BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Cyclenium Pharma and Vuja De Sciences Announce Oncology Drug Discovery Collaboration

Cyclenium Pharma | January 06, 2022

Cyclenium Pharma, Inc. an emerging pharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of novel therapeutic agents based on their proprietary macrocyclic chemistry, and Vuja De Sciences, Inc. a biotechnology startup dedicated to discovering therapies that target the unique vulnerability of undetected disseminated tumor cells before they can cause deadly metastatic cancer recurrence, have announced today the signing of a drug discovery collaboration agreement. The companies will screen and optimize lead candidates to advance treatments uniquely suited for preventing cancer metastatic recurrence, the biggest unmet need in oncology.

The collaboration will exploit Vuja De’s proprietary anti-metastatic progression in vitro and ex vivo drug discovery screening platform and Cyclenium’s proprietary QUEST™ Library of next generation synthetic small-molecule macrocycles and associated optimization expertise to identify clinical candidates effective against dormant disseminated tumor cells for the prevention of metastatic cancer recurrence. Vuja De will be responsible for all screening efforts, while Cyclenium will be responsible for all medicinal chemistry efforts to generate new optimized macrocyclic compounds by employing its unique CMRT™ Technology.

We are very excited about entering this collaboration with Vuja De. We are confident that our CMRT™ Technology and proven success in the macrocycle area combined with the innovative anti-metastatic progression platform and excellent research team at Vuja De will enable the discovery and development of novel macrocyclic therapeutic agents to effectively control metastatic progression.”

 Helmut Thomas, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Scientific Officer of Cyclenium

“We highly appreciate Cyclenium’s expertise in the macrocycle area and their technology platform that is based on over 20 years of pioneering experience in small molecule macrocyclic chemistry,” said David Warshawsky, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vuja De. “We are very pleased to work with Cyclenium on identifying and developing novel game-changing drug candidates that prevent metastatic recurrence, the most urgent need of most cancer patients,” he added.

About Cyclenium Pharma
Cyclenium Pharma is an emerging, privately held pharmaceutical research and development company exploiting its proprietary next generation CMRT™ macrocyclic drug discovery technology for the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutic agents to address areas of unsatisfied medical need. Cyclenium is creating value through progression of internal programs in oncology, infectious diseases and inflammation/pain. In addition, Cyclenium is providing its extensive experience and exploring its CMRT-based QUEST™ screening library in risk-sharing partnerships with leading academic and research driven non-profit organizations, as well as collaborations with innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies world-wide seeking to modulate unique and difficult disease targets in diverse therapeutic areas. 

About Vuja De Sciences
Vuja De is a biotechnology startup company dedicated to discovering and developing therapies that target the unique vulnerability of undetected disseminated tumor cells before they can cause deadly metastatic cancer recurrence. This vulnerability of DTCs stems from their dependence on a unique phenotype that includes stress adaptation, survival & dormancy, which we have coined “Metastatic Endurance”. ME enables DTCs to persist undetected at secondary sites like “ticking time-bombs” and eventually start to rapidly divide and form overt deadly tumors. We successfully created the first-ever cell-based and ex vivo drug screening platform that finds drugs that target ME. We are using the largely adolescent, orphan disease, osteosarcoma, as the best proof of concept model for developing anti metastatic progression drugs for many cancers such as breast, melanoma and kidney. We are testing repurposed drugs that have previously been in clinical trials, as well as novel preclinical drugs. 

About Osteosarcoma
Osteosarcoma is an aggressive cancer of the bone and is the most common type of bone cancer in children and teens. Since metastatic recurrence has shared biological mechanism in many other cancer types, therapies that show promise in osteosarcoma can be developed in parallel for many other cancer types, such as breast, kidney and melanoma. Despite successful control of the primary osteosarcoma tumors and follow-up chemotherapy, metastasis continues to be the most common cause of mortality. The last 30 years have brought little improvement in survival outcomes for children with osteosarcoma, despite intensification of therapy. Due to lack of improved outcomes, new approaches to therapy are highly needed. Furthermore, if targeted therapeutics are found to prevent metastasis in this cancer, a strong biological rationale would exist for the evaluation of such a therapy in other human cancers.

Spotlight

Macroeconomic pressures have hit the R&D returns of life sciences firms, according to new Deloitte research. The sixth annual pharmaceutical innovation study looks at the challenges the industry faces in generating returns from its R&D investments, while highlighting lessons that can be learned.

