Wiping its slate ahead of BMS buy, Celgene to pay 117M Dollars in Revlimid antitrust settlements

Fiercepharma | August 01, 2019

With Celgene making the big move under Bristol-Myers Squibbs umbrella, the drugmaker is looking to clear its books before the merger. Two antitrust settlements totaling more than 100 million dollars could help soothe BMS mind. Celgene will pay Mylan 62 million dollars to settle claims that it intentionally stifled generic competition for its blockbuster multiple myeloma med Revlimid and predecessor Thalomid. The Big Biotech refused to sell samples of the two drugs to generics makers, the lawsuit said—and those samples are necessary for copycats to win FDA approval. Without the samples, Mylan couldn't perform the bioequivalence testing necessary to formulate a generic and submit it to the FDA for approval. Mylan’s suit, filed in 2014, was scheduled for trial in October, according to an SEC filing. Celgene chose not to comment on the settlement. The Mylan settlement follows a separate $55 million payout to close a class-action lawsuit from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers Local 1 Health Fund. In that case, the union claimed Celgene not only refused to sell Revlimid and Thalomid samples, but also filed superfluous patent challenges to protect its drugs and agreed to exclusive supply agreements to stem the flow of Thalomid’s active ingredient from other suppliers. Celgene approved that settlement a week ago.

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Too much insulin often leads to type 2 diabetes. Now, UPI reports Danish researchers have discovered a protein responsible for producing insulin, which may lead to improved treatment. The protein GRP94 helps to fold proinsulin within the pancreas, ultimately converting it into insulin. Researchers were able to remove the GRP94 to significantly reduce the production of insulin without affecting the productivity of beta cells in the pancreas.

Spotlight

Too much insulin often leads to type 2 diabetes. Now, UPI reports Danish researchers have discovered a protein responsible for producing insulin, which may lead to improved treatment. The protein GRP94 helps to fold proinsulin within the pancreas, ultimately converting it into insulin. Researchers were able to remove the GRP94 to significantly reduce the production of insulin without affecting the productivity of beta cells in the pancreas.

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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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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Astellas and MBC BioLabs Announce Astellas Future Innovator Prize to Help Biotech Start-ups Accelerate Early Drug Discovery and Research Efforts

Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 20, 2022

Astellas Venture Management LLC a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc. and Mission Bay Capital BioLabs a life-science incubator, today announced their collaboration on the "Astellas Future Innovator Prize" formerly known as the Astellas Golden Ticket competition. Building on over three successful years, the competition offers entrepreneurial scientists or emerging biotechnology start-ups one year's priority usage of MBC BioLabs' state-of-the-art lab facility and access to Astellas' research and development (R&D) capabilities and business leaders. With a shared commitment to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide, AVM and MBC BioLabs are continuing their partnership to support scientists and early-stage companies to accelerate their novel therapeutic programs, modalities or platforms. The 2022 competition will prioritize innovative research that compliment Astellas' Focus Area Approach and pipeline. "We are truly thrilled to host the Astellas Future Innovator Prize again this year. Through our long-term collaboration with MBC BioLabs, we aim to create an environment that encourages innovation to thrive. The Astellas Future Innovator Prize enables us to provide biotech companies with expertise and capabilities to turn an innovative idea into a real solution, which could transform the lives of patients in need around the world." William Watt, President, AVM "We are pleased to continue our partnership with Astellas to uncover the innovators of tomorrow," said Douglas Crawford, MBC BioLabs General Manager. "The past winners of the Astellas Future Innovator Prize show what can be achieved by combining Astellas' support, advice and expertise with our laboratory incubator, and we are excited to see the result of our ongoing collaboration." Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science and biotechnology start-ups have until November 4, 2022 to enter the Astellas Future Innovator Prize. About the Astellas Future Innovator Prize at MBC BioLabs Astellas is offering up to two prizes for pioneering scientists with innovative research that complements Astellas' areas of interest in alignment with its Focus Area Approach and pipeline, including Blindness & Regeneration, Mitochondria, Genetic Regulation, Immuno-Oncology, Cell Therapy, and other areas. The 2021 Astellas Future Innovator Prize winners were Vcreate and Weatherwax Biotechnologies, chosen for the potential of their innovations to deliver therapeutic advances for unmet medical needs and their potential synergy with Astellas' Focus Area Approach. About Astellas Venture Management LLC AVM is the wholly-owned venture capital organization within Astellas, dedicated to supporting pre-clinical, cutting-edge science that can bring VALUE to patients. For over 15 years, AVM has provided equity investments to private, early-stage companies developing therapeutic programs and platform technologies, helping them to advance their innovations faster. AVM is a strategic investor, making investments in science that will enhance the current Astellas R&D pipeline or that could catalyze new directions in discovery research. 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. About MBC BioLabs MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single bench and providing these entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, MBC BioLabs allows companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. It has three sites: one in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco and two campuses in San Carlos, California. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one. MBC BioLabs has partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and life-science companies as well as a built-in venture capital firm, Mission BioCapital. These partnerships provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and accelerates the innovation pipeline. Since opening in 2013, MBC BioLabs has helped launch and grow 290 companies. These companies have brought 58 programs to the clinic, produced 13 approved diagnostics, and raised over $14 billion.

