As Adcetris slows, Seattle Genetics touts early launch figures for bladder cancer med Padcev

FiercePharma | February 07, 2020

It wasn’t long ago when Seattle Genetics shareholders moved past earlier letdowns and cheered strong performance from key cancer drug Adcetris. But now, they might be disappointed again. During the fourth quarter, Adcetris pulled in sales of $166.2 million in the U.S. and Canada, a 26% increase over 2018. Still, the number came below the Street’s expectations of $174.5 million as well as its own third-quarter sales of $167.6 million. The fourth-quarter haul brought the antibody-drug conjugate’s 2019 total to $627.7 million, which was at the bottom end of the company’s guidance provided in October, SVB Leerink analyst Andrew Berens said in a Friday note to clients. Seattle Genetics itself doesn’t predict significant improvement in the near term. For 2020, the company expects Adcetris sales to come in between $675 million and $700 million, under Berens’ previous estimate of around $788 million. The company is only expecting organic sales increases in the single-digit percentages, the analyst noted. Seattle Genetics just raised the drug’s list price by 3.9% in December, he wrote.

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PHARMA TECH

ADDING MULTIMEDIA Entos Pharmaceuticals Expands R&D Operations into the US

Entos Pharmaceuticals | June 08, 2022

Entos Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing genetic medicines with its Fusogenix proteolipid vehicle (PLV) nucleic acid delivery platform, announced today the opening of its new 9,600 square foot research and development facility in the Torrey Pines community of San Diego, California. This collaborative space will be shared with Entos’ sister companies, Oisín Biotechnologies, OncoSenX, and Aegis Life, allowing the companies to expand their team and infrastructure and support continued growth. Entos’ new office and lab space is located at the MUSE in Torrey Pines, a redeveloped 186,000 square foot life sciences property completed in 2021. Featuring three buildings, the campus was designed with walking paths, a locally-sourced restaurant, and conference space with indoor and outdoor seating. The US location complements Entos’ existing Canadian headquarters and R&D facilities in Edmonton, Canada, and new offices in London, UK. “We’re excited to move into our new lab space in San Diego, which is becoming one of the largest biotechnology hubs in the world for pharmaceutical research and innovation. This is a significant milestone for Entos as we continue developing genetic medicines for some of our most challenging diseases.” John D. Lewis, Ph.D., founder, and CEO of Entos Pharmaceuticals Entos’ proprietary Fusogenix PLV drug delivery system is formulated with FAST proteins to enable the delivery of nucleic acid cargo, such as DNA and RNA, directly into target cells. This technology is applicable to a wide range of genetic medicines. Unlike conventional lipid-based and viral-based delivery systems, Fusogenix PLVs have demonstrated, in multiple studies, to be well tolerated at high systemic doses, redosable, and able to target multiple tissues in the body. This announcement comes on the heels of two significant collaborations that began in late 2021, granting exclusive rights to Entos’ Fusogenix PLV nucleic acid delivery technology to research, develop and commercialize therapeutic genetic medicines. The first agreement was with BioMarin to target certain rare diseases. The second was a license agreement with Eli Lilly for multiple programs for central and peripheral nervous system diseases and came with an initial payment of $50M and $400M in milestones per program. About Entos Pharmaceuticals A new reality in genetic medicine lies ahead, one that will be ushered in with the advent of safe, effective, and redosable nucleic acid delivery technologies. At Entos, we develop next generation genetic medicines using our proprietary Fusogenix proteolipid vehicle (PLV) drug delivery system. Fusogenix PLVs are formulated with FAST proteins to enable the delivery of nucleic acid into target cells through direct fusion.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Aculys Pharma and SUSMED Have Entered into a Contract to Conduct the World's First Clinical Trial Utilizing Blockchain Technology

