Asembia launches a network of retail pharmacies for specialty drug services

pharmaceutical commerce | April 29, 2019

Asembia launches a network of retail pharmacies for specialty drug services
As it kicks off its annual Specialty Pharmacy Summit (Las Vegas, Apr. 29-May 2), Asembia has announced a new offering that provides a level of patient support to drugs that typically are not budgeted for the high-touch, high-cost services of hub providers. The Asembia Managed Retail Network combines the company’s network of 25,000 affiliated pharmacies with its platform for digital communications around prescription fulfillment, benefits verification and prior authorization, thus combining a “light” hub service with patient followup care. The combination promises to improve the speed to therapy, reduce prescription abandonment, and generate positive patient reaction.

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Vifor Pharma drives transformation with divestment of non-core finished drug manufacturing to CordenPharma

Vifor Pharma Group | December 17, 2021

Vifor Pharma Group announced the divestment of its finished drug product manufacturing business to CordenPharma, a full-service Contract Development & Manufacturing Organization of APIs, Excipients, Drug Products, and associated Packaging services. This decision reinforces Vifor Pharma’s strategy to transform the company into a multi-brand commercial organization, focusing on its core capabilities in-licensing, partnering and commercializing products in nephrology, and to further grow and maximize opportunities of its iron portfolio. “In support of our ambitious growth strategy, optimizing our manufacturing footprint will enable us to build an even stronger, more efficient organization focusing on core capabilities in nephrology, and to maximize and leverage our market-leading expertise and intellectual property in iron deficiency. With CordenPharma, we have found the best suitable solution for our manufacturing employees and the drug production activities in Fribourg, Ettingen and Lisbon. With this agreement, Vifor Pharma is well positioned to continuously drive the company sustainably and profitably over the long term, for all our stakeholders.” Abbas Hussain, CEO of Vifor Pharma Dr. Michael Quirmbach, Chief Executive Officer & President of CordenPharma said: “The acquired Vifor Pharma sites have competent teams with great cultural fit, state-of-the art infrastructure, and a strong compliance track record. This excellent opportunity aligns well with our strategy to broaden our CDMO capabilities. By incorporating these three Vifor Pharma manufacturing facilities into our global network, we look forward to not only supplying Vifor Pharma as a manufacturing partner, but also closing gaps in our service offering for oral solid dosage drug product manufacturing and increasing our overall capacity. In addition, this acquisition further strengthens our fully-integrated solutions to our customers.” Under the terms of the signed share purchase agreement, CordenPharma acquires all shares in Vifor SA, Fribourg, and OM Pharma SA, Lisbon, thus taking over Vifor Pharma’s finished drug product manufacturing operations at the three sites. The divestment will trigger an asset impairment, to be reported with Vifor Pharma’s 2021 financial results. The companies have agreed not to disclose financial terms of the agreement. CordenPharma will integrate the new facilities into its existing CDMO network of Current Good Manufacturing Practice and R&D plants across Europe & the US, and organize the operations of the Fribourg, Ettingen and Lisbon sites under its Small Molecule Platform. It plans to utilize the existing manufacturing workforce, while continuing to produce and supply Vifor Pharma products. Vifor Pharma’s Swiss and Portuguese country commercial organizations, located in Fribourg and Lisbon, will remain with Vifor Pharma Group. Vifor Pharma and CordenPharma will jointly ensure long-term continuity of supply for customers and patients who depend on them. This divestment, including all financial implications, has been disclosed to CSL Limited in the course of the due diligence process preceding the publication of the pre-announcement of the public tender offer by CSL Limited on 14 December and in so far has no impact on such tender offer. Vifor Pharma and CordenPharma anticipate closing the transaction in Q1 2022, contingent on customary closing conditions. About Vifor Pharma Group Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company. It aims to become the global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is a partner of choice for pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma. Vifor Pharma Group is headquartered in Switzerland, and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange About CordenPharma CordenPharma, the global pharmaceutical service & manufacturing platform of International Chemical Investors Group, is a full-service partner in the Contract Development & Manufacturing of APIs, Excipients, Drug Products, and associated Packaging Services. Through a growing network of cGMP facilities across Europe and the US organized under five Technology Platforms – Peptides, Lipids & Carbohydrates, Injectables, Highly Potent & Oncology, and Small Molecules – CordenPharma experts translate complex processes and projects at any stage of development into high-value products.

