Xellia starts sterile injectable production at once vilified U.S. plant

FiercePharma | March 26, 2020

After nearly five years and significant investment, commercial production is again underway at a plant that was once the poster-child of pharma production quality failures. Following a January inspection, the FDA has given its nod of approval for Xellia Pharmaceuticals to start manufacturing at the sterile injectables plant in the Cleveland, Ohio suburb of Bedford. The Copenhagen, Denmark-based Xellia says it will use the greater capacity to scale up its approved pipeline of antiinfectives and to produce injectable drugs on contract. It has more than 200 employees at the plant after investing more than $200 million to revamp it, a spokesman said in an email.

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Discover what strategies healthcare organizations are undertaking to address the top issues that face them: addressing cost pressures resulting from declining reimbursements and improving the patient experience. Learn about the steps necessary to address these issues and become an intelligent enterprise.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

AbbVie Secures Positive CHMP Opinion for Risankizumab (SKYRIZI®) for the Treatment of Adults with Moderate to Severe Crohn's Disease

AbbVie | September 19, 2022

AbbVie announced the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use adopted a positive opinion recommending the approval of risankizumab for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease who have had inadequate response, lost response or were intolerant to conventional or biologic therapy. "We continue to raise the bar in researching treatments for immune-mediated gastroenterological conditions through more stringent and innovative clinical trial design, such as the first time a Phase 3 trial has reported co-primary endpoints, endoscopic response and clinical remission. With the recent CHMP recommendation for risankizumab in Crohn's disease, we're getting closer toward helping patients find sufficient disease control for this disruptive condition." Neil Gallagher, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, development, chief medical officer, AbbVie AbbVie's application for the approval of risankizumab in Crohn's disease is supported by data from three Phase 3 clinical trials — ADVANCE, MOTIVATE (induction studies) and FORTIFY (maintenance study).1,2 Across all three studies, significantly more patients treated with risankizumab achieved the co-primary endpoints of endoscopic response and clinical remission.1,2,5-10 This includes statistically significant improvements in these endpoints at week 12 compared to placebo with 600 mg intravenous infusions for the ADVANCE and MOTIVATE induction studies.1,8,9 Additionally, a significantly greater proportion of patients treated with risankizumab 360 mg subcutaneous injections achieved endoscopic response and clinical remission at 52 weeks compared to placebo (patients treated with placebo after risankizumab induction) in the FORTIFY maintenance study.2,10 Safety results of risankizumab in Crohn's disease were consistent with the known safety profile of risankizumab, with no new safety risks observed.1,2,8-13 "Living with Crohn's disease can pose many challenges and significantly impact a patient's health-related quality of life," said Marc Ferrante, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium. "Risankizumab could be an encouraging option for adult patients that continue to have moderately to severely active Crohn's disease and I look forward to the European Commission's final decision." Use of risankizumab in Crohn's disease is not approved in the European Union, and its safety and efficacy remain under evaluation. Risankizumab (SKYRIZI) is part of a collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim and AbbVie, with AbbVie leading development and commercialization globally. About Crohn's Disease Crohn's disease is a chronic, systemic disease that manifests as inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract, causing persistent diarrhea and abdominal pain.3,4 It is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time in a substantial proportion of patients or may develop complications that require urgent medical care, including surgery.3,4 Because the signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease are unpredictable, it causes a significant burden on people living with the disease—not only physically, but also emotionally and economically.14,15 About the ADVANCE and MOTIVATE Inductions Studies, and the FORTIFY Maintenance Study1,2,8-10 The three Phase 3 studies are multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to evaluate the efficacy and safety of risankizumab 600 mg and 1200 mg as induction therapy, and risankizumab 180 mg and 360 mg as maintenance therapy in subjects with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease. Topline results of the ADVANCE and MOTIVATE induction studies were announced in January 2021 and topline results of the FORTIFY maintenance study were announced in June 2021. About SKYRIZI® (risankizumab) SKYRIZI is an interleukin-23 (IL-23) inhibitor that selectively blocks IL-23 by binding to its p19 subunit.11,16 IL-23, a cytokine involved in inflammatory processes, is thought to be linked to a number of chronic immune-mediated diseases, including Crohn's disease.11,16 The approved dose for SKYRIZI for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and active psoriatic arthritis in the European Union is 150 mg (either as two 75 mg prefilled syringe injections or one 150 mg prefilled pen or prefilled syringe) administered by subcutaneous injections at week 0 and 4 and every 12 weeks thereafter.11 The use of risankizumab in Crohn's disease is not approved in the European Union and its safety remains under review with the global regulatory authorities. Phase 3 trials of SKYRIZI in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are ongoing.12,13,17 EU Indications and Important Safety Information about SKYRIZI® (risankizumab)11 SKYRIZI is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy. SKYRIZI, alone or in combination with methotrexate is indicated for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis in adults who have had an inadequate response or who have been intolerant to one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. SKYRIZI is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients. SKYRIZI may increase the risk of infection. In patients with a chronic infection, a history of recurrent infection, or known risk factors for infection, SKYRIZI should be used with caution. Treatment with SKYRIZI should not be initiated in patients with any clinically important active infection until the infection resolves or is adequately treated. Prior to initiating treatment with SKYRIZI, patients should be evaluated for tuberculosis (TB) infection. Patients receiving SKYRIZI should be monitored for signs and symptoms of active TB. Anti-TB therapy should be considered prior to initiating SKYRIZI in patients with a history of latent or active TB in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed. Prior to initiating therapy with SKYRIZI, completion of all appropriate immunizations should be considered according to current immunization guidelines. If a patient has received live vaccination (viral or bacterial), it is recommended to wait at least 4 weeks prior to starting treatment with SKYRIZI. Patients treated with SKYRIZI should not receive live vaccines during treatment and for at least 21 weeks after treatment. The most frequently reported adverse reactions were upper respiratory infections. Commonly (greater than or equal to 1/100 to less than 1/10) reported adverse reactions included tinea infections, headache, pruritus, fatigue and injection site reactions. About AbbVie in Gastroenterology With a robust clinical trial program, AbbVie is committed to cutting-edge research to drive exciting developments in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. By innovating, learning and adapting, AbbVie aspires to eliminate the burden of IBD and make a positive long-term impact on the lives of people with IBD. About AbbVie AbbVie's mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve serious health issues today and address the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people's lives across several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women's health and gastroenterology, in addition to products and services across our Allergan Aesthetics portfolio.

