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.
CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 26, 2022
CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a U.S. biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics and pharmaceutical products announced that CASI Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. entered into an Equity Transfer Agreement with Shenzhen Jiadao Gongcheng Equity Investment Fund, LLP pursuant to which CASI Wuxi agreed to transfer its equity interest in Juventas Biotechnology Co., Ltd. amounting to 12.0098% total Juventas equity to Jiadao Gongcheng for RMB 240.87 million. The Equity Transfer Agreement states there will be two even payment installments from Jiadao Gongcheng; one payment to be made after the Equity Transfer Agreement is signed and the second payment to be made after the completion of the equity transaction.
"We are confident in CNCT-19, and we expect Juventas to submit for NDA to the NMPA in 2022 for the B-ALL indication. CASI and Juventas will continue to maintain a working partnership, focusing on product launch and co-marketing for CNCT-19."
Wei-Wu He, Ph.D., CASI's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. He continued, "The completion of the equity transfer transaction will strengthen CASI's balance sheet by providing CASI with sufficient cash to operate until, at least, the end of 2023. This transaction will allow CASI to advance the development of our other pipeline projects while augmenting the efforts of our sales and marketing team."
CNCT19 targets CD19, a B-cell surface protein widely expressed during all phases of B-cell development and a validated target for B-cell driven hematological malignancies. CD19- targeted CAR constructs from several different institutions have demonstrated consistently high antitumor efficacy in children and adults with relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia chronic lymphocytic leukemia and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. CD19 antigen is the most frequently used target in the CAR-T cell therapy clinical trials for hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma. Juventas is responsible for the development of CNCT19. CASI and Juventas will co-commercialize CNCT19 under the direction of the program's joint steering committee.
About CASI Pharmaceuticals
CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a U.S. biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics and pharmaceutical products in China, the United States, and throughout the world. The Company is focused on acquiring, developing, and commercializing products that augment its hematology oncology therapeutic focus as well as other areas of unmet medical need. The Company intends to execute its plan to become a leader by launching medicines in the Greater China market, leveraging the Company's China-based regulatory and commercial competencies and its global drug development expertise. The Company's operations in China are conducted through its wholly-owned subsidiary, CASI Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., located in Beijing, China. The Company has built a commercial team of more than 100 hematology and oncology sales and marketing specialists based in China.
Juventas is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in China dedicated to the development and commercialization of cell therapies globally. Utilizing innovative and integrated technology platforms, the company has developed a diverse pipeline of cellular immunotherapies for treatment of hematological malignancies, solid tumors, and other non-oncological conditions both in China and globally. At present, the company is conducting two pivotal clinical trials of CNCT19 for treating adult r/r-B-ALL and r/r-B-NHL in China. CNCT19 has the potential to become the first launched domestically developed CD19 CAR-T therapy in China and the first CAR-T product for the treatment of adult R/R B-ALL in China.
WuXi AppTec | August 17, 2022
WuXi STA, a leading Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization is pleased to announce the groundbreaking for its new 190-acre pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in Middletown, Delaware. First announced in June 2021, this site will be WuXi STA's second facility in the United States, offering expanded capacity and greater flexibility to meet the needs of customers in the U.S. and around the world.
The WuXi STA Middletown site is located in the Middletown Business Center at 1091 Industrial Drive, and the new state-of-the-art facility will create approximately 500 full-time jobs by 2026. Phase I of the new campus will provide formulation development, clinical and commercial drug product manufacturing services for a variety of oral and injectable dosage forms, as well as packaging, labeling, storage and distribution services for clinical trial materials and commercial drug products.
WuXi STA has 12 sites across the U.S., Europe and Asia that offer a range of services and meet or exceed all regulatory standards. Together with three other drug product manufacturing sites in Couvet Wuxi City (China) and Shanghai this new facility will further enhance the company's global drug production capacity and capabilities.
