Pfizer’ Talzenna leads latest CHMP highlights

Pfizer’s PARP inhibitor, Talzenna (talazoparib), has been given a positive opinion by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for adults with germline breast cancer susceptibility gene (gBRCA)1/2-mutations, heading up April’s recommendations list. Thirteen medicines were recommended for approval at the Committee’s April 2019 meeting, including two orphan medicines; Novo Nordisk’s Esperoct (turoctocog alfa pegol), for the treatment and prophylaxis of bleeding in patients 12 years and above with haemophilia A; and Alexion’s Ultomiris (ravulizumab), for the treatment of adult patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria.

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Frontage Laboratories Acquires Accelera S.r.l.'s Bioanalytical and DMPK Businesses

PR Newswire | January 03, 2024

Frontage Laboratories, Inc. today announced that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Frontage Europe S.r.l., it has completed the acquisition of the Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics businesses of Accelera S.r.l (Accelera). Accelera is a premier Contract Research Organization located in Nerviano, within the Lombardy region of Italy, part of the well-established NMS Group S.p.A. which has positioned itself as a global niche player in delivering discovery & preclinical studies and clinical bioanalysis to pharma and biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and other healthcare stakeholders. "Today marks a very significant achievement in the 23-year history of Frontage Laboratories, as we establish a base of operations in continental Europe. Accelera has developed a tremendous reputation for high quality R&D services and we look forward to welcoming their Bioanalytical and Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics teams to the Frontage family," said Dr. Abdul Mutlib, CEO of Frontage. "We envision this strategic acquisition as a first step in establishing Frontage's footprint in Europe, with the intent of adding other service areas in the continent. We believe both existing Frontage and Accelera clients stand to benefit greatly by leveraging Frontage's increasingly global platform. In addition, we are looking forward to partnering with the remaining Accelera business on exciting opportunities to service clients across our organizations." According to Dr. Song Li, Founder and Chairman of Frontage: "It has been a long-standing goal of Frontage to expand our operations in Europe. We consider ourselves fortunate to capitalize on our outstanding relationship with the Accelera team, which has enabled us to bring our plans to fruition. We are very enthusiastic about working together as we further develop the Frontage platform in Europe, starting from a footprint in the Biopark in Nerviano Lombardy, where Accelera and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl have already established a long-standing and efficient value chain. As always, our ongoing focus will remain on delivering the highest levels of quality, technology and expertise to our clients." "We are thrilled to join forces with Frontage as part of this strategic acquisition that marks a significant milestone in Accelera's journey," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera. "Accelera has built a strong reputation for delivering high-quality R&D services through all phases of drug research and development with extensive experience in oncology. This unique occasion opens up new horizons for collaboration and growth. On one hand, we will further focus on offering top-notch In-vivo (end-to-end services) for multiple emerging modalities. At the same time, we look forward to exploring exciting opportunities to serve our clients across continents through our ongoing collaboration. This partnership reflects our commitment to advancing research and providing innovative solutions in the European market and beyond," said Luca Leone, CEO of Accelera S.r.l. "Having Frontage as part of the growing partners operating from our Biopark is a landmark moment for us. In addition to the endless potential of the Accelera-Frontage collaboration, Nerviano Medical Sciences can leverage Frontage's world-class capabilities to drive breakthrough advancements in our drug discovery and development process. By uniting our strengths, we believe we can accelerate the pace of innovation and make a lasting difference in the field where all companies of this strong alliance operate and thrive here in Nerviano," said Hugues Dolgos, CEO of NMS Group S.p.A and Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl. About Frontage Frontage Holdings Corp (1521.HK), together with its wholly owned subsidiary Frontage Laboratories, Inc., is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) which provides integrated, science-driven, product development services from drug discovery to late phase clinical process to enable biopharmaceutical companies to achieve their development goals. Comprehensive services include drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, analytical testing and formulation development, preclinical and clinical trial material manufacturing, bioanalysis, preclinical safety and toxicology assessment and early phase clinical studies. Frontage has enabled many biotechnology companies and leading pharmaceutical companies of varying sizes to advance a myriad of new molecules through development and to successfully file global regulatory submissions. About NMS Group NMS Group is the largest oncological R&D company in Italy with more than 400 employees, of whom more than half are highly educated individuals dedicated to innovative research, development and manufacturing. The NMS kinase inhibitor discovery platform as well as the antibody-conjugating payload platform are the driving forces of the group's innovation, securing global recognition of NMS in personalized therapy. Recently entrectinib, originally discovered by NMS, which is a targeted kinase inhibitor used to treat NTRK1/2/3 and ROS1 dependent solid tumors that was licensed to Ignyta, now a member of the Roche Group, gained approvals for commercialization in all major markets. This is further evidence of the competitiveness of the drug discovery platform of NMS Group. NMS Group has three subsidiaries. NMS S.r.l. is a FIC / BIC focused drug research and development company with a robust pipeline of more than a dozen anti-cancer projects, and three of the projects are currently in early clinical development.

