New understanding of antibiotic synthesis

Pharmaceutical Microbiology | January 10, 2020

Researchers at McGill University's Faculty of Medicine have made important strides in understanding the functioning of enzymes that play an integral role in the production of antibiotics and other therapeutics. "Many of the medicines that we rely on today are natural products, made by the Earth's flora," explains Dr. Martin Schmeing, Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at McGill and the study's senior author. "This includes compounds made in microbes by massive enzymes called nonribosomal peptide synthetases, or NRPSs. NRPSs synthesize all sorts of antibiotics, which can kill dangerous fungi and bacteria, as well as compounds to help us fight off viral infections and cancers. For example, these compounds include viomycin, an antibiotic used for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; cyclosporin, which has been widely used as an immunosuppressant in organ transplants; and the familiar antibiotic penicillin."

Spotlight

Pervading every facet of daily life, the information superhighway that society has come to know and love – and occasionally loathe – has enabled a level of communication, collaboration, insight, and analysis that has rendered the current generation of smartphone-addicted kindergarten coders unrecognizable to its forbearers.

Spotlight

Pervading every facet of daily life, the information superhighway that society has come to know and love – and occasionally loathe – has enabled a level of communication, collaboration, insight, and analysis that has rendered the current generation of smartphone-addicted kindergarten coders unrecognizable to its forbearers.

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PHARMA TECH

KiOmed Pharma and Hansoh Pharma Announce License Agreement for KiOmedinevsOne in China’s Mainland, Macau and Taiwan

KiOmed Pharma and Hansoh Pharma | September 27, 2022

KiOmed Pharma, a Belgian biotechnology company with a focus on the development, manufacture and distribution of safe and effective medical devices based on a medical-grade highly pure natural chitosan-derivative, and Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group Company Limited a leading biopharmaceutical company in Asia, today announced a license agreement for the development and commercialization of KiOmedinevsOne, a carboxymethyl chitosan injection that has been launched in Europe for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, in China’s mainland, Macau and Taiwan. Under the terms of the agreement, KiOmed will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to € 66 million, as well as tiered royalties on future product sales. Hansoh will receive exclusive rights to develop and commercialize KiOmedinevsOne and its future extensions in the territory. KiOmed retains the right to develop and commercialize KiOmedinevsOne in all other global markets. Osteoarthritis is a progressive and disabling disease affecting about 250 million people worldwide. According to a recent epidemiology report, the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis in China is 8.1%. As the population in China is aging rapidly, disease burden caused by knee osteoarthritis continues to rise while safe and effective treatment options are still lacking. “We are very excited to partner with Hansoh Pharma, one of the largest biopharmaceutical entities in Greater China. We believe that with Hansoh’s impactful presence in China, their support will be essential to bring this long-acting treatment to the large population of patients suffering from osteoarthritis in China. We launched KiOmedinevsOne last year in several regions of Europe, and the feedback we continue to receive from osteoarthritis patients and physicians is great. With just one single injection to the knee, it can provide symptoms relief including pain, stiffness, and function improvement for more than 6-month. It is the world-first next generation non-animal sourced chitosan injection with a potential safety advantage over animal-sourced chitosan,” added Dr. Houtaï Choumane, CEO and Managing Director of KiOmed. Mr. François Blondel, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of KiOmed Pharma “KiOmed is a leader and an expert in developing natural chitosan products to fulfill unmet medical needs in different spaces. Osteoarthritis negatively impacts an individual’s quality of life and creates a large burden for the patients and their families. We are very glad to see KiOmed’s product (KiOmedinevsOne) will help to solve this problem,” said Eliza Sun, Executive Director of the Board of Hansoh Pharma. “We are also very excited to partner with them and bring this unique product to much needed patients in China.” About KiOmedinevsOne KiOmedinevsOne is a new generation single injection for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis based on world-first exclusive animal free KiOmedine® CM-Chitosan. KiOmedine® CM-Chitosan is a highly purified polysaccharide derived from Agaricus Bisporus (button mushroom) and a patented technology made in Belgium, resulting from years of research and innovation. Different from hyaluronic acid, KiOmedinevsOne has dual mechanism of action to tackle osteoarthritis discomfort and other symptoms by reducing oxidative stress and enhancing joint lubrication. Clinical studies have shown that after a single injection of KiOmedinevsOne, significant pain reduction was observed within 2 weeks and the WOMAC pain score was reduced by 66%, with a long-lasting osteoarthritis symptom reduction for at least 6 months. KiOmedinevsOne is a regulated health product which bears the CE mark under this regulation. It has been launched in Europe in 2021. About KiOmed Pharma Based in Belgium, KiOmed Pharma has a history of innovation and expertise in exclusive natural chitosan chemistry. The company develops a unique pipeline of medical devices that address unmet medical needs in high impact pathologies and major social burdens such as osteoarthritis, skin aging and ophthalmology. KiOmed Pharma's innovative pipeline is based on a solid building block exclusive technology: KiOmedine®, a medical-grade highly pure natural chitosan-derivative. About Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group Hansoh Pharma one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in China, is committed to discovering and developing life-changing medicines to help patients conquer serious diseases and disorders.

