Don't Cut Back on Asthma Meds During Pandemic, Expert Advises

Drugs | April 19, 2020

Despite increased demand for inhalers in some parts of the United States, Americans with asthma shouldn't ration their medications during the coronavirus pandemic, the American Lung Association says. Rescue inhalers are in short supply in some areas because hospitals are giving albuterol to COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms to help them breathe, the group explained. Albuterol is a quick-relief medication used to treat shortness of breath and wheezing in people with asthma and some other lung disorders. The American Lung Association advises patients with asthma not to ration medications," said the association's chief medical officer, Dr. Albert Rizzo. "If you are running low on a prescription, speak with your health care provider about your options so you can take your medication as prescribed.

Spotlight

Eric Jayjock, PhD, Director of Continuous Manufacturing, Patheon, briefly reviews the definition of Continuous Manufacturing, what products it is most well suited for and how this new innovative process is transforming drug development.

Spotlight

Eric Jayjock, PhD, Director of Continuous Manufacturing, Patheon, briefly reviews the definition of Continuous Manufacturing, what products it is most well suited for and how this new innovative process is transforming drug development.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Tris Pharma Announces Development of a Very Low Sodium and Once-Nightly Oxybate Formulation

Tris Pharma, Inc. | July 28, 2022

Tris Pharma, Inc. a fully integrated pharmaceutical company with a robust portfolio of CNS products announced that it has successfully developed an oxybate formulation for the treatment of cataplexy or excessive daytime sleepiness n patients 7 years of age and older with narcolepsy that has the potential to be significantly advantageous to existing approved therapies, such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals' blockbuster XYWAV® and XYREM® franchise. The Tris oxybate formulation is believed to provide an advantage over approved therapies by utilizing Tris's proprietary LiquiXR technology platform and our newly developed RaftWorks design to provide a unique oxybate formulation offering both once-nightly dosing, and very low sodium content. The Tris oxybate formulation is investigational and not yet approved by any regulatory agency. Both XYWAV® and XYREM® require twice a night dosing – once at bedtime and again 2.5 to 4 hours later for the second dose. Further, XYREM contains an express warning based on its high sodium content and associated risk to patients with heart failure, hypertension or impaired renal function. The Tris oxybate formulation seeks to improve on existing therapies by providing convenient once per night dosing, and significantly reduced sodium content such that it will contain less than 100 mg of sodium per 9.0 gm of maximum sodium oxybate equivalent dose. Based on the significant potential advantage the Tris oxybate formulation could provide over existing available therapies, Tris is pursuing an Orphan Drug Designation for its unique oxybate formulation. In a human clinical study, Tris established about 100% bioavailability for one dose of its formulation against two doses of XYREM at 4.5 gm each, equivalent to the 9.0 gm maximum dose of sodium oxybate. If approved, the Tris product will provide significant advantages in that patients will not have to wake up in the middle of the night to take a second dose and will have all the benefits of a very low sodium product. The Tris oxybate product achieved its clinical objectives by combining two distinct proprietary Tris technologies: the LiquiXR platform, and the newly developed RaftWorks design. Working together, these unique formulation platforms provide an interpenetrating network raft in-situ, in which sodium-free drug particles are entrapped in a raft that allows for extended release of the active ingredient. Many drugs, such as oxybate, are poorly absorbed because they have a narrow window of absorption within the human gastro-intestinal tract. The RaftWorks approach permits a slow and extended release of oxybate from a floating raft in-situ, thereby facilitating absorption of the active ingredient within the targeted area in the gastro-intestinal tract. Further, the raft disintegrates at a predetermined time due to the trigger mechanism that is built into the formulation. "This unique formulation design by Tris scientists potentially achieves drug delivery capabilities that have never previously been achieved within our industry. We are looking to build on this approach and develop extended-release formulations for other drugs that are limited by their narrow window of absorption." Ketan Mehta, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tris About Narcolepsy Narcolepsy, a chronic and disabling neurological disorder that affects the stability of sleep and wakefulness, is characterized primarily by excessive daytime sleepiness, with or without episodic loss of muscle tone usually triggered by strong emotions during wakefulness (cataplexy) 1-4. Additional symptoms can vary by person and may include disrupted nighttime sleep, and REM-sleep phenomena (sleep paralysis, hallucinations). The exact number of individuals with narcolepsy in the United States is unknown. Several studies have estimated the prevalence of narcolepsy in the United States to be approximately 1 (range: 0.6 to 1.6) in 2,000 people 2,4-6. There is currently no cure for narcolepsy; treatment of symptoms includes medications and lifestyle modifications 1. About Tris Pharma Tris is a fully integrated, innovation-driven CNS company that provides a differentiated approach to target unmet medical needs, including the application of novel technologies designed to enhance patient benefits across therapeutic categories. Tris's CNS portfolio includes treatments for pain; addiction; spasticity in multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy; narcolepsy; and ADHD.

