Merck and Pfizer’s Bavencio approved for renal cell carcinoma

pharmaphorum | May 15, 2019

Merck KGaA and Pfizer’s immunotherapy Bavencio (avelumab) has been approved by the FDA in combination with Pfizer’s Inlyta (axitinib) for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The accelerated approval was based on positive results from the Phase III JAVELIN Renal 101 study, which showed the combination significantly lowered risk of disease progression or death by 31% and extended progression-free survival by 5.4 months for patients with advanced RCC compared with sunitinib. This is good news for a drug that has faced some challenges recently. In March, Merck and Pfizer discontinued an ovarian cancer trial for Bavencio. The decision was based on several emerging factors since the trial’s initiation, including interim results from the separate JAVELIN Ovarian 100 trial announced in December showing that Bavencio was unable to improve progression-free survival when used as a maintenance therapy. That failure came just a few weeks after Merck and Pfizer conceded defeat in another phase III study of Bavencio, the JAVELIN Ovarian 200 trial in platinum-resistant or platinum-refractory ovarian cancer.

Spotlight

By providing patient education on customer-facing websites and patient portals, healthcare organizations and businesses are able to better connect with consumers and caregivers and improve customer loyalty. Online patient education can also be key to reaching non-English speakers and increasingly tech-savvy consumers.

Spotlight

By providing patient education on customer-facing websites and patient portals, healthcare organizations and businesses are able to better connect with consumers and caregivers and improve customer loyalty. Online patient education can also be key to reaching non-English speakers and increasingly tech-savvy consumers.

Related News

PHARMA TECH

Sumitovant Biopharma and Sumitomo Pharma Announce Offer to Acquire Outstanding Shares of Myovant Sciences

Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd. | October 03, 2022

Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd. in conjunction with parent company Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. announced it has submitted a non-binding proposal to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Myovant Sciences Ltd. offering to acquire all outstanding shares of Myovant not already owned by Sumitovant for $22.75 per share in cash. The proposed transaction, if completed, would result in Myovant being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. The proposed acquisition consideration represents an equity value for Myovant of $2.4 billion and an enterprise value of $2.5 billion. The proposed per share consideration represents a premium of approximately 27% to Myovant's closing share price on September 30, 2022, and a premium of approximately 31% to the 60-day volume weighted average price of Myovant's shares through September 30, 2022. The Proposal is a natural step in the well-established relationship between Sumitovant and Myovant, and represents an unprecedented opportunity to combine expertise, platforms, and resources to deliver innovative therapies addressing unmet patient needs in women's health and prostate cancer. Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma have been impressed with the culture and significant accomplishments of Myovant's employees. If a transaction is completed, we will continue to provide support and resources to Myovant to enable achievement of its mission to redefine care for the patients they so passionately serve. Since the investment in Myovant in December 2019, both Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma have enjoyed a collaborative and successful relationship with Myovant that has facilitated the continued development and commercialization of Orgovyx® and Myfembree® in prostate cancer and women's health in and outside of the U.S. Further, Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma believe that the Proposal is financially compelling and will create significant and immediate value for Myovant's shareholders. The Proposal provides that the proposed transaction will be subject to the approval of the shareholders of Myovant holding a majority of the shares not owned by Sumitovant. In addition, Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma informed the Audit Committee in the Proposal that, in Sumitovant's capacity as a majority shareholder in Myovant, Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma are interested only in acquiring the shares of Myovant not already owned by Sumitovant and that in such capacity, Sumitovant has no interest in selling any of the Myovant shares it owns, nor would Sumitovant support any alternative sale, merger, or similar transaction involving Myovant. The Proposal does not create any binding legal obligation between Sumitovant or Sumitomo Pharma and Myovant. Neither Sumitovant, Sumitomo Pharma nor Myovant will have any obligation or liability to the other with respect to a transaction unless and until definitive transaction documents are executed and delivered by the parties. About Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd. Sumitovant is a technology-driven biopharmaceutical company accelerating development and commercialization of new potential therapies for patients with rare conditions and other diseases. Through our proprietary computing and data platforms, scientific expertise and diverse company portfolio, Sumitovant has supported development of multiple FDA-approved products and a robust pipeline of early- through late-stage investigational assets addressing unmet patient needs in pediatrics, urology, oncology, women's health, specialty respiratory and infectious diseases. Sumitovant is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Pharma. About Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. Sumitomo Pharma is among the top-ten listed pharmaceutical companies in Japan, operating globally in major pharmaceutical markets, including Japan, the U.S., China, and other Asian countries with about 7,000 employees worldwide. Sumitomo Pharma defines its corporate mission as "To broadly contribute to society through value creation based on innovative research and development activities for the betterment of healthcare and fuller lives of people worldwide."

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Astellas and MBC BioLabs Announce Astellas Future Innovator Prize to Help Biotech Start-ups Accelerate Early Drug Discovery and Research Efforts

Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 20, 2022

Astellas Venture Management LLC a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc. and Mission Bay Capital BioLabs a life-science incubator, today announced their collaboration on the "Astellas Future Innovator Prize" formerly known as the Astellas Golden Ticket competition. Building on over three successful years, the competition offers entrepreneurial scientists or emerging biotechnology start-ups one year's priority usage of MBC BioLabs' state-of-the-art lab facility and access to Astellas' research and development (R&D) capabilities and business leaders. With a shared commitment to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide, AVM and MBC BioLabs are continuing their partnership to support scientists and early-stage companies to accelerate their novel therapeutic programs, modalities or platforms. The 2022 competition will prioritize innovative research that compliment Astellas' Focus Area Approach and pipeline. "We are truly thrilled to host the Astellas Future Innovator Prize again this year. Through our long-term collaboration with MBC BioLabs, we aim to create an environment that encourages innovation to thrive. The Astellas Future Innovator Prize enables us to provide biotech companies with expertise and capabilities to turn an innovative idea into a real solution, which could transform the lives of patients in need around the world." William Watt, President, AVM "We are pleased to continue our partnership with Astellas to uncover the innovators of tomorrow," said Douglas Crawford, MBC BioLabs General Manager. "The past winners of the Astellas Future Innovator Prize show what can be achieved by combining Astellas' support, advice and expertise with our laboratory incubator, and we are excited to see the result of our ongoing collaboration." Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science and biotechnology start-ups have until November 4, 2022 to enter the Astellas Future Innovator Prize. About the Astellas Future Innovator Prize at MBC BioLabs Astellas is offering up to two prizes for pioneering scientists with innovative research that complements Astellas' areas of interest in alignment with its Focus Area Approach and pipeline, including Blindness & Regeneration, Mitochondria, Genetic Regulation, Immuno-Oncology, Cell Therapy, and other areas. The 2021 Astellas Future Innovator Prize winners were Vcreate and Weatherwax Biotechnologies, chosen for the potential of their innovations to deliver therapeutic advances for unmet medical needs and their potential synergy with Astellas' Focus Area Approach. About Astellas Venture Management LLC AVM is the wholly-owned venture capital organization within Astellas, dedicated to supporting pre-clinical, cutting-edge science that can bring VALUE to patients. For over 15 years, AVM has provided equity investments to private, early-stage companies developing therapeutic programs and platform technologies, helping them to advance their innovations faster. AVM is a strategic investor, making investments in science that will enhance the current Astellas R&D pipeline or that could catalyze new directions in discovery research. 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. About MBC BioLabs MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single bench and providing these entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, MBC BioLabs allows companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. It has three sites: one in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco and two campuses in San Carlos, California. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one. MBC BioLabs has partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and life-science companies as well as a built-in venture capital firm, Mission BioCapital. These partnerships provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and accelerates the innovation pipeline. Since opening in 2013, MBC BioLabs has helped launch and grow 290 companies. These companies have brought 58 programs to the clinic, produced 13 approved diagnostics, and raised over $14 billion.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Athira Pharma Advances Phase 2/3 LIFT-AD Clinical Study of Fosgonimeton in Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Patients

Athira Pharma, Inc. | October 18, 2022

Athira Pharma, Inc. a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced that following an unblinded interim efficacy and futility analysis, an independent data monitoring committee recommended continuation of the LIFT-AD study of fosgonimeton in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The committee also determined that, with the additional enrollment of fewer than 150 patients for a total enrollment of less than 300 patients without background therapy the study will be well powered for the primary endpoint given the preliminary effect size observed. The primary endpoint of LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition and function. Results from the completed exploratory ACT-AD Phase 2 study showed a favorable safety profile and suggested positive effects on measures of cognition function and neurodegeneration in patients taking fosgonimeton without background therapy. Guided by these results, the Company proactively amended LIFT-AD to focus on patients not on background therapy. The unblinded interim analysis was then conducted in approximately 100 patients not on background therapy to corroborate observations from ACT-AD and ensure LIFT-AD is well powered to determine the effect of fosgonimeton on clinically meaningful and commercially relevant endpoints. “The results from the data monitoring committee’s unblinded analysis give us confidence in a potentially positive outcome for LIFT-AD, as stringent evaluation criteria were applied based on validated and clinically meaningful cognitive and functional outcomes. This analysis supports the potential clinical benefits of fosgonimeton treatment and underscores the rationale for continued development of this promising new therapy.” Hans Moebius, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Athira “We are very excited by the results of this independent review as we believe they mitigate the risk of the fosgonimeton development plan, support the potential clinical benefit of fosgonimeton and inform the sample size needed to achieve success with LIFT-AD,” said Mark Litton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Athira. “We are now targeting to complete enrollment in mid-2023 and report topline data in early 2024. Importantly, we have a strong balance sheet to execute our plans through key data readouts and beyond. Moving forward, we remain keenly focused on advancing this novel investigational therapy with the hope of positively impacting the lives of millions of Alzheimer’s patients. “Our goal with fosgonimeton is to demonstrate its ability to improve cognition and function and to ultimately provide neuroprotection. The ACT-AD study suggested these benefits, and the results of the LIFT-AD interim analysis corroborate those findings,” added Dr. Litton. “We believe any drug that can demonstrate neuroprotection could become a treatment of choice for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients.” About the LIFT-AD Clinical Study LIFT-AD is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of fosgonimeton for patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Patients are randomized across two dose groups and one placebo group on a 1:1:1 basis to receive a subcutaneous injection of fosgonimeton or placebo once daily over a treatment course of 26 weeks. The primary endpoint for LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale and function. Additional information on the LIFT-AD study can be found at: NCT04488419. About Fosgonimeton Fosgonimeton is a small molecule designed to enhance the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET, to impact neurodegeneration and regenerate brain tissue. The function of the HGF/MET receptor system may be impaired in the brain under conditions of neurodegeneration. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, fosgonimeton has the potential to address the broader dementia population, including Parkinson’s disease dementia and Dementia with Lewy bodies, as the mode of action focuses on network recovery and synaptic signal transmission in the brain. The ACT-AD trial was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01AG06268. The information presented in this press release is solely the responsibility of Athira and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. About Athira Pharma, Inc. Athira Pharma, Inc., headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration. Athira aims to provide rapid cognitive improvement and alter the course of neurological diseases with its novel mechanism of action. Athira is currently advancing its pipeline of therapeutic candidates targeting the HGF/MET neurotrophic system for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies and neuropsychiatric indications.

Read More