Novartis backs brolucizumab with new head-to-head Eylea trial

pharmaphorum | September 09, 2019

Novartis is launching a head-to-head trial of its experimental brolucizumab therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) against Bayer/Regeneron’s Eylea, the market leader. The TALON trial in the wet form of AMD will compare brolucizumab against Eylea (aflibercept) on a range of measures, including visual acuity and treatment interval duration, to see if it can outperform Bayer and Regeneron’s drug. An FDA verdict on brolucizumab is due shortly based on two earlier trials – HAWK and HARRIER – and the company is hoping to launch its new therapy before the end of the year in the US. Brolucizumab is a follow-up to Novartis’ blockbuster AMD therapy Lucentis (ranibizumab), which has been competing toe-to-toe in the AMD market with Eylea for several years. Novartis reported sales of $2 billion for Lucentis last year, with its marketing partner Roche adding another $1.7 billion in US sales. In comparison, Regeneron posted $4 billion revenues from the US while Bayer made $2.1 billion in ex-US Eylea sales. Brolucizumab is seen as Novartis’ big chance to claim back dominance of the wet AMD market, which has seen first-to-market Lucentis progressively caught up and overtaken by Eylea over the last few years, and the company spent a priority review voucher in order to get the FDA review done as quickly as possible.

Spotlight

Liquid chromatography is a technique of key importance for many areas of chemical analysis and one that has evolved with the progression of technology and instrumentation over time. Here we highlight some of the key similarities and differences between high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) and consider some of their many applications.

Spotlight

Liquid chromatography is a technique of key importance for many areas of chemical analysis and one that has evolved with the progression of technology and instrumentation over time. Here we highlight some of the key similarities and differences between high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) and consider some of their many applications.

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PHARMA TECH

Apollomics Inc., a Late-Stage Clinical Biopharmaceutical Company to be Listed on Nasdaq Through Business Combination

Apollomics, Inc. | September 15, 2022

Apollomics Inc. a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company, and Maxpro Capital Acquisition Corp. announced a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in Apollomics becoming a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq Global Market. The business combination is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023 and Apollomics is expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “APLM.” Apollomics’ broad pipeline of drug candidates includes late-stage clinical assets for the treatment of patients with difficult-to-treat cancers. Apollomics’ mission is to develop assets in critically important areas of unmet need. The Company’s leading drug candidates address certain subpopulations within lung cancer and leukemia. Globally, both lung cancer and leukemia affect over 2 million people annually. The Company is dedicated to discovering and developing oncology therapies of different mechanisms of action to inhibit cancer. Its diverse portfolio of innovative drug candidates for treating difficult-to-treat cancers includes precision therapy targeting tumors with specific mutations, as well as assets addressing broader cancer conditions. The Company’s pipeline of nine clinical, preclinical and discovery drug candidates has the potential to improve treatment of a number of tumor types. Upon the closing of the transaction, Apollomics will continue to be led by current Chairman and CEO, Dr. Guo-Liang Yu, Ph.D., a serial entrepreneur, and his team. Dr. Yu is a pharmaceutical researcher with more than 300 patents. “Apollomics’ announcement represents the next major milestone on our journey to provide solutions for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers,” Dr. Yu said. “We anticipate that the funds available to us from this transaction will help us accelerate development of our oncology pipeline.” Apollomics expects results from its global Phase 2 multi-cohort clinical trial of vebreltinib in NSCLC and other solid tumors with cMET dysregulation in 2023, which the Company believes may support its first New Drug Application (“NDA”) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) while generating clinical data for different indications. In addition, the Company expects to complete patient recruitment of its uproleselan Phase 3 study in China in 2023. “Our goal was to find an exciting company with a growing pipeline of innovative product candidates that could positively affect the lives of millions of people. Our team is excited to combine with Apollomics as it has met and exceeded all our key selection criteria. Together with Apollomics, Maxpro will do everything we can to support the Company’s vision of treating patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.” Moses Chen, CEO of Maxpro About Apollomics Inc. Apollomics Inc. is an innovative clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of oncology therapies with the potential to be combined with other treatment options to harness the immune system and target specific molecular pathways to inhibit cancer. Apollomics currently has a pipeline of nine drug candidates across multiple programs, six of which are currently in the clinical stage of development. Apollomics’ lead programs include investigating its core product, vebreltinib (APL-101), a potent, selective c-Met inhibitor for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and other advanced tumors with c-Met alterations, which is currently in a Phase 2 multicohort clinical trial in the United States, and developing an anti-cancer enhancer drug candidate, uproleselan (APL-106), a specific E-Selectin antagonist that has the potential to be used adjunctively with standard chemotherapy to treat acute myeloid leukemia and other hematologic cancers, which is currently in Phase 1 and Phase 3 clinical trials in China. About Maxpro Capital Acquisition Corp. Maxpro is a blank check company formed for the purposes of effecting a merger, capital share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses in the healthcare and technology industries. In October 2021, Maxpro consummated a $103.5 million initial public offering of 10.35 million units (including the underwriters’ full exercise of their over-allotment option), each unit consists of one share of Class A common stock and one redeemable warrant, each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one share of Class A common stock at a price of $11.50 per share. EF Hutton, division of Benchmark Investments LLC, served as the sole book-running manager of Maxpro’s initial public offering.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Alira Health Expands North American Capabilities with the Acquisition of Artisan Healthcare Consulting

