Roche and Illumina forge genomics alliance for cancer testing

pharma news | January 14, 2020

Roche missed out on acquiring next-generation sequencing (NGS) specialist Illumina via a hostile takeover a few years back, but has compensated for that with a 15-year alliance focusing on cancer genomics. The new deal comes after Illumina called off a $1.2 billion merger agreement with another NGS player – Pacific Biosciences or PacBio – after concluding it would be unlikely to make it past antitrust regulators in the US and UK. Illumina is thought to have around 80% of the DNA sequencing market globally. The non-exclusive deal aims to expand access to NGS as well as the clinical use of the technology, and comes as treatment of oncology patients is becoming ever-more individualised based on the genetic profiles of their cancer. “As the understanding of the genomic drivers of cancer evolves, NGS has the potential to transform cancer risk prediction, detection, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring,” say the partners in a joint statement on the deal.

Spotlight

It is not surprising that mostly small to medium sized companies seek the help of specialist consultancies to find commercial partners or find in-licensing opportunities. Large pharma is in the attractive position that they get thousands of unsolicited licensing offers from small R&D companies every year and they have ample capacity to conduct due diligence on the promising candidates and partners.

Spotlight

It is not surprising that mostly small to medium sized companies seek the help of specialist consultancies to find commercial partners or find in-licensing opportunities. Large pharma is in the attractive position that they get thousands of unsolicited licensing offers from small R&D companies every year and they have ample capacity to conduct due diligence on the promising candidates and partners.

Related News

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

IntegriChain Partners with PurpleLab to Enhance Pharmaceutical Channel Data for More Accurate GTN Forecasting and Accruals

IntegriChain | November 18, 2022

IntegriChain, delivering pharma's only comprehensive technology, data, consulting, and outsourcing platform for data-driven commercialization, announced a strategic data partnership with PurpleLab, a healthcare technology company delivering analytics to drive real-world evidence decision-making. As a first step to this partnership, IntegriChain will incorporate PurpleLab prescription drug claims data to address challenges in visibility to demand and inventory that has resulted from evolving pharmaceutical channels for new specialty pharmaceutical products. "As the Pharma industry has shifted to more fragmented non-retail therapies such as specialty lite and specialty self- and HCP-administered products, distribution channels are more diverse and complicated. These new channels have visibility gaps that create unreasonable risk of errors in gross-to-net forecasting and accrual management. PurpleLab data – covering more than 350 million patient lives, 4 billion annual claims, and 98% of payers – enhances our ability to deliver true demand and inventory visibility, more accurate gross-to-net forecasting and accruals, and most importantly data-driven commercialization for specialty products to Pharma commercial and financial teams." Gary Palgon, IntegriChain's General Manager and Senior Vice President, Data Solutions With this partnership, IntegriChain will seamlessly integrate PurpleLab pharmacy and medical claims data into the ICyte platform and the Inventory Analytics product, improving demand and inventory visibility to actual dispensing volumes at the site of dispense or administration. This data integration will deliver a more accurate depiction of demand attributed to individual outlets, ensuring a closer alignment between net sales and demand at a channel and more accurate pipeline inventory calculations. In addition, IntegriChain will deliver increased fidelity of national and subnational datasets for targeting by incorporating PurpleLab data into ICyte's unblinding process. The seamless addition of PurpleLab data into the ICyte Platform will be generally available in ICyte Inventory Analytics in January 2023. Additional future data enhancements will be announced in due course. About ICyte Data Solutions IntegriChain offers a full suite of channel data products, including: Channel Data Aggregation: Aggregation of all channel and distribution datasets including ExFactory Sales, Distributor Inventories, Demand, and Returns to deliver the highest quality master data, including industry-leading data science and enrichment algorithms to deliver end-to-end views of product distribution. Inventory Analytics: Manufacturers have few existing measures of the inventory held in retail stores, distribution centers, and third-party returns processors. IntegriChain Inventory Analytics reports 100% of inventory in the retail channel, even in pharmacy stores and distribution centers that do not report their inventories. Distribution Contract Management: Distribution Contract Management is a single, auditable application for managing all aspects of trade partner agreements. Configurable trade partner scorecard functionality features payment adjudication, custom pay-for-performance metrics, payment roll forward, and top- and bottom-line functionality adjustments. Channel Data Consulting Services: Based on IntegriChain pioneering the field of channel data aggregation, stewardship, and advanced analytics, the Channel Insights and Optimization practice delivers Market Demand Analysis, Class of Trade, Downstream Inventory Analytics, Returns Forecasting, and Revenue Analytics consulting services to Pharma manufacturers of all types and sizes. About PurpleLab PurpleLab is a healthtech company with a mission to spur value-driven innovation in healthcare to improve outcomes for patients. HealthNexus™, the company's no-code analytics platform empowers life sciences, payers, providers and other stakeholders with real-world evidence to solve conventional and emerging challenges faster and more cost effectively. About IntegriChain IntegriChain delivers pharma's only comprehensive technology, data, consulting, and outsourcing platform for market access departments. We provide the strategy and operational execution for data-driven product commercialization and market access. More than 400 manufacturers rely on our consulting expertise and ICyte Platform to orchestrate their prescription management, patient data management, inventory and demand visibility, enterprise GTN technology, and platform insights. ICyte is the first and only platform that unites the financial, operational, and commercial data sets required to support commercialization and access in the era of specialty and precision medicine.

