Astellas Pharma Inc | August 19, 2022
Astellas Pharma Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted the company's New Drug Application for fezolinetant, an investigational oral, nonhormonal compound seeking approval for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause.1,2
The PDUFA target action date is February 22, 2023, following use of a priority review voucher (PRV). Astellas booked ¥13.1 billion of amortization of the intangible asset relating to PRV as R&D expense in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022.
"The FDA's acceptance of our NDA for fezolinetant brings us one step closer to advancing care for women in the U.S. who experience VMS. We look forward to the FDA's review of our application, and the potential to offer a first-in-class nonhormonal treatment option to reduce the frequency and severity of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause."
Ahsan Arozullah, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Head of Development Therapeutic Areas, Astellas
The NDA is supported by results from the BRIGHT SKY™ program, which included three Phase 3 clinical trials that collectively enrolled over 2,800 women with VMS across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Results from the SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™ pivotal trials characterize the efficacy and safety of fezolinetant for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause. Data from the SKYLIGHT 4™ safety study further characterizes the long-term safety profile of fezolinetant. Within the NDA, Astellas proposes a 45 mg daily dose, which is subject to the FDA's review.
Fezolinetant is an investigational nonhormonal selective neurokinin 3 (NK3) receptor antagonist. The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established.
The impact of this acceptance on Astellas' financial results of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2023, is expected to be minor.
About the BRIGHT SKY™ Phase 3 Program
The BRIGHT SKY pivotal trials, SKYLIGHT 1™ (NCT04003155) and SKYLIGHT 2™ (NCT04003142), enrolled over 1,000 women with moderate to severe VMS. The trials are double-blinded, placebo-controlled for the first 12 weeks followed by a 40-week treatment extension period. Women were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe. SKYLIGHT 4™ (NCT04003389) is a 52-week double-blinded, placebo-controlled study designed to investigate the long-term safety of fezolinetant. For SKYLIGHT 4, over 1,800 women with VMS were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe.
About VMS Associated with Menopause
VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause.1,2 In the U.S., about 60% to 80% of women experience these symptoms during or after the menopausal transition and, worldwide, more than half of women 40 to 64 years of age experience VMS.3,4,5,6 VMS can have a disruptive impact on women's daily activities and overall quality of life.
Fezolinetant is an investigational oral, nonhormonal therapy in clinical development for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause. Fezolinetant works by blocking neurokinin B (NKB) binding on the kisspeptin/neurokinin/dynorphin (KNDy) neuron to moderate neuronal activity in the thermoregulatory center of the brain (the hypothalamus) to reduce the frequency and severity of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause.7,8,9 The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established. There is no guarantee the agent will receive regulatory approval or become commercially available for the uses being investigated.
Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.
Amplicore, Inc. | July 15, 2022
Amplicore Inc., a Mason, OH-based, early-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of minimally invasive therapeutic solutions for musculoskeletal disorders, today announced that the Food and Drug Administration has cleared their first application for AM3101, a novel treatment to promote healing of acute meniscal tears. The move enables the initiation of a Department of Defense-sponsored phase 1/2b clinical study in concert with the University of Cincinnati.
The FDA clearance marks the company's transition into a clinical stage company. In addition to AM3101, the company's pipeline also includes AM1101, which is being developed for osteoarthritis, and AM2101, with an indication to treat degenerative disc disease.
"We are very proud to announce the clearance for AM3101. Despite their commonality, service men and women have limited treatment options for acute meniscal tears. While suturing is often the most frequent approach, the failure rate for surgery is quite high due to the limited reparative capacity of much of the tissue. Our research has found that our Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) provides pain relief and promotes regeneration of the meniscus, as well as several other structurally related joint tissues. In this way, the transition of Amplicore into a clinical stage company represents a critical development for all patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions."
Chief Executive Officer/Founder Dr. James Lin
Amplicore also announced the addition of Steve Schrader to its advisory board. A high-impact financial leader with three decades of experience in corporate finance, Schrader has held Chief Financial Officer positions in a variety of industries, including an international auto glass company, a private healthcare company, a Fortune 500 public utility, and a NASDAQ-listed startup. Throughout his career, Steve has increased revenue and raised over $1.3 Billion in capital for companies. He has also taken two firms from start-up to manufacturing.
Schrader will advise on financial planning and fundraising efforts. "Amplicore is a leader in developing injectable therapeutics for musculoskeletal disorders. I am excited to join the board during this pivotal time as they work to close their Series A investment round, and I look forward to being a part of their future success."
ABOUT AMPLICORE, INC.
Amplicore, Inc. is an early-stage biotech start-up company based on technology developed in the laboratory of CEO/Founder Dr. Chia-Ying Lin at the University of Cincinnati. Headquartered in Mason, OH, the company is dedicated to developing novel injectable therapeutics to serve unmet medical needs for degenerative musculoskeletal disorders. Unlike current therapies that focus solely on palliative treatment, Amplicore is also taking a regenerative approach to treating these disorders. The company's lead products, AM3101, AM1101, and AM2101, address significant deficiencies in the current standard of care for the treatment of acute meniscal tear, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disc disease, respectively. Amplicore's overall mission is to translate scientific innovation into effective but minimally invasive products that can be easily delivered to patients.
Simulations Plus, Inc. | August 08, 2022
Simulations Plus, Inc. a leading provider of modeling and simulation software and services for pharmaceutical safety and efficacy, announced it has entered a new collaboration with a large pharmaceutical company to extend the industry’s top-rated machine learning models for the prediction of ionization constants (pKa) in the ADMET Predictor® platform.
In this collaboration, the partner company will contribute tens of thousands of proprietary pKa measurements. The team at Simulations Plus will aim to leverage the expansive databases to improve the accuracy of predictions, and extend the chemical coverage space, using its novel machine learning and atomic descriptor calculation methods.
“The ionization of molecules in water impacts nearly all properties driving the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination processes which occur in vivo and determine whether a molecule can be turned into a drug. We identified early the importance of accurately, and rapidly, predicting this information using machine learning approaches and were fortunate to benefit from government grants and other collaborations over the years to develop novel 2D pKa models which have consistently outperformed other software and are on par with the accuracy of the best computationally intensive ab initio methods. This new partnership will enhance our current approaches and further distinguish ADMET Predictor as the preeminent property prediction platform in the drug discovery space. We value the trust and confidence our partner has in the people and technologies at Simulations Plus, and our team is looking forward to working with them to achieve our mutual goals.”
Dr. Robert Fraczkiewicz, Research Fellow and project lead
“The surging popularity of our pKa models and associated ionization-related property predictions, coupled with the seamless integration with the GastroPlus® platform in our high-throughput pharmacokinetic simulation technology, have contributed to the accelerated adoption of ADMET Predictor at the interface between discovery and development,” added Dr. Eric Jamois, director for key accounts and strategic alliances. “This new collaborative effort will combine the strengths of both companies and result in significant advancements for predictive modeling. Simulations Plus ensures that improvements made to ADMET Predictor are available for all clients to apply to their research activities, and we continue to invite future collaborations which benefit our entire user community and, most importantly, the patients that we serve.”
About Simulations Plus
Serving clients worldwide for more than 25 years, Simulations Plus is a leading provider in the biosimulation market providing software and consulting services supporting drug discovery, development, research, and regulatory submissions. We offer solutions that bridge machine learning, physiologically based pharmacokinetics, quantitative systems pharmacology/toxicology, and population PK/PD modeling approaches. Our technology is licensed and applied by major pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and regulatory agencies worldwide.
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