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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.

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PHARMA TECH

Sumitovant Biopharma and Sumitomo Pharma Announce Offer to Acquire Outstanding Shares of Myovant Sciences

Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd. | October 03, 2022

Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd. in conjunction with parent company Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. announced it has submitted a non-binding proposal to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Myovant Sciences Ltd. offering to acquire all outstanding shares of Myovant not already owned by Sumitovant for $22.75 per share in cash. The proposed transaction, if completed, would result in Myovant being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. The proposed acquisition consideration represents an equity value for Myovant of $2.4 billion and an enterprise value of $2.5 billion. The proposed per share consideration represents a premium of approximately 27% to Myovant's closing share price on September 30, 2022, and a premium of approximately 31% to the 60-day volume weighted average price of Myovant's shares through September 30, 2022. The Proposal is a natural step in the well-established relationship between Sumitovant and Myovant, and represents an unprecedented opportunity to combine expertise, platforms, and resources to deliver innovative therapies addressing unmet patient needs in women's health and prostate cancer. Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma have been impressed with the culture and significant accomplishments of Myovant's employees. If a transaction is completed, we will continue to provide support and resources to Myovant to enable achievement of its mission to redefine care for the patients they so passionately serve. Since the investment in Myovant in December 2019, both Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma have enjoyed a collaborative and successful relationship with Myovant that has facilitated the continued development and commercialization of Orgovyx® and Myfembree® in prostate cancer and women's health in and outside of the U.S. Further, Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma believe that the Proposal is financially compelling and will create significant and immediate value for Myovant's shareholders. The Proposal provides that the proposed transaction will be subject to the approval of the shareholders of Myovant holding a majority of the shares not owned by Sumitovant. In addition, Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma informed the Audit Committee in the Proposal that, in Sumitovant's capacity as a majority shareholder in Myovant, Sumitovant and Sumitomo Pharma are interested only in acquiring the shares of Myovant not already owned by Sumitovant and that in such capacity, Sumitovant has no interest in selling any of the Myovant shares it owns, nor would Sumitovant support any alternative sale, merger, or similar transaction involving Myovant. The Proposal does not create any binding legal obligation between Sumitovant or Sumitomo Pharma and Myovant. Neither Sumitovant, Sumitomo Pharma nor Myovant will have any obligation or liability to the other with respect to a transaction unless and until definitive transaction documents are executed and delivered by the parties. About Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd. Sumitovant is a technology-driven biopharmaceutical company accelerating development and commercialization of new potential therapies for patients with rare conditions and other diseases. Through our proprietary computing and data platforms, scientific expertise and diverse company portfolio, Sumitovant has supported development of multiple FDA-approved products and a robust pipeline of early- through late-stage investigational assets addressing unmet patient needs in pediatrics, urology, oncology, women's health, specialty respiratory and infectious diseases. Sumitovant is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Pharma. About Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd. Sumitomo Pharma is among the top-ten listed pharmaceutical companies in Japan, operating globally in major pharmaceutical markets, including Japan, the U.S., China, and other Asian countries with about 7,000 employees worldwide. Sumitomo Pharma defines its corporate mission as "To broadly contribute to society through value creation based on innovative research and development activities for the betterment of healthcare and fuller lives of people worldwide."

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