BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Cullinan Oncology Forms Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Mount Sinai to Advance Oral HPK1 Protein Degrader for Cancer Treatment

Cullinan Oncology, Inc. | January 10, 2022

Cullinan Oncology, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a diversified pipeline of targeted therapies for cancer patients, today announced the Company has entered into a collaboration agreement with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to develop novel small molecule immune modulators.​

This exclusive option and multi-year collaboration agreement will be focused on the optimization and development of oral protein degraders targeting hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1), a key regulator of immune cell activation and a high-priority target in immune-oncology. The collaboration aims to accelerate the development of novel, best-in-class HPK1 degraders that stimulate robust anti-tumor immunity. The research will be conducted by leading scientists at both Cullinan and Icahn Mount Sinai. Cullinan will fund the collaboration and has an exclusive option to license the intellectual property for further development and commercialization.

The Icahn Mount Sinai team will be co-led by Steven J. Burakoff, M.D., Lillian and Henry M. Stratton Professor of Cancer Medicine, Dean for Cancer Innovation, and Chief, Pediatric Oncology at Icahn Mount Sinai, and Jian Jin, Ph.D., Mount Sinai Professor in Therapeutics Discovery and Director, Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery, at Icahn Mount Sinai.

Our team is excited to work with the talented and experienced cancer drug developers at Cullinan. Our research has already demonstrated that a degrader approach to targeting HPK1 may control tumor growth more effectively compared to simply inhibiting HPK1 kinase activity. We believe this collaboration will help us identify novel, differentiated oral HPK1 degraders and can bring future benefit to cancer patients worldwide.”

 Dr. Jin

“We are proud to partner with Icahn Mount Sinai, which is at the forefront of cancer research and patient care,” said Leigh Zawel, Chief Scientific Officer, Small Molecules, of Cullinan Oncology. “We are very excited to build on the synergy between the deep scientific expertise of the Icahn Mount Sinai team and the strong drug development capabilities at Cullinan to advance therapies that have the potential to significantly improve the lives of patients with cancer. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration in this novel area of science.”

About Cullinan Oncology
Cullinan Oncology is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing a diversified pipeline of targeted therapeutic candidates across multiple modalities in order to bring important medicines to cancer patients. The Company’s strategy is to source innovation through both internal discovery efforts and external collaborations, focusing on advanced stage assets with novel technology platforms and differentiated mechanisms. 

Spotlight

Preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers are responsible for over 40 of the 56 million annual deaths worldwide (7 out of every 10 deaths). Our medical communities spend vast resources battling complications of these behavior-related conditions, despite the availability of technologies and processes to better engage patients when disease burden is low and the ability to prevent disease is high. Most importantly, clinical and behavioral information is locked within data silos inside healthcare organizations, unavailable to patients, clinicians, and researchers in ways that can leverage machine learning to personalize care and illuminate the drivers of disease and health. Because of these and other factors, patients are relegated to passive, rather than proactive positions, in their own health care.


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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Iterative Scopes Receives FDA Clearance for AI-Assisted Polyp Detection Device SKOUT™

