PRNewswire | August 10, 2023
The Project to Accelerate New Treatments for Tuberculosis (PAN-TB) collaboration announced today the start of a phase 2b/c clinical trial, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (Gates MRI). The trial will evaluate whether novel regimens that combine registered products and new chemical entities have the potential to effectively treat drug-sensitive TB (DS-TB) and inform the development of a "pan-TB" regimen capable of treating all forms of active pulmonary TB.
The regimens under evaluation are designed to explore shorter treatment durations compared to existing drug regimens, without the need for accompanying drug-resistance testing for individuals. The goal is to identify a candidate regimen suitable for phase 3 development.
Trial sites are being hosted in countries with a high burden of TB. The trial has started in South Africa with the first participant screened in the last week of July. Subsequent trial sites are expected to launch in the Philippines in August and in Peru in 2024, pending national approvals.
The collaboration is evaluating two novel drug regimens comprising five antibacterial agents—bedaquiline, delamanid, pretomanid, quabodepistat (formerly known as OPC-167832), and sutezolid
DBQS – delamanid, bedaquiline, quabodepistat and sutezolid
PBQS – pretomanid, bedaquiline, quabodepistat and sutezolid
The trial employs an innovative design that consists of two stages to assess the efficacy of the regimens and evaluate the potential to shorten treatment duration. In the initial stage, the trial will enroll approximately 129 participants. The safety, tolerability, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of the complete DBQS and PBQS regimens, with each drug administered daily for four months (17 weeks), will be evaluated in participants 18 to 65 years old with DS pulmonary TB. Approximately 43 participants will receive the six-month (26 weeks) standard-of-care treatment for DS-TB1 in the countries where trial sites are located.2
If successful, the second stage will enroll approximately 400 participants to test the selected regimen at shorter treatment durations, ranging from two to four months, across five arms. An additional 30-40 participants will be enrolled in the standard-of-care arm for the second stage of this trial.
To support participants during their treatment, the trial integrates a Stop Treatment and Watch (STrAW) Concilium, a group made up of expert clinical consultants that will evaluate trial participants' treatment response, blinded to the specific regimen they receive, and advise trial investigators on patient management.
The trial will utilize the best available tools including regular engagement with treatment support workers, direct observation of therapy with video technology, and medication reminder monitors. A novel Biomarkers Strategy will inform promising new biomarkers with the aim of enabling faster access to data to monitor treatment outcomes for future trials.
The need for novel TB treatment regimens
Despite the introduction of new medicines in recent years, treatment remains a long, complex, and demanding process for people diagnosed with TB and can place significant costs on households and the health system. The most used drug regimen for the treatment of DS-TB requires people to take multiple drugs for at least six months, often with routine monitoring.
TB treatment can place unmanageable financial strain on individuals and their households. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly half of TB-affected households face catastrophic total costs associated with treatment, including costs of travel to clinics, loss of income during treatment, and more, fueling cycles of poverty in vulnerable communities.
Further, accurate, rapid drug resistance testing is essential for early diagnosis of both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB, but access to testing can be limited due to high costs, technical challenges, and other barriers.
Emilio Emini, PhD, CEO, the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, said: "The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is committed to developing biomedical interventions that address global health concerns for those in the greatest need. The team at the Gates MRI looks forward to working with our partners across the PAN-TB collaboration, to evaluate the potential of these novel TB treatment regimens, in the hope that it may offer a potentially easier pathway for all people diagnosed with pulmonary TB by offering well-tolerated, shorter and simpler treatment options."
Masanori Kawasaki, Global TB Project Leader, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, said: "We are immensely proud to be part of this remarkable, trailblazing, collaboration which is now launching a clinical trial for a new, and shorter, pan-TB treatment regimen. We are excited too to be working closely with key partners to bring new treatment options to patients. Otsuka is dedicated to life-saving research and development as demonstrated by our sustained hard work and investment in developing a new chemical entity called quabodepistat. We are most grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute for bringing together leaders in the field of TB, towards the goal of ending TB for good."
Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, MD, PhD, Global Head of Global Public Health R&D, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, said: "Our medicine for multidrug-resistant TB has reshaped TB treatment regimens over the past decade, but more must be done to develop the even shorter, simpler regimens needed to treat all forms of the disease and end TB once and for all. Today's milestone is another step in this direction, and we look forward to seeing the results of this important study."
Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of TB Alliance, said: "Sincere thanks and congratulations to all who have made this innovative and exciting new journey a reality. Bringing revolutionary, highly impactful new treatments to all TB patients around the world is a goal that deserves and requires all our concerted dedicated efforts."
About the Project to Accelerate New Treatments for Tuberculosis
The Project to Accelerate New Treatments for Tuberculosis (PAN-TB) is a first-of-its-kind collaboration among philanthropic, non-profit and private sectors that aims to accelerate the development of an investigational drug regimen capable of treating all forms of tuberculosis.
The PAN-TB collaboration leverages members' collective assets, resources and scientific expertise to identify and evaluate new drug regimens with an acceptable safety profile, that have the potential to treat both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB and are well-tolerated, shorter in duration and simpler to use than existing options. The collaboration focuses on advancing research through phase 2 clinical efficacy studies to identify promising regimens for further development.
The PAN-TB collaboration plans to work closely and transparently with the European Regimen Accelerator for Tuberculosis (ERA4TB), which was launched in January 2020. New molecular entities identified by ERA4TB that show promise in initial human studies could later be incorporated into the PAN-TB collaboration's later-stage, clinical research. Several organizations, including Evotec, GSK, TB Alliance and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, are members of both projects, which will help to ensure coordination across collaborations toward the common goal of advancing TB drug and regimen development.
The members of the PAN-TB collaboration are Evotec, GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., based in Japan, TB Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Additional members may be announced in the future.
About Evotec SE
Evotec is a life science company with a unique business model that delivers on its mission to discover and develop highly effective therapeutics and make them available to the patients. The Company's multimodality platform comprises a unique combination of innovative technologies, data and science for the discovery, development, and production of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products. Evotec leverages this "Data-driven R&D Autobahn to Cures" for proprietary projects and within a network of partners including all Top 20 Pharma and over 800 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, as well as other healthcare stakeholders. Evotec has strategic activities in a broad range of currently underserved therapeutic areas, including e.g., neurology, oncology, as well as metabolic and infectious diseases. Within these areas of expertise, Evotec aims to create the world-leading co-owned pipeline for innovative therapeutics and has to-date established a portfolio of more than 200 proprietary and co-owned R&D projects from early discovery to clinical development. Evotec operates globally with more than 4,900 highly qualified people.
PRNewswire | August 08, 2023
Palatin Technologies, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class medicines based on molecules that modulate the activity of the melanocortin receptor system, today announced that it has entered a strategic partnership with UpScriptHealth, a leading direct-to-consumer telemedicine company providing telemedicine services to pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. Under terms of the agreement, UpScriptHealth will make Vyleesi available to the hundreds of thousands of patients in its proprietary Women's Telehealth Platform. Vyleesi is the first and only as-needed treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for premenopausal women with acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
"We are excited to partner with UpScriptHealth, a pioneer in telehealth," stated Carl Spana, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Palatin. "This partnership fortifies our existing telehealth programs and provides a platform to create greater awareness of HSDD and access to Vyleesi through UpScriptHealth's patient base of hundreds of thousands of women."
"UpScriptHealth's Women's Telehealth Platform was launched in 2015 to provide women with a convenient way to consult healthcare providers and obtain therapies to improve the quality of their lives," stated Peter Ax, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UpScriptHealth. "The addition of Vyleesi furthers our female health strategy and provides our patient base with education surrounding HSDD as a significant and common condition, and importantly, access to a meaningful treatment option."
