Athira Pharma, Inc. | October 18, 2022
Athira Pharma, Inc. a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced that following an unblinded interim efficacy and futility analysis, an independent data monitoring committee recommended continuation of the LIFT-AD study of fosgonimeton in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The committee also determined that, with the additional enrollment of fewer than 150 patients for a total enrollment of less than 300 patients without background therapy the study will be well powered for the primary endpoint given the preliminary effect size observed. The primary endpoint of LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition and function.
Results from the completed exploratory ACT-AD Phase 2 study showed a favorable safety profile and suggested positive effects on measures of cognition function and neurodegeneration in patients taking fosgonimeton without background therapy. Guided by these results, the Company proactively amended LIFT-AD to focus on patients not on background therapy. The unblinded interim analysis was then conducted in approximately 100 patients not on background therapy to corroborate observations from ACT-AD and ensure LIFT-AD is well powered to determine the effect of fosgonimeton on clinically meaningful and commercially relevant endpoints.
“The results from the data monitoring committee’s unblinded analysis give us confidence in a potentially positive outcome for LIFT-AD, as stringent evaluation criteria were applied based on validated and clinically meaningful cognitive and functional outcomes. This analysis supports the potential clinical benefits of fosgonimeton treatment and underscores the rationale for continued development of this promising new therapy.”
Hans Moebius, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Athira
“We are very excited by the results of this independent review as we believe they mitigate the risk of the fosgonimeton development plan, support the potential clinical benefit of fosgonimeton and inform the sample size needed to achieve success with LIFT-AD,” said Mark Litton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Athira. “We are now targeting to complete enrollment in mid-2023 and report topline data in early 2024. Importantly, we have a strong balance sheet to execute our plans through key data readouts and beyond. Moving forward, we remain keenly focused on advancing this novel investigational therapy with the hope of positively impacting the lives of millions of Alzheimer’s patients.
“Our goal with fosgonimeton is to demonstrate its ability to improve cognition and function and to ultimately provide neuroprotection. The ACT-AD study suggested these benefits, and the results of the LIFT-AD interim analysis corroborate those findings,” added Dr. Litton. “We believe any drug that can demonstrate neuroprotection could become a treatment of choice for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients.”
About the LIFT-AD Clinical Study
LIFT-AD is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of fosgonimeton for patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Patients are randomized across two dose groups and one placebo group on a 1:1:1 basis to receive a subcutaneous injection of fosgonimeton or placebo once daily over a treatment course of 26 weeks. The primary endpoint for LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale and function. Additional information on the LIFT-AD study can be found at: NCT04488419.
Fosgonimeton is a small molecule designed to enhance the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET, to impact neurodegeneration and regenerate brain tissue. The function of the HGF/MET receptor system may be impaired in the brain under conditions of neurodegeneration. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, fosgonimeton has the potential to address the broader dementia population, including Parkinson’s disease dementia and Dementia with Lewy bodies, as the mode of action focuses on network recovery and synaptic signal transmission in the brain.
The ACT-AD trial was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01AG06268. The information presented in this press release is solely the responsibility of Athira and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About Athira Pharma, Inc.
Athira Pharma, Inc., headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration. Athira aims to provide rapid cognitive improvement and alter the course of neurological diseases with its novel mechanism of action. Athira is currently advancing its pipeline of therapeutic candidates targeting the HGF/MET neurotrophic system for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies and neuropsychiatric indications.
Aptar Pharma and Fluidda | September 23, 2022
Nanopharm, an Aptar Pharma company and leader in contract research and development services for orally inhaled and nasal drug products announced an exclusive collaboration with Fluidda, a leader in the field of Functional Respiratory Imaging. The companies will leverage their respective proprietary technology platforms to help accelerate U.S. Food & Drug Administration approvals for orally inhaled generic products via the alternative bioequivalence pathway. Nanopharm was acquired by Aptar in 2019, as part of the company’s strategy to expand its services offerings and partner with pharmaceutical companies earlier in the drug development process.
Nanopharm has pioneered the development of the alternative bioequivalence regulatory pathway for U.S. FDA approval of generic OIDPs for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease using its proprietary in vitro and in silico service platform, SmartTrack™. Fluidda’s proprietary in silico platform FRI delivers quantitative predictions of regional drug deposition in disease state lungs using Computational Fluid Dynamics. The FRI platform provides critical information to help understand the availability and activity of the drug at the site of action in the lungs, when complemented by Nanopharm’s local lung physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model platform and its in vitro data.
This novel approach is intended to allow pharma companies to file Abbreviated New Drug Application dossiers without the need to perform time-consuming, costly and often unpredictable clinical end-point studies. Similarly, it can support 505(b)(2) filings, by derisking and abbreviating clinical studies.
“We are pleased to solidify our relationship with Fluidda and its world-leading FRI technology. A company would have to spend several years to achieve the current combined expertise and experience of Nanopharm and Fluidda. The collaboration between Nanopharm and Fluidda has the potential to revolutionize this arduous regulatory pathway,”
Dr. Jag Shur, Vice President, Science & Technology at Nanopharm
Having already worked together closely for a number of years, Nanopharm and Fluidda have gained a unique insight into the complex and continually evolving regulatory requirements. This exclusive collaboration deepens the relationship between Fluidda and Nanopharm, benefiting both patients and customers with an uncompromised and holistic approach in developing the scientific rationale to demonstrate bioequivalence using only in vitro and in silico methodologies. The first potential approval of an OIDP using the alternative bioequivalence approach is pending, and, when approved, will further validate Nanopharm’s SmartTrack™ as the go-to solution for alternative bioequivalence studies and should accelerate demand for the companies’ collective services.
