Moderna, AstraZeneca and J&J coronavirus shots rev up for NIH tests beginning in July: WSJ

Fiercepharma | June 10, 2020

Moderna, AstraZeneca and J&J coronavirus shots rev up for NIH tests beginning in July: WSJ
As leading coronavirus vaccines make their way through early stages of human testing, the NIH is plotting much larger efficacy studies this summer. U.S. researchers plan to run phase 3 trials of vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reports.  The NIH intends to start a phase 3 trial of Moderna’s vaccine in July, followed by an August trial of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and a September study of Johnson & Johnson’s shot, a U.S. government researcher told the newspaper. All three of the shots are based on brand-new technologies, and they're all reportedly among finalists in the Operation Warp Speed program. Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb has publicly questioned the picks, pointing out the team's reliance on new technologies. Johnson & Johnson has not previously disclosed any human testing for its vaccine and the company has previously said it’s aiming to enter human studies in September. But on Wednesday, the company said it's accelerating its timeline, with plans to start a phase 1/2a study in July.

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The healthcare industry has never been more focused on data its promise and its pitfalls as it is today. From slashing health care spending to detecting fraud or coordinating care across multiple providers improved the use of healthcare data has been held up as a “silver bullet” to slay all kinds of healthcare monsters.

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Fiercepharma | May 06, 2020

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PHARMACY MARKET

Xeris Pharmaceuticals Completes Enrollment of Its Phase 1 Study of Levothyroxine (XP-8121)

Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 01, 2021

Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company leveraging its novel formulation technology platforms to develop and commercialize ready-to-use injectable drug formulations, today announced that the company has completed enrollment and successfully dosed all participants in a Phase 1 study of levothyroxine (XP-8121) to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability, and potential for weekly dosing of the investigational, novel, subcutaneous (SC) injection for the treatment of hypothyroidism. XP-8121 is a novel formulation that could potentially mitigate many of the challenges associated with oral formulations, such as identification of an ideal dose due to absorption variation and medication adherence for patients who have difficulty maintaining a stable, therapeutic serum level. Preclinical studies of SC XP-8121 showed a sustained plasma exposure profile and similar maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) when compared with equivalent doses of the oral formulation. The Phase 1 clinical study of levothyroxine (XP-8121) is a single ascending dose crossover design in 30 healthy participants to compare matching doses of oral levothyroxine (Synthroid®) and subcutaneous (SC) XP-8121. The primary endpoints of the study are to characterize the absorption and elimination kinetics of XP-8121 and compare bioavailability of XP-8121 to oral levothyroxine. Secondary endpoints are safety and tolerability of XP-8121. The study is being conducted in partnership with Dr. Danielle Armas and Celerion, a leading contract research organization with extensive experience performing first-in-human studies. “The potential for a once weekly subcutaneous injection of levothyroxine would represent a promising novel approach in treating patients with hypothyroidism. Drug non-compliance, resistant hypothyroidism, and limited GI absorption are some of the major reasons for treatment failure or suboptimal treatment with oral levothyroxine. These challenges could be mitigated by XP-8121 and translate into the long-term health benefit of achieving a euthyroid state for patients,” said Dr. Armas, Senior Principal Investigator, Celerion. “Because our levothyroxine formulation enables a small volume SC injection, as an injectable maintenance therapy, it may facilitate less frequent dosing. This may provide clinical advantages over the established oral daily route, by providing predictable bioavailability, comparable safety, and ease of use,” said Dr. Ken Johnson, Xeris’ Senior Vice President of Global Development and Medical Affairs. About Levothyroxine and Hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland is responsible for the synthesis, storage, and release of metabolic hormones including thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) [Colucci et al, 2013]. These hormones are crucial in the regulation of critical metabolic processes and are vital for normal growth and development during fetal life, infancy, and childhood. Therapeutically, levothyroxine is administered when the body is deficient in the endogenous hormone. The goal of therapy is restoration of the euthyroid state which can reverse the clinical manifestations of hypothyroidism and significantly improve quality of life [Winther et al, 2016]. The treatment of choice for correction of hypothyroidism is levothyroxine, which is the mainstay of thyroid hormone replacement therapy. It is one of the most widely prescribed drug products in the United States, but the complexity of maintaining biochemical and clinical euthyroidism in patients undergoing treatment with oral levothyroxine cannot be underestimated. It has been reported that nearly 40% of patients undergoing treatment with oral levothyroxine are either over- or under-treated [Laurent et al, 2018] due to factors that include, but are not limited to, drug formulation, use of the drug with food, adherence to the drug, use of concomitant medications, and pre-existing medical conditions. Many patients failing to reach target TSH levels are generally managed by simply increasing their levothyroxine daily dose [Chiovato et al, 2019]. However, levothyroxine is a drug with a narrow therapeutic index [Vita et al, 2014], meaning that relatively small deviations from the proper dose can cause a clinically meaningful shift in pharmacological effects when administered to a patient; thus, the titration of levothyroxine oral drug may be a tailored and incremental process. About Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Xeris is a pharmaceutical company delivering innovative solutions to simplify the experience of administering important therapies that people rely on every day around the world. With a novel technology platform that enables ready-to-use, room-temperature stable formulations of injectable drug, the company is advancing a portfolio of solutions in various therapeutic categories, including its first commercial product, Gvoke® in the U.S. Its proprietary XeriSol™ and XeriJect™ formulation technologies have the potential to offer distinct advantages over conventional product formulations, including eliminating the need for reconstitution, enabling long-term, room-temperature stability, significantly reducing injection volume, and eliminating the requirement for intravenous (IV) infusion. With Xeris’ technology, new product formulations are designed to be easier to use by patients, caregivers, and health practitioners and help reduce costs for payers and the healthcare system. Xeris is headquartered in Chicago, IL.

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Spotlight

The healthcare industry has never been more focused on data its promise and its pitfalls as it is today. From slashing health care spending to detecting fraud or coordinating care across multiple providers improved the use of healthcare data has been held up as a “silver bullet” to slay all kinds of healthcare monsters.