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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

Silverback Therapeutics and ARS Pharmaceuticals Announce Merger

Silverback Therapeutics and ARS Pharmaceuticals | July 22, 2022

Silverback Therapeutics, Inc. and ARS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which ARS will merge with Silverback in an all-stock transaction. The combined company will focus on the potential regulatory approval and commercialization of neffy, ARS’s investigational epinephrine nasal spray for the treatment of Type I allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. The combined company is expected to have approximately $265M in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at closing. Upon stockholder approval, the combined company is expected to operate under the name ARS Pharmaceuticals and trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol “SPRY.” The merger is currently expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. Type I severe allergic reactions are serious and potentially life-threatening events that can occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen and require immediate treatment with epinephrine, the only FDA-approved medication for these reactions. While epinephrine autoinjectors have been shown to be highly effective, there are well published limitations that result in many patients and caregivers delaying or not administering treatment in an emergency situation. These limitations include fear of the needle, lack of portability, needle-related safety concerns, lack of reliability, and complexity of the devices. There are approximately 25 million people in the United States who experience Type I severe allergic reactions. Of those, only 3.3 million currently have an active epinephrine autoinjector prescription, and of those, only half consistently carry their prescribed autoinjector. Even if patients or caregivers carry an autoinjector, more than half either delay or do not administer the device when needed in an emergency. ARS designed neffy to provide injection-like absorption of epinephrine, in a small, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use, rapidly administered, and reliable nasal spray device. With its needle-free administration, neffy may help eliminate the anxiety and hesitation associated with using an autoinjector. “We are extremely pleased to announce this proposed merger with Silverback, which we believe enables ARS to maximize the paradigm-changing opportunity of neffy. neffy is on the cusp of achieving what has not been possible before – the ability to deliver epinephrine with comparable pharmacokinetics to an intramuscular injection, but with a simple to administer nasal spray. We have completed a comprehensive registration program with neffy and based on a favorable pre-NDA meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), we are preparing to submit our New Drug Application (“NDA”) in the third quarter of 2022. This merger positions ARS and our experienced team to execute on the potential launch of neffy in 2023 by providing the requisite capital needed for launch. ARS was founded with a mission of solving many of the issues that patients and caregivers express about their epinephrine autoinjectors. Today is an important step toward bringing this novel treatment to patients and caregivers to improve their treatment options for these serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.” Richard Lowenthal, M.Sc., MSEL, co-founder and chief executive officer of ARS Data across three registration studies supports that neffy should meet all clinical endpoints recommended by regulators and that its pharmacokinetics are within the range of approved efficacious epinephrine injection products. In addition, neffy has been well-tolerated to date with more than 500 individuals having received at least one dose, and many with repeat administration. The majority of adverse events in clinical trials were mild in nature and comparable to injection products. Based on the totality of data, ARS is preparing to submit its NDA for neffy for use in adults and pediatric patients who are 30 kg or greater in the third quarter of 2022. If approved, ARS is planning to launch neffy in the United States in 2023. “This transaction represents the result of a thorough and thoughtful strategic review process by Silverback,” said Laura Shawver, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Silverback. “ARS is an exciting late-stage company with compelling clinical data demonstrated with neffy, a path to near-term commercialization in a large and dissatisfied market, and an expert team with proven experience in launching and commercializing market-leading nasal spray products, such as NARCAN. I believe we have found the optimal partner to provide value for our stockholders, and even more so, the potential to transform treatment for millions of people with or at-risk for Type I severe allergic reactions.” About the Proposed Merger Under the terms of the merger agreement, assuming that Silverback’s net cash at closing is $240 million, Silverback equity holders are expected to own approximately 37% of the combined company and pre-merger ARS equity holders are expected to own approximately 63% of the combined company on a fully-diluted basis on a treasury stock method. The percentage of the combined company that Silverback’s equity holders will own as of the close of the transaction is subject to certain adjustments as described in the merger agreement, including the amount of Silverback’s net cash at closing. Upon closing of the transaction, Silverback will be renamed ARS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and will be headquartered in San Diego, California. Richard Lowenthal, M.S., MBA, will serve as chief executive officer and president of the combined company. The merger agreement provides that the Board of Directors of the combined company will be comprised of ten members, including seven from ARS and three from Silverback. The merger agreement has been approved by the Board of Directors of each company, and the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to approvals by the stockholders of each company and other customary closing conditions. About Silverback Therapeutics, Inc. Silverback Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on leveraging its proprietary ImmunoTAC technology platform to develop systemically delivered and tissue targeted therapeutics for the treatment of chronic viral infections, cancer, and other serious diseases. Silverback’s platform enables the strategic pairing of proprietary payloads that modulate key disease modifying pathways with monoclonal antibodies directed at specific disease sites. Silverback Therapeutics is located in Seattle, Washington.

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