AbbVie exercises licensing option for a drug from Harpoon collaboration

Pharmaceutical Technology | November 22, 2019

AbbVie and Harpoon Therapeutics have announced that the former will has licensed the B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-targeting drug HPN217 for multiple myeloma from the pair’s drug discovery collaboration. AbbVie and Harpoon entered into a drug discovery collaboration in October 2017 to leverage the latter’s Tri-specific T cell Activating Construct (TriTAC) technology to discover T cell-focused immuno-oncology drugs. Financial terms of this collaboration were not publicly disclosed by either company. AbbVie’s decision to exercise the option and licensing of HPN217 represents a payment of up to $510m in upfront, option and milestone payments to Harpoon; $50m could be paid by AbbVie once the first patient is treated with HPN217 in a clinical trial. Harpoon Therapeutics chief medical officer Natalie Sacks commented: “As our pipeline of initial TriTAC clinical candidates advance in prostate and ovarian cancers, we are thrilled to partner with AbbVie in pursuit of therapies geared towards haematologic cancers.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Astellas Announces Topline Results from Phase 3 Long-Term Safety Study of Fezolinetant in Mainland China

Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 05, 2022

Astellas Pharma Inc. announced topline results from the Phase 3 MOONLIGHT 3™ clinical trial in women in mainland China evaluating the long-term safety and tolerability of fezolinetant, an investigational oral, nonhormonal compound being studied 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. MOONLIGHT 3 is a 52-week single-arm Phase 3 clinical trial investigating the long-term safety and tolerability of fezolinetant 30 mg taken once daily in 150 women in mainland China seeking treatment for relief of VMS associated with menopause. The study's primary endpoint is the frequency and severity of adverse events which were generally consistent with previous Phase 3 studies of fezolinetant. Detailed results will be submitted for publication in the near future. "The topline results from the MOONLIGHT 3 study are very encouraging and, upon initial review, further support the long-term safety of fezolinetant. We are evaluating the full MOONLIGHT data sets and remain committed to developing innovative treatments in this therapeutic area with the hope of delivering a first-in-class, nonhormonal treatment option for women with moderate to severe VMS." Ahsan Arozullah, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Head of Development Therapeutic Areas, Astellas Fezolinetant is an investigational selective neurokinin-3 receptor antagonist and is not approved anywhere in the world. In the U.S., a New Drug Application for fezolinetant for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause is under review. The NDA submission is based on results from two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials, SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™, and the Phase 3 long-term safety study, SKYLIGHT 4™. About the MOONLIGHT Phase 3 Clinical Trials MOONLIGHT 1™ is designed to investigate the efficacy and safety of fezolinetant for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause in women in Asia. The study is double-blinded and placebo-controlled for the first 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week non-controlled extension treatment period. A total of 302 women with moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause were enrolled at nearly 60 sites in mainland China, Korea and Taiwan. MOONLIGHT 3™ is a 52-week single-arm Phase 3 clinical trial designed to investigate the long-term safety and tolerability of fezolinetant in women in mainland China with VMS associated with menopause. A total of 150 women were enrolled at 34 sites in mainland China. 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™ 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 50% of women 40 to 64 years of age experience VMS and, in East Asia, the prevalence of VMS has been estimated to be around 80% of women 40 to 65 years of age, with 55% having moderate to severe VMS.3,4 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.5,6,7 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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PHARMACY MARKET

iA Commemorates 50 Years of Innovation with Launch of New Pharmacy Solutions at NACDS Total Store Expo