Iterative Scopes | September 23, 2022

Iterative Scopes, a pioneer in precision medicine technologies for gastroenterology, and Provation, the premier software and SaaS provider of clinical productivity and workflow automation solutions, announced that SKOUT™ has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults undergoing colorectal cancer screening or surveillance. SKOUT, a real-time computer-aided polyp detection device developed by Iterative Scopes, uses advanced computer vision technology designed to recognize suspicious tissue and provide real-time feedback to gastroenterologists. The device was evaluated in the largest U.S.-based multicenter clinical study for a computer aided polyp detection (CADe) device completed to date, which determined that SKOUT significantly improved overall adenoma detection in screening and surveillance colonoscopy compared to standard colonoscopy.1 In March 2021, Provation and Iterative Scopes entered a partnership focused on delivering artificial intelligence-based solutions to healthcare providers and researchers. Provation is a market leader in gastrointestinal (GI) documentation, with more than 3,500 customer facilities including 80% of the top academic and large health systems, and the company will act as an exclusive distributor of SKOUT to help broaden the technology’s reach among the country’s top GI-focused organizations. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and Europe,2 3 due in part to the high volumes of adenomas – approximately 26%4 – that endoscopists miss when conducting a colonoscopy. In its registration trial, SKOUT was found to improve adenoma detection, as measured by adenomas per colonoscopy (APC). Furthermore, increased detection was not limited to diminutive polyps. Higher APC rates have been shown to lead to improved patient outcomes; a recent study showed that the incidence of colorectal cancer within three years of examination decreases with higher APC rates.5 “Even among the best endoscopists, there is room for improvement in adenoma detection, which can impact patient outcomes. We are enthusiastic about the fact that even gastroenterologists with an already high baseline rate of adenoma detection demonstrated an improvement with SKOUT. Now that SKOUT is FDA-cleared, clinicians will be able to better detect adenomas with more efficiency, and ultimately change the standard of gastrointestinal care.” Sloane Allebes Phillips, VP of Clinical Operations at Iterative Scopes SKOUT is indicated as a computer-aided detection tool to assist qualified and trained endoscopists in identifying potential colorectal polyps during colonoscopy examinations in adult patients undergoing colorectal cancer screening or surveillance. SKOUT demonstrated a 27% relative increase in the detection of adenomas per colonoscopy, with an average of one additional adenoma resected for every 4.5 patients examined. Importantly, in the proximal colon, SKOUT demonstrated a 44% relative increase in 5-9 mm polyp detection, and a 29% relative increase in 5-9 mm polyp detection overall.1 These results validate the need for technological advancements that can help improve colonoscopies, and SKOUT’s artificial intelligence capabilities position it to do so. “Knowing that patients can walk away from their appointment with the confidence that they received a high quality and detailed colonoscopy is what excites us most about SKOUT’s FDA clearance,” said Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH, Robert M. and Mary H. Glickman Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and a primary investigator on the SKOUT registration study. “Confidence and peace-of-mind on behalf of providers and patients alike will allow clinicians to provide stronger recommendations and solutions for their patients.” “We are thrilled that our partner Iterative Scopes has received FDA clearance for their AI-Assisted Polyp Detection device, SKOUT. We have been very impressed with its study results and are eager to share our vision for integrating this technology into our solutions,” said Daniel Hamburger, CEO at Provation. “SKOUT is a true game-changer for the field of gastroenterology, and we can’t wait to start seeing its impact on patient care.” SKOUT’s intuitive user interface seamlessly integrates with existing clinical workflows and does not increase total procedure or withdrawal time.1 When a potential polyp is detected, the system calls attention to the polyp on the procedure monitor by drawing a blue bounding box around it and tracking the polyp as it moves on the screen. If a medical tool enters the frame, the bounding box automatically disappears to avoid obstructing the physician’s view during polyp removal. About Iterative Scopes Iterative Scopes is a pioneer in the application of artificial intelligence-based precision medicine for gastroenterology with the aim of helping to optimize clinical trials investigating treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The technology is also designed to potentially enhance colorectal cancer screenings. Its powerful, proprietary artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies have the potential to improve the accuracy and consistency of endoscopy readings. Iterative Scopes is initially applying these advances to impact polyp detection for colorectal cancer screenings and working to standardize disease severity characterization for inflammatory bowel disease. Longer term, the company plans to establish more meaningful endpoints for GI diseases, which may be better predictors of therapeutic response and disease outcomes. Spun out of MIT in 2017, the company is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. About Provation Provation is a leading provider of healthcare software and SaaS solutions for clinical productivity, care coordination, quality reporting, and billing. Our purpose is to empower providers to deliver quality healthcare for all. Provation’s comprehensive portfolio spans the entire patient encounter, from pre-procedure through post-procedure, with solutions for physician and nursing documentation anesthesia documentation patient engagement, surgical care coordination, quality reporting, and billing capture order set and care plan management and EHR embedded clinical documentation. Provation has a loyal customer base, serving more than 5,000 hospitals, surgery centers, and medical offices, and 700 physician groups globally, including 19 of the top 20 U.S. hospitals. In 2021, Provation was acquired by Fortive Corporation, a Fortune 1000 company that builds essential technology and accelerates transformation in high-impact fields like workplace safety, engineering, and healthcare.

