Aptar Pharma and Fluidda | September 23, 2022
Nanopharm, an Aptar Pharma company and leader in contract research and development services for orally inhaled and nasal drug products announced an exclusive collaboration with Fluidda, a leader in the field of Functional Respiratory Imaging. The companies will leverage their respective proprietary technology platforms to help accelerate U.S. Food & Drug Administration approvals for orally inhaled generic products via the alternative bioequivalence pathway. Nanopharm was acquired by Aptar in 2019, as part of the company’s strategy to expand its services offerings and partner with pharmaceutical companies earlier in the drug development process.
Nanopharm has pioneered the development of the alternative bioequivalence regulatory pathway for U.S. FDA approval of generic OIDPs for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease using its proprietary in vitro and in silico service platform, SmartTrack™. Fluidda’s proprietary in silico platform FRI delivers quantitative predictions of regional drug deposition in disease state lungs using Computational Fluid Dynamics. The FRI platform provides critical information to help understand the availability and activity of the drug at the site of action in the lungs, when complemented by Nanopharm’s local lung physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model platform and its in vitro data.
This novel approach is intended to allow pharma companies to file Abbreviated New Drug Application dossiers without the need to perform time-consuming, costly and often unpredictable clinical end-point studies. Similarly, it can support 505(b)(2) filings, by derisking and abbreviating clinical studies.
“We are pleased to solidify our relationship with Fluidda and its world-leading FRI technology. A company would have to spend several years to achieve the current combined expertise and experience of Nanopharm and Fluidda. The collaboration between Nanopharm and Fluidda has the potential to revolutionize this arduous regulatory pathway,”
Dr. Jag Shur, Vice President, Science & Technology at Nanopharm
Having already worked together closely for a number of years, Nanopharm and Fluidda have gained a unique insight into the complex and continually evolving regulatory requirements. This exclusive collaboration deepens the relationship between Fluidda and Nanopharm, benefiting both patients and customers with an uncompromised and holistic approach in developing the scientific rationale to demonstrate bioequivalence using only in vitro and in silico methodologies. The first potential approval of an OIDP using the alternative bioequivalence approach is pending, and, when approved, will further validate Nanopharm’s SmartTrack™ as the go-to solution for alternative bioequivalence studies and should accelerate demand for the companies’ collective services.
With momentum building for the transition to new lower global warming potential (GWP) propellants for pMDIs, SmartTrack™ will also help companies to understand and modulate the impact of these new propellants on drug deposition and dissolution in the lungs, giving confidence in the performance of the reformulated product before embarking on any necessary clinical studies.
Dr. Jan de Backer, CEO of Fluidda, stated, “Fluidda has already demonstrated the applicability of its FRI platform to provide more objective data for evaluating and administering inhaled drug products accurately. Nanopharm’s unique SmartTrack™ platform provides us with clinically-relevant input data without having to actually go into the clinic, which really adds another level of confidence to the models, and provides an integrated perspective.”
Guillaume Brouet, Vice President, Analytical, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs at Aptar Pharma, commented, “Aptar Pharma is delighted to collaborate with Fluidda on this important development, which reinforces our mission to help customers derisk and accelerate their drug product development programs.”
Aptar Pharma is part of AptarGroup, Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacturing of a broad range of drug delivery, consumer product dispensing and active material science solutions and services. Aptar’s innovative solutions and services serve a variety of end markets including pharmaceutical, beauty, personal care, home care, food and beverage. Aptar Pharma’s analytical, laboratory and regulatory services add value at every stage of the drug development process, accelerating and de-risking the program along the way. Nanopharm, an Aptar Pharma company, is a leading provider of specialized analytical and product development services, with a focus on orally inhaled and nasal drug products. Aptar is headquartered in Crystal Lake, Illinois and has 13,000 dedicated employees in 20 countries.