Read More

PHARMA TECH

Advaxis and Ayala Pharmaceuticals Enter into Merger Agreement

Advaxis and Ayala Pharmaceuticals | October 20, 2022

Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing and commercializing small molecule therapeutics for patients suffering from rare tumors and aggressive cancers and Advaxis, Inc. a biotechnology company devoted to the discovery, development and commercialization of immunotherapies based on a technology which uses engineered Listeria monocytogenes, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The merger would result in a combined company that will focus predominantly on the development and commercialization of Ayala’s lead program AL102 for the treatment of desmoid tumors and Advaxis’s candidate ADXS-504 in development for prostate cancer. Kenneth A. Berlin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis, said, “Advaxis took a thorough approach in our quest to find the right partner with the right products. This merger is expected to enhance Advaxis’s portfolio of clinical assets, with Ayala’s proprietary gamma secretase inhibitors that are being developed as targeted therapies for rare and aggressive tumors. Ayala’s lead candidate, AL102, is currently being investigated in the Phase 2/3 RINGSIDE study in desmoid tumors, which we believe will accelerate the stage of product development for the combined company dramatically. We are particularly excited about very promising interim data from RINGSIDE, which showed that AL102 monotherapy had meaningful anti-tumor activity with tumor shrinkage in the majority of patients that appeared to be deepening over time. The combined management team has extensive commercial and R&D experience, and we believe we have the cash to advance the combined portfolio through key milestones in 2023, including longerterm data from Part A of RINGSIDE, clarity on the registration path for AL101 in recurrent/metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) and initial clinical and PSA data from the Phase 1 trial of ADXS-504 in prostate cancer. We believe that this transaction will also help drive our efforts to return to a Nasdaq listing and enhance our ability to access capital.” “We are pleased to announce the proposed merger with Advaxis, which is expected to provide our pipeline and AL102 with additional financial resources as well as additional infrastructure in the U.S. The two companies have a shared mission to develop innovative therapies to improve the lives of patients with cancer and I believe we have found a good partner to advance our pipeline and create value for our stakeholders.” Roni Mamluk, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ayala Consummation of the merger is subject to certain closing conditions, including, among other things, approval by the stockholders of Ayala. At the closing of the merger, Ayala will be delisted from The Nasdaq Global Market. The combined company’s common stock is expected to begin trading on the OTCQX at the effective time of the merger, subject to Advaxis’ planned efforts to have the stock of the combined company listed on Nasdaq, as to which no assurances can be made. About Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing and commercializing small molecule therapeutics for patients suffering from rare tumors and aggressive cancers. Ayala’s approach is focused on predicting, identifying and addressing tumorigenic drivers of cancer through a combination of its bioinformatics platform and next-generation sequencing to deliver targeted therapies to underserved patient populations. The company has two product candidates under development, AL101 and AL102, targeting the aberrant activation of the Notch pathway with gamma secretase inhibitors to treat a variety of tumors, including adenoid cystic carcinoma and desmoid tumors. AL102 has received Fast Track Designation from the U.S. FDA and is currently in the Phase 3 portion of a pivotal study for patients with desmoid tumors. AL101 has received Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. FDA and is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial for patients with ACC bearing Notch activating mutations. About Advaxis, Inc. Advaxis, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary Lm-based antigen delivery products. These off-the-shelf immunotherapies are a significant advancement in immunotherapy as they integrate multiple functions into a single therapy by directing antigen presenting cells to stimulate T-cells and other components of the immune system, while reducing tumor protection in the tumor microenvironment, facilitating the elimination of tumors. The company has two programs in the clinic: ADXS-503 for late-stage lung cancer and ADXS-504 for early-stage prostate cancer.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co. Ltd. Announce Strategic Collaboration

