BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMACY MARKET
Businesswire | April 10, 2023
Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to creating small molecule drugs for viral infections, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation for EDP-323, Enanta’s L-protein inhibitor in development for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
"Receiving Fast Track designation from the FDA underscores EDP-323’s potential as a once-daily, oral therapeutic for the treatment of this deadly virus and reflects the pressing need for a highly potent, direct antiviral to treat RSV, particularly for high-risk populations,” said Scott T. Rottinghaus, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Enanta Pharmaceuticals. “Given that EDP-323 has shown sub-nanomolar potency against several RSV-A and RSV-B strains in vitro and is not expected to have cross-resistance to other classes of inhibitors, we believe it could be used as a monotherapy or in combination with other RSV mechanisms to potentially broaden the addressable RSV patient populations or the treatment window. We believe this designation will be a valuable component of our clinical and regulatory strategy as we progress EDP-323 in development.”
The Fast Track program is designed to accelerate the development and review of products such as EDP-323, which are intended to treat serious diseases and for which there is an unmet medical need. Fast Track designation enables more frequent communication with the FDA and eligibility for FDA programs such as priority review and rolling review, if relevant criteria are met.
EDP-323 is being evaluated in a Phase 1 double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to assess its safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics (PK). Enanta plans to present new preclinical PK data at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in April and expects to report topline data from the Phase 1 study this quarter.
EDP-323 is supported by in vitro data demonstrating a significant reduction in RSV replication with picomolar potency in primary human bronchial epithelial cells against RSV A and B, with consistent potency across a range of RSV clinical isolates in various cell types. In a mouse model of RSV infection, EDP-323 treatment was associated with dose-dependent decreases in viral load in the lung, reduced lung immunopathology and decreases in pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IFNγ, TNFα, and IL1β. Additionally, EDP-323 has favorable oral bioavailability with good plasma exposures across preclinical species and pharmacokinetic properties supporting once-daily, oral dosing in humans. These data indicate that EDP-323 is a potent inhibitor of RSV replication and has the potential to be a best-in-class, once daily, oral antiviral treatment for RSV.
About Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Enanta is using its robust, chemistry-driven approach and drug discovery capabilities to become a leader in the discovery and development of small molecule drugs for the treatment of viral infections. Enanta’s research and development programs include clinical candidates for the following disease targets: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), SARS-CoV-2 and hepatitis B virus. Enanta is also conducting research on a single agent targeting both RSV and human metapneumovirus.
Globenewswire | May 12, 2023
SERB Pharmaceuticals, a global specialty pharmaceutical company, and SFJ Pharmaceuticals, a global drug development company, announce that SERB has acquired exclusive US rights to the ticagrelor reversal agent bentracimab from SFJ.
Bentracimab is a novel, monoclonal antibody fragment designed to reverse the antiplatelet activity of ticagrelor. Ticagrelor, marketed by AstraZeneca as Brilinta®, is a reversible oral P2Y12 platelet inhibitor for patients who have suffered a heart attack or stroke, or who have acute coronary syndromes or coronary artery disease (CAD). Bentracimab, if approved by the FDA, could allow these patients to benefit from the antithrombotic effect of ticagrelor, preventing vascular events and reducing risk of death, while giving physicians a way to control bleeding in rare emergency situations such as surgery or a major bleeding event.
SFJ will remain responsible for the ongoing clinical trials of bentracimab and will work in collaboration with SERB to submit the Biologics License Application (BLA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which they expect to file later this year.
Jeremie Urbain, Executive Chairman of SERB Pharmaceuticals, said: “The acquisition of bentracimab marks a significant step in our strategy to grow through investment in innovative, biologic products for critical care conditions and leverages our existing commercial and technical capabilities. We're excited to partner with SFJ, recognized leaders in late-stage drug development, to bring this life-saving medicine to healthcare professionals and the patients they treat.”