Aculys Pharma, Inc. | July 13, 2022

Aculys Pharma, Inc. a company focused on the development and commercialization of new innovative drugs in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, has entered into a contract with SUSMED, Inc., a company that promotes digital medicine to conduct the world's first1 corporate-sponsored clinical trial using blockchain technology. The clinical trial utilizing this blockchain technology, provided by SUSMED, will be conducted in collaboration with CMIC Co., Ltd., a pioneer in drug development support (CRO), with the cooperation of several medical institutions. With the sophistication of research and development and the increasing cost of new drug development, improving the efficiency of clinical trials is one of the challenges in the pharmaceutical industry that requires addressing. In such an environment, efficient use of resources and pursuit of efficiency are required. And improving productivity and quality of new drug development is also extremely important for society as a whole. Under these circumstances, Aculys Pharma is working to improve productivity and quality of clinical trials by utilizing AI and digital technologies for the development and commercialization of new drugs. The clinical trial system developed by SUSMED enables the reduction of data entry work and monitoring work2 by medical institutions by using the SUSMED-patented technology that binds e-worksheets and eCRF using blockchain technology. In addition to publishing multiple medical papers3, the clinical research that SUSMED conducted with the National Cancer Center has been approved by the Cabinet Office regulatory sandbox4. The result of the verification test conducted by the regulatory sandbox was published in the International Medical Journal in June 20205. With this outcome, The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare issued a notice on December 4, 2020 that source data verification (SDV: Source Data Verification) using blockchain technology is permitted as an alternative method under the GCP ministerial ordinance. CMIC will promote these efforts for attaining an efficient clinical trial by 1) supporting the operation of the system at the medical institution, 2) cooperating with development of the e-worksheet and eCRF, and 3) complementing the functions outside the scope of the system. This clinical trial which utilizes blockchain technology significantly reduces the number of processes around data entry at medical institutions and SDV compared to conventional methods, and also contributes to reducing the number of required CRA visits to the medical institutions. In addition, by taking advantage of blockchain technology, it is expected to have the effect of increasing the reliability of the clinical trial data itself. Through these methods, we aim to improve the efficiency of the clinical trial-related work-streams necessary for new drug development, and to optimize new drug development costs without compromising reliability. "We are delighted to be able to conduct a clinical trial utilizing blockchain technology in collaboration with SUSMED and CMIC as Aculys Pharma strives for providing new therapeutic modalities by making full use of the latest in digital technology. We expect this pioneering effort of three companies, which aim to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical trials, will realize digital transformation of clinical trial monitoring work and contribute to the optimization of new drug development costs. We will continue to actively introduce new technologies not bound by a conventional framework and aim to solve social issues surrounding Japanese healthcare by collaborating and partnering with external partners." Kazunari Tsunaba, President and CEO of Aculys Pharma, Inc Taro Ueno, President and CEO of SUSMED, Inc., stated as follows. "In the clinical trials conducted in the development of new medical technology, prevention of data tampering and cost efficiency have been issues. While developing therapeutic apps in the healthcare field, we have come to focus on the possibility of using blockchain technology in clinical development and continued research and development. This time, we are delighted to be able to collaborate with CMIC to conduct the world’s first clinical trials using blockchain technology in a corporate-sponsored clinical trial of Aculys Pharma, a company that focuses on the development and commercialization of new innovative drugs. We believe that utilization of blockchain technology enables us to realize efficient and reliable clinical development and we also can contribute for optimization and sustainability of future social security.” "CMIC was established in 1992 as Japan's first CRO and has supported a number of clinical trials of drug development. This time we are participating in the corporate-sponsored clinical trial of Aculys Pharma with SUSMED. While digitalization will furthermore drive acceleration of process efficiency, we will continue to pursue further improvement of quality and efficiency of clinical trials in monitoring work by utilizing CMIC's know-how based on numerous clinical trial experiences over the past 30 years." About Aculys Pharma, Inc. Aculys Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovations in the fields of neurology and psychiatry. Its corporate name was created from the philosophy of "Catalyst to Access." Aimed to act as a bridge for innovative medical care in the field of neuropsychiatry, Aculys Pharma develops and commercializes novel pharmaceuticals and provides innovations for better medical care to patients, their families, healthcare professionals, and society.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Foundation Medicine Announces Strategic Collaboration with Arvinas

Foundation Medicine | June 06, 2022

Foundation Medicine, Inc., a pioneer in molecular profiling for cancer, announced a collaboration with Arvinas, Inc., to develop FoundationOne®Liquid CDx as a companion diagnostic for use with Arvinas’ bavdegalutamide an investigational novel PROTAC® protein degrader targeting the androgen receptor (AR). Arvinas’ bavdegalutamide is being developed for the potential treatment of men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer who have progressed on existing therapies. Arvinas is a clinical-stage biotechnology company and a pioneer in the rapidly growing field of targeted protein degradation. Arvinas’ proprietary PROTAC® targeted protein degraders, or proteolysis-targeting chimeras, work by harnessing the body’s natural protein disposal system to selectively and efficiently degrade and remove disease-causing proteins. AR activity is a key driver of prostate cancer, which makes the ability to regulate AR signaling an important factor in controlling disease progression. “We look forward to collaborating with Foundation Medicine to develop a companion diagnostic aimed at improving patient access. Foundation Medicine’s deep understanding of cancer genomics, scalable solutions, and regulatory expertise makes them an ideal partner for us as we develop bavdegalutamide as a potential new therapy for men with prostate cancer.” Ron Peck, M.D., chief medical officer at Arvinas Foundation Medicine’s portfolio of FDA-approved comprehensive genomic profiling tests offer physicians both blood- and tissue-based testing options for detecting genomic alterations that help guide personalized treatment decisions. As companion diagnostics, FoundationOne®CDx and FoundationOne®Liquid CDx allow oncologists to identify patients who may be appropriate for FDA-approved targeted therapies. “We are proud to serve as an end-to-end partner for Arvinas as they pioneer this new approach to treat cancer,” said Sanket Agrawal, chief biopharma business officer, Foundation Medicine. “Bringing our capabilities to this emerging area of biotechnology sets us on an exciting path to deepen our collective understanding of cancer biology and deliver more novel treatment options to patients now and in the future.” Foundation Medicine is an essential partner for biopharma organizations navigating the complexity of cancer care and research. This latest collaboration adds to its more than 65 global biopharma and biotechnology partnerships aimed at getting targeted cancer treatments to patients faster. About FoundationOne®CDx FoundationOne CDx is a next-generation sequencing based in vitro diagnostic device for detection of substitutions, insertion and deletion alterations (indels), and copy number alterations (CNAs) in 324 genes and select gene rearrangements, as well as genomic signatures including microsatellite instability (MSI) and tumor mutational burden (TMB) using DNA isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue specimens. FoundationOne CDx is for prescription use only and is intended as a companion diagnostic to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with certain targeted therapies in accordance with their approved therapeutic product labeling. Additionally, FoundationOne CDx is intended to provide tumor mutation profiling to be used by qualified health care professionals in accordance with professional guidelines in oncology for patients with solid malignant neoplasms. Use of the test does not guarantee a patient will be matched to a treatment. A negative result does not rule out the presence of an alteration. Some patients may require a biopsy. About FoundationOne®Liquid CDx FoundationOne Liquid CDx is a qualitative next generation sequencing based in vitro diagnostic test for prescription use only that uses targeted high throughput hybridization-based capture technology to analyze 324 genes utilizing circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) isolated from plasma derived from anti-coagulated peripheral whole blood of advanced cancer patients. The test is FDA-approved to report short variants in over 300 genes and is a companion diagnostic to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with specific therapies (listed in Table 1 of the Intended Use) in accordance with the approved therapeutic product labeling. Additional genomic findings may be reported and are not prescriptive or conclusive for labeled use of any specific therapeutic product. Use of the test does not guarantee a patient will be matched to a treatment. A negative result does not rule out the presence of an alteration. Patients who are negative for companion diagnostic mutations should be reflexed to tumor tissue testing and genomic alteration status confirmed using an FDA-approved tumor tissue test, if feasible. About Foundation Medicine Foundation Medicine is a pioneer in molecular profiling for cancer, working to shape the future of clinical care and research. We collaborate with a broad range of partners across the cancer community and strive to set the standard for quality, scientific excellence, and regulatory leadership. Our deep understanding of cancer biology helps physicians make informed treatment decisions for their patients and empowers researchers to develop new medicines. Every day, we are driven to help our partners find answers and take action, enabling more people around the world to benefit from precision cancer care.

