Vertex cystic fibrosis drug Trikafta gets US approval

Pharmaceutical Technology | October 22, 2019

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its three-drug combination Trikafta to treat cystic fibrosis. The medicine is for use in patients aged 12 years and above with a minimum of one F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Cystic fibrosis is a rare genetic disease caused by defective or missing CFTR protein, which forms from CFTR gene mutations. Of all CFTR mutations, at least one F508del mutation is known to be the most frequent in CF patients. Trikafta, which combines elexacaftor, tezacaftor and ivacaftor, boosts the F508del-CFTR protein quantity and function at the cell surface. The drug can be prescribed to around 6,000 patients with one F508del mutation and one minimal function mutation (F / MF), along with nearly 12,000 of those who have one or two F508del mutations and are eligible for one of the company’s three FDA-approved drugs for CF.

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The Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford is a worldleading centre of pioneering research that addresses global challenges. We invest in research that cuts across disciplines to tackle a wide range of issues such as climate change, disease and inequality. We support novel, high risk and multidisciplinary projects that may not fit within conventional funding channels. We do this because breaking boundaries can produce results that could dramatically improve the wellbeing of this and future generations. We seek to make an impact by taking new approaches to global problems, through scientific and intellectual discovery, by developing policy recommendations and working with a wide range of stakeholders to translate them into action.

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The Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford is a worldleading centre of pioneering research that addresses global challenges. We invest in research that cuts across disciplines to tackle a wide range of issues such as climate change, disease and inequality. We support novel, high risk and multidisciplinary projects that may not fit within conventional funding channels. We do this because breaking boundaries can produce results that could dramatically improve the wellbeing of this and future generations. We seek to make an impact by taking new approaches to global problems, through scientific and intellectual discovery, by developing policy recommendations and working with a wide range of stakeholders to translate them into action.

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PHARMA TECH

European Medicines Agency Accepts Astellas' Marketing Authorization Application for Fezolinetant

Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 30, 2022

Astellas Pharma Inc. announced the European Medicines Agency has accepted for regulatory review the company's marketing authorization 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 "More than half of women 40 to 64 years of age experience hot flashes during menopause, with limited nonhormonal treatment options. The EMA's acceptance of our MAA for fezolinetant brings us one step closer to advancing a potential first-in-class nonhormonal treatment option for women in Europe who experience VMS associated with menopause, similar to the FDA acceptance of our NDA for women in the U.S." Ahsan Arozullah, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Head of Development Therapeutic Areas, Astellas The MAA 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 Europe, the U.S. and Canada. 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 MAA, Astellas proposes a 45 mg daily dose, which is subject to the EMA's review. Fezolinetant is an investigational nonhormonal selective neurokinin 3 receptor antagonist. The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established. This acceptance will have no impact on Astellas' financial forecasts of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. About the BRIGHT SKY™ Phase 3 Program The BRIGHT SKY pivotal trials, SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™ 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 Worldwide, more than half of women 40 to 64 years of age experience VMS with rates in Europe ranging from 56% to 97%.3,4,5 The prevalence of moderate to severe VMS in postmenopausal women in Europe has been reported at 40%.6 VMS can have a disruptive impact on women's daily activities and overall quality of life.1 About Fezolinetant 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. About Astellas 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.

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PHARMA TECH

Porton Advanced and Royaltech Announce Strategic Collaboration to Accelerate the Development of Bacterial Drugs and mRNA Drugs

