Lantheus | February 07, 2023
On February 6, 2023, Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (Lantheus), a company dedicated to improving patient outcomes through radiotherapy, diagnostics, and AI solutions that help clinicians to Find, Fight, and Follow® diseases, announced the acquisition of Cerveau Technologies, Inc. (Cerveau).
Cerveau's primary asset is MK-6240, which is a second-gen F 18-labeled positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent that targets Tau tangles present in Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition that causes a steady and gradual deterioration in cognition and function. Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated 6.5 million people in the United States. As the population ages, the frequency of this disease is expected to climb further, and by 2050, the number of persons 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may reach 12.7 million.
MK-6240 is a clinical-stage PET development candidate that is designed to identify Tau protein that accumulates as neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of individuals suffering or suspected of Alzheimer's disease. MK-6240 has the potential to help in Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, staging, treatment selection and response to therapy. Despite being in clinical development, MK-6240 is now being employed in over 60 academic and industrial clinical studies worldwide for various late-stage Alzheimer's disease therapeutic candidates, being explored by more than 16 pharmaceutical firms.
Following the terms of the agreement, Lantheus will make an upfront payment as well as potential further development and commercial milestone payments. It will also pay double-digit royalties on research revenue and commercial sales. In addition, the deal, which is structured as a stock acquisition, stipulates, among other things, that the seller would offer transition and clinical development services for a specified period after the conclusion of the transaction.
In this transaction, Chestnut Partners, Inc. served as the exclusive financial advisor to Cerveau. At the same time, Lantheus was advised by Foley Hoag LLP in connection with the acquisition.
Founded in 1956, Lantheus offers novel diagnostics, targeted medicines, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to help clinicians Find, Fight, and Follow® diseases. It has been delivering life-changing research to patients and clinicians for over 60 years, going above and beyond to enhance lives and outcomes. Lantheus Holdings is the parent company of Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., Inc. and EXINI Diagnostics AB. Headquartered in North Billerica, Massachusetts, the company has offices in New Jersey, Canada and Sweden.
RESEARCH, PHARMA TECH
Ambrx | February 21, 2023
Ambrx Biopharma Inc., recently released positive preliminary results from its current Phase 1 trial, APEX-01 (NCT04662580), which is examining ARX517, Ambrx's patented anti-PSMA ADC, in patients with prostate cancer.
Patients with advanced prostate cancer who have progressed on at least two prior FDA-approved treatments are enrolled in the Phase 1, first-in-human, open label dose escalation and dose expansion experiment known as APEX-01. In the US, APEX-01 is the only clinical trial that uses an ADC to treat PSMA. The trials revealed
• No grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (AEs) or drug-related serious adverse events (SAEs) have been reported in the 22 individuals who were evaluable for safety. ARX517 was well-tolerated otherwise with grade 1 or 2 treatment-related adverse events were observed. It is yet to reach the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) • Starting with the second to lowest dose of 0.64 mg/kg, PSA reductions of > 30% have been seen in Cohorts 2-5 • 3 (100%) patients in Cohort 6 (2.0 mg/kg dosage) had a PSA level reduction of at least 50%. PSA levels were reduced by more than 90% in 2 out of 3 patients. At the initial on-treatment scan, soft tissue measurable disease was found in 1 of the 3 patients, and showed a partial RECIST v1.1 response • In Cohort 7, three patients received doses with no DLTs
Daniel J. O’Connor, CEO of Ambrx, said, “While recent advances have considerably reduced the number of men who die from prostate cancer, it remains the second-most common form of death from cancer in the United States. Approximately 1 man in 41 will die of prostate cancer. Thus, there remains an urgent need for better treatments, in particular for men with advanced prostate cancer.” He further added, “We are very pleased to see a significant reduction of greater than 50% in PSA levels in the first three patients at 2.0 mg/kg, two of which went on to see a greater than 90% PSA level reduction, without any serious drug-related adverse events.”
(Source – Business Wire)
Ambrx Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. It develops precision biologics using an extended genetic code. Synthetic amino acids are incorporated into proteins using Ambrx technology, which is carried out entirely within a living cell. Precision Biologics, a novel therapeutic class with significant potential uses these synthesized amino acids.
RESEARCH, PHARMA TECH
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | March 10, 2023
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a leading RNA-targeted therapy firm, recently announced that the USFDA has accepted for review a new drug application (NDA) for eplontersen. Eplontersen is an investigational antisense medicine designed to reduce the production of transthyretin (TTR) protein and treat hereditary and non-hereditary forms of ATTR amyloidosis (ATTR).
The NDA has been given a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date of December 22, 2023. The FDA has declared that no review concerns were detected and made no new data requests. The FDA also stated that it does not intend to conduct a meeting of the advisory committee to discuss the application.
ATTR amyloidosis is a systemic disease caused by the accumulation of TTR protein in organs, leading to progressive organ damage and eventually death. Patients with hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloid polyneuropathy (ATTRv-PN) experience ongoing debilitating nerve damage throughout their bodies, resulting in the progressive loss of motor function.
The NDA for eplontersen is based on results from the global Phase 3 NEURO-TTRansform study showcased at the International Symposium on Amyloidosis (ISA). In the study, eplontersen showcased a statistically significant and clinically meaningful change relative to the baseline for its co-primary and critical secondary endpoints compared to the external placebo group. In addition, Eplontersen also demonstrated a favorable safety and tolerability profile.
Ionis and AstraZeneca announced a strategic partnership to develop and commercialize eplontersen in December 2021. Eplontersen is being developed and commercialized jointly by both businesses in the United States and will be created and commercialized by AstraZeneca throughout the rest of the globe, except Latin America.
The FDA granted eplontersen Orphan Drug Designation in the United States in January 2022. Eplontersen is also being studied in the worldwide Phase 3 CARDIO-TTRansform trial for transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM), a systemic, progressive, and deadly disorder leading to progressive heart failure and death within 3 to 5 years after disease start.
About Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leading biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Carlsbad, California. Its unique antisense technology platform allows them to develop RNA-targeted therapies that modify the production of disease-causing proteins, leading to the development of treatments for rare genetic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The company's most significant achievement is developing and commercializing Spinraza, the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy. Ionis Pharmaceuticals has also developed drugs for other rare diseases, including transthyretin amyloidosis, Huntington's disease, and myotonic dystrophy type 1.