FLUIDDA, founded in 2005, is the world leader in the field of Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI). This technique combines HRCT scans and Computational Fluid Dynamics technology (CFD), which offers vast improvements by making clinical trials shorter, faster and thus, more cost effective. FRI also helps patients and healthcare providers in offering a unique entry point in personalized medicine, by optimizing diagnosis, monitoring disease progression and the effects of therapy including accurate assessment of the deposition of inhalation medication. Fluidda’s mission is to optimize treatment pathways, reduce healthcare costs and to limit the go-to-market time of respiratory drugs, pulmonology medical devices and therapies. Fluidda has offices in Belgium, the United States and Portugal.
Novavax, Inc. | August 16, 2022
Novavax, Inc. a biotechnology company dedicated to developing and commercializing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, announced that it submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization of its protein-based COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 as a homologous and heterologous booster in adults aged 18 and older.
"It's important for people to have a choice as they evaluate how to stay protected against COVID-19, and boosters are an invaluable tool to build upon immunity obtained from previous vaccinations. Based on the data presented to the FDA's VRBPAC and the CDC ACIP, we believe our vaccine offers a broad, long-lasting immune response against a range of variants."
Stanley C. Erck, President and Chief Executive Officer, Novavax
The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted is authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to provide a two-dose primary series for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 18 years of age and older.
About the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted (NVX-CoV2373)
The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted is a protein-based vaccine engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. The vaccine was created using Novavax' recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and is formulated with Novavax' patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted contains purified protein antigen and can neither replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19.
The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted is packaged as a ready-to-use liquid formulation in a vial containing ten doses. The vaccination regimen calls for two 0.5 ml doses (5 mcg antigen and 50 mcg Matrix-M adjuvant) given intramuscularly 21 days apart. The vaccine is stored at 2°- 8° Celsius, enabling the use of existing vaccine supply and cold chain channels. Use of the vaccine should be in accordance with official recommendations.
About Matrix-M™ Adjuvant
Novavax' patented saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant has demonstrated a potent and well-tolerated effect by stimulating the entry of antigen-presenting cells into the injection site and enhancing antigen presentation in local lymph nodes, boosting immune response.
Novavax, Inc. is a biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. The company's proprietary recombinant technology platform harnesses the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce highly immunogenic nanoparticles designed to address urgent global health needs. The Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted, the company's COVID-19 vaccine, has received authorization from multiple regulatory authorities globally, including in the U.S., European Union and with the World Health Organization. The vaccine is currently under review by multiple regulatory agencies worldwide, including for additional indications and populations such as adolescents and as a booster. In addition to its COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax is also currently evaluating a COVID-seasonal influenza combination vaccine candidate in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial, which combines the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted and NanoFlu*, its quadrivalent influenza investigational vaccine candidate, and is also evaluating an Omicron strain-based vaccine as well as a bivalent format Omicron-based / original strain-based vaccine. These vaccine candidates incorporate Novavax' proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.
Novo Nordisk | September 02, 2022
Novo Nordisk and Forma Therapeutics, Holdings Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Novo Nordisk will acquire Forma Therapeutics for $20 per share in cash, which represents a total equity value of $1.1 billion. Forma Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming the lives of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and rare blood disorders.
The acquisition of Forma Therapeutics, including its lead development candidate, etavopivat, is aligned with Novo Nordisk’s strategy to complement and accelerate its scientific presence and pipeline in hemoglobinopathies, a group of disorders in which there is abnormal production or structure of the hemoglobin protein in the red blood cells.
“Novo Nordisk has worked for more than 40 years to develop and deliver transformative medicines to patients around the world with rare and devastating diseases. By adding Forma’s differentiated approach to address unmet needs for patients, we are taking a step forward in enhancing our sickle cell disease pipeline,” said Ludovic Helfgott, executive vice president and head of Rare Disease at Novo Nordisk. “We have an ambition to build a leading portfolio with standalone and combination treatments to tackle the complications and underlying causes of sickle cell disease.”
Etavopivat, an investigational oral, once-daily, selective pyruvate kinase-R (PKR) activator, is being developed to improve anemia and red blood cell health in people with SCD, a seriously debilitating, life-threatening and life shortening disease. Etavopivat is currently being evaluated in a global phase 2/3 clinical trial (Hibiscus) in patients with SCD, and in a phase 2 trial (Gladiolus) in patients with transfusion-dependent SCD and another inherited hemoglobinopathy called thalassemia.
