recombinant fusion protein under development of a next-generation antibody against the human transferrin receptor and the enzyme iduronate- 2-sulfatase (IDS), used to treat Hunter's disease (also called mucopolysaccharidosis type II or MPS II). Hunter's disease is caused by the lack of IDS and manifests itself in different forms. Administered with J-Brain Cargo®, JCR's proprietary blood-brain barrier (BBB) ​​technology, the JR-141 was designed to deliver the therapeutic enzyme across the blood-brain barrier directly to the brain and somatic and address neuronopathic manifestations of the disease, Under the exclusive collaboration and license agreement, Takeda will exclusively market the JR-141 outside of the United States, including Canada, Europe, and other regions (excluding Japan and certain other Asia Pacific countries). JCR will receive an upfront payment for the ex-US license and is eligible to receive additional development measures and commercial milestones as well as multi-tier royalties on potential product sales. Both companies will work together to provide this form of therapy to patients as soon as possible after the completion of the global Phase III program run by JCR. Takeda has an option under a separate option agreement that allows Takeda to acquire an exclusive license to commercialize JR-141 in the United States upon completion of the Phase III program. Takeda is committed to continuously improving the therapy it offers to treat Hunter's disease. JR-141 introduces a new way of delivering proteins by crossing the blood-brain barrier. This will overcome our current challenges in treating the underlying neuronopathic manifestations of Hunter's disease and help maintain or improve cognitive function in these patients, We will work closely with JCR to apply our expertise in enzyme replacement therapies with the hope of delivering this potentially transformative form of therapy to patients as soon as possible. - Dan Curran, MD, Head, Rare Genetics & Hematology Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda. JR-141 met its primary endpoint in an open-label Phase II / III study in Japanand was able to show a significant reduction in heparan sulfate (HS) concentrations in the CSF. HS is a biomarker for assessing the effectiveness of the drug in reducing the disease-causing substrate in the central nervous system. This proof could be provided in all patients for whom measurements were available after 52 weeks of treatment. Somatic disease control was retained in patients switched from standard enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). The study also showed an improvement in somatic symptoms in participants who had not received standard ERT prior to the start of the study. In addition, an assessment of neurocognitive development in 21 of 25 patients at one year showed the maintenance or improvement of age-appropriate function.1 About JR-141 JR-141 is a recombinant fusion protein of an antibody against the human transferrin receptor and the enzyme iduronate-2-sulfatase. This enzyme is absent or defective in patients with Hunter's disease. It is expected to be effective against neuronopathic manifestations of the disease by crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB) ​​through transferrin receptor-mediated transcytosis using J-Brain Cargo®, JCR's proprietary BBB technology. Uptake into the cells is mediated by the transferrin receptor and the mannose-6-phosphate receptor. JCR has driven development activities by allowing the company to maintain the necessary evidence from the molecular design phase through to the non-clinical and clinical study phases. In addition, JCR has confirmed that using J-Brain Cargo® technology, enzymes are absorbed into different brain tissues. A decrease in substrate accumulation could also be confirmed in an animal model of Hunter's disease. 2,3,4 In several clinical studies with JR-141, JCR was able to show a reduction in CSF heparan sulfate concentrations. This is a biomarker for assessing the effectiveness of drugs by reducing the disease-causing substrate in the central nervous system. This is done in accordance with the results obtained in non-clinical studies. JCR also produced clinical results that could show the positive effects of JR-141 on neurocognition. 5,6,7,8 JR-141 is approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs and has been marketed under the brand name "IZCARGO® IV Infusion 10mg" since May 2021. About Hunter's Disease Hunter's disease is a severely debilitating, rare lysosomal disease caused by insufficient activity of the enzyme iduronate-2-sulfatase. This enzyme has the task of breaking down substances known as glycosaminoglycans (GAG) in the body. 9 The absence of this enzyme (GAG) can trigger a number of symptoms. 9,10 Around two in three people with Hunter's disease also experience progressive loss of cognitive function. 11 Hunter's disease affects 1 in 162,000 live births and almost exclusively male patients. 12th About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, values-based, leading group with a focus on research and development in the biopharmaceutical sector headquartered in Japan. His pursuit of life-changing treatments is shaped by his dedication to patients, people, and the planet. Takeda's research and development efforts focus on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Genetic Diseases and Hematology, Neuroscience and Gastroenterology (GI). We also invest parts of our research and development budget specifically in therapies with plasma derivatives and vaccines. We focus on developing highly innovative drugs that help improve people's quality of life. To this end, we are opening up new treatment options and using our improved, synergistic research area and our combined skills to create a robust pipeline based on different modalities. Our employees are committed to improving the quality of life for patients and work with our healthcare partners in around 80 countries and regions. About JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. is a global specialty pharmaceutical company that is redefining expectations and expanding opportunities for those with rare hereditary diseases around the world. We continue to build on our 46 year tradition in Japan as we expand our presence in the United States, Europe and Latin America. We improve the lives of patients by applying our scientific expertise and unique technologies to research, develop and deliver next generation therapies. Our approved products in Japan include therapies for the treatment of stunted growth, Fabry disease, acute graft versus host disease and renal anemia. Our test products, which are being developed around the world, aim, among other things, at the treatment of rare diseases, including MPS I (Hurler's disease, Hurler-Scheie and Scheie syndrome), MPS II (Hunter's disease) and Pompe disease. JCR strives to expand the possibilities for patients as the company accelerates medical advancement on a global basis. Our core values ​​- reliability, trust and perseverance - benefit all those involved, including employees, partners and patients. Together we can reach greater heights. For more information, see Our core values ​​- reliability, trust and perseverance - benefit all those involved, including employees, partners and patients. Together we can reach greater heights. For more information, see Our core values ​​- reliability, trust and perseverance - benefit all those involved, including employees, partners and patients. Together we reach greater heights.

