BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH
Koneksa | January 18, 2023
On January 17, 2023, Koneksa, a healthcare technology company that develops evidence-based validated digital biomarkers, announced the beginning of a clinical study that will compare the treatment effect of at-home mobile spirometry using digital biomarkers versus in-clinic spirometry in patients who have moderate asthma and are receiving long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) treatment.
The LEARN study is a single-arm interventional trial that compares the identification of treatment effects in people with moderate asthma using at-home mobile spirometry by utilizing an ultrasonic spirometer and a smartphone compared to in-clinic spirometry. Up to 60 people with mild, uncontrolled asthma who already use inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) will take part in the study. Besides, it will also cover those who need to take LABA medication for a six-week treatment period.
In-clinic spirometry can be performed at home with the same or higher accuracy compared to in-clinic and potentially less strain on the patient. The study will analyze the LABA treatment impact in clinic and mobile spirometry along with assessing the association between different readouts of mobile spirometry, in addition to evaluating asthma control as determined by the ACQ-6, a patient-reported outcome questionnaire. Other goals include assessing patient and site-specific satisfaction with mobile spirometry technology.
Chris Benko, CEO & Founder, Koneksa, stated, “This study builds on Koneksa's prior work demonstrating that mobile spirometry has the potential to detect clinically meaningful changes in very small cohorts of asthma patients on standard of care.” He further added, “The LEARN study will evaluate whether at-home mobile spirometry can detect treatment effects of a known positive control (LABA) in a significantly smaller population than would traditionally be assumed for an in-clinic proof-of-concept study.”
(Source – Business Wire)
Based out of New York, Koneksa is a patient-centric digital biomarker firm that develops end-to-end solutions for remotely obtained clinical data to expedite clinical research and guide decision-making in drug development and market strategy for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It seeks to revolutionize effect detection in clinical research by providing integrated solutions for efficient trial designs that yield more meaningful data. Its evidence-based biomarker solutions allow for more efficient clinical trial designs, allowing novel medicines to reach patients sooner.
RESEARCH, PHARMA TECH
Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio) | March 01, 2023
Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a subsidiary of Bayer AG, recently announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted orphan drug designation to AB-1003 (also known as LION-101) for the treatment of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). AB-1003 is an investigational recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapy that is being developed as a one-time intravenous infusion for patients with LGMD type 2I/R9.
The disease affects 4.5 people per million worldwide, with more than 5,000 people affected in the EU and the US. The EC decision was received through AskBio's EU-based subsidiary BrainVectis, following a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP)
AB-1003 is currently being investigated in a Phase 1/2 multicenter study in the US to evaluate its tolerability, safety, and efficacy in adult subjects with genotypically confirmed LGMD2I/R9.
The EC for medicinal products grants orphan drug designation developed to treat a life-threatening disease that affects no more than five people in 10,000 in the EU, provided there is no other adequate treatment option or the medicine can bring significant value to those affected by a specific condition. This designation will provide special incentives in the EU, including eligibility for protocol assistance and possible reductions or exemptions in certain regulatory fees. Additionally, if the medicine is approved for marketing, this designation will provide ten years of marketing exclusivity.
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles in the arms and legs. The severity, features of LGMD and age of onset vary among the many subtypes of the condition and are often inconsistent, even within the same family. Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2I/R9 (LGMD2I/R9) is a form of LGMD caused by mutations in the FKRP gene. Signs and symptoms of LGMD2I/R9 often appear in late childhood and may include difficulty walking and running. The symptoms intensify with time, eventually leading to considerable disability, and afflicted persons typically require a wheelchair for movement roughly 23-26 years after beginning. Unfortunately, there is presently no treatment that slows the advancement of the disease, and management is based on the indications and symptoms that each individual exhibits.
About Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio)
AskBio is a leading, fully integrated gene therapy company dedicated to developing innovative gene therapeutics and life-saving medicines. With operations worldwide, its pipeline includes gene therapy candidates for various diseases, including the central nervous system, neuromuscular, metabolic, and cardiovascular diseases. AskBio's global headquarters are located in RTP, NC, with European headquarters in Edinburgh. In addition, the company operates AAV research centers in Philadelphia, PA; Columbus, OH; and Paris, and modern clinical and commercial facilities in San Sebastian, Spain.
RESEARCH, PHARMACY MARKET
Impel Pharmaceuticals | February 23, 2023
On February 22, 2023, Impel Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical firm that develops innovative treatments for diseases with high unmet medical needs, announced that it will execute an operational streamlining plan to reduce employee and non-employee expenses, primarily affecting the research and development division. The company intends to divert resources to benefit from the successful response of payors and prescribers to Trudhesa® (dihydroergotamine mesylate) nasal spray (0.725 mg per spray).
Impel Pharmaceuticals will stop research and development activities on INP105, a drug to treat agitation and aggression in autism spectrum disorder. The reduction in expenses is expected to come from lower non-employee-related general and administrative and research and development expenses, as well as a reduction of 16 percent in headcount.
Additionally, the company announced that its Chief Medical Officer, Stephen Shrewsbury, M.D., will leave the company on March 31, 2023.
The company projects that these measures, along with others, will provide sufficient capital to fund operations through Q3 2023, allowing it to focus on maximizing the commercial opportunity and positive momentum of Trudhesa® in the huge and rapidly expanding acute migraine market.
Trudhesa® has experienced a strong launch trajectory, with 58,424 prescriptions at the end of 2022, accounting for 4.3% of branded acute migraine prescriptions (nTRx) among prescribers after a full-year launch. Impel expanded its sales force by 50%, from 60 to 90 sales professionals, in July 2022 to capitalize on this positive momentum, resulting in a 58% increase in new quarterly prescriptions from Q2 to Q4 2022. Reimbursement of all shipments finished the year at over 60%, and refill rates remained high, with an average of 63% at the end of 2022.
The company plans to increase its efforts to commercialize Trudhesa® while also exploring strategic and financing initiatives and opportunities to fully leverage the potential of its proprietary Precision Olfactory Delivery (POD®) technology and expertise with small and large molecules in various disease areas.
About Impel Pharmaceuticals
Impel Pharmaceuticals is a commercial-stage pharmaceutical firm that focuses on developing and providing treatments for patients suffering from diseases with high unmet needs. The company employs a novel approach to drug delivery by utilizing its proprietary Precision Olfactory Delivery (POD®) technology in conjunction with established therapeutics to develop and offer treatments. In September 2021, it received approval from the U.S. FDA for its first product, Trudhesa® nasal spray, which is used to treat acute migraine with or without aura in adults. Along with Trudhesa, the company continues to address patient needs through licensing and partnerships.