PHARMA TECH

COUR Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Fast Track Designation for CNP-104 for the Treatment of Primary Biliary Cholangitis

COUR Pharmaceuticals | January 11, 2022

COUR Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company developing novel immune-modifying nanoparticles  to treat immune disorders, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track Designation to the Company's investigational therapy CNP-104 for the treatment of Primary Biliary Cholangitis. CNP-104 aims to reprogram the immune system to address autoimmune causes of PBC.

"We are pleased to have received Fast Track Designation for CNP-104, which demonstrates the FDA recognizes the importance of this potential treatment for PBC and the need for improved of clinical outcomes for patients with this degenerative autoimmune disease, which currently has no treatment to stop progression of disease. Based on data from another COUR autoimmune trial with a CNP platform product, our Phase 2 PBC trial is designed to show that we can stop progression of PBC disease with improved liver function.  If successful in Phase 2, COUR would seek breakthrough therapy designation in PBC given that current therapies treat only symptoms."

 COUR CEO John Puisis

Fast Track Designation is an FDA process designed to facilitate the development and review of potential therapies that seek to fill an unmet medical need. The FDA created this designation to help get new therapies to patients earlier. A therapy that receives this designation is eligible for more frequent communication with the FDA and may be eligible for Accelerated Approval and Priority review, if relevant criteria are met. 

The FDA accepted COUR's investigational new drug application for CNP-201 in October 2021 and COUR is currently opening the first human dosing in a proof-of-concept study for CNP-104 in early 2022 to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamics and efficacy of the therapy in PBC patients. CNP-104 uses COUR's proprietary nanoparticle platform, a novel system which combines disease specific pathogenic antigens with state-of-the-art pharmaceutical nanoparticles that mimic normal removal of dead or dying liver cells from the body.

In November 2021, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a GI-focused healthcare company entered into a collaboration and license option agreement with COUR for the development and commercialization of CNP-104.  This agreement gives Ironwood an option to acquire an exclusive license to develop and commercialize, in the U.S., COUR's investigational therapy CNP-104 for PBC.  

About COUR Pharmaceuticals
COUR Pharmaceuticals is developing first-in-class therapies designed to reprogram the immune system to achieve antigen-specific tolerance for immune-mediated disease. COUR's platform of immune-modifying nanoparticles is designed to treat the root cause of immune disease, unlike traditional approaches, which only minimize symptoms using toxic immune suppression. Data from clinical and preclinical settings demonstrate the opportunity for the COUR nanoparticle platform to address a wide range of immune and inflammatory conditions. The underlying technology was acquired from Northwestern University and draws from more than 30 years of research by the laboratory of Stephen D. Miller, Ph.D., the Judy E. Guggenheim Research Professor of Microbiology-Immunology.

Spotlight

This eBook takes readers through an example of discourse analysis of a patient community on Inspire.  In the process, author Kathryn Ticknor demonstrates how the language of patients is a different language from “medicalese,” the language of medicine.  Her insights are a first step in learning how to speak “patient.”

Spotlight

This eBook takes readers through an example of discourse analysis of a patient community on Inspire.  In the process, author Kathryn Ticknor demonstrates how the language of patients is a different language from “medicalese,” the language of medicine.  Her insights are a first step in learning how to speak “patient.”

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Secures $3.6 million through New Jersey Economic Development Program

Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | November 22, 2022

Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing first-in-class critical care products, today announced that the Company has been selected to participate in New Jersey's Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program, more commonly known as the Net Operating Loss Program, and will receive $3.6 million in non-dilutive capital through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Citius expects to receive the funds by late 2022 or early 2023. "This was the first year that Citius qualified for the program, and we are delighted to have been selected to participate in New Jersey's NOL Program. As a pre-revenue business, this program allows us to convert certain losses from operations into tangible working capital today, supporting our ongoing research and development efforts. We are thankful to the NJ Economic Development Authority for aiding our efforts in our initial year of participation. This non-dilutive funding will provide added cash runway as we advance a late-Phase 3 trial for Mino-Lok®, a Phase 2b trial for Halo-Lido, and a recently submitted biologics license application for I/ONTAK," Jaime Bartushak, Chief Financial Officer of Citius About the Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program The NOL Program enables participants to sell their New Jersey net operating losses and unused R&D tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations for cash. The NJEDA and the New Jersey Department of Treasury's Division of Taxation jointly administer the NOL Program, which has routinely been hailed as a "lifeline" by entrepreneurs seeking capital for their companies. The average award for companies approved to sell their net operating losses through the program in 2022 was over $3.1 million. Thirty-six percent of program applicants are private businesses, while the remaining 64 percent are publicly traded companies. To date, more than $1.17 billion in funding has been distributed to over 570 technology and life sciences companies since the program's inception in the late 1990s. About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority The New Jersey Economic Development Authority serves as the State's principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey's long-term economic competitiveness. About Citius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Citius is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development and commercialization of first-in-class critical care products, with a focus on oncology, anti-infectives in adjunct cancer care, unique prescription products, and stem cell therapies. The Company's diversified pipeline includes two late-stage product candidates, Mino-Lok®, an antibiotic lock solution for the treatment of patients with catheter-related bloodstream infections which is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 3 Pivotal superiority trial, and I/ONTAK a novel IL-2R immunotherapy for an initial indication in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma for which a BLA has been submitted. Mino-Lok® was granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. I/ONTAK has received orphan drug designation by the FDA for the treatment of CTCL and peripheral T-cell lymphoma. In the first half of 2022, Citius initiated a Phase 2b trial for Halo-Lido, a topical formulation for the relief of hemorrhoids.

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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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PHARMACY MARKET

Nephron and Sharps Announce Manufacturing and Research Partnership

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation | November 15, 2022

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Sharps Technology, Inc. announced a brand new partnership focused on developing and sharing best practices in innovative manufacturing, product development, customer support, and quality as Nephron prepares to launch the InjectEZ component of expansion. Sharps Technology is a medical device and pharmaceutical packaging company specializing in developing and manufacturing innovative drug delivery systems. Nephron Pharmaceuticals is known across the country to health systems and hospitals as a leader in the production of affordable generic inhalation solutions and suspension products, as well as pre-filled sterile syringes, luer-lock vials, IV bottles, and IV bags. InjectEZ is part of the Nephron investment of hundreds of millions of dollars of expansion in Lexington County, S.C., over the last two years. Lou Kennedy, Nephron CEO, knows that when launching an endeavor as ambitious as InjectEZ, partnerships are key. "We are excited to kick off a partnership with Sharps Technology, as our InjectEZ expansion project opens, for a variety of innovative initiatives, including research and development," said Kennedy. "Just as the InjectEZ syringe manufacturing facility is poised to play a critical role in assisting those with whom we work on tackling emerging public health crises, Sharps Technology also offers key solutions to healthcare challenges. We look forward to working with them." Sharps product lines have historically focused on low waste and ultra-low waste syringe technologies, which allow up to 40% more injections per vial of therapy while incorporating multiple passive safety features. These features protect front-line healthcare workers from life-threatening needle stick injuries and protect the public from needle re-use. The partnership with Nephron opens up opportunities for Sharps to expand its portfolio and make an impact on the specialized pre-fillable syringe and drug delivery systems market. "Sharps Technology has identified a unique opportunity to collaborate with a leader in the industry like Nephron. Through my previous industry experience supporting and working with most of the leading healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in the world, it was easy for me to evaluate Nephron Pharmaceuticals as a potential partner. They truly are a leader in all areas of business and an example of best in class for the industry. I appreciate and look forward to the opportunity to work with Bill and Lou Kennedy and their leadership team to make this collaboration a success for both companies." Robert Hayes, CEO of Sharps Technology Sharps Technology brings extensive expertise in syringes to Nephron, including experience with specialized pre-filled syringe systems and ready-to-use processing. The pre-filled syringe lines will utilize the highly automated equipment and controlled environments established by Nephron. These premium pre-filled polymer offerings will be made from the highest quality raw materials, on the most innovative technology, and will be compliant with the USP standards required in the United States as well as the EP and JP international standards. The products that will be developed and commercialized provide solutions to support the current Nephron fill/finish strategies as well as their pipeline of new drug applications and sets forward a strategy to support branded pharma and advanced therapies, including ophthalmic and biologic applications. Sharps Technology will also be partnering with Nephron Pharmaceuticals in the development of a Pharmaceuticals Services Program designed to support healthcare customers that need innovative solutions and products to support their business. The development of this program will help create new fill/finish project opportunities for Nephron that will utilize innovative packaging solutions developed by Sharps Technology. These new customer projects will fuel the growth of both companies, and the opportunity to create new technologies to support the healthcare industry will be transformative for Nephron and Sharps as they navigate a bright future working together.

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