iA | August 26, 2022

iA, a leading provider of pharmacy fulfillment and automation solutions, is celebrating 50 years of innovation at NACDS Total Store Expo. With a commitment to its heritage, iA’s mission has never wavered from streamlining operational processes through advancing technology. Today, iA continues to drive pharmacy industry innovations. From safe and accurate filling of prescriptions through the use of modern robotics, to production control software enhanced by warehouse management technology, iA’s solutions are powered by its intelligent software platform, NEXiA. NEXiA is the foundation of iA’s automated fulfillment solutions, spanning retail and central fulfillment. “Our NEXiA platform allows our hardware and third-party solutions to talk, streamlining the end-to-end fulfillment process. This allows pharmacies of varying sizes the benefits of flexible on-time delivery, can aid in lowering cost-to-fill and can provide the time needed to spend with patients.” NEXiA’s continuous evolution allows for comprehensive capabilities that drive omnichannel pharmacy fulfillment — from prescription acceptance to quality verification and delivery. Marvin Richardson, RPh, Chief Executive Officer of iA As the industry has evolved, iA has maintained its focus and commitment to pharmacy innovation by launching iA SmartStart, a solution designed to enable customers to realize the benefits of central fill faster. “We’ve listened to our customers and recognized their need to quickly reduce in-store workload and focus on value-added services. SmartStart allows customers to recognize these benefits in 120 days from contracting,” said Alecia Lashier, Chief Automation Officer of iA. Leveraging NEXiA, SmartStart can accelerate growth to higher levels of automation. The addition of hardware, such as iA SmartPod — a fully contained dispensing system capable of labeling, filling, imaging and capping — allows the transition from SmartStart to a fully automated production facility. SmartPod’s flexible and modular design scales with expanding prescription volume and mix, enabling pharmacies to expand as their business grows. As iA looks to the next 50 years of innovation with a commitment to industry partnership, iA is introducing shared central fulfillment solutions. By leveraging NEXiA, including its cloud modules, iA’s shared central fulfillment solutions allow multiple pharmacy organizations to coexist within a single facility. “As the industry continues to evolve, this model brings together forward-thinking partners of various sizes seeking common goals to reduce cost and improve patient care. Regardless of where you are in your pharmacy fulfillment journey, iA will partner with you to maximize your investment,” said Tom Utech, PharmD, Group President, Product and Software of iA. “We are committed to serving pharmacists and their patients. Total Store Expo is the perfect opportunity to take a moment to celebrate all that iA has provided to the pharmacy community thus far and look forward to another successful 50 years of innovation,” added Richardson. iA executives are available to connect at Booth 1505 at Total Store Expo. About iA iA is a leading-edge provider of software-enabled pharmacy fulfillment solutions. With over 25 years in pharmacy fulfillment, iA has invented and developed a suite of software-driven pharmacy automation solutions. From NEXiA software to automated modular hardware and sophisticated counting and collation devices, iA pharmacy automation solutions and technology empower pharmacists. iA can run the prescription fulfillment process from end to end, helping pharmacies manage fulfillment and inventory to help lower costs, improve efficiency and provide comprehensive Rx tracking and real-time support. For high-volume centralized fulfillment or pharmacy operations — iA can help customers transform their pharmacy.

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VIEWS AND ANALYSIS

Enteris BioPharma Publishes White Paper Examining Factors to Consider While Evaluating Oral Administration of Peptides