Porton Advanced Solutions | August 29, 2022

Porton Advanced Solutions.announced a strategic cooperation with Suzhou Royaltech Med Co., Ltd. This strategic collaboration will further integrate the resources and capabilities of both parties, jointly promote the establishment of microbial vectors used for gene therapy and mRNA drug platform technology, and accelerate the R&D process of bioinnovative drugs. Porton Advanced provides an end-to-end gene and cell therapy CDMO service platform covering plasmids, cell therapy, gene therapy, oncolytic virus, nucleic acid therapy and viable bacteria therapy. Suzhou Royaltech focuses on the development of vaccines for tumor immunotherapy with its proprietary technologies, and fast transition from clinical to market . Its R&D pipeline covers the attenuated non-integrated Listeria platform, mRNA platform, and cell therapy platform. All these platforms are in the leading position not only in China but also abroad, and have a complete layout of invention patents. "We are very pleased to enter into this strategic collaboration with Royaltech. The core management team of Royaltech is from the top pharmaceutical companies, with an average of 15 years of R&D and management experience and is advancing an internationally competitive R&D pipeline. Porton Advanced's end-to-end gene and cell therapy CDMO platform with rich project experience and comprehensive quality system will help Royaltech the development of Listeria and mRNA drugs, push its R&D pipeline in a quick, efficient manner, and accelerate the development and implementation of innovative drugs, so that good medicines can benefit the public earlier." Dr. Yangzhou Wang, CEO of Porton Advanced Dr. Chun Xu, Chairman of Royaltech, said: "As a Biotech company, we are grateful to work with Porton Advanced, a very professional CDMO company, to jointly build a unique Listeria and mRNA tumor vaccine platform technology, and constantly develop leading tumor immunotherapeutic biological drugs in China and abroad." About Porton Advanced Solutions Established in Suzhou Industrial Park in December 2018, by its parent company Porton Pharma Solutions Ltd. Porton Advanced has built a CDMO platform integrating plasmid, cell therapy, gene therapy, oncolytic virus, nucleic acid therapy and microbial vectors used for gene therapy providing end-to-end services from cell banking, process development and analytical development, cGMP production to final Fill and Finish , investigator-initiated clinical trials (IIT), investigational new drugs (IND), clinical trials to commercial production. Porton Advanced is dedicated to support sponsors advance their GCT drug development and market launches. Porton Advanced focuses solely on gene and cell therapy services. Built on the professional experience of its cohort of world-class professionals, as well as on the successes of its parent company, Porton Advanced insists on "Customer First" and the tenet of "Compliance, Expertise, Focus, Open Collaboration". With its key focus on protecting IP for its sponsors, through its comprehensive project management and quality systems, Porton Advanced strives to bring gene and cell therapy products to the clinic and the market through its quality CDMO services, and help bring the best medicine to the public sooner. About Royaltech Headquartered in Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou Royaltech Med Co., Ltd. was founded in July 2016. In July 2017, a wholly-owned subsidiary, Shanghai Royaltech Co., Ltd. was set up in Shanghai International Medical Zone. As a high-standard innovation center of biological drugs, Shanghai Royaltech focuses on CMC development of innovative tumor vaccine, and fast clinical application of up-to-date cell immunotherapy. Since establishment, Royaltech has submitted several patents for invention to the State Intellectual Property Office. It focuses on the development of innovative tumor vaccine, and fast clinical application of up-to-date cell immunotherapy. Its R&D pipeline covers mRNA, oncolytic virus, bacteria, AAV, cell therapy platform and so on. Its core management team is from top universities in US and top 10 big pharma, with an average of 15 years of R&D and management experience. Our scientists have excellent capability on molecular biological engineering, target discovery and verification, pre-clinical R&D, quality control and assurance, and clinical trials of cell immunotherapy. On the strength of our rich experience on target biomarker, target discovery and verification, and global multicenter clinical trials, we are advancing an internationally competitive R&D pipeline.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Mission Bio Announces Pharma Assay Development Services for Solid Tumor Research

Mission Bio | July 13, 2022

Mission Bio, Inc., the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced the launch of solid tumor assays through its Pharma Assay Development services. The availability of this new service offering will help to accelerate the development of cancer therapeutics by reducing the time and cost associated with the characterization of solid tumor cells. Precision therapeutics for solid tumors have been historically bottlenecked due to technical challenges associated with the ability to deeply profile thousands of individual cells for a rich characterization of tumor evolution and heterogeneity. This must be done at a much higher resolution compared to bulk next-generation sequencing to enable detection of rare events, at a much earlier stage before progression. Utilizing Mission Bio's Tapestri™ platform, the company's PAD services for solid tumors partner with researchers to provide high-resolution data to unmask the underlying genetic diversity across cell populations. Insights into the clonal landscape and co-occurrence of mutations enable improved patient stratification for clinical trials and the identification of druggable targets for precision therapeutics. Researchers can also monitor treatment resistance by analyzing the acquisition of rare mutations driving tumor progression over the course of treatment. The expansion of Mission Bio's PAD services to solid tumor research comes just three months after the launch of the Solid Tumor Solution on the Tapestri™ Platform, demonstrating Mission Bio's commitment to continuously developing innovative single-cell technologies for its pharma customers. "We have seen tremendous uptake and interest from top-tier pharma companies for our blood cancer Pharma Assay Development program, and we expect the same momentum for our solid tumor services. With our solid tumor services, Mission Bio partners with pharma customers to elucidate the mechanisms of drug resistance through mutation acquisition, determine how cells transform from benign to malignant states, and reveal the genomic changes enabling cancer cells to metastasize – without having to bring single-cell technology or resources in-house. From a customer's perspective, it is as easy as shipping out samples and getting a fully analyzed report back." Todd Druley, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Mission Bio Mission Bio's PAD services deliver comprehensive support across the therapeutic development process. The company has a dedicated team that works with researchers to develop assays, identify high-impact samples, and analyze the data. As part of the service, pharma partners have access to Mission Bio's innovative technology, assay development team, R&D organization, and bioinformatics support. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others. The company's Tapestri™ platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri™ is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution. The Tapestri™ Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.

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