NICE recommends Revlimid as multiple myeloma alternative

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Revlimid (lenalidomide), a drug that helps to support the immune system to fight blood cancer. The treatment will now be available on the NHS for patients with a form of blood cancer as a first- and second-line drug, after a new guideline recommended it in combination with dexamethasone as an option for previously untreated multiple myeloma in adults who are not eligible for a stem cell transplant and cannot take thalidomide. The new indication will benefit approximately 2,100 patients, as the company has a commercial arrangement (via the patient access scheme) which makes lenalidomide available to the NHS with a discount. The new drug will “not only improve the length of time people live, but it will also have fewer side effects compared with current treatments”, said Meindert Boysen, director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE.

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BioMap Establishes a Strategic Collaboration with Sanofi to Co-Develop AI Modules to Accelerate Drug Discovery for Biotherapeutics

Business Wire | October 17, 2023

BioMap announced a groundbreaking strategic collaboration with Sanofi to co-develop cutting-edge AI modules for biotherapeutic drug discovery leveraging BioMap’s AI platform. “As the largest foundational model-based approach within life sciences, we are thrilled to collaborate with Sanofi and leverage the potential of BioMap’s cutting-edge AI engine to help solve complex problems associated with new protein therapies to drive drug discovery,” said BioMap’s Chief Technology Officer, Le Song. “We have built what is essentially a biological map of proteins using data sets from public and private sources to inform our foundational models. Utilizing automation and integrated workflows to enhance the collection of high-quality data, we can catalyze the process of new hit discovery and lead optimization.” Traditional AI methods require vast amounts of labeled data to make accurate predictions. However, in life science, labeled data are often in short supply. BioMap’s foundational models are revolutionizing AI in biology by enabling one large model, trained on ubiquitous unlabeled data, to inform multiple downstream task models. This approach enables superior prediction from limited data in a range of therapeutic areas, including immunology, neurology, oncology, and rare diseases. Leveraging BioMap’s custom-built foundational models and world-leading AI expertise, as well as Sanofi’s proprietary data, computational innovations in protein engineering, and deep biologics development experience, both parties aim to create advanced AI models and protein Large Language Models that will enable biologics design and multiparametric optimization. "By combining Sanofi’s proprietary data sets, digital infrastructure, AI and data science capabilities, and drug development expertise with BioMap’s protein Large Language Models, high-performance computing, and deep understanding of AI, we can optimize the process of discovery and development of breakthrough biotherapeutics,” said Matt Truppo, Global Head of Research Platforms at Sanofi. “Our collaboration with BioMap further underscores Sanofi’s commitment to becoming the first pharma company powered by artificial intelligence at scale.” Under the terms of the agreement, BioMap will receive an upfront cash payment and near-term payments for reaching module development milestones from Sanofi. BioMap will be eligible to receive payments of over $1 billion based on achievement of pre-clinical development, clinical development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. About BioMap Founded in 2020 by Robin Li and Wei Liu, BioMap is a disruptive life science AI company responsible for building xTrimo, the first and largest protein-centric large language model platform. Their technology allows scientists to model life more accurately, from proteins to a system level, and extract novel insights and predictions from limited data. Supported by an international, cross-functional team of over 300 experts, BioMap is solving critical, protein-related drug development problems and charting a course to radically improve patients’ lives.

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Halozyme Announces Positive Clinical Data of its High-Volume Auto-Injector Demonstrating Successful Rapid Subcutaneous Drug Delivery

PR Newswire | October 19, 2023

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. announced positive results of a clinical study demonstrating subcutaneous administration of 10 mL of a representative biologic product co-formulated with its ENHANZE® drug delivery technology, in approximately 30 seconds. In the study, the biologic was delivered with Halozyme's proprietary high-volume auto-injector (HVAI) in healthy volunteers. The injection was delivered successfully to all 23 participants and was well tolerated. "To our knowledge, this is the first clinical study of its kind," said Mike LaBarre, chief technical officer of Halozyme. "Traditional subcutaneous auto-injector delivery methods are typically limited to volumes less than 2 mL or require long delivery times at slow rates for higher volumes. By enabling rapid subcutaneous injection of high volumes of biologic products, our ENHANZE drug delivery technology in combination with our proprietary HVAI has the potential to improve the patient experience for multiple therapies." In the study, a representative biologic, immunoglobulin 10%, was delivered to 23 healthy volunteers. The primary endpoint of the study was achieved with all subjects receiving the completed dose with HVAI, demonstrating that 10 mL of a representative biologic product can be rapidly delivered using Halozyme's ENHANZE® and HVAI technologies. Data Highlights 96% of participants stated that they would be willing to receive the injection again. 90% of participants indicated feeling either no pain or mild pain immediately after injection. Erythema, swelling, and induration were generally minimal to mild and resolved by 90 minutes or less. Biologics delivered subcutaneously through auto-injectors are typically restricted to doses of 1-2 mL. This limitation is caused by hyaluronan, a molecule that inhibits fluid dispersion in the subcutaneous space. Halozyme's ENHANZE® drug delivery technology is based on a proprietary recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 (rHuPH20), an enzyme that locally degrades hyaluronan in the subcutaneous space. This temporarily increases the permeability of the tissue under the skin, allowing space for the biologic to enter, enabling it to be rapidly dispersed and absorbed into the bloodstream. "These results support our continued dedication to providing innovative drug delivery options to patients," said Helen Torley, chief executive officer of Halozyme. "Our ENHANZE drug delivery and HVAI technologies have the potential to rapidly deliver large volume therapeutics subcutaneously with the potential for meaningful clinical benefits." Halozyme's HVAI is available to partners for clinical use. About Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. Halozyme is a biopharmaceutical company bringing disruptive solutions to significantly improve patient experiences and outcomes for emerging and established therapies. As the innovators of the ENHANZE® drug delivery technology with the proprietary enzyme rHuPH20, Halozyme's commercially-validated solution is used to facilitate the delivery of injected drugs and fluids in order to reduce the treatment burden to patients. Having touched more than 700,000 patient lives in post-marketing use in seven commercialized products across more than 100 global markets, Halozyme has licensed its ENHANZE® technology to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including Roche, Takeda, Pfizer, AbbVie, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Alexion, argenx, Horizon Therapeutics, ViiV Healthcare and Chugai Pharmaceutical. Halozyme also develops, manufactures and commercializes, for itself or with partners, drug-device combination products using its advanced auto-injector technology that are designed to provide commercial or functional advantages such as improved convenience and tolerability, and enhanced patient comfort and adherence. The Company has a commercial portfolio of proprietary products including XYOSTED®, TLANDO® and NOCDURNA® and partnered commercial products and ongoing product development programs with several pharmaceutical companies including Teva Pharmaceutical, Pfizer and Idorsia Pharmaceuticals.

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Indivior Enters an Exclusive Licensing Agreement with Alar Pharmaceuticals

PR Newswire | October 12, 2023

Indivior PLC a leading addiction treatment company, announced that it has gained exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize Alar Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s ("Alar") portfolio of long-acting injectable formulations that release a prodrug1 of buprenorphine at varying durations, including its lead long-acting injectable ("LAI") candidate, ALA-1000. ALA-1000 is a sustained-release LAI prodrug of buprenorphine. With dosage intervals of potentially up to four times per year, ALA-1000 could address unmet opioid use disorder ("OUD") patient needs with a longer duration of treatment, which could provide an option for patients seeking a less frequent maintenance therapy regimen, for patients living in remote areas without easy access to care, and for high-risk patients, such as those transitioning from the Justice system. Under the agreement with Alar, Indivior will pay $10 million to secure exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize ALA-1000 and Alar's future buprenorphine-based LAI product candidates. The $10 million payment is in addition to an initial $5 million option payment made by Indivior to Alar in Q1. Alar is entitled to potential milestone payments if various developmental, regulatory, and commercial goals are achieved. "Alar provides Indivior with a unique opportunity to further address unmet patient needs in the treatment of OUD with potentially the first three-month buprenorphine LAI," said Christian Heidbreder, Chief Scientific Officer. "By providing a therapeutic option for patients who might benefit from less frequent dosing, ALA-1000 has the potential to broaden the spectrum of care for OUD treatment as well as enhance the addressable patient population." ALA-1000 is an investigational drug and is positioned to be the first three-month buprenorphine administered subcutaneously entering the clinical stage. Results from a single-ascending dose ("SAD") study, announced by Alar in January 2022, demonstrated the safety, tolerability and sustained release profile of ALA-1000 over 12 weeks in patients with OUD2. Alar has been granted composition of matter and formulation patents for ALA-1000 covering sustained-release buprenorphine formulations with expiry in 2037 and 2039. Based in Taichung, Taiwan, Alar is a drug development company which focuses on developing long-acting drug products for central nervous system ("CNS") disorders and chronic diseases, utilizing its proprietary depot technology. Compared with other long-acting subcutaneous injection technologies, its proprietary platform has been associated with distinctive characteristics such as low viscosity solution, small injection volume and sustained drug release profile. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the Group's FY 2023 adjusted results. About Indivior Indivior is a global pharmaceutical company working to help change patients' lives by developing medicines to treat addiction and serious mental illnesses. Our vision is that all patients around the world will have access to evidence-based treatment for the chronic conditions and co-occurring disorders of substance use disorder (SUD). Indivior is dedicated to transforming SUD from a global human crisis to a recognized and treated chronic disease. Building on its global portfolio of OUD treatments, Indivior has a pipeline of product candidates designed to both expand on its heritage in this category and potentially address other chronic conditions and co-occurring disorders of SUD, including alcohol use disorder and cannabis use disorder. Headquartered in the United States in Richmond, VA, Indivior employs more than 1,000 individuals globally and its portfolio of products is available in 39 countries worldwide.

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