"The biopharmaceutical industry is part of Delaware's DNA. Over the next five years, WuXi STA plans to build a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in one of Delaware's fastest-growing communities, bringing with it good jobs and economic growth. This campus is only possible because of Delaware's world-class, innovative workforce. Thank you to WuXi STA, Middletown Mayor Kenny Branner and everyone who made this project possible."
Delaware Governor John Carney
"The First State continues to be a first-rate destination for businesses looking to innovate and grow," said Senator Tom Carper. "This investment by WuXi STA helps position Delaware as a continued global leader in biopharmaceuticals, further cementing the manufacturing might of one of our fastest growing communities. Delaware's workforce is ready to help build the future of our life-saving pharmaceuticals. This state-of-the-art campus will create good jobs and help fortify our supply chains here at home."
"This biopharmaceutical facility is one most significant private sector investment ever in the Middletown region," said Senator Chris Coons. "I am excited about WuXi STA's decision to choose Middletown for one of their new manufacturing facilities. This isn't just the largest private-sector investment in Middletown's history – it's a defining moment that will bring many more good-paying jobs to Delaware and will further cement the First State as a world leader in biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing. Thanks are due to everyone from Middletown to Dover to Washington who helped us get to this point, whether by making continued investments in NIIMBL, improving our education system from kindergarten to our universities, or ensuring that Delaware workers have the skills manufacturers like WuXi AppTec are looking for."
"As the First State, Delaware has always had a spirit of innovation – constantly seeking new opportunities and ventures that will strengthen our economy and our state as a whole," said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. "Today's groundbreaking of the WuXi STA pharmaceutical manufacturing plant represents another step in that spirit of innovation – bringing good-paying jobs to Middletown and strengthening communities throughout Delaware. The state-of-the-art facility will bring 500 full-time jobs over the next several years, growing our state's workforce and allowing us to manufacture more goods domestically - enhancing our economic competitiveness on the global stage."
"We are truly looking forward to our partnership with WuXi STA, as the groundbreaking today marks the kick-off to them making their new home in Middletown, Delaware. WuXi STA will be joining our bustling industrial area, just steps away from Clarios, Datwyler, Amazon and Breakthru Beverage, just some of the companies that have invested in Middletown. When asked by WuXi STA about our business-friendly attitude, these businesses expressed their wholehearted support for how we do business and we couldn't be more excited about WuXi STA wanting to join them, and the Town of Middletown, in our journey together," said Middletown Mayor Ken Branner. Branner added he was thankful for the support of Gov. John Carney and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.
"I would like to thank our federal, state and local partners in Delaware for their continued support in the establishment of this site," said Dr. Minzhang Chen, co-CEO of WuXi AppTec and CEO of WuXi STA. "WuXi STA continues to increase our capabilities and capacities to better serve our customers through a more robust and reliable supply chain. With our integrated Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization platform and proven quality system, we look forward to working with our customers to swiftly deliver their innovative therapies to market in order to save lives and improve healthcare for patients."
About WuXi STA
WuXi STA a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec is a leading pharmaceutical development and manufacturing capability and technology platform company serving the life sciences industry, with global operations. As a premier Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization WuXi STA offers its worldwide partners efficient, flexible and high-quality solutions for integrated chemical, manufacturing and controls from preclinical to commercial uses, including the development and manufacturing of small molecule, oligonucleotide, peptide and various complex chemical conjugate.
About WuXi AppTec
As a global company with operations across Asia, Europe, and North America, WuXi AppTec provides a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services that enable the global pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients. Through its unique business models, WuXi AppTec's integrated, end-to-end services include chemistry drug CRDMO biology discovery, preclinical testing and clinical research services, cell and gene therapies CTDMO helping customers improve the productivity of advancing healthcare products through cost-effective and efficient solutions. WuXi AppTec received AA ESG rating from MSCI in 2021 and its open-access platform is enabling more than 5,850 collaborators from over 30 countries to improve the health of those in need – and to realize the vision that "every drug can be made and every disease can be treated."