First national medical cannabis registry launched

PharmaTimes | November 07, 2019

Europe has launched its first national medical cannabis registry for patients with chronic conditions. The registry comes at a time when despite the legislation of cannabis being passed a year ago, it remains out of reach for the vast majority of patients. The registry, launched at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London, will enrol 20,000 patients by the end of 2021 as part of an initiative called “Project TWENTY21”. The project will study medical cannabis’s therapeutic effects on 20,000 patients, and build the largest ever evidence base for NHS provision of these medicines. The aim of the project is to then convince policy makers that medical cannabis should be as widely available, and affordable, as other approved medicines for patients who would benefit from them. The chronic conditions that will be studied include chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety disorder or people who are dealing with the harm of substance misuse. The initiative will use real-world data to document the effectiveness, safety, QALY and patient reported outcomes in those prescribed medical cannabis for these conditions, but will not be a randomised control trial (where some would receive placebo), and all 20,000 participants will receive medical cannabis at an affordable cost.

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How often has your doctor’s appointment ended in a prescription? Adults in the U.S. fill 12 prescription drugs every year on average, and that number rises to 27 for seniors. The Law Firm.com created the below info graphic using data from a recent ProPublica report, which highlighted the power and influence of pharmaceutical companies over doctors and hospitals in the U.S. In just over a year, these companies spent $3.49 billion in disclosed payments.

Spotlight

How often has your doctor’s appointment ended in a prescription? Adults in the U.S. fill 12 prescription drugs every year on average, and that number rises to 27 for seniors. The Law Firm.com created the below info graphic using data from a recent ProPublica report, which highlighted the power and influence of pharmaceutical companies over doctors and hospitals in the U.S. In just over a year, these companies spent $3.49 billion in disclosed payments.

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PHARMA TECH

Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Reports Data Showing Novel Drug Candidate is First-in-class B55α/PP2A Activator

Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals | October 14, 2022

Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of medicines to treat neurodegenerative, autoimmune and other diseases, today announced the publication of a scientific article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Neuroinflammation highlighting additional data supporting the unique mechanism of action of EHP-101, the company’s first-in-class drug candidate for the treatment of systemic sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. Titled “A cannabidiol aminoquinone derivative activates the PP2A/B55α/HIF pathway and shows protective effects in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury”, the paper was co-authored by Eduardo Muñoz, MD, PhD, EHP’s Chief Scientific Officer. The publication demonstrates that VCE-004.8, the active pharmaceutical ingredient of EHP-101, is a highly specific activator of the B55a subunit of the protein phosphatase, thus activating the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway. This first-in-class activator of the HIF pathway via modulation of B55a provides a new mechanism to treat diseases where vascular integrity is compromised. Therefore, these findings support the use of EHP-101 for the treatment of SSc and MS, and illustrate the potential of VCE-004.8 for acute disorders including traumatic brain injury and stroke. “The results of Dr. Muñoz’s work, as published in this prestigious journal, validate EHP-101’s unique ability to address key disease factors associated with the complex pathophysiology of fibrotic and demyelinating diseases such as SSc and MS through complementary specific mechanisms of action,” Alain Rolland, Pharm.D., Ph.D., COO of EHP EHP is currently conducting a Phase 2a clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of EHP-101 in SSc patients. The Company has also met the regulatory requirements to start a Phase 2 clinical trial of EHP-101 for MS. About Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals Inc. Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals is developing novel product candidates for the treatment of CNS, autoimmune, and other diseases. The Company has two families of patented new chemical entities that have been created through rational drug design to affect validated receptors and pathways in the body which are pertinent to targeted diseases. Its first drug product candidate, EHP-101, is in a Phase 2a study for the treatment of systemic sclerosis, a severe form of scleroderma, and has met regulatory requirements to start a Phase 2 study for multiple sclerosis. EHP-101 has received Orphan Drug Designation in the US and EU, as well as Fast Track status by the US FDA for systemic sclerosis. The Company’s second product candidate, EHP-102, is in non-clinical development with IND-enabling studies and is focused on treating Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. EHP-102 has received Orphan Drug Designation in the US and EU for Huntington’s disease.

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PHARMA TECH

Sirona Biochem Signs International Partnership Agreement with Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals

Sirona Biochem Corp. | November 28, 2022

Sirona Biochem Corp. announces that, subsequent to the LOI, Sirona and Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals have signed an expanded, international partnership agreement to collaborate on licencing Sirona’s SGLT2 inhibitor, TFC-039, as a pharmaceutical treatment in both animal and human health. The agreement adds human health to the partnership as a result of new licencing opportunities currently in due diligence. Wanbang and Sirona initially signed a licensing agreement for TFC-039, whereby Wanbang obtained the rights to develop the compound as a diabetes treatment in China and Sirona retained the global rights. Sirona has since been in discussions with animal health companies to advance TFC-039 as a treatment for diabetes and chronic kidney disease in companion animals. SGLT2 inhibitors provide an opportunity to treat inflicted animals with an oral medication as opposed to the traditional method of daily insulin injections. More recently, Sirona has entered into due diligence with a large pharmaceutical company with a regional interest in developing the compound for human diabetes. Together, Sirona and Wanbang share extensive knowledge and scientific results of TFC-039. Partnering will significantly increase the speed to third-party partnerships and commercialization. The shared data spans over 12 years of research and development, and includes in vitro and in vivo preclinical work, multiple clinical studies, advanced manufacturing process development and the ability to commercially manufacture TFC-039. “We have a long-standing relationship with Wanbang and are excited to combine our two companies’ expertise to license TFC-039. Wanbang has invested millions of dollars into the clinical stage research and development of the manufacturing processes for TFC-039. These pieces of data are critical to large organizations and will greatly increase the opportunities to move forward. The probability of a successful licensing agreement has been made much stronger by leveraging our alliance with Wanbang. We have had a successful year building Sirona’s pipeline, with positive movement on all projects and we’re looking forward to continuing this success with our SGLT2 inhibitor as well as our antiviral and anti-aging projects in 2023.” Dr. Howard Verrico, CEO About Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals and Fosun Pharmaceuticals Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals develops, manufactures, and markets drugs with indications for chronic disease treatment, antibiotics, and other endocrine diseases in China. Founded in 1981, the company is headquartered in Xuzhou, China, and is a subsidiary of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group. Fosun is a leader in the pharmaceutical industry and is regarded as one of the top five domestic pharmaceutical companies in China. About Sirona Biochem Corp. Sirona Biochem is a cosmetic ingredient and drug discovery company with a proprietary platform technology. Sirona specializes in stabilizing carbohydrate molecules with the goal of improving efficacy and safety. New compounds are patented for maximum revenue potential. Sirona’s compounds are licensed to leading companies around the world in return for licensing fees, milestone fees and ongoing royalty payments. Sirona’s laboratory, TFChem, is located in France and is the recipient of multiple French national scientific awards and European Union and French government grants.

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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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