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 16, 2022

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Dong-A ST Co., Ltd. announced that they have entered into a conditional exclusive license agreement for NeuroBo to develop and commercialize DA-1241 and DA-1726, which are currently being evaluated for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis obesity and type 2 diabetes. DA-1241 is a novel G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 119 agonist, which promotes the release of key gut peptides GLP-1, GIP and PYY, which, in turn, play an important role in glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism and weight loss. DA-1241 is a synthetic, selective small molecule, suitable for oral administration and has been shown to be well tolerated in phase 1 studies. Further, its multimodal mechanism appears to induce strong anti-NASH effects, supported by potential best-in-class efficacy, as demonstrated in pre-clinical studies. DA-1726 is a novel oxyntomodulin analogue functioning as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor and glucagon receptor dual agonist. OXM is a naturally-occurring, 37-amino acid peptide hormone that is released from the gut after ingestion of a meal, activating both the GLP-1 and glucagon receptors, prompting reduced food intake as well as an increase in energy expenditure, potentially resulting in superior body weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 receptor agonists. The beneficial effects of this dual mechanism of DA-1726 on weight loss compared to selective GLP-1 activity has been demonstrated in animal models. Additionally, DA-1726 has shown the ability to improve hepatic steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis when compared to the GLP-1 agonist, semaglutide in these same models. Under the license agreement, NeuroBo will be responsible for global development, regulatory and commercial activities other than for certain Asian-Pacific geographies. Dong-A will manufacture clinical supplies and initial commercial supplies of the product at its manufacturing facility in Korea. "The acquisition of these two cardiometabolic assets marks a seismic shift for NeuroBo, providing us with a highly promising, diversified pipeline with several upcoming value inflection points in the NASH and obesity space -- areas with enormous market opportunity," stated Gil Price, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NeuroBo. "Through this agreement, Dong-A, one of our largest shareholders, has reaffirmed its commitment to remain a long-term strategic partner of NeuroBo. Dong-A is dedicated to our success and we are grateful it has also committed to provide continued support to facilitate the clinical development of the licensed assets. Once the transaction has closed, which is contingent upon certain closing conditions, we will be uniquely positioned to initiate a phase 2a study of DA-1241 in NASH in the first half of 2023, with data expected in the second half of 2024. We also intend to initiate a phase 1a safety study of DA-1726 in the first half of 2023, for which data is expected in the second half of 2023. We are truly excited about the prospects of NeuroBo as we transition to a cardiometabolic company across the large and growing markets of obesity and NASH." "We are highly enthusiastic about this opportunity to accelerate development of our novel treatments in partnership with NeuroBo. Dong-A plans to continue to strengthen its R&D capability and to seek additional collaboration opportunities to establish ourselves in the US market", Min Young Kim, Chief Executive Officer of Dong-A About the Proposed Licensing Transaction Under the terms of the license agreement, Dong-A will receive an upfront payment of $22 million in Series A convertible preferred stock, which will automatically convert into common stock upon receipt of requisite stockholder approval, and will be eligible to receive commercial- and regulatory-based milestone payments, dependent upon the achievement of specific regulatory and commercial developments. Dong-A will also be entitled to single digit royalties on net sales of the two assets. Dong-A has also agreed to commit $15,000,000 toward financing the assets, subject to NeuroBo's ability to obtain additional financing under the terms of the license agreement. The license agreement has been approved by the board of directors of NeuroBo. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to obtaining third party financing for development of the assets and other customary closing conditions. About NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company historically focused on therapies for neurodegenerative, infectious, and, upon closing of the license agreement, cardiometabolic diseases. Its therapeutics programs currently include ANA001, an oral niclosamide formulation, which is in Phase 2/3 clinical trials to treat patients with moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19); NB-01 for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy; NB-02 for the treatment of symptoms of cognitive impairment and to modify the progression of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the malfunction of tau protein; and gemcabene currently being assessed as an acute treatment for COVID-19 in combination with ANA001. NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. About Dong-A Dong-A ST Co. is a leading healthcare company in South Korea with a business focus on developing, manufacturing and distributing pharmaceutical products and medical devices worldwide. Dong-A has successfully developed and marketed several products globally and continues to develop prospective clinical candidates. Dong-A also provides licensed-in and licensed-out drugs, and medical devices, including high-technology medical devices, custom-made products, and sets of artificial cardiac circuits for use in open-heart surgery. Dong-A has over 5,500 employees including 2,300 in the pharmaceutical sector. Dong-A was founded in 1932 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

Read More