Purdue preps bankruptcy as opioid settlement bid stumbles

pharmaphorum | September 05, 2019

Purdue Pharma is reported to be preparing to file for bankruptcy amid resistance to its $10-$12 billion offer to settle lawsuits related to the opioid crisis. Several states and cities have reportedly already rejected its settlement bid, according to news agency Reuters, and Purdue is now gearing up for a Chapter 11 submission before the end of this month while it waits for the final verdict on its offer. At the same time Mallinckrodt – another company embroiled in the thousands of pending lawsuits claiming pharma companies fuelled the opioid epidemic by encouraging over-prescribing of the drugs – is also eyeing bankruptcy protection, says Bloomberg. Purdue, which is the manufacturer of the widely-prescribed opioid painkiller OxyContin (oxycodone), made its settlement offer last month but has to get the deal backed by at least 35 state attorneys to get it accepted, and some states – reportedly New York and Massachusetts – have already rejected it outright. Filing for bankruptcy would stall pending lawsuits, including one due to start next month in Ohio, and could leave plaintiffs trying to tease cash out of the business if it goes into liquidation. Some industry observers have suggested the bankruptcy plan is a tactic by Purdue to try to win over more states to its settlement offer.

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The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is the professional body for pharmacists and pharmacy, representing over 46,000 pharmacists, pharmacy students, trainees and pharmaceutical scientists across Great Britain and enhancing the reputation of pharmacy worldwide.

Spotlight

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is the professional body for pharmacists and pharmacy, representing over 46,000 pharmacists, pharmacy students, trainees and pharmaceutical scientists across Great Britain and enhancing the reputation of pharmacy worldwide.

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PHARMA TECH

Sirona Biochem Signs International Partnership Agreement with Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals

Sirona Biochem Corp. | November 28, 2022

Sirona Biochem Corp. announces that, subsequent to the LOI, Sirona and Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals have signed an expanded, international partnership agreement to collaborate on licencing Sirona’s SGLT2 inhibitor, TFC-039, as a pharmaceutical treatment in both animal and human health. The agreement adds human health to the partnership as a result of new licencing opportunities currently in due diligence. Wanbang and Sirona initially signed a licensing agreement for TFC-039, whereby Wanbang obtained the rights to develop the compound as a diabetes treatment in China and Sirona retained the global rights. Sirona has since been in discussions with animal health companies to advance TFC-039 as a treatment for diabetes and chronic kidney disease in companion animals. SGLT2 inhibitors provide an opportunity to treat inflicted animals with an oral medication as opposed to the traditional method of daily insulin injections. More recently, Sirona has entered into due diligence with a large pharmaceutical company with a regional interest in developing the compound for human diabetes. Together, Sirona and Wanbang share extensive knowledge and scientific results of TFC-039. Partnering will significantly increase the speed to third-party partnerships and commercialization. The shared data spans over 12 years of research and development, and includes in vitro and in vivo preclinical work, multiple clinical studies, advanced manufacturing process development and the ability to commercially manufacture TFC-039. “We have a long-standing relationship with Wanbang and are excited to combine our two companies’ expertise to license TFC-039. Wanbang has invested millions of dollars into the clinical stage research and development of the manufacturing processes for TFC-039. These pieces of data are critical to large organizations and will greatly increase the opportunities to move forward. The probability of a successful licensing agreement has been made much stronger by leveraging our alliance with Wanbang. We have had a successful year building Sirona’s pipeline, with positive movement on all projects and we’re looking forward to continuing this success with our SGLT2 inhibitor as well as our antiviral and anti-aging projects in 2023.” Dr. Howard Verrico, CEO About Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals and Fosun Pharmaceuticals Wanbang Biopharmaceuticals develops, manufactures, and markets drugs with indications for chronic disease treatment, antibiotics, and other endocrine diseases in China. Founded in 1981, the company is headquartered in Xuzhou, China, and is a subsidiary of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group. Fosun is a leader in the pharmaceutical industry and is regarded as one of the top five domestic pharmaceutical companies in China. About Sirona Biochem Corp. Sirona Biochem is a cosmetic ingredient and drug discovery company with a proprietary platform technology. Sirona specializes in stabilizing carbohydrate molecules with the goal of improving efficacy and safety. New compounds are patented for maximum revenue potential. Sirona’s compounds are licensed to leading companies around the world in return for licensing fees, milestone fees and ongoing royalty payments. Sirona’s laboratory, TFChem, is located in France and is the recipient of multiple French national scientific awards and European Union and French government grants.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Athira Pharma Advances Phase 2/3 LIFT-AD Clinical Study of Fosgonimeton in Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Patients

