Novartis, shadowed by data scandal, renews case for Zolgensma

BioPharma Dive | September 19, 2019

Infants likely to develop a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy, but who were not yet symptomatic, could sit and stand following treatment with Novartis' gene therapy Zolgensma, according to new study results disclosed by the Swiss drugmaker. The data, presented Thursday at the European Paediatric Neurology Society's annual meeting in Athens, Greece, are an update from an initial glimpse the company gave in May. Since then, more babies with the inherited neuromuscular disease achieved motor milestones like sitting independently for more than 30 seconds or standing with assistance. Typically, infants diagnosed with severe SMA are never able to sit, and most die by age two. Five patients in the trial, called SPR1NT, achieved the maximum score on a University of Pennsylvania scale used to gauge motor abilities, an improvement from the three who did by the May update. Two others have reached normal levels.

Spotlight

Expiring patterns and growing pressure from authorities to reduce drug prices are testing pharma industry. Digital transformation is the avenue which will help companies succeed in mitigating these challenges. Digital transformation provides keys to unlocking the patient access and interaction challenges.

Spotlight

Expiring patterns and growing pressure from authorities to reduce drug prices are testing pharma industry. Digital transformation is the avenue which will help companies succeed in mitigating these challenges. Digital transformation provides keys to unlocking the patient access and interaction challenges.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

TFF Pharmaceuticals Expands R&D Operations with New Austin Facility

TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | July 16, 2022

TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative drug products based on its patented Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology platform, today announced a significant expansion of its R&D operations through the lease of a new research and development facility located in Austin, Texas. The new facility of over 3,500 square feet significantly increases TFF’s total lab space, adding a dedicated lab for downstream processing of products created via Thin Film Freezing, which will complement the company’s existing formulation development capabilities. As TFF expands its in-house and partnered research, including applications in biologics, the additional laboratory space will also provide significantly more real estate to accommodate larger equipment to facilitate scale-up and manufacturing, as well as to produce supplies for preclinical studies. The new space will be supervised by Donald Owens, Ph.D., Director of Product Development at TFF, and supported by John Koleng, Ph.D., R.Ph., Vice President of Product Development and Manufacturing. The company also plans to expand the product development team in Austin, which will be based at the new facility, to support the growing number of partnered projects. The lease arrangement used to finance the facility is also a major advantage, providing TFF with a highly flexible and capital efficient approach in expanding its R&D operations while preserving capital resources. “The opening of our new Austin R&D facility represents an important evolution of TFF’s operations, reflecting growing demand for our Thin Film Freezing technology and product development services. The Austin facility will enable us to increase testing capacity so that we can run a larger number of feasibility studies, including a focus on biologics where demand has continued to grow. Additionally, as many of our partnered programs move to clinical evaluation, the ability to scale-up manufacturing in parallel becomes mission critical. We expect the new Austin facility will allow us to meet the current growing demand for Thin Film Freezing-based products.” Dr. Koleng The addition of this facility also cements Austin as a central hub of TFF’s research operations. The company maintains a close relationship and research collaborations with academic institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, where TFF has extensive early-stage formulation capabilities. “As our internal programs advance and our network of partnerships expands, establishing this additional research space in Austin is a natural next step,” added Glenn Mattes, CEO of TFF Pharmaceuticals. “I’m confident that Don and John will spearhead a successful expansion and scale-up of TFF’s capabilities to meet growing demand. We will also continue to work closely with our partners, including Dr. Robert O. Williams, Special Advisor to TFF and Co-Inventor of the Thin Film Freezing technology, who continues to advance new research demonstrating the broad applications and advantages of our technology from his home base at UT Austin.” ABOUT TFF PHARMACEUTICALS’ THIN FILM FREEZING TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM TFF Pharmaceuticals’ proprietary Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology allows for the transformation of both existing compounds and new chemical entities into dry powder formulations exhibiting unique characteristics and benefits. The Thin Film Freezing process is a particle engineering process designed to generate dry powder particles with advantageous properties for inhalation, as well as parenteral, nasal, oral, topical and ocular routes of administration. The process can be used to engineer powders for direct delivery to the site of need, circumventing challenges of systemic administration and leading to improved bioavailability, faster onset of action, and improved safety and efficacy. The ability to deliver therapies directly to the target organ, such as the lung, allows TFF powders to be administered at lower doses compared to oral drugs, reducing unwanted toxicities and side effects. Laboratory data suggests the aerodynamic properties of the powders created by Thin Film Freezing can deliver as much as 75% of the dose to the deep lung. Thin Film Freezing does not introduce heat, shear stress, or other forces that can damage more complex therapeutic components, such as fragile biologics, and instead enables the reformulation of these materials into easily stored and temperature-stable dry powders, making therapeutics and vaccines more accessible for distribution worldwide. The advantages of Thin Film Freezing can be used to enhance traditional delivery or combined to enable next-generation pharmaceutical products. ABOUT TFF PHARMACEUTICALS TFF Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaging patented rapid freezing technology to develop and transform medicines into potent dry powder formulations for better efficacy, safety and stability. The company’s versatile Thin Film Freezing (TFF) technology platform has broad applicability to convert any drug, including vaccines, small and large molecules and biologics, into an elegant dry powder ​highly advantageous for inhalation, with improved absorption so drugs can also be delivered to the eyes, nose and topically to the skin. TFF has two lead drug candidates in the clinic: Voriconazole Inhalation Powder and Tacrolimus Inhalation Powder, and continues to expand its pipeline by collaborating with a broad array of pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions and government partners to revolutionize healthcare around the globe. The TFF Platform is protected by 120+ patents issued or pending in the U.S. and internationally.