Enteris BioPharma | September 13, 2022

Enteris BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company developing innovative drug products based on its proprietary delivery technologies, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWK Holdings Corporation announced the publication of a new white paper in Drug Development & Delivery entitled, "Key Considerations in Oral Delivery of Peptides – Factors to Consider While Evaluating Oral Administration." The paper, authored by John Vrettos, PhD, Director of Formulation Development for Enteris BioPharma, and Kalpana Ramakrishnan, PhD, Manager of Business Development for Enteris BioPharma, explores the barriers to developing oral delivery of peptides and how pharmaceutical companies can overcome them. Oral administration of peptides offers several advantages while treating chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity as they are less invasive and more cost effective compared to injections. "Molecule size, potency, and solubility are some of the key physicochemical properties that determine a peptide's suitability for oral delivery. The healthcare industry is in need of enabling drug delivery technologies with the capability to overcome barriers in oral delivery of peptides. Importantly, orally delivered medications may encourage patient compliance compared with more invasive approaches to administering drugs. Approximately 75% of peptides are delivered by injective routes, including subcutaneous injections which can be painful and difficult to incorporate into a daily routine." Dr. Vrettos Dr. Vrettos continued, "Enteris' Peptelligence® platform offers a 'triple-action' solution comprised of our enteric coating, protease inhibitor, and permeation enhancer. When combined, these technologies have demonstrated an ability to improve the solubility and permeation of orally delivered peptides. These properties can potentially enable oral delivery of some peptide drugs for the first time, and we are excited to share our knowledge on oral delivery of peptides through this informative whitepaper." Peptelligence is a novel formulation technology designed to enhance the oral delivery and bioavailability of selected drugs by enhancing the permeation of such compounds that are typically injected, including peptides and BCS class III and IV small molecules, and preventing their breakdown in the digestive tract. About Enteris BioPharma Enteris BioPharma, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWK Holdings Corporation offering total integrated contract development and manufacturing services for innovative formulation solutions utilizing its proprietary drug delivery technologies, Peptelligence® and ProPerma®, and contract manufacturing (CMO) services using non-proprietary technologies. The company's proprietary technologies have been the subject of numerous feasibility studies and active development programs, some of which are in clinical development. Additionally, Enteris BioPharma is advancing an innovative internal product pipeline of drug products that address significant unmet clinical needs for which there is no satisfactory treatment option.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Glaukos Licenses Iveena’s Investigational Keratoconus Therapy

iVeena and Glaukos | August 25, 2022

iVeena Delivery Systems Inc. a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with developmental products in keratoconus and pediatric myopia, has entered into a strategic licensing agreement with Glaukos Corporation that grants Glaukos an exclusive global license to develop and commercialize IVMED-80, a pharmacologic treatment for keratoconus. Keratoconus, a rare corneal disorder, is the leading cause of primary full-thickness corneal transplantation in the United States. IVMED-80 is a proprietary disease modifying topical eye drop with orphan drug designation that upregulates lysyl oxidase and induces pharmacologic corneal crosslinking to strengthen the cornea and treat keratoconus. In a 6-month phase 1/2a clinical study, IVMED-80 met its primary endpoint of a statistically significant reduction in baseline-adjusted Kmax of 1.0 D relative to placebo. “We are pleased to complete this agreement with Glaukos. This deal validates the technology we have developed at iVeena to induce corneal crosslinking pharmacologically via eyedrops. Glaukos is a strong partner to complete development of this product where, if approved, patients will have an additional keratoconus treatment option.” iVeena CEO Jerry Simmons As part of the agreement Glaukos paid $10 Million upfront and will assume all costs associated with development and regulatory activities on IVMED-80. In addition, deal terms include the potential for both development and sales milestone payments as well as royalties on sales to iVeena. About iVeena iVeena Delivery Systems, Inc. is a privately held, clinical stage ophthalmology company developing disease-modifying pharmacologic innovations for refractive diseases. iVeena has licensed its lead asset to Glaukos Corporation, IVMED-80, an Orphan Drug Designated eye drop for keratoconus. iVeena is developing IVMED-85, a first in class, investigational eyedrop formulation for pediatric myopia where it plans to initiate a first in human clinical trial early 2023. About Glaukos Glaukos is an ophthalmic medical technology and pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel therapies for the treatment of glaucoma, corneal disorders and retinal diseases. Glaukos first developed Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) as an alternative to the traditional glaucoma treatment paradigm, launching its first MIGS device commercially in 2012, and has since developed a portfolio of technologically distinct and leverageable platforms to support ongoing pharmaceutical and medical device innovations. Products or product candidates for each of these platforms are designed to advance the standard of care through better treatment options across the areas of glaucoma, corneal disorders and retinal diseases.

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