Athira Pharma, Inc. | October 18, 2022

Athira Pharma, Inc. a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced that following an unblinded interim efficacy and futility analysis, an independent data monitoring committee recommended continuation of the LIFT-AD study of fosgonimeton in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The committee also determined that, with the additional enrollment of fewer than 150 patients for a total enrollment of less than 300 patients without background therapy the study will be well powered for the primary endpoint given the preliminary effect size observed. The primary endpoint of LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition and function. Results from the completed exploratory ACT-AD Phase 2 study showed a favorable safety profile and suggested positive effects on measures of cognition function and neurodegeneration in patients taking fosgonimeton without background therapy. Guided by these results, the Company proactively amended LIFT-AD to focus on patients not on background therapy. The unblinded interim analysis was then conducted in approximately 100 patients not on background therapy to corroborate observations from ACT-AD and ensure LIFT-AD is well powered to determine the effect of fosgonimeton on clinically meaningful and commercially relevant endpoints. “The results from the data monitoring committee’s unblinded analysis give us confidence in a potentially positive outcome for LIFT-AD, as stringent evaluation criteria were applied based on validated and clinically meaningful cognitive and functional outcomes. This analysis supports the potential clinical benefits of fosgonimeton treatment and underscores the rationale for continued development of this promising new therapy.” Hans Moebius, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Athira “We are very excited by the results of this independent review as we believe they mitigate the risk of the fosgonimeton development plan, support the potential clinical benefit of fosgonimeton and inform the sample size needed to achieve success with LIFT-AD,” said Mark Litton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Athira. “We are now targeting to complete enrollment in mid-2023 and report topline data in early 2024. Importantly, we have a strong balance sheet to execute our plans through key data readouts and beyond. Moving forward, we remain keenly focused on advancing this novel investigational therapy with the hope of positively impacting the lives of millions of Alzheimer’s patients. “Our goal with fosgonimeton is to demonstrate its ability to improve cognition and function and to ultimately provide neuroprotection. The ACT-AD study suggested these benefits, and the results of the LIFT-AD interim analysis corroborate those findings,” added Dr. Litton. “We believe any drug that can demonstrate neuroprotection could become a treatment of choice for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients.” About the LIFT-AD Clinical Study LIFT-AD is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of fosgonimeton for patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Patients are randomized across two dose groups and one placebo group on a 1:1:1 basis to receive a subcutaneous injection of fosgonimeton or placebo once daily over a treatment course of 26 weeks. The primary endpoint for LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale and function. Additional information on the LIFT-AD study can be found at: NCT04488419. About Fosgonimeton Fosgonimeton is a small molecule designed to enhance the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET, to impact neurodegeneration and regenerate brain tissue. The function of the HGF/MET receptor system may be impaired in the brain under conditions of neurodegeneration. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, fosgonimeton has the potential to address the broader dementia population, including Parkinson’s disease dementia and Dementia with Lewy bodies, as the mode of action focuses on network recovery and synaptic signal transmission in the brain. The ACT-AD trial was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01AG06268. The information presented in this press release is solely the responsibility of Athira and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. About Athira Pharma, Inc. Athira Pharma, Inc., headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration. Athira aims to provide rapid cognitive improvement and alter the course of neurological diseases with its novel mechanism of action. Athira is currently advancing its pipeline of therapeutic candidates targeting the HGF/MET neurotrophic system for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies and neuropsychiatric indications.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

BC Platforms Partners with EU Funded, AI-Driven, Cancer Data Initiative

BC Platforms | November 25, 2022

BC Platforms a global leader in healthcare data management and analytics announced that it has been chosen as key partner in a European Commission project. Under the EC's Horizon Europe program*, Helsinki University Hospital has been awarded a contract to lead a EURO 7 million consortium project termed ONCOVALUE. BCP will work closely with HUS as a key delivery partner in this major EC project. ONCOVALUE is an Artificial Intelligence-based framework which assesses, in real-time, real-life effectiveness of novel cancer therapies. It does this by standardising data processing in hospitals enabling them to efficiently measure the cost effectiveness of new cancer therapies for Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and regulatory purposes. BCP will aid in core aspects of the project, including creating the technical architecture and providing the data analysis, to ensure this technology can transform unstructured patient data from medical notes and images into structured data and real-world evidence (RWE) that clinicians can use in treatment management and with health regulatory and HTA bodies "This latest partnership with ONCOVALUE is part of our rapidly expanding Trusted Collaborative Environment solution. I'm proud our sophisticated healthcare data management and analytics products have been recognised by this significant, four-year, Horizon Europe project. By opening the door to widespread regulatory and HTA integration of real-world data, ONCOVALUE should lead to better, more environmentally sustainable therapies, technologies, and digital solutions for cancer care." Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms Johanna Mattson, HUS's Senior Medical Director in Oncology, said, "ONCOVALUE aims to develop novel AI-based tools to automate the collection and analytics of clinical data. This will contribute to the increased cost-effectiveness and sustainability of European cancer care. Systematic collection and evaluation of patient reported outcomes should lead to improved health and well-being and should reduce the growing global burden of cancer treatment." The ONCOVALUE consortium is made up of eleven institutions and companies in Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, and Italy. Over the four-year project span, annually around 40,000 European patients will participate from hospitals in the consortium. About BC Platforms BC Platforms is a global leader in building data networks for the life sciences industry and provides versatile technology platforms for personalised medicine, accelerating the translation of innovations into clinical practice. We convert complex biological information collected in the healthcare setting into actionable insights. With our innovative technology we are creating a patient centric infinity loop between the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Data we generate, harmonise, and manage, from diverse biobanks and healthcare institutions, is made accessible for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to enhance their core strengths in research and development. In parallel, we enable stratification of patients towards targeted therapies, delivering on the promise of more personalized healthcare.

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