Spotlight

Macroeconomic pressures have hit the R&D returns of life sciences firms, according to new Deloitte research. The sixth annual pharmaceutical innovation study looks at the challenges the industry faces in generating returns from its R&D investments, while highlighting lessons that can be learned.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Pfizer Completes Acquisition of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals

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 Rimegepant 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 Zavegepant 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”. About Migraine 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. About Rimegepant 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. About Zavegepant 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.

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NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co. Ltd. Announce Strategic Collaboration

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 16, 2022

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co., Ltd. announced that they have entered into a conditional exclusive license agreement for NeuroBo to develop and commercialize DA-1241 and DA-1726, which are currently being evaluated for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis obesity and type 2 diabetes. DA-1241 is a novel G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 119 agonist, which promotes the release of key gut peptides GLP-1, GIP and PYY, which, in turn, play an important role in glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism and weight loss. DA-1241 is a synthetic, selective small molecule, suitable for oral administration and has been shown to be well tolerated in phase 1 studies. Further, its multimodal mechanism appears to induce strong anti-NASH effects, supported by potential best-in-class efficacy, as demonstrated in pre-clinical studies. DA-1726 is a novel oxyntomodulin analogue functioning as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor and glucagon receptor dual agonist. OXM is a naturally-occurring, 37-amino acid peptide hormone that is released from the gut after ingestion of a meal, activating both the GLP-1 and glucagon receptors, prompting reduced food intake as well as an increase in energy expenditure, potentially resulting in superior body weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 receptor agonists. The beneficial effects of this dual mechanism of DA-1726 on weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 activity has been demonstrated in animal models. Additionally, DA-1726 has shown the ability to improve hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis when compared to the GLP-1 agonist, semaglutide in these same models. Under the license agreement, NeuroBo will be responsible for global development, regulatory and commercial activities other than for certain Asian-Pacific geographies. Dong-A will manufacture clinical supplies and initial commercial supplies of the product at its manufacturing facility in Korea. "The acquisition of these two cardiometabolic assets marks a seismic shift for NeuroBo, providing us with a highly promising, diversified pipeline with several upcoming value inflection points in the NASH and obesity space -- areas with enormous market opportunity," stated Gil Price, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NeuroBo. "Through this agreement, Dong-A, one of our largest shareholders, has reaffirmed its commitment to remain a long-term strategic partner of NeuroBo. Dong-A is dedicated to our success and we are grateful it has also committed to provide continued support to facilitate the clinical development of the licensed assets. Once the transaction has closed, which is contingent upon certain closing conditions, we will be uniquely positioned to initiate a phase 2a study of DA-1241 in NASH in the first half of 2023, with data expected in the second half of 2024. We also intend to initiate a phase 1a safety study of DA-1726 in the first half of 2023, for which data is expected in the second half of 2023. We are truly excited about the prospects of NeuroBo as we transition to a cardiometabolic company across the large and growing markets of obesity and NASH." "We are highly enthusiastic about this opportunity to accelerate development of our novel treatments in partnership with NeuroBo. Dong-A plans to continue to strengthen its R&D capability and to seek additional collaboration opportunities to establish ourselves in the US market", Min Young Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Dong-A About the Proposed Licensing Transaction Under the terms of the license agreement, Dong-A will receive an upfront payment of $22 million in Series A convertible preferred stock, which will automatically convert into common stock upon receipt of requisite stockholder approval, and will be eligible to receive commercial- and regulatory-based milestone payments, dependent upon the achievement of specific regulatory and commercial developments. Dong-A will also be entitled to single digit royalties on net sales of the two assets. Dong-A has also agreed to commit $15,000,000 toward financing the assets, subject to NeuroBo's ability to obtain additional financing under the terms of the license agreement. The license agreement has been approved by the board of directors of NeuroBo. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to obtaining third party financing for development of the assets and other customary closing conditions. About NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company historically focused on therapies for neurodegenerative, infectious, and, upon closing of the license agreement, cardiometabolic diseases. Its therapeutics programs currently include ANA001, an oral niclosamide formulation, which is in Phase 2/3 clinical trials to treat patients with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19); NB-01 for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy; NB-02 for the treatment of symptoms of cognitive impairment and to modify the progression of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the malfunction of tau protein; and gemcabene currently being assessed as an acute treatment for COVID-19 in combination with ANA001. NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. About Dong-A Dong-A ST Co. is a leading healthcare company in South Korea with a business focus on developing, manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical products and medical devices worldwide. Dong-A has successfully developed and marketed several products globally and continues to develop prospective clinical candidates. Dong-A also provides licensed-in and licensed-out drugs, and medical devices, including high-technology medical devices, custom-made products, and sets of artificial cardiac circuits for use in open-heart surgery. Dong-A has over 5,500 employees including 2,300 in the pharmaceutical sector. Dong-A was founded in 1932 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