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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.

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PHARMA TECH

Alimentiv, Satisfai Health, and Virgo Announce Partnership to use AI-driven technology to Enhance Clinical Trials in IBD and other GI Diseases

Alimentiv Inc. | October 06, 2022

Alimentiv Inc. Satisfai Health, Inc and Virgo Surgical Video Solutions, Inc. announced a strategic partnership to revolutionize central reading, data capture, decision support, and patient recruitment in the clinical trial domain for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and allied GI conditions. Satisfai, a global leader in developing artificial intelligence solutions for gastroenterology, and Virgo, an industry leader in endoscopy video capture technology, will leverage their combined strengths to work in partnership with Alimentiv, a leading CRO in gastroenterology, to realize the full potential of AI-powered precision imaging in the GI clinical trials space. "This synergy of Satisfai and Virgo with Alimentiv is a positive development for patients with IBD and the drug development space. Clinical trials have many pain points, and this strategic partnership will enable advances in improving the efficiency of clinical trials and make some significant changes to how trials are run. We are delighted to enter this arrangement to bring the next generation of imaging technology to clinical trials in gastroenterology." Jeff Smith, CEO of Alimentiv "Artificial Intelligence in medicine is being increasingly adopted across various clinical specialties, with gastroenterology being one key field of use, particularly endoscopy," said Dr. Michael Byrne, CEO and founder of Satisfai Health, Clinical Professor of Medicine and gastroenterologist in Vancouver. "Working with Virgo, we are excited to bring AI-driven solutions to the IBD clinical trials arena. To be able to do so with Alimentiv — a leading Gastroenterology and imaging CRO—is a great opportunity. Our clear ambition is to change the clinical trial paradigm for IBD and other disease states such as Eosinophilic Esophagitis. As three groups working together, we are confident we can do so." "Combining Satisfai's marquis AI solutions with Virgo's HIPAA and SOC 2 compliant automated cloud video capture technology and Alimentiv's 21CFR11 compliant solutions, expansive site community, and imaging expertise is very powerful. We truly look forward to realizing this vision and bringing real-time, in-line AI solutions to GI clinical trials worldwide," said Matthew Schwartz, CEO and co-founder at Virgo. This partnership will facilitate Alimentiv's continued leadership in GI Clinical Trials through exclusive access to Satisfai's SmartScore Central Reading tool and Virgo's fully integrated, hands-free, cloud-based high-definition video-capture fleet. In addition, this will provide pharmaceutical and biotech sponsors with access to the ongoing development of novel endpoints, scoring methodologies, and scalable solutions geared toward bringing novel therapies to market faster. About Alimentiv Inc. Alimentiv is a global contract research organization (CRO) providing clinical trials, central image management, precision medicine, and real-world evidence services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Headquartered in London, Ontario, Alimentiv employs more than 500 people across its operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. The organization's unique model combines the efforts of internationally recognized academic researchers and operational experts to offer integrated solutions to customers. Over the past 20 years, Alimentiv has become a recognized expert in clinical trial design, central image management solutions, outcome measure development, and precision medicine for drug development in IBD. Today, Alimentiv provides services in more than 50 countries worldwide, collaborates with leading universities and academic institutions across the globe, and partners with many leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations to bring new and improved treatment options to patients. Alimentiv is committed to investment in medical research and development, focusing on identifying barriers to drug development and pursuing solutions that advance IBD research. The research findings are operationalized into an efficient clinical trial methodology for clients that aligns with emerging regulatory standards. In collaboration with leading experts, Alimentiv has pioneered the development, validation, and standardization of outcome measures and technology, shaping the evolving clinical trial landscape for multiple indications and providing meaningful long-term consequences for patients, their treatment, and society. About Satisfai Health Satisfai is a leading medical solutions provider specializing in AI applications applied to large addressable markets in gastroenterology. Satisfai's solutions deliver real-time medical imagery analysis, providing clinicians with decision support intelligence that dramatically improves patient outcomes. Satisfai is supported by a highly respected board of medical clinicians and key opinion leaders who operate at the top of their fields in the many areas of gastroenterology. Satisfai enjoys a strong voice on academic panels, leading GI societies, and direct access to prominent industry players seeking to adopt new AI technologies in gastroenterology. About Virgo Virgo provides the leading cloud video capture, management, and artificial intelligence analysis platform for endoscopic medicine. Academic, integrated, and private practice healthcare providers use the Virgo platform to advance patient care through video-based research and training initiatives. Since launching, Virgo has helped physicians capture over 400,000 endoscopy procedures using industry-leading HIPAA, HITRUST, and SOC 2-compliant cloud service providers. Virgo also supports integration with all leading electronic health records systems. In 2021, Virgo launched a suite of tools called VirgoTrials, which help pharmaceutical trial sponsors and their participating trial sites accelerate patient recruitment and shorten the overall enrollment period for trials.

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