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PHARMA TECH

Alimentiv, Satisfai Health, and Virgo Announce Partnership to use AI-driven technology to Enhance Clinical Trials in IBD and other GI Diseases

Alimentiv Inc. | October 06, 2022

Alimentiv Inc. Satisfai Health, Inc and Virgo Surgical Video Solutions, Inc. announced a strategic partnership to revolutionize central reading, data capture, decision support, and patient recruitment in the clinical trial domain for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and allied GI conditions. Satisfai, a global leader in developing artificial intelligence solutions for gastroenterology, and Virgo, an industry leader in endoscopy video capture technology, will leverage their combined strengths to work in partnership with Alimentiv, a leading CRO in gastroenterology, to realize the full potential of AI-powered precision imaging in the GI clinical trials space. "This synergy of Satisfai and Virgo with Alimentiv is a positive development for patients with IBD and the drug development space. Clinical trials have many pain points, and this strategic partnership will enable advances in improving the efficiency of clinical trials and make some significant changes to how trials are run. We are delighted to enter this arrangement to bring the next generation of imaging technology to clinical trials in gastroenterology." Jeff Smith, CEO of Alimentiv "Artificial Intelligence in medicine is being increasingly adopted across various clinical specialties, with gastroenterology being one key field of use, particularly endoscopy," said Dr. Michael Byrne, CEO and founder of Satisfai Health, Clinical Professor of Medicine and gastroenterologist in Vancouver. "Working with Virgo, we are excited to bring AI-driven solutions to the IBD clinical trials arena. To be able to do so with Alimentiv — a leading Gastroenterology and imaging CRO—is a great opportunity. Our clear ambition is to change the clinical trial paradigm for IBD and other disease states such as Eosinophilic Esophagitis. As three groups working together, we are confident we can do so." "Combining Satisfai's marquis AI solutions with Virgo's HIPAA and SOC 2 compliant automated cloud video capture technology and Alimentiv's 21CFR11 compliant solutions, expansive site community, and imaging expertise is very powerful. We truly look forward to realizing this vision and bringing real-time, in-line AI solutions to GI clinical trials worldwide," said Matthew Schwartz, CEO and co-founder at Virgo. This partnership will facilitate Alimentiv's continued leadership in GI Clinical Trials through exclusive access to Satisfai's SmartScore Central Reading tool and Virgo's fully integrated, hands-free, cloud-based high-definition video-capture fleet. In addition, this will provide pharmaceutical and biotech sponsors with access to the ongoing development of novel endpoints, scoring methodologies, and scalable solutions geared toward bringing novel therapies to market faster. About Alimentiv Inc. Alimentiv is a global contract research organization (CRO) providing clinical trials, central image management, precision medicine, and real-world evidence services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Headquartered in London, Ontario, Alimentiv employs more than 500 people across its operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. The organization's unique model combines the efforts of internationally recognized academic researchers and operational experts to offer integrated solutions to customers. Over the past 20 years, Alimentiv has become a recognized expert in clinical trial design, central image management solutions, outcome measure development, and precision medicine for drug development in IBD. Today, Alimentiv provides services in more than 50 countries worldwide, collaborates with leading universities and academic institutions across the globe, and partners with many leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations to bring new and improved treatment options to patients. Alimentiv is committed to investment in medical research and development, focusing on identifying barriers to drug development and pursuing solutions that advance IBD research. The research findings are operationalized into an efficient clinical trial methodology for clients that aligns with emerging regulatory standards. In collaboration with leading experts, Alimentiv has pioneered the development, validation, and standardization of outcome measures and technology, shaping the evolving clinical trial landscape for multiple indications and providing meaningful long-term consequences for patients, their treatment, and society. About Satisfai Health Satisfai is a leading medical solutions provider specializing in AI applications applied to large addressable markets in gastroenterology. Satisfai's solutions deliver real-time medical imagery analysis, providing clinicians with decision support intelligence that dramatically improves patient outcomes. Satisfai is supported by a highly respected board of medical clinicians and key opinion leaders who operate at the top of their fields in the many areas of gastroenterology. Satisfai enjoys a strong voice on academic panels, leading GI societies, and direct access to prominent industry players seeking to adopt new AI technologies in gastroenterology. About Virgo Virgo provides the leading cloud video capture, management, and artificial intelligence analysis platform for endoscopic medicine. Academic, integrated, and private practice healthcare providers use the Virgo platform to advance patient care through video-based research and training initiatives. Since launching, Virgo has helped physicians capture over 400,000 endoscopy procedures using industry-leading HIPAA, HITRUST, and SOC 2-compliant cloud service providers. Virgo also supports integration with all leading electronic health records systems. In 2021, Virgo launched a suite of tools called VirgoTrials, which help pharmaceutical trial sponsors and their participating trial sites accelerate patient recruitment and shorten the overall enrollment period for trials.

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