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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. Xencor demonstrated through early-stage clinical studies that obexelimab effectively inhibits B-cell function without depleting the cells and generates an encouraging treatment effect in patients with multiple autoimmune diseases. “Zenas is advancing a broad pipeline of differentiated drug candidates that are intended to bring best-in-class innovation to patients with underserved medical needs. 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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PHARMACY MARKET

Crosscope Inc Allies with Waleed Pharmacy for Pathology Solutions in Oman

Crosscope Inc. | April 11, 2022

Crosscope Inc. teams up with Waleed Pharmacy & Stores LLC. The latter focuses on fetching healthcare, hospital, and pharmaceutical solutions to the Sultanate of Oman, whereas Crosscope provides AI-enabled digital pathology software. Both have signed Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate a makeover in the Histopathology arena that uses Crosscope’s AI-enabled digital pathology platform. Moreover, both aim to bring pioneering technical solutions to Oman that allows commercial use that will reduce the country's cancer load, which is one of the chief health concern around the world. Oman is facing severity in terms of Cancer spread, as per World Health Organization. Crosscope Dx comes with an integrated workflow that works on the platform of vendor-agnostic digital pathology, which comes with comprehensive solutions for digital pathology. Moreover, Crosscope presents features such as advanced workflow, cohesive and easy to follow workflow solutions and open and scalable architecture designed for pathologists to decrease their workload, lessen the reversal time, guarantee quicker diagnosis, and a reduced outbreak of the disease in the region. Because of this partnership, Waleed Pharmacy will be Crosscope's official representative in Oman. Both firms plan to provide cancer diagnosis service providers with state-of-the-art comprehensive Digital Pathology Platforms, AI, and ML capabilities. They'll also look into all available options for collaboration, collaborating and using each other's knowledge, network, and know-how to improve the region's cancer diagnostics environment. "We are delighted to join forces with the Waleed Pharmacy group. Waleed Pharmacy's experienced team has a proven track record of delivering and deploying healthcare IT solutions in the Oman region and represents a perfect partner for Crosscope. By teaming up, we are confident that we have created the synergies to boost the development and commercialization of our digital pathology workflows," Dr. Jayendra Shinde, CEO of Crosscope Crosscope may collaborate with the region's most respected key opinion leaders in prestigious hospitals, clinical institutions, diagnostic chains, R&D labs, research organizations, pharma companies, and other organizations in the related space where the company's products provide clinical value to users.

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