BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH
KSQ Therapeutics | January 30, 2023
KSQ Therapeutics, a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, recently announced that Ono Pharmaceutical (ONO) has acquired multiple research-stage DNA damage response (DDR) programs. The programs were identified using KSQ's CRISPRomics platform technology. All of the programs are new and have the potential to be first-in-class therapies.
ONO's Discovery & Research Executive Director/ Senior Executive Officer Toichi Takino commented, "ONO appreciates the ability of KSQ's CRISPRomics platform technology to discover novel therapeutic targets with high selectivity for cancer cells." He added, "Through this acquisition agreement, we expect that the programs acquired from KSQ will lead to the creation of innovative medicines that will help treat cancer patients."
(Source – Business Wire)
KSQ's Chief Executive Officer Qasim Rizvi commented, "This acquisition of multiple research-stage oncology programs by ONO is further validation of the power of our platform to identify novel oncology targets and develop potential first-in-class programs." He added, "This is an important transaction for KSQ, enabling us to focus on our other programs. We look forward to watching ONO's progress as they advance these programs toward clinical studies."
(Source – Business Wire)
As per the terms of the agreement, ONO will pay KSQ a double-digit million upfront payment, prospective near-term milestone payments with potential long-term value in the triple-digit millions, and net sales-based royalties.
About KSQ Therapeutics
Founded in 2015, KSQ Therapeutics is a clinical-stage firm using its CRISPRomics® discovery platform to systematically decode the genome and identify optimal gene targets for oncology and autoimmune disease. It utilizes the platform for innovative drug development across diverse therapeutic domains and is actively creating a proprietary pipeline of tumor- and immune-focused drug candidates. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, KSQ was formed by functional genomics thought leaders and CRISPR screening technology pioneers.
BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMACY MARKET
PCI Pharma Services | March 20, 2023
PCI Pharma Services (PCI), a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), announced plans for a new 200,000-square-foot facility in Rockford, Illinois to enhance the organization’s capacity in injectable drug-device combination product assembly of both biologics and small molecules. Building on PCI’s leadership in this space with its Philadelphia Biotech Center of Excellence, the new facility is the second expansion building off the success in Philadelphia and will house over 20 dedicated customer suites with multiformat machines for the assembly and packaging of vials, pre-filled syringes, auto-injectors, and pen-cartridge combinations. This machinery can be used for the glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists (GLP-1) class of drugs prescribed to treat diabetes and obesity, as well as those needed for oncology treatment and autoimmune diseases.
PCI’s Rockford location will have extensive product testing capability, state-of-the art top-load cartoning technology, and industry leading injector and pen assembly equipment. Additional capabilities include on-site cold storage, high-speed vial labeling, assembly, and packaging of multiformat autoinjectors, serialization, testing, and drug product release.
“We see the tremendous impact that we can make with patients with this investment,” said Salim Haffar, CEO of PCI Pharma Services. “The need for injectable drug-delivery device combination product capacity and expertise is critical, and we are responding with a world-class facility to address the future demands of our global clients so they can focus on developing therapies to improve the lives of patients with serious chronic conditions.”
The $50 million investment in Rockford will amplify PCI’s specialty drug leadership presence in the Midwest, adding to clinical and commercial sterile fill-finish capabilities in Madison, Wisconsin. The new facility will provide a second hub within the U.S., expanding from PCI’s foundation in the Northeast, with Bedford, New Hampshire’s campus growth in aseptic processing. PCI also has sterile fill-finish capabilities at its Leon, Spain; San Diego, California; and Melbourne, Australia locations. The expansion in Rockford is expected to bring 250 jobs to the region in the next two years, with continued growth over three to five years. The site is expected to be fully operational in summer 2024.
“With this new facility, we will be able to serve all clients focused on injectable drug products including biologics with the equipment and capacity to make life-changing medicines,” said Gil Valadez, Senior Vice President, Commercial Packaging Technology, PCI Pharma Services. “We want to help our clients by managing the technical aspects of drug manufacturing, engineering, and delivery, so they can focus on what’s most important: delivering quality products to meet patient needs. That's what PCI is ultimately all about.”
About the Rockford, IL Facility
Rockford is the largest of PCI’s 30 locations across the U.S., European, and Asia Pacific regions, providing industry-leading services for the clinical and commercial packaging of a diverse portfolio of products and specialized delivery forms destined to reach more than 100 countries across the world. The gated secured facility is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as Schedule 3. It features temperature and humidity control, an approved Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) and offers TF1 and Uhlmann blistering, vibratory and slat filler bottling, powder filling, cartoning, carding, kitting and serialization capabilities. Warehouse storage includes freezer storage -15°C to -30°C and cold storage 2°C to 8°C.
About PCI Pharma Services
PCI is a leading global CDMO, providing clients with integrated end-to-end drug development, manufacturing and packaging capabilities that increase their products’ speed to market and opportunities for commercial success. PCI brings the proven experience that comes with more than 50 successful product launches each year and over five decades in the healthcare services business. We currently have 30 sites across seven countries (Australia, Canada, U.S., Ireland, Wales, Germany and Spain) and over 5,000 employees that work to bring life-changing therapies to patients. Leading technology and continued investment enable us to address global drug development needs throughout the entire product life cycle – from manufacturing capabilities through the clinical trial supply chain and into commercialization. Our clients view us as an extension of their business and a collaborative partner with the shared goal of improving patients’ lives.
BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH
Arrowhead and Amgen | December 21, 2022
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced a $25M milestone payment from Amgen. This milestone was triggered by the first subject enrolled in Amgen’s Phase 3 trial of olpasiran. Arrowhead is further eligible to receive up to an additional $535 million in aggregate development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments from Amgen and Royalty Pharma plc.
“We are pleased with the great progress on the clinical development of olpasiran, which was developed using Arrowhead’s proprietary TRiMTM technology. This is an important milestone for the program and for Arrowhead, as this is the second TRiMTM-enabled candidate to enter Phase 3 studies. Importantly, as our pipeline continues to advance expeditiously, we anticipate multiple Arrowhead therapies will also reach Phase 3 trials over the coming year.”
Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., Arrowhead’s president and CEO
Olpasiran is a small interfering RNA originally developed by Arrowhead using its proprietary Targeted RNAi Molecule, or TRiM, platform and licensed to Amgen in 2016. It is designed to lower levels of lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)), a genetically determined risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Phase 2 study results from the OCEAN(a)-DOSE study were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022, where olpasiran demonstrated a significant and sustained reduction in Lp(a) levels over 36 weeks. These data were simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine on November 6, 2022.
Lp(a) is genetically determined1-3 and a presumed independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Although an agreed upon threshold for elevated Lp(a) is not firmly established, approximately 20% of adults have Lp(a) >125 nmol/L (or approximately 50 mg/dL).1 Evidence has emerged from pathophysiological, epidemiologic, and genetic studies on the potential role of elevated Lp(a) in contributing to myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.3
About Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Using a broad portfolio of RNA chemistries and efficient modes of delivery, Arrowhead therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep, and durable knockdown of target genes. RNA interference, or RNAi, is a mechanism present in living cells that inhibits the expression of a specific gene, thereby affecting the production of a specific protein. Arrowhead’s RNAi-based therapeutics leverage this natural pathway of gene silencing.