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Love Pharmas Investment in US Biotech Offers Strategic Industry Advantages and Enhanced Shareholder Value

LOVE Pharma | September 09, 2022

Love Pharma Inc. an international mental health and sexual wellness company, remains extremely active in shaping itself into a real competitor in the biotech/pharmaceutical space. The company’s growth and development plan took a major leap forward this week with the announcement that Love Pharma is establishing a “strategic alliance” with Starton Therapeutics a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company in the United States. It’s a relationship that finds Starton ideally aligned with Love Pharma’s mission of improving “quality of life” for its customers. And the benefit to Love Pharma is that Starton is well on its way to transforming standard of care therapies with its proprietary dermal drug delivery technology that allows cancer patients to receive continuous treatment so they can live better, longer. Love Pharma’s investment in Starton Therapeutics is primarily based upon “the company’s interest in innovative drug delivery technology, such as transdermal patches that can reduce side effects, transforming patient outcomes with established, approved medicines allowing for streamlined market entry with long-term IP protections.” A partnership with Starton offers a host of advantages to Love Pharma and its shareholders, including a wealth of experience from industry leaders, proven clinical trials using its proprietary technology, and a “continuous drug delivery” platform that Love Pharma could exploit in the development of its own clinical portfolio—especially in the “addiction” space. The company’s strategic investment certainly makes a lot of sense for the future of this young global brand. “This investment provides our shareholders with exposure to a rapidly developing therapeutics business, which just reported positive data from a phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the pharmacokinetics and safety of the company’s continuous delivery lenalidomide program. Starton is also entering a phase 2 trial, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already cleared an Investigational New Drug application for STAR-OLZ in Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV). Love Pharma’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zachary Stadnyk, said of the relationship “With this investment in Starton, we are building our relationship, forming an alliance, and look to Starton’s expert management team to reduce risk in our own portfolio of clinical pursuits and focus more on the addiction space.” So, what made Starton Therapeutics an attractive investment now? Well, earlier this year, Love Pharma partnered with researchers at Johns Hopkins University. This research initiative aligns with key principles in Love Pharma’s strategy as it aims to develop innovative products that establish new consumer applications based upon science and efficacy. And to further its meticulous plan, the company likely sees a much smoother path forward by expanding its development strategy to include guidance from a vast selection of industry and clinical experts and a highly de-risked avenue into the clinic by way of this strategic alliance with Starton. It's no secret that Love Pharma wants to develop its own clinical portfolio, and specifically, has its eye on developing therapeutic treatments for addiction. Pharmaceutical applications for addiction and recovery treatment are an unmet need and represent a growing market, including in the cannabis space where the Johns Hopkins research initiative is focused. With Starton’s mission of delivering meaningful patient outcomes by leveraging the untapped potential of continuous delivery and dermal technology, it’s obvious that Love Pharma sees this platform technology and its endless opportunities for expansion, as an ideal platform on which it can develop its own therapeutic treatment(s) for addiction. The benefit to partnering with Starton and having access to its platform technology is that the “proof of concept” is complete, and the technology has proven it can address unmet medical needs using already FDA-approved drugs to transform patient outcomes. For Love Pharma and its shareholders, this means much of the hard work is already done. Starton’s proprietary continuous delivery technology can increase efficacy of approved drugs, make them more tolerable, and expand their potential use. Starton uses three different delivery technologies to provide continuous, low-dose delivery as part of its strategic platform that provides a controlled, sustained release over multiple days. Starton uses proven transdermal and subcutaneous technologies to transform approved medicines–establishing superiority or new indications. It is the potential to establish a new indication/use for already approved drugs using the delivery technology, namely in the addiction space that is enticing to Love Pharma. And Love Pharma isn’t stopping there. The company announced that “to further accelerate its planned strategic alliance with Starton, and to bolster the company’s own biotech initiatives in the area, Love Pharma is in discussions with TRPL Laboratory, the lab that develops and supports Starton’s transdermal drug delivery programs and is a global leader in transdermal delivery systems.” Investors in Love Pharma couldn’t ask for a better way to reduce the risk associated with the company developing its own clinical portfolio than by surrounding itself with a plethora of industry and clinical leaders. That expertise begins with Pedro Lichtinger, the CEO and Chairman of the Board at Starton. Lichtinger has spent almost 40-years in the biotechnology arena, including 16 years at Pfizer as President of Global Primary Care and as Pfizer’s President of Europe. Additionally, Love Pharma can draw from the experiences of the former Global Lead, Multiple Myeloma at Celgene, world-renowned scientific leaders in their field leading each program at Dana Farber/Harvard, Mayo Clinic, and Moffitt Cancer Center, and a breadth of operational expertise in regulatory, clinical development, manufacturing, and intellectual property. The company stated that it is currently identifying and assessing disruptive opportunities within the transdermal biotechnology field, which it believes can be a superior delivery system in many cases for new and existing pharmaceutical therapeutic drugs. With its initial investment in Starton, the company believes it can leverage their expertise and proven success to credibly evaluate potential acquisitions in the transdermal field of advanced drug delivery systems. This news should be seen as extremely encouraging by the company’s investors as it could dramatically accelerate Love Pharma’s path to the clinic and the development of its own clinical portfolio. After all, it is these relationships in the biopharma industry that can lead to promising results and real shareholder value. About Love Pharma Inc. With a focus on the global sexual Health and Wellness markets, Love Pharma Inc. was founded in 2020, with a mission to bring to market innovative products that enhance sexual health and wellness while providing an improved quality of life. Love Pharma holds exclusive licenses to produce, market, package, sell, and distribute patent-protected therapeutic and pharmaceutical products throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America. About Starton Therapeutics A clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming standard of care therapies with proprietary dermal technology, so people with cancer can receive continuous treatment to live better, longer. Starton’s proprietary transdermal technology is intended to increase efficacy of approved drugs, to make them more tolerable and expand their potential use. About Stock Market Media Group Stock Market Media Group is a News and Media content development IR firm offering a platform for corporate stories to unfold in the media with press releases, feature news articles, research reports, corporate videos, and radio-style CEO interviews.