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AION Labs Welcomes Amiti as Strategic Partner to Accelerate Israel's Position as a Leading Hub for Transformative AI-Powered Drug Discovery Innovation

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

AION Labs, the first-of-its-kind venture studio spearheading the adoption of AI technologies and computational science to solve therapeutic challenges, announced today a new strategic partnership with Amiti Ventures, one of the leading early-stage venture capital firms in Israel. The partnership further strengthens the alliance of global leaders in pharma, biotech, and technology investment, expanding its offering as a venture studio and partner for new startups. "With a proven track record of identifying the best teams for the mission and investing early in the most innovative deep tech startups that shape the future, Amiti Ventures will bring important complementary capabilities and expert investor knowledge to the AION Labs partnership," said Mati Gill, CEO of AION Labs. "We thank Amiti for its vote of confidence in our model of innovation for groundbreaking AI and computational biotech ventures. We further appreciate Amiti's recognition that Israel's ecosystem is poised to lead the world in bringing AI and biotech together to solve our biggest drug discovery challenges." By joining forces with Amiti, AION Labs is enhancing its expertise and capabilities in the deep tech and computational technology domains, areas that are critical to the success of biotech innovation. Amiti's extensive experience and track record in these fields will bring invaluable investor knowledge and insights to AION Labs, enabling it to more effectively develop and support early-stage startups focused on AI and computational biology. Amiti's first investment in the venture studio will entail investment in DenovAI Biotech's Seed round of funding. Launched in 2022, DenovAI is developing an AI-powered biophysics solution for de novo antibody and protein design. AION Labs builds and invests in early-stage startup teams focused on AI and computational biology in drug discovery and development, offering them top-notch resources and mentorship while working closely with them to develop new technologies that meet the most significant challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. The partnership with Amiti Ventures will help AION Labs to advance healthcare towards patient-centric precision medicine and create a significant contribution to the health and well-being of humankind by helping to bring new treatments to market faster and more efficiently. "We believe that AION Labs is uniquely positioned to identify the biggest challenges to accelerate drug discovery and development and then evaluate the best computational bio approaches and entrepreneurs," said Ben Rabinowitz, Founder and Managing Partner of Amiti Ventures. "AION Labs' venture studio model bridges the gap between outstanding academic research, huge leaps forward in generative AI, and the biggest challenges and opportunities in the development of new medicines, and we look forward to working closely with our new partners to make this a reality. "We also have been amazed by the can-do spirit of the AION Labs team," added Rabinowitz. "It is that readiness to create, pull themselves up by the bootstraps and forge ahead with amazing innovation that makes AION and Israel's entire startup ecosystem so special." About AION Labs AION Labs is a first-of-its-kind alliance of Astrazeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Teva, the Israel Biotech Fund, Amiti Ventures, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), powered by BioMed X with the support of the Israeli Government via the Israel Innovation Authority, that have come together with one clear mission: to create and adopt groundbreaking new AI technologies that will transform the process of drug discovery and development in order to contribute to the health and well-being of all people world-wide. AION Labs is a unique venture hub where brilliant innovators and scientist-founders convene from around the world to solve the biggest R&D challenges guided by years of accumulated know-how, data and experience in pharma. The lab leverages its partners' wealth of knowledge and a new multidisciplinary mindset with the ingenuity, agility and innovative power of Israel's startup ecosystem, to develop strong companies with clear long-term strategies, that will pave the way to the future of healthcare. AION Labs cultivates innovation from within; its unique venture creation process bridges the gap between outstanding academic research in the field of AI and the biggest R&D needs in the discovery and development of new medicines for the benefit of patients.

