Coronavirus tracker: Gilead's remdesivir; White House's vaccine project; Pfizer, BioNTech's vaccine progress; AstraZeneca's pipeline

Fiercepharma | April 29, 2020

As headlines multiplied and analysts began sussing out Gilead Sciences' first controlled trial readout on remdesivir, NIAID director Anthony Fauci hailed the drug as real progress against the virus. Meanwhile, word emerged that the Trump administration is working up a Manhattan Project style vaccine initiative, bringing biotech, pharma and federal agencies together to speed up the work—and let the U.S. government take on the financial risks. Plus, Pfizer and BioNTech said they've dosed the first cohort in their COVID-19 vaccine trial, setting the shot well on its way to conducting full human trials in the coming months. And AstraZeneca is pooh-poohing the novel coronavirus' effect on clinical trials, saying its late-stage pipeline can weather any pandemic effects.  As of Wednesday, the number of global confirmed cases had passed 3.17 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, and more than 224,000 people had died.

Spotlight

We take a look at the challenges and promise of the study of rare and orphan diseases in this infographic, “Giving a Voice to Rare Disease..

Spotlight

We take a look at the challenges and promise of the study of rare and orphan diseases in this infographic, “Giving a Voice to Rare Disease..

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PHARMACY MARKET

Alnylam Announces FDA Approval of Supplemental New Drug Application for OXLUMO® (lumasiran) in Advanced Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | October 07, 2022

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. the leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a label expansion for OXLUMO® an RNAi therapeutic administered via subcutaneous injection, now indicated for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria type 1 to lower urinary oxalate and plasma oxalate levels in pediatric and adult patients. The approval is based on positive efficacy and safety results of the ILLUMINATE-C Phase 3 study of OXLUMO in patients with severe renal impairment, including those on hemodialysis. PH1 is an ultra-rare genetic disease characterized by oxalate overproduction in the liver. The excess production of oxalate results in the deposition of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys and urinary tract and can lead to the formation of painful and recurrent kidney stones and nephrocalcinosis, which can progress to kidney failure. PH1 can also lead to oxalate deposition in multiple organs beyond the kidney, a condition known as systemic oxalosis. The label expansion for OXLUMO is based on positive six-month results from ILLUMINATE-C, where treatment with lumasiran resulted in a substantial reduction in POx from baseline to Month Six in both dialysis-independent and -dependent patients. Patients in both cohorts had a reduction in POx as early as Month One. In Cohort A treatment with OXLUMO led to a 33% least squares (LS) mean reduction in POx from baseline to Month Sixand in Cohort B, treatment with OXLUMO led to a 42% LS mean reduction in POx from baseline to Month Six. OXLUMO demonstrated an encouraging safety and tolerability profile with no deaths or drug-related serious adverse events among enrolled patients. There were two treatment discontinuations due to adverse events in the extension period of the study, neither of which was drug related. The most common AE related to lumasiran was injection-site reaction reported in five of 21 patients which were all mild and transient. “The significance of the label expansion of OXLUMO cannot be overstated, as this milestone provides crucial reassurance among a patient population with the highest unmet need, as well as their caregivers and loved ones, that OXLUMO is available in the US for patients living with PH1, including those with advanced disease. We are grateful to Alnylam for their continued commitment to the PH1 community and for ensuring that all patients — no matter how severe their disease — have the same opportunity to potentially benefit from OXLUMO treatment.” Kim Hollander, Executive Director of the Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation In November of 2020, OXLUMO was approved by the FDA for the treatment of PH1 to lower UOx levels in pediatric and adult patients. It was also approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of PH1 in all age groups. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the EMA delivered a positive opinion recommending variation to the marketing authorization of OXLUMO based on ILLUMINATE-C data from patients with advanced PH1 in September 2022. Lumasiran is also being evaluated in a global Phase 2 study as an investigational treatment in patients with recurrent kidney stone disease and elevated UOx levels. About OXLUMO OXLUMO® is an RNAi therapeutic targeting hydroxyacid oxidase 1. HAO1 encodes glycolate oxidase. Thus, by silencing HAO1 and depleting the GO enzyme, OXLUMO inhibits production of oxalate – the metabolite that directly contributes to the pathophysiology of PH1. OXLUMO utilizes Alnylam’s Enhanced Stabilization Chemistry GalNAc-conjugate technology, which enables subcutaneous dosing with increased potency and durability and a wide therapeutic index. OXLUMO has received regulatory approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of primary hyperoxaluria type 1 to lower urinary and plasma oxalate levels in pediatric and adult patients and from the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of PH1 in all age groups. In the pivotal ILLUMINATE-A study, OXLUMO was shown to significantly reduce levels of urinary oxalate relative to placebo, with the majority of patients reaching normal or near-normal levels. In the ILLUMINATE-B pediatric Phase 3 study, OXLUMO demonstrated an efficacy and safety profile consistent to that observed in ILLUMINATE-A. In the ILLUMINATE-C study, OXLUMO resulted in substantial reductions in plasma oxalate in patients with advanced PH1. Across all three studies, injection site reactions were the most common drug-related adverse reaction. OXLUMO is administered via subcutaneous injection once monthly for three months, then once quarterly beginning one month after the last loading dose at a dose based on actual body weight. For patients who weigh less than 10 kg, ongoing dosing remains monthly. About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Alnylam has led the translation of RNA interference into a whole new class of innovative medicines with the potential to transform the lives of people afflicted with rare and prevalent diseases with unmet need. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, RNAi therapeutics represent a powerful, clinically validated approach yielding transformative medicines. Since its founding 20 years ago, Alnylam has led the RNAi Revolution and continues to deliver on a bold vision to turn scientific possibility into reality. Alnylam’s commercial RNAi therapeutic products are ONPATTRO® GIVLAARI® OXLUMO® AMVUTTRA® and Leqvio® being developed and commercialized by Alnylam’s partner, Novartis. Alnylam has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including six product candidates that are in late-stage development. Alnylam is executing on its “Alnylam P5x25” strategy to deliver transformative medicines in both rare and common diseases benefiting patients around the world through sustainable innovation and exceptional financial performance, resulting in a leading biotech profile. Alnylam is headquartered in Cambridge, MA.

