HIV Drug Delivery Made Easier with Long-Acting Implant

GEN | September 23, 2019

Adherence to a strict HIV regimen is an essential part of effective HIV treatment. Medication should be taken every day, at specific times of the day, and with or without certain kinds of food. Making this process easier would, undoubtedly, increase medication adherence and improve the efficacy of current HIV treatment plans. Now, a group of researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill reports an ultra-long-acting tunable, biodegradable, and removable polymer-based delivery system that offers sustained drug delivery for up to one year for HIV treatment or prophylaxis. The authors write that the goal of this seven-year study in animals was to develop a delivery system that can offer ultra-long-acting drug release by (1) providing flexibility in the choice of active ingredient, (2) sustained release for weeks or months, (3) the ability to be surgically removed in case of an allergic or adverse reaction, (4) and the ability to integrate multiple drugs.

Spotlight

There are many factors that can prevent a patient from being able to obtain the medicine they need, ranging from selective marketing decisions by companies to products being too expensive or pharmacy stock-outs

Spotlight

There are many factors that can prevent a patient from being able to obtain the medicine they need, ranging from selective marketing decisions by companies to products being too expensive or pharmacy stock-outs

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PHARMACY MARKET

TC BioPharm Begins Dosing Phase 2B Clinical Study Evaluating its Lead Compound, OmnImmune®, in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

TC BioPharm | November 23, 2022

TC Biopharm a clinical stage biotechnology company developing platform allogeneic gamma-delta T cell therapies for cancer today announced the dosing of its first three patients within its Phase 2b clinical trial of OmnImmune®, an allogeneic unmodified cell therapy focused on treating Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The initial 5 patients in the trial are deemed a "safety cohort", spaced two weeks apart with safety review by an oversight board to confirm no drug related toxicity issues, subsequent to 5 patients being dosed the study will advance to open enrollment. This safety cohort is in line with TCBP's step-wise clinical trial advancement, moving from donor matching in the Phase 1b to a universal donor model with no HLA matching of donor to patient. "The launch of our Phase 2B trial is a key milestone in the development of our lead therapeutic, OmnImmune®, for patients with AML and for TC BioPharm's emerging pipeline of 'off-the-shelf' gamma-delta T cell therapies. This study design includes a 5 patient safety cohort prior to open enrollment, we expect to complete the safety cohort before the end of 2022. The next step in the study is a 19 patient interim review, which will allow TCBP to review dosing and increase dosing to a higher level should our team deem it necessary for efficacy, or we can elect to maintain our current dosing level of 7x10^7 or 700 million cells per dose. We look forward to moving ahead with our Phase 2b trial with a target for open enrollment in January 2023, as well as our efforts to expand our clinical efforts in the US in the first half of 2023." Bryan Kobel, CEO of TC BioPharm TC BioPharm's Phase 2B trial, dubbed ACHIEVE, will enroll adults diagnosed with AML who have either relapsed or are refractory to prior treatments as well as a cohort for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes conditions that can occur when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal. The trial is expected to enroll approximately 37 patients. About TC BioPharm PLC TC BioPharm is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of gamma-delta T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer with human efficacy data in acute myeloid leukemia. Gamma-delta T cells are naturally occurring immune cells that embody properties of both the innate and adaptive immune systems and can intrinsically differentiate between healthy and diseased tissue. TC BioPharm uses an allogeneic approach in both unmodified and CAR modified gamma-delta T cells to effectively identify, target and eradicate both liquid and solid tumors in cancer. TC BioPharm is the leader in developing gamma-delta T cell therapies, and the first company to conduct phase II/pivotal clinical studies in oncology. The Company is conducting two investigator-initiated clinical trials for its unmodified gamma-delta T cell product line - Phase 2b/3 pivotal trial for OmnImmune® in treatment of acute myeloid leukemia using the Company's proprietary allogenic CryoTC technology to provide frozen product to clinics worldwide. TC BioPharm also maintains a robust pipeline for future indications in solid tumors as well as a significant IP/patent portfolio in the use of CARs with gamma-delta T cells and owns our manufacturing facility to maintain cost and product quality controls.

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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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RESEARCH

Ora, Inc. Launches the Ora EyecupTM, a Revolutionary Ophthalmic Research Technology at Eyecelerator 2022

Ora, Inc. | September 29, 2022

Ora, Inc., the world's leading ophthalmology clinical research firm, has formally launched a revolutionary mobile research platform, Ora EyeCupTM, which promises to transform patient data capture through high-resolution imaging, artificial intelligence (AI) analysis, and real-time patient feedback. The Ora EyeCupTM, a finalist in the Most Valuable Clinical Technology Award category at the Reuters Events Pharma Awards USA 2022, will be presented by Dr. Gustavo De Moraes, Chief Medical Officer at Ora, at this year’s Eyecelerator Conference in Chicago, IL, September 29th. The Ora EyeCupTM platform is a powerful combination of hardware and software — a smartphone attachment and software application which allows patients to take high-resolution images of their eyes and track disease signs and symptoms remotely. With over 138,000 images captured to date, 98% are considered gradable by researchers and AI. Post-capture processing utilizes AI-powered image analysis for precise clinical assessments of ocular redness, tear film stability, and corneal health. Along with this, the Ora EyeCupTM ensures protocol adherence through compliance assurance diaries for both symptom tracking and therapy dosing. “At Ora, our technologists have spent the past two years developing this revolutionary system to capture patient data and provide a deeper understanding of therapeutic effect. The result is a trailblazing technology that captures high quality therapeutic data and improves the likelihood of study success.” Dr. De Moraes About Ora, Inc. Ora is the world's leading full-service ophthalmic drug and device development firm with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia. For over 40 years, we have proudly helped our clients earn more than 55 product approvals and create vision beyond what they see. We support a wide array of organizations, from start-ups to global pharmaceutical and device companies, to efficiently bring their new products from concept to market. Ora's pre-clinical and clinical models, unique methodologies, and global regulatory strategies have been refined and proven across thousands of global projects. We bring together the world's most extensive and experienced team of ophthalmic experts, R&D professionals, and operations management to maximize the value of new product initiatives. Think ophthalmology, think Ora.

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