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Deargen Annonuces Patent Application for a TNBC Target Novel Drug Candidate Using AI

Deargen Inc. | December 23, 2021

Deargen, a company specializing in the development of novel NCE drugs using artificial intelligence, announced on the 22rd that it had discovered and synthesized a new anticancer target compound using its own AI platform and had already applied for a patent for it. Deargen has the technology to predict candidates for a novel drug without the 3D structure data of proteins. Deargen's technology, which uses amino acid sequence data rather than the structure information of proteins, possesses global-level differentiated artificial intelligence technology that enables the rapid development of novel drugs even for proteins whose 3D structure has not yet been identified. "The new compound for which we have applied for a patent this time is a first-in-class candidate, and we plan to develop a therapeutic agent targeting triple-negative breast cancer. TNBC is an area where there are few novel drugs available and it is difficult to find innovative targets, so it is a disease with a high demand for new therapeutics…Deargen confirmed the efficacy of the new compound discovered through in-vitro experiments." An official from Deargen Also, the substance that Deargen discovered through this study is an NCE. An NCE refers to a new chemically synthesized drug, which requires a great deal of time and money because it is difficult to develop such a drug that has not been previously approved by the FDA. However, it is within an area with high needs by many global pharmaceutical companies as it has the advantage of being able to receive market monopoly rights for 5 years in the U.S. and 10 years in Europe after product approval. In particular, Deargen's achievements are significant in that it discovered the new compound in a shorter time than the existing novel drug discovery process through its collaboration of advanced AI and in-house experts for novel drug development. The target discovery and substance design process, which usually takes about 3 to 4 years in the existing traditional drug development process, was carried out in just 10 weeks, and it took merely 2 weeks for target discovery and 8 weeks for substance design and synthesis. Currently, Deargen is establishing a large-scale R&D center. With this R&D center, the plan is to further shorten the period of the discovery of candidates by efficiently managing the time required for designing and synthesizing substances. The R&D center will be in charge of fast verification of substances by conducting the design and synthesis verification of substances under joint research with Deargen's internal pipeline, along with the production of high-quality data. Daniel Bae, Chief Business Officer of Deargen said : "We plan to continuously derive new substances with patentability through our synthesis research center, which will be established in the first half of next year. We plan to not only build our own pipeline centered on anticancer drugs, but also to introduce various business models with our partners that go beyond the existing joint research contracts." He also said, "Deargen plans to establish its position among global AI drug developers as a company specializing in NCE drug development, from target discovery to compound design and synthesis." About Deargen Inc. Established in December 2016, Deargen is an AI-based drug discovery and development company. In February 2020, the company released study results on predicting the development of COVID-19 treatments. Candidate compounds for treating COVID-19 predicted by Deargen include remdesivir, which was first approved as an emergency therapy. The company conducts research on and owns core AI technologies in-silico, such as 'prediction of bio-markers', 'selection of disease targets', and 'extraction of candidate substances for new drugs', utilizing techniques of meta analysis of genome big data and its unique AI technologies. Building on these outcomes, the company is developing new drugs in collaboration with multiple pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, demonstrating its outstanding technology capabilities as being named as top awardees at the ILSVRC, a world-prominent deep-learning competition, and Dream Challenge, an international AI-based new drug development competition.