“Today’s announcement is an exciting milestone that accelerates Forma’s purpose to transform the lives of patients with sickle cell disease and other serious hematological diseases,” said Frank D. Lee, president and chief executive officer of Forma. “Novo Nordisk will partner closely with the sickle cell community to amplify our impact for patients around the world who urgently need new treatment options. We look forward to working together with Novo Nordisk to serve as a trusted partner to our communities and to advance innovation, access and health equity for patients.”
The transaction will not impact Novo Nordisk’s previously communicated operating profit outlook for 2022 or the ongoing share buy-back program. Novo Nordisk will fund the acquisition from financial reserves.
About the transaction
Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will initiate a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Forma Therapeutics’ common stock at a price of $20 per share in cash (or aggregated value of $1.1 billion) and a premium of 92% to Forma Therapeutics’ volume-weighted average price per share over the past 30 days ended August 31, 2022.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Forma Therapeutics Board of Directors. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of shares representing a majority of Forma Therapeutics’ outstanding shares, receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Novo Nordisk’s acquisition subsidiary will merge into Forma Therapeutics, and any shares of common stock of Forma Therapeutics not tendered into the offer will receive the same USD per share price payable in the tender offer. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.
In addition, certain affiliates of RA Capital Management, L.P., which collectively own approximately 19% of Forma Therapeutics’ outstanding shares, have entered into a support agreement pursuant to which they committed to tender their shares in the tender offer.
Novo Nordisk is represented by Moelis & Company UK LLP as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as legal advisor. Forma Therapeutics is represented by Centerview Partners LLC as financial advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP as legal advisor.
About sickle cell disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic and progressive inherited disorder associated with a decrease in the health and lifespan of red blood cells. People living with SCD have red blood cells that are crescent shaped, rendering them inflexible, fragile, and unable to effectively deliver oxygen. The health of these sickle red blood cells is impaired and characterized by reduced cellular energy, poor deformability, decreased membrane repair, and increased adhesion.
Around 17 million people worldwide live with SCD, including approximately 100,000 people in the United States, as well as approximately 30,000 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. SCD can cause serious health problems, including anemia, fatigue, episodes of pain known as vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs), and chronic, progressive end-organ damage. Despite recent advances in treatment, most patients with SCD still suffer from pain crises, lifelong disability, reduced quality of life, and shortened life expectancy.
Etavopivat is an investigational, once-daily, selective pyruvate kinase-R (PKR) activator designed to be a disease-modifying therapy with the potential to improve red blood cell health and transform the lives of people living with SCD. Employing a multimodal approach, etavopivat works by activating the red blood cell’s natural PKR activity to decrease levels of the metabolite 2,3-DPG, allowing sickle hemoglobin to hold on to oxygen longer, resulting in decreased polymerization, hemolysis, and sickling. Etavopivat-mediated PKR activation also increases adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, to improve red blood cell function, which can lead to improved deformability, capacity for membrane repair, red blood cell health, and lifespan. Together, these effects are anticipated to improve the health of sickle red blood cell and lead to a reduction in anemia, hemolysis, vaso-occlusive crises, and end organ damage.
In a phase 1 trial, etavopivat improved anemia and red blood cell health and appeared to have a safe and well-tolerated profile, demonstrating a potential to improve the lives of patients with SCD, including increases in hemoglobin, improvements in red blood cell health, and decreases in vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted etavopivat Fast Track, Rare Pediatric Disease and Orphan Drug designations. Additionally, etavopivat was granted Orphan Drug designation from the European Commission based on a positive opinion from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of patients with SCD.
About Forma Therapeutics
Forma Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to transform the lives of patients with rare hematologic diseases and cancers. Forma Therapeutics R&D engine combines deep biology insight, chemistry expertise and clinical development capabilities to create drug candidates with differentiated mechanisms of action focused on indications with high unmet need. Our work has generated a broad proprietary portfolio of programs with the potential to provide profound patient benefit.
About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 50,800 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries.