BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Health Canada Approves Ipsen’s Sohonos™ (palovarotene capsules) as the First Approved Treatment for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva

Ipsen | January 24, 2022

Ipsen announced the Health Canada approval of Sohonos, an oral selective retinoic-acid receptor gamma agonist indicated to reduce the formation of heterotopic ossification in adults and children aged 8 years and above for females and 10 years and above for males with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.1 Sohonos is approved for the treatment of patients with FOP for both chronic use, and for flare-ups, in these patient populations. This decision marks the first approval for Sohonos worldwide.

FOP is a progressive and debilitating condition which has such a profound impact on patients, and their families. Until today, there was no approved medicine, and we are proud to bring this important new medicine to the FOP community.”

Dr. Howard Mayer, Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development, Ipsen

FOP is characterized by new bone formation outside of the normal skeletal system, like in soft connective tissues, a process known as heterotopic ossification,2 which can be preceded by painful soft tissue swelling or “flare-ups.”2 Flare-up episodes are common and are a substantial contributor to the formation of new bone, however bone can also form in the absence of a flare-up. Once formed, it is irreversible and leads to loss of mobility and shortened life expectancy.2 It is an ultra-rare genetic disorder with an estimated prevalence of 1.36 per million individuals; however, the number of confirmed cases varies by country.3,4.

As part of the ongoing commitment to the FOP and rare disease community, Ipsen plans to file in the US in H1 2022 and is in discussions with other regulatory authorities around the world.

About the MOVE clinical program
This approval is based on data from the ongoing MOVE trial, the first global multi-center Phase III trial in FOP. MOVE is an open-label, single-arm trial, evaluating the efficacy and safety of a chronic/flare-up dosing regimen of palovarotene in decreasing new annualized HO volume in patients with FOP.

About Sohonos
Sohonos is an oral, selective RARγ agonist developed as a treatment for people living with the debilitating ultra-rare genetic disorder, FOP. The treatment was acquired by Ipsen through the acquisition of Clementia Pharmaceuticals in April 2019. It is a member of the retinoid class of drugs that is associated with birth defects in humans. Sohonos must not be used by patients who are, or intend to become, pregnant due to the risk of teratogenicity. To minimize fetal exposure, Sohonos is to be administered only if all conditions for pregnancy prevention are met. Sohonos has been shown to cause premature physeal closure in growing children with FOP; periodic monitoring is recommended.

About Ipsen
Ipsen is a global, mid-sized biopharmaceutical company focused on transformative medicines in Oncology, Rare Disease and Neuroscience; it also has a well-established Consumer Healthcare business. With total sales of over €2.5bn in FY 2020, Ipsen sells more than 20 medicines in over 115 countries, with a direct commercial presence in more than 30 countries. The Company’s research and development efforts are focused on its innovative and differentiated technological platforms located in the heart of leading biotechnological and life-science hubs: Paris-Saclay, France; Oxford, U.K.; Cambridge, U.S.; Shanghai, China. Ipsen has around 5,700 colleagues worldwide and is listed in Paris and in the U.S. through a Sponsored Level I American Depositary Receipt program.

Spotlight

The retina is the eye’s most sophisticated component. Researchers are developing techniques to recreate retinal tissues and even entire retinas in the lab. These complex structures can then be transplanted into patients and could help to restore lost vision in people affected by diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.

Spotlight

The retina is the eye’s most sophisticated component. Researchers are developing techniques to recreate retinal tissues and even entire retinas in the lab. These complex structures can then be transplanted into patients and could help to restore lost vision in people affected by diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Simulations Plus Collaborates with Multinational Pharmaceutical Company to Provide Modeling & Simulation Support for COVID-19 Treatment