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Akorn Announces FDA-approved Generic Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection 0.25 mg

Akorn Pharmaceuticals | August 17, 2022

Akorn Operating Company LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company, announces that it received FDA approval for a generic version of Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection, 0.25 mg. This is the first approved AP-Rated bioequivalent version of Merck Serono's Cetrotide®.1 "We are pleased to announce the first approved AP-rated generic option for women receiving fertility treatments. As an increasing number of infants are being conceived via the use of ART, Akorn is excited to be able to offer a competitively priced option to support women who undergo this series of treatments. This is a welcome addition to our portfolio of more than 200 specialty and injectable generics." Akorn President and CEO Douglas Boothe Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is defined as fertility treatments where eggs or embryos are handled for the purpose of establishing a pregnancy. 2 The FDA granted Akorn a Competitive Generic Therapy (CGT) designation for Cetrorelix, a designation intended to incentivize effective development, efficient review, and timely market entry of drugs for which there is inadequate generic competition. As the first approved applicant with the CGT designation, Akorn's Cetrorelix is eligible for 180 days of CGT market exclusivity, which will begin to run from the commercial launch of Cetrorelix. According to IQVIA, U.S. sales of Cetrorelix through June of 2022 were approximately $63 million with full year U.S. sales projection of approximately $127 million. About Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection 0.25 mg Cetrorelix is used to prevent premature ovulation during controlled ovarian stimulation. Cetrorelix blocks the effects of a natural hormone, called gonadotropin‐releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH controls the secretion of another hormone, called luteinizing hormone (LH), which induces ovulation during the menstrual cycle. During hormone treatment for ovarian stimulation, premature ovulation may lead to eggs that are not suitable for fertilization. Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection blocks such undesirable premature ovulation. About Akorn Akorn Operating Company LLC, develops, manufactures and markets specialty pharmaceuticals. Since 1971, as an industry leader in generic products in alternate dosage forms such as ophthalmics, injectables, oral liquids, otics, topicals, inhalants and nasal sprays, we focus each day on our mission to improve lives, through the quality, availability and affordability of our products.