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Arrowhead Initiates Project to Build New Manufacturing and Lab Facilities

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals | December 21, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has completed a transaction to purchase 13 acres of land in the Verona Technology Park in Verona, WI, which is planned to be the site of an approximately 140,000 square foot drug manufacturing facility and an approximately 115,000 square foot laboratory and office facility to support process development and analytical activities. Arrowhead intends to invest between $200 million and $250 million into the buildout of the facilities. The Company expects that the new facilities will result in the creation of approximately 250 new jobs in the local area. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2022. Arrowhead will continue to operate additional research and development facilities in Madison, WI, and San Diego, CA. “For more than a decade, Arrowhead has been a dedicated member of the biotech community in the greater Madison, Wisconsin, area. We have built strong local relationships and are pleased to continue our growth with the new Arrowhead campus that will include a new GMP manufacturing facility and associated lab and office facility. This investment reaffirms our commitment to the Wisconsin biotech ecosystem, and we would like to thank the local agencies, who have been a pleasure to work with. Arrowhead’s pipeline of what we believe are industry leading investigational RNAi medicines continues to expand rapidly. The new Arrowhead campus will allow us to support our growing pipeline and positions us well to advance the manufacturing process, including at commercial scale, of our TRiM™-enabled drug candidates. We view this as a strong competitive advantage as we approach potential commercialization of our rapidly progressing clinical candidates.” Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., Arrowhead’s president and CEO Major project team members include Eppstein Uhen Architects, DPS Group, D’Onofrio Kottke & Associates, Smocke & Associates, Cresa Madison, and Vogel Brothers Building Company. John Chapman, Vice President and Design Principal at EUA, said, “We are privileged to be collaborating again with Arrowhead on an inventive building design which will enable their employees to treat some of the most challenging diseases.” Completion of the lab and office space is anticipated in the first quarter of 2023 and completion of the manufacturing facility is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023. About Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. Using a broad portfolio of RNA chemistries and efficient modes of delivery, Arrowhead therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep, and durable knockdown of target genes. RNA interference, or RNAi, is a mechanism present in living cells that inhibits the expression of a specific gene, thereby affecting the production of a specific protein. Arrowhead’s RNAi-based therapeutics leverage this natural pathway of gene silencing.

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Dermaliq Therapeutics Signs USD 15 Million Series A Round to Advance Three Transformative Drug Therapies into Clinical Trials