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Exclusive Agreement: Specialised Therapeutics & Ascendis Pharma to Distribute Three Endocrinology Therapies in Australia & Select SE Asia Countries

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Independent biopharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Asia Pte Ltd (ST) has added three new endocrinology therapies to its specialist portfolio, following an exclusive distribution agreement with Danish company Ascendis Pharma A/S. Under the terms of the agreement, ST will commercialise Ascendis Pharma's weekly injectable paediatric human growth hormone treatment SKYTROFA (lonapegsomatropin), hypoparathyroidism treatment YORVIPATH (palopegteriparatide) and investigational achondroplasia therapy TransCon CNP (navepegritide). The agreement spans ST's key regions of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and Vietnam. Two of the products included in this agreement are already internationally approved: Once-weekly SKYTROFA is a human growth hormone (hGH) approved in the United States for the treatment of paediatric patients aged >1 years weighing >11.5 kg with growth failure due to inadequate secretion of endogenous growth hormone (GH)1 and in the European Union for growth failure in children and adolescents aged from 3 to 18 years due to insufficient endogenous growth hormone secretion (growth hormone deficiency [GHD]). YORVIPATH is a first-in-class parathyroid hormone (PTH) replacement therapy to treat chronic hypoparathyroidism, a rare and potentially serious condition where the body produces no or abnormally low levels of PTH. It is approved in the European Union for the treatment of adults with chronic hypoparathyroidism. The third product – TransCon CNP – is in development by Ascendis Pharma for the treatment of achondroplasia (ACH), the most common genetic form of skeletal dysplasia and resulting disproportionate short stature, following successful Phase 2 trial results. Australian endocrinologist Dr Veronica Preda noted that YORVIPATH would be the first specialist therapeutic option for Australian patients living with hypoparathyroidism. "Hypoparathyroidism can seriously impact quality of life and has potentially life-threatening consequences," Dr Preda said. "To have an option that is able to treat the underlying cause of the disease, moving beyond standard oral calcium and active Vitamin D, is a great step forward." Announcing the partnership, ST Chief Executive Officer Carlo Montagner said this agreement was an important company milestone, signalling ST's expansion into both endocrinology and paediatric medicine. Mr Montagner commented: "We are delighted to have been selected as Ascendis Pharma's exclusive partner for commercialising their portfolio in Oceania and these South-East Asia countries and look forward to launching these critical endocrinology products in our regions as soon as possible. "All three products are valuable inclusions to our broad therapeutic pipeline and our international business, as we continue to leverage our substantial experience commercialising specialist medicines across multiple regions. "We look forward to working with endocrinologists across our territories to make these endocrine therapies available to all eligible patients who may benefit." Ascendis Pharma Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Camilla Harder Hartvig said ST had been selected to launch the endocrinology portfolio in these countries based on its strong track record commercialising specialist products in multiple regions. "We are delighted to partner with Specialised Therapeutics to broaden the reach of our endocrinology rare disease portfolio, contributing to our shared goal of making a meaningful difference for patients facing unmet medical needs," she said. About Specialised Therapeutics Founded in 2007, Specialised Therapeutics is the region's largest independent specialty pharmaceutical company, providing new therapies and technologies to patients in Australia, New Zealand and across Southeast Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, ST partners with global pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies to bring novel healthcare opportunities to patients who are impacted by a range of diseases. ST has built a strong track record of success, navigating complex regulatory, reimbursement and commercialisation environments in its diverse regions. The ST mission is to provide specialty therapies where there is an unmet need. The company's broad therapeutic portfolio currently includes novel agents in oncology, haematology, CNS, neurology, endocrinology, ophthalmology and supportive care, although it is not confined to these areas. ST is a member of the World Orphan Drug Alliance (WODA).

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