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PHARMA TECH

Cambrex Completes First Phase of $30 Million Capacity Expansion Project in High Point, North Carolina

Cambrex | September 05, 2022

Cambrex today announced the completion of the first phase of its $30 million investment in its small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility in High Point, North Carolina. The newly constructed space adds analytical and chemical development laboratories totaling 30,000 square feet and provides future workspace for 85 analytical and chemical development scientists. These laboratories will support the development of APIs to be manufactured in the facility's current clinical manufacturing area, as well as the future expanded clinical manufacturing and commercial manufacturing suites. "With the growing number of therapies in clinical development and trend toward more targeted therapeutics, including orphan drugs, this expansion is preparing Cambrex to support the growing demand for small-scale API manufacturing. Our expansion goes beyond providing capacity – it provides state-of-the-art technology and laboratory equipment, an energy efficient infrastructure, and an ideal space for our scientific experts to work side-by-side with our clients." Tom Loewald, CEO, Cambrex Phase 2 of the project is ongoing and will approximately double the facility's manufacturing capacity with the addition of clinical and commercial manufacturing suites with reactors up to 2,000 liters. The new commercial area will provide an ideal scale for the manufacturing of orphan drugs and niche therapies, while larger volume products developed at the facility can be manufactured commercially at one of Cambrex's larger scale facilities in Iowa and Sweden. This expansion follows Cambrex's 2021 investment in the Cambrex High Point continuous flow R&D center of excellence, including expanded capabilities for continuous flow process development, manufacturing, and scale up. Cambrex continues to expand its capabilities and capacity across its North American and European network to meet the growing demand for outsourced product development and manufacturing services. About Cambrex Cambrex is a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization that provides drug substance, drug product, and analytical services across the entire drug lifecycle. With over 40 years of experience and a growing team of over 2,300 experts servicing global clients from North America and Europe, Cambrex is a trusted partner in branded and generic markets for API and finished dosage form development and manufacturing. Cambrex offers a range of specialized drug substance technologies and capabilities, including biocatalysis, continuous flow, controlled substances, solid-state science, material characterization, stability storage, and highly potent APIs. In addition, Cambrex can support conventional dosage forms, including oral solids, semi-solids, and liquids, and has the expertise to manufacture specialty dosage forms such as modified-release, fixed-dose combination, pediatric, bi-layer tablets, stick packs, topicals, controlled substances, sterile, and non-sterile ointments.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Acorda Therapeutics Enters into License Agreement with Asieris Pharmaceuticals

Asieris | August 30, 2022

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has entered into a license agreement relating to its preclinical asset, Nepicastat, with Asieris Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company headquartered in China. Under the terms of the agreement, Acorda will receive an upfront payment of $500,000, and up to an additional $7 million based on the achievement of regulatory milestones. Acorda will also receive a royalty on future net sales. Nepicastat is a small molecule drug and the license agreement provides for its development for all non-psychiatric indications and therapeutic uses. The asset has been held by Acorda’s U.S. subsidiary, Biotie Therapies, Inc. About Acorda Therapeutics Acorda Therapeutics develops therapies to restore function and improve the lives of people with neurological disorders. INBRIJA® is approved for intermittent treatment of OFF episodes in adults with Parkinson’s disease treated with carbidopa/levodopa. INBRIJA is not to be used by patients who take or have taken a nonselective monoamine oxidase inhibitor such as phenelzine or tranylcypromine within the last two weeks. INBRIJA utilizes Acorda’s innovative ARCUS® pulmonary delivery system, a technology platform designed to deliver medication through inhalation. Acorda also markets the branded AMPYRA® Extended Release Tablets, 10 mg. About Asieris Asieris Pharmaceuticals founded in March 2010, is a global biopharma company specializing in discovering, developing and commercializing innovative drugs for the treatment of genitourinary tumors and other related diseases. We strive to improve human health and help people live a more dignified life. We aim to become a global pharma leader that integrates R&D, manufacturing and commercialization in our areas of focus, as we provide best-in-class integrated diagnosis and treatment solutions for patients in China and worldwide.

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