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Glaukos Announces More Than 1 Million iStent® Technologies Implanted Worldwide

Glaukos | September 12, 2022

Glaukos Corporation an ophthalmic medical technology and pharmaceutical company focused on novel therapies for the treatment of glaucoma, corneal disorders and retinal diseases announced a significant milestone as its iStent® family of technologies have now been implanted in more than one million procedures worldwide. This market-leading milestone is a testament to the decades of investment from Glaukos as the corporate founder and pioneer of the now well-established micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) marketplace. “One million iStents implanted is a tremendous accomplishment and I’m grateful to Glaukos for their continued dedication, investment and pioneering spirit to advance the development of innovative glaucoma technologies designed to improve the treatment paradigm for the benefit of patients worldwide,” said Ike Ahmed MD, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at John A. Moran Eye Center in Utah, United States and Chief Innovation Officer at Prism Eye Institute in Toronto, Canada. “As one of the early adopters, I have experienced first-hand how iStent, as the first MIGS device, and subsequent generations have fundamentally revolutionized the way we think and treat glaucoma over the last decade. Today, the disease state is more manageable, and we are intervening earlier with micro-invasive surgical options. It’s been an incredible journey thus far and I’m excited to see what the future holds for our glaucoma patients.” “iStent technologies have allowed me to change the way I treat my patients for the better. Before the introduction of iStent and MIGS, we were limited to eye drops, which we know to be problematic for patients, or invasive surgery that carried more risk than needed for mild-to-moderate glaucoma. iStent filled that gap between eye drops and invasive surgery. In my practice today, iStent inject W is my most commonly used surgical option for glaucoma patients undergoing cataract surgery. We now have patient data out past 9 years in my practice showing the iStent is still effective and safe at lowering IOP and reducing medications. I’m eagerly anticipating the exciting future innovations from Glaukos.” John Berdahl, MD, Vance Thompson Vision, South Dakota “I am proud of this tremendous achievement for our company and the MIGS marketplace, reflecting decades of investment and successful advancement of our strategic vision to transform the treatment of chronic, debilitating eye diseases through development of novel, sustainable therapies,” said Thomas Burns, Glaukos chairman and chief executive officer. “I would like to recognize our customers and employees around the world who have poured countless hours into making this market-leading achievement a reality and am grateful for their continued support going forward as we strive to create transformative platform technologies designed to improve the standard-of-care and meet unmet patient needs.” Glaukos is proud to be the corporate pioneer and global market leader in MIGS, with its family of iStent technologies supported by more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, 20 plus years of clinical and commercial experience and more than one million iStent devices implanted worldwide since its inception. The company believes it offers the industry’s most comprehensive offering of minimally-invasive, tissue-sparing glaucoma solutions, supporting its goal to provide a full range of options to fit surgeons’ individual glaucoma treatment algorithms that offer the most favorable short- and long-term benefit-to-risk calculus at every stage of disease progression, from ocular hypertension through refractory disease, and in both combo-cataract and standalone procedures. Glaukos remains dedicated to innovation and bringing customers around the world best-in-class technologies to serve their patients, continuing to invest upwards of 30% of revenue back into R&D, including new product development. A significant number of clinical studies for both current and future products are ongoing, with additional studies commencing in the near future. About Glaukos Glaukos is an ophthalmic medical technology and pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel therapies for the treatment of glaucoma, corneal disorders and retinal diseases. Glaukos first developed Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery as an alternative to the traditional glaucoma treatment paradigm, launching its first MIGS device commercially in 2012, and continues to develop a portfolio of technologically distinct and leverageable platforms to support ongoing pharmaceutical and medical device innovations. Products or product candidates for each of these platforms are designed to advance the standard of care through better treatment options across the areas of glaucoma, corneal disorders and retinal diseases. About iStent inject W Trabecular Micro-Bypass System (U.S.) Indication for Use: The iStent inject W Trabecular Micro-Bypass System Model G2-W is indicated for use in conjunction with cataract surgery for the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) in adult patients with mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma.

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