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PHARMA TECH

Patients With Serious Ophthalmologic Conditions Have Access to Phospholine Iodide®

AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy | September 28, 2022

AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy has received exclusive access to Phospholine Iodide® from Fera Pharmaceuticals. Phospholine Iodide is used to help reduce elevated intraocular pressure of glaucoma and for accommodative esotropia in children. "AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy is excited to be able to offer this invaluable therapeutic option to help correct these chronic and rare ophthalmologic conditions. These patients deserve access to this life-changing therapy that may actually preserve their vision. Our manufacturer partners know we offer resources to help patients stay on therapy and yield the best possible outcomes." Lisa Mymo, vice president, pharma and financial services at AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy As one of the nation's largest specialty and home delivery pharmacies, AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy has direct access to the majority of limited distribution drugs on the market. In addition to Phospholine Iodide, the following medications are also available through AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy: Camzyos manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb, treats adults with a rare heart condition known as symptomatic New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II-III obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy to improve functional capacity and symptoms. Vivjoa manufactured by Mycovia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., treats postmenopausal and permanently infertile women with recurrent vaginal yeast infections. About AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy provides hope and care for better tomorrows to patients with rare diseases and chronic conditions by delivering medications from its specialty and home delivery pharmacies. Our advanced analytical capabilities, pharmacy expertise and technology solutions enable providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and health plans to deliver optimal health outcomes. Through personalized care and clinical programs, along with access to the leading number of limited distribution drugs, patients can get back to what matters most. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the company holds several national pharmacy accreditations and has team members across the United States.

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PHARMA TECH

BIOCORP and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Sign a New Partnership for Smart Drug Delivery

BIOCORP and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany | October 11, 2022

BIOCORP a French company specialized in the design, development, and manufacturing of innovative medical devices, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science, and technology company, have entered into an agreement for the development and supply of a specific version of Mallya device as an accessory for one of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's drug delivery devices. Manufactured in Clermont-Ferrand Mallya is a Bluetooth enabled clip-on device for pen injectors that collects dose and time of each injection and transfers information in real time to a companion software. Mallya is the first in its category to receive the CE-mark and commercial versions for insulin pen injectors are already available and distributed in Europe and other geographies. Major agreements have already been signed by BIOCORP with Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to develop specific versions of the technology in the field of Insulin and Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Healthcare companies BIOCORP and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will develop a new version of Mallya to help patients monitor their injection during their treatment. The device will automatically keep track of doses injected with timestamp and indicate that the product is administered properly, aiming to support patients with self-injections and to provide reassurance to patients. Financial details of the partnership include payments from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, up to 5 million € for the development of the product within the first three years of the collaboration. Additional revenues are estimated to reach up to 8 million € during the first 5 years after launch depending on commercial milestones and adoption of Mallya devices by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany patients with further upside potential in the subsequent years. "We are delighted with this new partnership with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, extending our collaboration to additional therapeutic areas. We had already announced that there is a great opportunity for our connected device Mallya in various therapeutic areas. As in diabetes, Mallya aims to reduce patients' stress and improve compliance with their treatments to optimize and secure the results “, Éric Dessertenne, CEO of BIOCORP ABOUT BIOCORP Recognized for its expertise in the development and manufacture of medical devices and delivery systems, BIOCORP has today acquired a leading position in the connected medical device market thanks to Mallya. This smart sensor for insulin injection pens allows reliable monitoring of injected doses and thus offers better compliance in the treatment of patients with diabetes. Available for sale from 2020, Mallya spearheads BIOCORP's product portfolio of innovative connected solutions. The company has 74 employees. BIOCORP is listed on Euronext since July 2015.

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