Dermaliq Therapeutics | January 18, 2022

Novaliq GmbH, 3E Bioventures Capital and Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. today announced the establishment of Dermaliq Therapeutics, Inc (Dermaliq), a newly formed Delaware-based pharmaceutical development company, and the signing of a USD 15 million Series A financing round. 3E Bioventures Capital, a leading international life science investor, led the round and was joined by Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. Dermaliq's existing shareholder Novaliq has transferred, and licensed Intellectual Property (IP) related to the field of dermatology to Dermaliq. Skin diseases are the fourth leading cause of non-fatal disease burden worldwide, underscoring the role of dermatology in the growing field of global health. Skin conditions have significant impact on patients' well-being, mental health, and social participation. Although topical and local delivery of active ingredients to diseased skin is the preferred treatment route for the majority of patients, current therapies often lack satisfactory skin penetration and patient compliance. Dermaliq is developing the next generation of skin care therapies to enhance targeted penetration into skin tissues and to reduce unwanted side effects for millions of patients. The unique and proprietary technology now owned by Dermaliq, called hyliQ™, is designed to allow cutaneous drug delivery with unmatched bioavailability. The technology enables the development of superior, highly effective liquid drug products with exceptional cosmetic properties. The proceeds will be used to conduct three Phase 1/2a clinical dermatology programs with the goal to demonstrate safety and efficacy and to advance this novel skin care drug category to market to improve the lives of millions of patients: DLQ01 is a liquid drug candidate for the topical treatment of female and male androgenetic alopecia, targeting the prostamide E2 (PGE2) receptor in hair bulbs through specific follicular drug delivery. DLQ02 is a novel and liquid topical calcineurin inhibitor drug therapy for plaque psoriasis, particularly in difficult to treat areas. DLQ03 is a broad-spectrum liquid antibiotic drug candidate that targets topical treatment of bacterial skin and soft tissue infections, including the reduction of antibiotic-resistant strains. The Company has demonstrated proof-of-principle for enhanced topical drug delivery using hyliQ™ in nonclinical models for all three applications. "We are excited that 3E Bioventures Capital and Beijing Whale Technology Corporation have committed to support Dermaliq as new investors in the Series A round. Our spin-off from Novaliq and successful raising of significant funds provides us with the opportunity to build a leading specialty pharmaceutical company and expand the application of Novaliq's transformative drug delivery technology into dermatology." Dr. Frank Löscher, Chief Executive Officer of Dermaliq "3E is committed to investing in global leading life sciences and biomedical companies and help them grow with access to globalized resources and capabilities," said Karen Liu, Managing Director 3E Bioventures Capital. "Dermaliq is using a unique, and scientifically sound technology to achieve high efficiency drug delivery across the skin. The technology is already proven in ophthalmology and holds great promise for dermatology. We will be excited to explore additional drug pipelines in China and synergize with Dermaliq on both pre-clinical and clinical development." "Whale Technology values the solid science foundation of Dermaliq's proprietary hyliQ™ technology platform," said Ming Gao, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Whale Technology Co. Ltd. "Dermaliq's founding team demonstrates a great combination of science, clinical experience and commercialization strength. We see great potential of Dermaliq's pipeline in the field of dermatology after Novaliq's proven clinical and commercial success in ophthalmology." "Dermatology is the logical next step into using Novaliq's proprietary technology platform outside eye care," said Dr. Christian Roesky, Chief Executive Officer Novaliq. "The spin-off into an independent company allows Dermaliq to greatly benefit from our experience in ophthalmology while being fully committed to the multiple product development activities in dermatology, and likely to further broaden its pipeline to other skin conditions." To reflect the new shareholder structure, Karen Liu of 3E Bioventures Capital will join Dermaliq's Board of Directors. Dr. Löscher has also transitioned from his role as Chief Technology Officer at Novaliq to lead Dermaliq as its CEO & President. About Dermaliq Dermaliq Therapeutics, Inc. is a private company founded in 2021 through a spin off from Novaliq to reimagine topical dermatology. The Company is incorporated in Wilmington (DE), USA under Delaware law. The company has signed a USD 15 million series A round to advance three transformative skin care drug therapies through clinical trials. Key shareholders are Novaliq GmbH, 3E Bioventures Capital and Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. About 3E Bioventures Capital 3E Bioventures Capital is a healthcare venture capital firm, dedicated to investing in cutting-edge life sciences and biomedical technologies, with a focus on breakthrough first-in-class therapies and disruptive cross-disciplinary innovations in medical devices and diagnostics. 3E Bioventures takes on a science-driven, entrepreneur-friendly investment philosophy by working closely with companies and research institutions to develop drugs or products that have strong unmet medical needs. With offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area, 3E Bioventures leverages its experience, capabilities, and network to help companies tap into markets and resources across the Pacific and advance with greater speed and capital efficiency. The motto of 3E Bioventures Capital is captured in its name 3E: Expertise, Efficiency, Execution. About Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd Beijing Whale Technology Corporation Ltd. is a China-based pharmaceutical group committed to the long-term sustainable development in the fields of chemistry, pharmaceuticals and aesthetics. With more than 20 years of history, Whale Tech. has developed two core business units. On one hand, Whale Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Whale Chemistry Co. Ltd. and Whale Pharmatech Co. Ltd. are grouped as pharmaceutical and chemistry business unit. On the other hand, Whale Biotech is a research stage biotech company with the focus of developing aesthetics products. About Novaliq Novaliq is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development and commercialization of first- and best-in-class ocular therapeutics based on EyeSol®, the worldwide first water-free eyedrop technology. Novaliq offers an industry-leading portfolio addressing today's unmet medical needs of millions of patients with eye diseases. Novaliq GmbH is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany and Novaliq Inc. has an office in Cambridge, MA, USA. The long-term shareholder is dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG, an active investor in Life and Health Sciences companies.

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