Robert DeBenedetto, Chief Executive Officer of SFJ, said: “We are pleased to partner with Jeremie and the entire SERB team on this important step to help advance bentracimab to patients. Bentracimab has recognized potential benefits and we have confidence that SFJ in collaboration with SERB will be able to expeditiously and efficiently see bentracimab through the approvals process by the US FDA.”
Bentracimab binds ticagrelor and its major active metabolite with high affinity and specificity. A prespecified interim analysis of the ongoing Phase 3 trial REVERSE-IT published in the New England Journal of Medicine Evidence demonstrated that bentracimab immediately and sustainably reversed the antiplatelet effects of ticagrelor, and was generally well tolerated, with only minor adverse events reported. In 2019 bentracimab received Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA, a process designed to expedite the development and review of drugs which may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy.
The companies did not disclose specific financial terms. Leopoldo Zambeletti acted as advisor for SFJ, and Evercore acted as advisor for SERB.
About SERB Pharmaceuticals
SERB is a global specialty pharmaceutical company with a growing portfolio of medicines for emergency care and rare diseases. For over 30 years we have made treating these complex and life-threatening conditions possible, supporting clinicians, healthcare systems and governments while offering hope to patients and their families. SERB has the broadest antidote portfolio in the world, including medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks. As a fully integrated company, we have the experience and capabilities to acquire, develop, and manufacture our medicines to the highest standards, and make them available worldwide through our secure supply chain. SERB operates in the US as BTG Pharmaceuticals.Learn more at https://SERB.com.
About SFJ Pharmaceuticals®
SFJ is a global drug development company, which provides a unique and highly customized clinical development partnering model for the world's top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. SFJ provides at-risk funding and the global clinical development management and oversight necessary for regulatory submission for some of the most promising drug development programs of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies. SFJ's mission is to leverage its financial strength and global team of pharmaceutical development experts to accelerate the development of life-saving and life-enhancing drugs for the benefit of physicians and the patients they serve. www.sfj-pharma.com
PHARMACY MARKET, PHARMA TECH
prnewswire | April 18, 2023
Science and technology company Merck and XtalPi Inc., a pioneering pharmaceutical technology company powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, have jointly published a study that highlights the benefits of combining computational workflows with wet lab experiments to advance drug development.
Traditional methods like milling and micronization, used to address undesirable crystal morphologies, can be disruptive and costly. In contrast, molecular dynamics simulations offer valuable insights for better crystallization experiment designs.
The collaboration between Merck and XtalPi focused on the impact of different polymer additives on the crystal habit of metformin HCl, a diabetes medication. By combining Merck's experimental capabilities with XtalPi's morphology prediction platform, a comprehensive screening approach for crystal morphology engineering was developed. XtalPi's custom-made force fields successfully predicted the influence of polymer additives on metformin HCl's crystal habits. The addition of HPMC led to a transformation from a needle-like to a prismatic morphology, in agreement with experimental observations. The publication demonstrates the potential of merging computational methods and experimental expertise for drug formulation optimization.
Dr. Peiyu Zhang, XtalPi's Chief Scientific Officer, said, "By integrating XtalPi's molecular dynamics predictions with Merck's experimental validation, we have taken a step towards the rational engineering of desirable crystal habits. We hope to continue improving this 'dry + wet lab' method with leading industry experts like Merck, in the production of novel therapeutics worldwide."
Dr. Jan Gerit Brandenburg, Head of Digital Chemistry at Merck, added, "Our collaboration with XtalPi is transforming pharmaceutical development. By seamlessly incorporating computer simulations with our experimental formulation expertise in a 'digital-first' approach, we are boosting drug development processes and positively impacting patients' lives."
XtalPi is a quantum physics and AI-powered pharmaceutical technology platform that provides integrated drug discovery solutions for global pharmaceutical companies. XtalPi has pioneered a new model for drug R&D that leverages a tightly interwoven trifecta of AI, autonomous labs, and expert domain knowledge. The company applies this three-pronged approach in its R&D platform to accelerate the drug discovery and development process and address unmet needs for patients worldwide.