Simulations Plus, Inc | June 24, 2022

Simulations Plus, Inc. a leading provider of modeling and simulation software and services for pharmaceutical safety and efficacy, today announced that its Cognigen division worked with a major pharmaceutical company to implement modeling and simulation activities to support the development of a candidate COVID-19 therapy. This modeling and simulation work provided significant contributions towards regulatory submissions for the compound. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical company initiated a collaboration to support the accelerated development of their compound. Together with scientists from the company, Sébastien Bihorel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Senior Director of Pharmacometrics and Workflow Automation, led this cooperative team effort on behalf of Simulations Plus. Cognigen scientists provided real-time data processing and analysis, allowing for rapid knowledge updates about pharmacokinetics and efficacy in patients with COVID‑19 as the clinical trials proceeded. “We are extremely proud of this collaboration, which further underscores the importance and critical role of modeling and simulation in informing development-related decisions and improving the efficiency of drug development,” Jill Fiedler-Kelly, Cognigen division president About Simulations Plus Serving clients worldwide for 25 years, Simulations Plus is a leading provider in the biosimulation market providing software and consulting services supporting drug discovery, development, research, and regulatory submissions. We offer solutions that bridge machine learning, physiologically based pharmacokinetics, quantitative systems pharmacology/toxicology, and population PK/PD modeling approaches. Our technology is licensed and applied by major pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and regulatory agencies worldwide. Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 – With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Words like “believe,” “expect” and “anticipate” mean that these are our best estimates as of this writing, but that there can be no assurances that expected or anticipated results or events will actually take place, so our actual future results could differ significantly from those statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: our ability to maintain our competitive advantages, acceptance of new software and improved versions of our existing software by our customers, the general economics of the pharmaceutical industry, our ability to finance growth, our ability to continue to attract and retain highly qualified technical staff, our ability to identify and close acquisitions on terms favorable to the Company, and a sustainable market. Further information on our risk factors is contained in our quarterly and annual reports and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Septerna Strengthens Leadership Team to Advance Novel Small Molecule GPCR Medicines

Septerna | July 29, 2022

Septerna, a biotechnology company discovering and advancing novel small molecule medicines targeting G protein-coupled receptors announced the addition of Liz Bhatt, MS, MBA, as Chief Operating Officer, and Ran Xiao as Vice President of Finance and Business Operations to its leadership team. Septerna launched in January 2022 and is growing a pipeline of differentiated products using its GPCR Native Complex™ platform to unlock the vast untapped potential of GPCR drug targets for a wide range of diseases. We are thrilled to welcome Liz and Ran as we continue to build our exceptional team. Together, they bring deep experience in corporate, commercial, and business strategy. They also have significant operational expertise building and supporting both private and public companies,” said Jeffrey Finer, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Septerna and Venture Partner at Third Rock Ventures. “Since our launch in January, we’ve made rapid progress advancing our platform and early discovery programs, and now expanding our focus to strategic growth and operational excellence is absolutely critical so that we can fully realize the untapped opportunity space for new GPCR medicines.” “Septerna launched with the ambitious plan to expand the GPCR target landscape by developing and industrializing new drug discovery technologies and processes that can convert this target-rich superfamily of proteins into impactful new therapies for patients across a range of therapeutic areas. I’m excited to be working with a team of talented GPCR scientists and drug hunters and look forward to using my experience leading teams and developing corporate and product strategies to build Septerna into a robust company poised for long-term growth.” Ms. Bhatt Liz Bhatt brings more than 25 years of strategy, deal-making and company-building experience across a range of biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Liz was previously Chief Business & Strategy Officer at Applied Molecular Transport where she oversaw corporate development, portfolio and project management, and commercial strategy. Prior to AMT, Liz was Chief Operating Officer at Achaogen where she held various strategic and operational roles. Liz spent over a decade at Gilead Sciences as VP, Corporate Development leading deals across all therapeutic areas and as Senior Director, Commercial Strategy leading long-term global commercial and strategic planning, and supporting the launch of several products. Liz also held management roles at Eli Lilly and Maxygen and started her career in research at Affymax. She currently serves as an independent director on the board of eFFECTOR Therapeutics. Liz earned a BA in chemistry from Pomona College, an MS in biomedical sciences from the University of California San Diego, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Ran Xiao has more than 20 years of experience in corporate accounting, finance, and business operations in the biotech industry. Prior to Septerna, Ran was the VP of Finance and Corporate Controller at Ambys Medicines, Inc, where she supported the company launch and managed various general and administrative functions through a rapid growth period. Before joining Ambys, Ran was the Corporate Controller at Corvus Pharmaceuticals, where she played a key role in the company’s initial public offering. Prior to Corvus, Ran held various managerial positions at Intermune, Natus Medical, Celera Genomics and CV Therapeutics. Ran has a BS in accounting from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and an MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Ran is a Chartered Financial Analyst. About GPCRs G protein-coupled receptors are the largest and most diverse family of cell membrane receptors, and humans have hundreds of different GPCRs, each involved in controlling specific biological functions. GPCRs on the surface of each cell bind a wide range of external signaling molecules from throughout the body, and the GPCR transmits the signal across the cell membrane to drive internal cellular mechanisms. GPCRs have been widely studied as drug targets and are the largest family of proteins targeted by approved drug products. An estimated 700 approved drugs target GPCRs, representing approximately one-third of all currently approved drugs. Despite the pharmacological success of GPCRs as a drug class to date, the large majority of potential therapeutic GPCR targets remain undrugged. About Septerna Septerna, Inc., is a biotechnology company creating broad new drug discovery opportunities across many disease areas for the abundant drug target class of G protein-coupled receptors. The company’s Native Complex™ Platform recapitulates GPCRs with their native structure, function, and dynamics outside of the cellular environment to enable new technologies for industrial-scale drug discovery for the entire GPCR target class for the first time. Septerna has an emerging pipeline of GPCR-targeted small molecule drug discovery programs, along with growth potential to reach many GPCRs that have been undruggable and unexploited to date. Septerna was launched in 2022 by scientific founders who have made groundbreaking GPCR discoveries and by founding investor Third Rock Ventures.

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PHARMA TECH

WuXi ATU Announces Licensing Agreement with Janssen for TESSA™ Technology

WuXi AppTec | August 12, 2022

WuXi Advanced Therapies a wholly owned subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, announced a licensing agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Under this agreement, WuXi ATU will license to Janssen its TESSA™ technology, a high-performance system that can produce 10 times more adeno-associated viral vectors than traditional AAV manufacturing systems. Janssen will also have access to work on WuXi ATU's proprietary clonal suspension HEK293 cell line. This agreement was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation. AAV vectors are commonly used for the delivery of gene therapies to patients due to their ability to transduce numerous cell and tissue types. WuXi ATU's TESSA™ technology responds to industry demand for large scale AAV manufacturing by producing higher quality AAV particles more efficiently. WuXi ATU has also successfully scaled up the TESSA™ technology to 200L; this achieved a 10-fold higher yield and a significantly higher percentage of full AAV capsids, greatly reducing overall AAV production costs compared to traditional plasmid-based AAV production systems. "We are honored that Janssen selected WuXi ATU's TESSA™ technology. We remain committed to improving the TESSA™ platform to produce faster and more cost-effective AAV products for patients." Dr. David Chang, Chief Executive Officer of WuXi Advanced Therapies As a Contract Testing, Development and Manufacturing Organization with global operations, WuXi ATU will continue to enhance its capability and capacity to help customers develop and deliver life-changing cell and gene therapies faster for patients in need. About WuXi Advanced Therapies (WuXi ATU) As the advanced therapies business unit of WuXi AppTec, WuXi Advanced Therapies is a Contract Testing, Development and Manufacturing Organization (CTDMO) that offers integrated platforms to transform the discovery, development, testing, manufacturing, and commercialization of cell and gene therapies. Our services and solutions accelerate time to market and support customer programs around the world. About WuXi AppTec As a global company with operations across Asia, Europe, and North America, WuXi AppTec provides a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services that enable global pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients. Through its unique business models, WuXi AppTec's integrated, end-to-end services include chemistry drug CRDMO (Contract Research, Development and Manufacturing Organization), biology discovery, preclinical testing and clinical research services, cell and gene therapies CTDMO (Contract Testing, Development and Manufacturing Organization), helping customers improve the productivity of advancing healthcare products through cost-effective and efficient solutions. WuXi AppTec received AA ESG rating from MSCI in 2021 and its open-access platform is enabling more than 5,850 collaborators from over 30 countries to improve the health of those in need – and to realize the vision that "every drug can be made and every disease can be treated."

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