Final NICE guidance issued for Akcea’s Tegsedi

pharmatimes | May 24, 2019

Akcea Therapeutics UK has announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a final guideline for its nerve damage drug, Tegsedi (inotersen).The Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) Guidance is for the treatment of stage I or II polyneuropathy in adult patients with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (hATTR).It follows the positive Final Evaluation Document (FED) published last month recommending that patients in England with this rare, inherited, severely debilitating and fatal disease, can access the treatment on the NHS.The drug is an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) inhibitor of human transthyretin (TTR) production, and is the first and only subcutaneous RNA-targeting drug designed to reduce the production of TTR protein.This HST Guidance is the final recommendation from NICE regarding how Tegsedi should be used in the NHS in England. Now that the final guidance has been published, the NHS mandate requires that the drug is available for routine use within 90 days for patients in England.The achievement is a “great milestone” for Tegsedi, says Dr. Richard A. Jones, SVP head of Europe for Akcea Therapeutics, and “marks the successful conclusion of this health technology assessment for inotersen.”He continued, “Patients in the UK with hATTR amyloidosis have to date had very limited treatment options to date, so this news will be well received among the amyloidosis community. Akcea are committed to advancing and making accessible transformative treatments for patients living with serious and rare diseases

Spotlight

The aim of this White Paper is to identify inequalities in government policies towards opioids that contribute to the inadequate treatment of pain. It calls for their replacement with policies that will support doctors and patients in their efforts to relieve pain.

Spotlight

The aim of this White Paper is to identify inequalities in government policies towards opioids that contribute to the inadequate treatment of pain. It calls for their replacement with policies that will support doctors and patients in their efforts to relieve pain.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Eyenovia's Novel Optejet® Dispenser Puts People's Eyes First

Eyenovia | September 06, 2022

Eyenovia, Inc. an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print therapeutics, brings human-centric design to ophthalmology with its novel Optejet® dispenser. Traditional eye drops normally overdose the patient's eye with medication and preservatives. Eyenovia's easy-to-use, novel Optejet® dispenser administers precisely 8µL of medication to the eye, effectively treating the patient's condition while creating a more gentle dosing experience. "The unique delivery mechanism of the Optejet® will fundamentally change how we think about eye medication. Right now, traditional eye drops can result in significant dose-related side effects for the treatment of chronic illnesses like glaucoma. The Optejet® dispenser is designed for patients to experience easier administration and fewer side effects with similar efficacy." Michael Rowe, CEO of Eyenovia The Optejet® dispenser administers ophthalmic solutions horizontally using Eyenovia's proprietary Microdose Array Print (MAP™) technology. The system functions similar to an inkjet printer, delivering accurate microdoses through a precision spray. Traditional eye drops deliver four to five times larger volume than the human eye can actually hold, which causes eye drops to roll down the face and overdose the eye with preservatives. Poor delivery of eye drops is more than an inconvenience; it can prevent patients from using necessary medication because of the side effects. For example, with medication to help dilate the pupils for eye exams, up to 23% of patients experienced stinging and burning with the eye drops, causing patients to forgo eye exams. In Eyenovia studies, less than 1% of patients experienced stinging and burning. "Medications only work if patients take them, and with the Optejet, we have designed a way for patients to benefit from an easy-to-use, appropriate, lower dose spray that results in similar efficacy. We're excited for physicians and providers to be able to offer this revolutionary technology in the near future to patients who deserve a more positive experience," said Rowe. Eyenovia's first marketed invention is expected to be MydCombi™, a first-in-class drug-device combination microdose for in-office pupil dilation. This potentially will help save physician's chair time, eliminating the traditional three eyedrops used for a patient's eye exam. Other exciting innovations in the Eyenovia pipeline include MicroLine and MicroPine. About Eyenovia, Inc. Eyenovia, Inc. is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print therapeutics. Eyenovia is currently focused on the late-stage development of microdosed medications for mydriasis, presbyopia, and myopia progression.

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PHARMA TECH

European Medicines Agency Accepts Astellas' Marketing Authorization Application for Fezolinetant

Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 30, 2022

Astellas Pharma Inc. announced the European Medicines Agency has accepted for regulatory review the company's marketing authorization application for fezolinetant, an investigational oral, nonhormonal compound seeking approval for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause.1,2 "More than half of women 40 to 64 years of age experience hot flashes during menopause, with limited nonhormonal treatment options. The EMA's acceptance of our MAA for fezolinetant brings us one step closer to advancing a potential first-in-class nonhormonal treatment option for women in Europe who experience VMS associated with menopause, similar to the FDA acceptance of our NDA for women in the U.S." Ahsan Arozullah, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Head of Development Therapeutic Areas, Astellas The MAA is supported by results from the BRIGHT SKY™ program, which included three Phase 3 clinical trials that collectively enrolled over 2,800 women with VMS across Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Results from the SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™ pivotal trials characterize the efficacy and safety of fezolinetant for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause. Data from the SKYLIGHT 4™ safety study further characterizes the long-term safety profile of fezolinetant. Within the MAA, Astellas proposes a 45 mg daily dose, which is subject to the EMA's review. Fezolinetant is an investigational nonhormonal selective neurokinin 3 receptor antagonist. The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established. This acceptance will have no impact on Astellas' financial forecasts of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. About the BRIGHT SKY™ Phase 3 Program The BRIGHT SKY pivotal trials, SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™ enrolled over 1,000 women with moderate to severe VMS. The trials are double-blinded, placebo-controlled for the first 12 weeks followed by a 40-week treatment extension period. Women were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe. SKYLIGHT 4™ (NCT04003389) is a 52-week double-blinded, placebo-controlled study designed to investigate the long-term safety of fezolinetant. For SKYLIGHT 4, over 1,800 women with VMS were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe. About VMS Associated with Menopause VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause.1,2 Worldwide, more than half of women 40 to 64 years of age experience VMS with rates in Europe ranging from 56% to 97%.3,4,5 The prevalence of moderate to severe VMS in postmenopausal women in Europe has been reported at 40%.6 VMS can have a disruptive impact on women's daily activities and overall quality of life.1 About Fezolinetant Fezolinetant is an investigational oral, nonhormonal therapy in clinical development for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause. Fezolinetant works by blocking neurokinin B (NKB) binding on the kisspeptin/neurokinin/dynorphin (KNDy) neuron to moderate neuronal activity in the thermoregulatory center of the brain (the hypothalamus) to reduce the frequency and severity of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause.7,8,9 The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established. There is no guarantee the agent will receive regulatory approval or become commercially available for the uses being investigated. About Astellas Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

MilliporeSigma Invests $ 286 Million in U.S. Drug Safety Testing Capacity

MilliporeSigma | November 16, 2022

MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, announced that its Life Science business sector is investing more than $ 286 million in its biosafety testing capacity at the company's site in Rockville, Maryland, USA. This will significantly increase the company's ability to conduct biosafety testing and analytical development services. Biosafety testing and analytical development are critical and fundamental requirements of the drug development and commercialization process to ensure the safety of medicines. Global demand for these services is growing at a double-digit rate. "MilliporeSigma is harnessing its broad portfolio of modern technologies and enabling services to help ensure the safety of the world's medicines. These significant investments in Rockville and other sites across our global network will help us meet growing demand for the robust testing studies that biologics manufacturers depend upon to comply with stringent regulatory guidelines. This is a prime example of our focus on sustainable growth in areas with strong underlying upwards dynamics." Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany "This is the largest investment in contract testing in Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's history. Our Rockville campus has a long track record of testing for both traditional and novel therapies. We have been driving innovation in biosafety testing for 75 years and this expansion enables our Life Science business sector to lead in shaping the future of testing," said Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and CEO Life Science. "We thank the State of Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland, for their collaboration in making this new campus a reality for our employees and clients. Together, we are impacting life and health with science." The BioReliance® contract testing portfolio from MilliporeSigma provides best-in-class biosafety testing and analytical development methods for both traditional and novel therapies. The new state-of-the-art, 250,000-square-foot facility at MilliporeSigma's Rockville site will house biosafety testing, analytical development, viral clearance suites, and cell bank manufacturing services. Currently, about 600 employees work at the site. Over the next four years, the expansion will create more than 500 new jobs. With more than 30 years of drug development, material science and process technology expertise, Millipore® CTDMO Services offerings span pre-clinical development to commercial manufacturing, including testing, across multiple modalities including mAbs, highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients, antibody-drug conjugates, viral vector therapies, mRNA, and lipid nanoparticle formulation. Contract testing and the newly formed Millipore® CTDMO Services are part of the Life Science Services business unit, which together with the Process Solutions business is one of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's "Big 3" growth drivers. The company aims to increase its Group sales to approximately € 25 billion by 2025. Recently, the company's Life Science business sector announced investments in Martillac and Molsheim, France; Shanghai, China; Sheboygan and Verona, Wisconsin, USA; Cork, Ireland; Wuxi, China; Carlsbad, California, USA; Jaffrey, New Hampshire and Danvers, Massachusetts, USA; Buchs, Switzerland; and Darmstadt, Germany. These expansions are part of an ambitious, multi-year program. It aims to increase the capacity and capabilities of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's Life Science business sector to support the growing global demand for lifesaving medications and to make significant contributions to public health. About the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, has more than 26,000 employees and more than 55 manufacturing and testing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products focused on scientific discovery, biomanufacturing and testing services. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people's lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany generated sales of € 19.7 billion in 66 countries. The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark "Merck" internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company's technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. All Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany news releases are distributed by email at the same time they become available on the EMD Group website. In case you are a resident of the U.S. or Canada please go to www.emdgroup.com/subscribe to register again for your online subscription to this service as our newly introduced geo-targeting requires new links in the email. You may later change your selection or discontinue this service.

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