With momentum building for the transition to new lower global warming potential (GWP) propellants for pMDIs, SmartTrack™ will also help companies to understand and modulate the impact of these new propellants on drug deposition and dissolution in the lungs, giving confidence in the performance of the reformulated product before embarking on any necessary clinical studies.
Dr. Jan de Backer, CEO of Fluidda, stated, “Fluidda has already demonstrated the applicability of its FRI platform to provide more objective data for evaluating and administering inhaled drug products accurately. Nanopharm’s unique SmartTrack™ platform provides us with clinically-relevant input data without having to actually go into the clinic, which really adds another level of confidence to the models, and provides an integrated perspective.”
Guillaume Brouet, Vice President, Analytical, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs at Aptar Pharma, commented, “Aptar Pharma is delighted to collaborate with Fluidda on this important development, which reinforces our mission to help customers derisk and accelerate their drug product development programs.”
Aptar Pharma is part of AptarGroup, Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacturing of a broad range of drug delivery, consumer product dispensing and active material science solutions and services. Aptar’s innovative solutions and services serve a variety of end markets including pharmaceutical, beauty, personal care, home care, food and beverage. Aptar Pharma’s analytical, laboratory and regulatory services add value at every stage of the drug development process, accelerating and de-risking the program along the way. Nanopharm, an Aptar Pharma company, is a leading provider of specialized analytical and product development services, with a focus on orally inhaled and nasal drug products. Aptar is headquartered in Crystal Lake, Illinois and has 13,000 dedicated employees in 20 countries.
FLUIDDA, founded in 2005, is the world leader in the field of Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI). This technique combines HRCT scans and Computational Fluid Dynamics technology (CFD), which offers vast improvements by making clinical trials shorter, faster and thus, more cost effective. FRI also helps patients and healthcare providers in offering a unique entry point in personalized medicine, by optimizing diagnosis, monitoring disease progression and the effects of therapy including accurate assessment of the deposition of inhalation medication. Fluidda’s mission is to optimize treatment pathways, reduce healthcare costs and to limit the go-to-market time of respiratory drugs, pulmonology medical devices and therapies. Fluidda has offices in Belgium, the United States and Portugal.
Pfizer and Biohaven Pharmaceuticals | October 04, 2022
Pfizer Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd., the maker of NURTEC® ODT an innovative migraine therapy approved for both acute treatment and prevention of episodic migraine in adults.
The acquisition brings to Pfizer a portfolio of promising calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonists including
Approved in the United States under the trade name NURTEC® ODT, in adults for both the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura and the preventive treatment of episodic migraine
Approved in the European Union under the trade name VYDURA® for both the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura in adults and the preventive treatment of episodic migraine in adults who have at least 4 migraine attacks per month
New Drug Application for intranasal spray for the acute treatment of migraine under U.S. Food and Drug Administration review, with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date in 1Q 2023
"We are proud to build on Pfizer’s legacy of delivering breakthrough medicines for patients living with complex pain disorders. The success of NURTEC® ODT coupled with Biohaven’s CGRP pipeline will strengthen Pfizer’s innovative Internal Medicine pipeline through 2030, and beyond. Combined with Pfizer’s global reach, this acquisition increases our potential to bring new treatment options to patients with migraine – a disease which affects over 1 billion people worldwide.
Aamir Malik, Executive Vice President, Chief Business Innovation Officer, Pfizer
Pfizer acquired all of the outstanding shares of Biohaven not already owned by Pfizer for $148.50 per share in cash, for a total transaction consideration of approximately $11.6 billion. As a result of the acquisition, Biohaven became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer.
Effective immediately prior to the closing of the acquisition, Biohaven completed the spin-off of Biohaven Ltd. distributing Biohaven Ltd.’s shares to Biohaven’s shareholders. Biohaven Ltd., a new company that retained Biohaven’s non-CGRP development stage pipeline compounds, holds the Kv7 ion channel activators, glutamate modulation, and myostatin inhibition platforms, preclinical product candidates, and certain corporate infrastructure assets excluded from the Pfizer acquisition. Pfizer, a Biohaven shareholder, received a pro rata portion of Biohaven Ltd.’s shares in the distribution and owns approximately 3% of Biohaven Ltd. Biohaven Ltd. will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “BHVN”.
Worldwide, more than one billion people suffer from migraine, which predominately affects women.i Findings from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease study indicate that migraine is one of the worlds leading causes of disability.ii Migraine is characterized by debilitating attacks lasting four to 72 hours with multiple symptoms, including pulsating headaches of moderate to severe pain intensity that can be associated with nausea or vomiting, and/or sensitivity to sound and sensitivity to light.
Rimegepant targets a key component of migraine by reversibly blocking CGRP receptors, thereby inhibiting the biologic cascade that results in a migraine attack. Rimegepant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the trade name Nurtec® ODT for the acute treatment of migraine in adults in February 2020 and for the preventive treatment of episodic migraine in adults in May 2021. Nurtec® ODT is taken orally as needed, up to once daily for acute treatment, and every other day for preventive treatment. The maximum dose in a 24 hour period is 75 mg.
Zavegepant is a third generation, high affinity, selective and structurally unique, small molecule CGRP receptor antagonist from the NOJECTION® Migraine Platform and the only CGRP receptor antagonist in clinical development with both intranasal and oral formulations. The FDA has accepted for review a New Drug Application (NDA) for zavegepant nasal spray, with a PDUFA date in 1Q 2023.
About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients’ Lives
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.