Alira Health and Artisan Healthcare Consulting | September 07, 2022

Alira Health, a patient-centric, global health care advisory, clinical research and technology company, announced the acquisition of Artisan Healthcare Consulting, a US-based consulting firm that provides strategic insights to healthcare companies. Artisan serves 12 of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies in the US, supports the C-Suite of leading biotechnology companies, and has deep expertise in over 30 therapeutic areas. The acquisition of Artisan strengthens and extends Alira Health’s Market Access and Management Consulting advisory practices in North America and globally. Clients of Alira Health and Artisan Healthcare Consulting now have access to the full breadth of advisory offerings from both firms. Alira Health clients can leverage Artisan’s deep expertise in brand strategy and analytics, new product differentiation, US market access, go-to-launch strategies, and product lifecycle management. Artisan Healthcare Consulting clients can benefit from Alira Health’s clinical operations, real-world evidence, and patient-centric technology offerings, including decentralized clinical trials (DCT), patient support programs (PSP) and digital therapeutics (DTx). “Artisan Healthcare Consulting is recognized for delivering the highest level of strategic and quantitative analysis to help healthcare leaders act decisively across their business. Artisan Healthcare Consulting’s leadership has decades of experience serving as a long-term partner to healthcare executives. We welcome them to the Alira Health team.” Jean-Francois Ricci, Chief Access Officer at Alira Health “We are delighted to join a company with such a broad and complementary set of capabilities,” said Bob Delise, CEO and Founder of Artisan Healthcare Consulting. “It is a pleasure to work with our new colleagues, and we now have access to an international team of strategists and experts who can help our customers succeed. We embrace Alira Health’s mission to humanize healthcare and look forward to offering new capabilities to all our clients.” Artisan Healthcare Consulting partners Bob Delise, Brad Ship, and Greg Wolfe will join Alira Health’s global consulting leadership team as they continue to work with their long-term clients. About Artisan Healthcare Consulting, Inc. Artisan Healthcare Consulting Inc. was founded in 2009 on the principle that outstanding client service differentiates a great consulting firm from a good one. Artisan provides strategic and analytic advice to a wide range of healthcare product companies. Artisan works across the biopharma industry to help clients steer emerging therapies through clinical development, launch them successfully, and drive success throughout the life cycle of their products. About Alira Health Alira Health is an international patient-centric, global health care advisory, clinical research, and technology company, whose mission is to humanize healthcare. We work with healthcare and life sciences organizations looking for support across their entire solutions lifecycle. From development to medical care, we complement our clients’ expertise with a full spectrum of services including research and clinical development solutions, technology-powered consulting, and real-world evidence. Our integrated and multidisciplinary team of over 600 scientists, strategists, economists, clinicians, and biostatisticians collaborate across our North American, European, and Asian offices and advise 80% of the top 50% of MedTech companies and 75% of the top 50% of Pharma companies.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Eyenovia's Novel Optejet® Dispenser Puts People's Eyes First

Eyenovia | September 06, 2022

Eyenovia, Inc. an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print therapeutics, brings human-centric design to ophthalmology with its novel Optejet® dispenser. Traditional eye drops normally overdose the patient's eye with medication and preservatives. Eyenovia's easy-to-use, novel Optejet® dispenser administers precisely 8µL of medication to the eye, effectively treating the patient's condition while creating a more gentle dosing experience. "The unique delivery mechanism of the Optejet® will fundamentally change how we think about eye medication. Right now, traditional eye drops can result in significant dose-related side effects for the treatment of chronic illnesses like glaucoma. The Optejet® dispenser is designed for patients to experience easier administration and fewer side effects with similar efficacy." Michael Rowe, CEO of Eyenovia The Optejet® dispenser administers ophthalmic solutions horizontally using Eyenovia's proprietary Microdose Array Print (MAP™) technology. The system functions similar to an inkjet printer, delivering accurate microdoses through a precision spray. Traditional eye drops deliver four to five times larger volume than the human eye can actually hold, which causes eye drops to roll down the face and overdose the eye with preservatives. Poor delivery of eye drops is more than an inconvenience; it can prevent patients from using necessary medication because of the side effects. For example, with medication to help dilate the pupils for eye exams, up to 23% of patients experienced stinging and burning with the eye drops, causing patients to forgo eye exams. In Eyenovia studies, less than 1% of patients experienced stinging and burning. "Medications only work if patients take them, and with the Optejet, we have designed a way for patients to benefit from an easy-to-use, appropriate, lower dose spray that results in similar efficacy. We're excited for physicians and providers to be able to offer this revolutionary technology in the near future to patients who deserve a more positive experience," said Rowe. Eyenovia's first marketed invention is expected to be MydCombi™, a first-in-class drug-device combination microdose for in-office pupil dilation. This potentially will help save physician's chair time, eliminating the traditional three eyedrops used for a patient's eye exam. Other exciting innovations in the Eyenovia pipeline include MicroLine and MicroPine. About Eyenovia, Inc. Eyenovia, Inc. is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical technology company developing a pipeline of microdose array print therapeutics. Eyenovia is currently focused on the late-stage development of microdosed medications for mydriasis, presbyopia, and myopia progression.

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