About Vyleesi® (bremelanotide injection) for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)
Vyleesi is the first and only as-needed treatment approved by the FDA for premenopausal women with acquired, generalized HSDD.
Palatin is actively seeking Vyleesi collaborations for the United States and for territories outside the currently licensed territories of China and South Korea. Vyleesi is licensed to Fosun Pharma in China and Kwangdong Pharmaceuticals in South Korea.
Palatin is a biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class medicines based on molecules that modulate the activity of the melanocortin receptor systems, with targeted, receptor-specific product candidates for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need and commercial potential. Palatin's strategy is to develop products and then form marketing collaborations with industry leaders to maximize their commercial potential.
UpScriptHealth™ is the leading comprehensive, direct-to-consumer telehealth and virtual prescribing platform that has been innovating the way customers receive care and obtain medications for more than two decades. UpScriptHealth is committed to improving the lives of consumers by providing immediate and long-term convenient access to medical therapies. UpScriptHealth's philosophy of providing extraordinary care is strengthened through their core values of transparency, integrity and the relentless pursuit of excellence.
businesswire | August 25, 2023
Novaliq GmbH, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on first- and best-in-class ocular therapeutics, announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has accepted the marketing authorization application (MAA) for CyclASol (ciclosporin ophthalmic solution) for regulatory review. CyclASol is an investigational new drug treatment for dry eye disease in patients not responding to tear substitutes. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the EMA will start its review of the MAA under the centralized procedure for all 27 member states of the European Union (EU).
Dry eye disease (DED) affects millions of people in Europe and is one of the most common ocular surface disorders. A leading cause of DED is inflammation of the ocular surface. The chronic inflammatory nature causes progressive corneal surface damage that can lead to direct or indirect visual impairment. In the EU only one drug therapy limited to a subset of DED patients with severe keratitis is currently approved.
CyclASol is ciclosporin, solubilized in a novel, water-free excipient and was designed to address unmet needs, providing patients with a fast acting and well tolerable dry eye drug therapy. Dispensed in a unique 10 microliter small drop the solution does not contain water or anti-microbial preservatives, oils or surfactants. As a water-free product, there is no associated pH and no osmolarity.
“Our in Heidelberg, Germany, invented water-free technology was designed to unfold the full potential of pharmaceuticals on the ocular surface,” said Christian Roesky, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Novaliq. “The acceptance of the EU Marketing Authorization Application is a key milestone in our global efforts to address high unmet needs to better serve patients suffering from dry eye disease. We look forward to collaborating with the CHMP throughout the review process and hope to make CyclASol available for patients in Europe.”
The clinical development program for the MAA is based on six clinical studies, which evaluated the safety and efficacy of CyclASol in a total of 1,575 patients with dry eye disease. Results from the two registrational studies, ESSENCE-1 and ESSENCE-2 consistently demonstrated that the product is effective for the treatment of DED. Continued improvement under therapy in both signs and symptoms of DED has been clinically demonstrated over a period of up to 56 weeks in an extension study of ESSENCE‑2. With its early onset of effect and its good tolerability profile CyclASol addresses unmet medical needs in DED.
CyclASol was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as VEVYE™ (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution) 0.1% for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease on May 30, 2023. VEVYE is the first and only FDA approved cyclosporine solution indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease with efficacy demonstrated after 4 weeks of treatment and is commercialized in Northern America by Harrow Health Inc, a leading U.S. eyecare pharmaceutical company.
Novaliq is a private biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development and commercialization of first- and best-in-class ocular therapeutics based on EyeSol® the worldwide first water-free ophthalmic technology.
Novaliq offers an industry-leading portfolio addressing today's unmet medical needs of millions of patients with eye diseases based on its proprietary water-free eyedrop technology. On May 18th, 2023, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MIEBO™ (perfluorohexyloctane ophthalmic solution; formerly known as NOV03) followed by the approval of VEVYE™ (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution, development name CyclASol®) 0.1% on May 30th, 2023.