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PHARMA TECH

Babson Diagnostics and Pharmacy Podcast Network Announce Partnership That Will Take Listeners Inside Largest Retail Pharmacy Trade Show

Babson Diagnostics | July 27, 2022

Babson Diagnostics, a science-first, health care technology company, announced a media partnership with the Pharmacy Podcast Network in connection with the 2022 National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Total Store Expo, the largest gathering of retailers and suppliers in the health and wellness industry. As part of the partnership, the Pharmacy Podcast Network, the most popular and downloaded podcast about the pharmacy industry, will be integrated into Babson Diagnostics’ booth at the Total Store Expo. Todd Eury, founder and chief executive officer of the media company, will host podcasts from the booth featuring industry leaders attending the trade show. In addition, Babson will sponsor two podcasts that will be broadcast prior to the expo, which takes place Aug. 27 through Aug. 29 in Boston. The first of those shows, “Diagnostic Testing in Community Pharmacies,” went live today. “Babson is excited to be collaborating with one of the leading media outlets aimed at community pharmacists, who are the face of neighborhood healthcare. Babson is working with pharmacies to offer medically accurate blood testing that is easier, more convenient and less invasive than traditional methods.” David Stein, CEO of Babson Diagnostics Launched in 2009, the Pharmacy Podcast Network reaches more than 80,000 listeners per month with audio content focused on the critical role pharmacists play in the healthcare industry. “I look forward to bringing exciting new content to my audience through this partnership with Babson Diagnostics,” Eury said. “The Total Store Expo is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to bring insights to pharmacists about new and innovative products and services in health and wellness, such as Babson’s blood-testing ecosystem.” About Babson Diagnostics Babson Diagnostics is a science-first healthcare technology company bringing convenient, medically accurate diagnostic blood testing to the local pharmacy. We are the first and only company to do broad blood panels from a capillary microsample, collected from a finger, at a retail setting. Our core technology was incubated at Siemens Healthineers ​in 2015, and we became Babson Diagnostics in 2017. We have exclusive partnerships with Siemens Healthineers and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), two global leaders in healthcare innovation and medical technology. Together we are reimagining the entire blood testing process, helping people get the care they need, when they need it. Babson, based in Austin, Texas, is named in honor of Art Babson, whose legacy of scientific innovation and excellence is the foundation on which the company is built. About Pharmacy Podcast Network Pharmacy Podcast Nation is the flagship show hosting all of the Pharmacy Podcast Network 1400+ episodes. With more than 30 different podcast programs and some 40 different co-hosts helping to develop audio content about the pharmacy sector, its reach includes communities, hospitals, senior-care residences, military and public health settings that meet the information needs of 300,000 pharmacists with more than 100,000 monthly listeners. PPN also delivers a unique publication called Rx Influencer to all healthcare professionals with a specific focus on pharmacy.

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By providing patient education on customer-facing websites and patient portals, healthcare organizations and businesses are able to better connect with consumers and caregivers and improve customer loyalty. Online patient education can also be key to reaching non-English speakers and increasingly tech-savvy consumers.

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