Vaccine heroes? COVID-19 pitfalls, pricing put pharma on the spot

Fiercepharma | June 16, 2020

Pharma is looking to reset its image with COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, but landmines loom—with pricing likely the biggest. The halo from pharma’s rapid response in research and discovery—and the hope that a vaccine or effective treatments will allow the world to return to some sort of normal—has propelled the industry’s reputation at an all-time high. Forty percent of Americans say their opinion of the pharma industry has turned positive during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Harris Poll. However, pricing lurks just beyond the lab. Just this week in media, one well-known pundit posited in a Forbes column that the industry’s reputation hinges on the pricing of Gilead Sciences' treatment remdesivir, while another touted Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla’s promise to not price its vaccine too high in part because “people will not forget if you do that.”

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For over 125 years, Horst Construction has been partnering with senior living communities, churches, industrial/pharmaceutical leaders, educators, and commercial facility owners to guide their construction projects.

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For over 125 years, Horst Construction has been partnering with senior living communities, churches, industrial/pharmaceutical leaders, educators, and commercial facility owners to guide their construction projects.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH

Northstar and Inhibrx Join Hands to Develop Radiopharmaceutical Candidates

Northstar and Inhibrx | January 09, 2023

NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, announced a collaboration with Inhibrx, Inc., to develop and produce new radiopharmaceuticals for cancer treatment. Inhibrx will develop a new generation of targeted alpha treatments utilizing its improved single-domain antibodies (sdAbs). With a long history of sdAb innovation, it has created a library of sdAbs targeting tumor-associated antigens. Its high binding affinity and specificity for tumor cells or antigen-expressing cells within the tumor microenvironment make sdAbs an ideal biological targeting agent for radioisotope delivery. In addition, alpha-emitting radioisotopes have a small range of activity and high energy transfer, allowing for the targeted destruction of cancer cells with minimum damage to adjacent healthy tissue. NorthStar is expanding its position as an industry leader in the rapidly-growing field of therapeutic radioisotopes, and it is now prepared to become the first commercial-scale manufacturer of non-carrier added (n.c.a.) actinium-225 (Ac-225) and copper-67 (Cu-67). Under the terms of this agreement, NorthStar will provide the supply of Ac-225 and access to its comprehensive radiopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services to assist the development of a predetermined number of Inhibrx's novel biologic medicines. NorthStar will also prepare Inhibrx patient dosages for clinical studies and, upon approval, may manufacture and supply radionuclides for its commercial use. About NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes is a commercial-stage nuclear medicine company with a mission to provide patients with global access to game-changing radiopharmaceuticals. The company uses ecologically preferable technologies to create, manufacture, and distribute diagnostic imaging and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals. It is the only commercial U.S. producer of molybdenum-99, an essential diagnostic imaging radioisotope (Mo-99). The FDA-approved RadioGenix® System (technetium Tc 99m generator) uses US-manufactured, non-uranium-based Mo-99 as the source material to generate technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is used to assess heart disease and cancer.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS, PHARMA TECH

Neochromosome Announces Successful Collaboration with Sumitovant Biopharma

Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc. | January 20, 2023

On January 19, 2023, Neochromosome, Inc., announced a partnership with Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc., a technology-driven biopharmaceutical firm expediting the discovery and commercialization of novel therapeutics. This collaboration blends Neochromosome's neoYeast™ platform with Sumitovant's DrugOME™ computational ecosystem to identify new proteins that would benefit from non-canonical amino acid chemistries that are unavailable in nature. As part of the collaboration, Sumitovant used a combination of natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and computational algorithms to identify opportunities for Neochromosome to enhance the discovery and production of proteins limited by evolution and traditional fabrication processes. For example, non-canonical amino acid inclusion allows new-to-nature proteins with improved structures and functions but often requires chemical synthesis, which is expensive, size- and complexity-restricted, and environmentally damaging. neoYeast™, based on Neochromosome's world-leading genome-scale cell engineering technology stack, enables the highly efficient and environmentally friendly integration of non-canonical amino acids into proteins, with both discovery and manufacturing possible in a single genome-engineered yeast strain. Sumitovant used DrugOME to explore libraries of traditional and non-traditional sources of data to recommend targeted protein development candidates for neoYeast. Co-Founder and CEO of Neochromosome, Leslie Mitchell, commented, "The combination of Sumitovant's technology platform and life-sciences expertise with Neochromosome's ability to both discover and biomanufacture novel proteins in a single system enables Neochromosome to accelerate and streamline the delivery of better therapies for patients." She added, "We are excited to partner with the world-class team at Sumitovant to identify opportunities to create better versions of existing drugs, along with new-to-nature compounds, and to manufacture them efficiently at scale." (Source – Business Wire) Sumitovant Biopharma, Inc. The firm has supported the development of multiple FDA-approved products and a strong pipeline of early-through late-stage investigational assets addressing unmet needs in pediatrics, oncology, urology, women's health, specialty respiratory, and infectious diseases through its proprietary computing and data platforms, scientific expertise, and diverse company portfolio. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Pharma.

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PHARMA TECH

Xeris Biopharma Announces Research Collaboration and Option Agreement With Horizon Therapeutics plc for XeriJect™ Formulation of Teprotumumab

Xeris | November 24, 2022

Xeris Biopharma Holdings, Inc. a growth-oriented biopharmaceutical company committed to improving patient lives by developing and commercializing innovative products across a range of therapies, announced that it has entered into a research collaboration and option agreement with Horizon Therapeutics plc. Under the terms of the agreement, Xeris will use its proprietary formulation technology platform, XeriJect™, to develop an ultra-concentrated, ready-to-use, subcutaneous injection of teprotumumab and Horizon will have an option to license the Xeris technology. Teprotumumab is the first and only medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease a serious, progressive and potentially vision-threatening rare autoimmune disease. Teprotumumab-trbw is known as TEPEZZA® in the United States. Xeris will receive an upfront payment, and may be entitled to receive development milestones, regulatory milestones, and salesbased milestones, as well as royalties based on future sales if the commercial license option is exercised. Specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “We are excited to announce our collaboration with Horizon for the development of a subcutaneous formulation of teprotumumab using our XeriJect technology to potentially enhance the patient experience and delivery of the treatment for Thyroid Eye Disease. This partnership demonstrates the potential value of our technology to enable large molecule subcutaneous injections that provide a more patient friendly regimen that is effective, safe, and more convenient, with potential for improved adherence.” Paul R. Edick, Chairman and CEO of Xeris About XeriJect™ XeriJect formulations are innovative, ready-to-use, viscoelastic pharmaceutical suspensions that have the potential to improve drug delivery, lower treatment burden and improve patients' lives across a broad range of therapeutic categories. XeriJect suspensions maximize drug loadings at >400mg/mL, enable small volume subcutaneous injections and do not settle on storage. The suspensions use FDA-approved excipients and leverage known manufacturing processes. XeriJect formulation technology is well suited for drugs and biologics including large molecules such as proteins, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines. The technology is protected by an extensive patent estate, trade secrets and know-how, and it is available for licensing. About Xeris Xeris is a growth-oriented biopharmaceutical company committed to improving patients’ lives by developing and commercializing innovative products across a range of therapies. Xeris has three commercially available products; Gvoke®, a ready-to-use liquid glucagon for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia, Keveyis®, the first and only FDA-approved therapy for primary periodic paralysis, and Recorlev® for the treatment of endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. Xeris also has a robust pipeline of development programs to extend the current marketed products into important new indications and uses and bring new products forward using its proprietary formulation technology platforms, XeriSol™ and XeriJect™, supporting long-term product development and commercial success.

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