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Cellusion and Celregen a member of Fosun Pharma, Enter into Exclusive License Agreement of CLS001 for a Corneal Endothelial Cell Regenerative

Cellusion and Celregen | September 12, 2022

Cellusion Inc. a Japanese regenerative medicine startup aiming to solve the global corneal transplant waiting list problem with a unique differentiation induction method from iPS cells to Corneal Endothelial Cell Substitute from iPS Cells for bullous keratopathy novel treatment and Hangzhou Celregen Therapeutics Ltd. a member of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and focus on regenerative medicine and cell therapy and incubated by New Drug Fund of Fosun Health Capital announced an exclusive license agreement in the Greater China region for Celregen to develop, manufacture and commercialize CLS001. Under the Agreement, Celregen will have the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and commercialize CLS001 for bullous keratopathy in the Greater China region, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. On the other hand, Cellusion retains the rights of development, manufacturing and commercialization of CLS001 in other regions including Japan, the USA, and EU. Under the terms of the agreement, Cellusion will potentially receive over 100 million US dollars including upfront payment, development milestones and sales milestones as well as tiered royalties. “We are very enthusiastic about combining our knowledge of the underlying iPS cellular biology with Celregen and Fosun Pharma in the development and commercialization of innovative medicine in China. Together, we are committed to make best efforts on launching CLS001 for the patient suffering from bullous keratopathy due to the cornea donor shortage in the greater China region.” Shin Hatou, M.D. Ph.D., CEO of Cellusion “Today’s announcement with a global industry leader in iPS cells derived corneal endothelial regenerative therapy such as Cellusion, is an important and strategic step to build a long-term foundation for cell therapy in China,” said Cui Zhiping, the Chairman of Celregen, Fosun Global Partner, Chief Consultant of VC investment of Fosun Pharma and CEO of Fosun New Drug Fund. “This partnership, which leverages each company’s respective strengths, will help us bring novel regenerative medicine products to patients in greater China.” According to reports, there are about millions of people in China who are blind due to corneal diseases, and this number is increasing at a rate of 100,000 per year. Most of the patients with corneal blindness need corneal transplantation to restore their sight, but only less than 20,000 corneal transplants are conducted due to severe donor cornea shortage issues. Cellusion has already announced that the patient recruitment began for the First-in-Human Investigator-Initiated Study of CLS001 to initiate in 2022 at the Keio University Hospital and has been preparing to start Cellusion initiated clinical trial in Japan within a few years followed by global studies in the US and EU region. Cellusion is developing CLS001, CECSi cells for Corneal Endothelial regeneration to cure Bullous Keratopathy which is applied to more than half of all cases of corneal transplantation. CLS001 is expected to replace the current supply limitations by combining “CECSi Cells made from iPS cells with excellent proliferative properties” and “a simple injection cell delivery procedure without needs of human expertise.” About Celregen Celregen, incubated by New Drug Fund of Fosun Health Capital, focuses on stem cell and transformed cellular regenerative medicine. This platform adopts a variety of modes of cooperation with leading biotech and scientists. It is expected to be a head biotech in regenerative medicine in China. About Fosun Pharma Founded in 1994, Fosun Pharma is a global innovation-driven pharmaceutical and healthcare industry group deep-rooted in China. Fosun Pharma directly operates businesses including pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical devices, medical diagnosis, and healthcare services. As a shareholder of Sinopharm Co., Ltd., Fosun Pharma expands its areas in the pharmaceutical distribution and retail business. Fosun Pharma is patient-centered and clinical needs-oriented. The company enriches its innovative product pipeline through diversified and multi-level cooperation models such as independent research and development, cooperative development, license-in, and in-depth incubation. Fosun Pharma has formed technological platforms for innovative small molecule drugs, antibody drugs, and cell therapy with a focus on key disease areas including oncology and immunomodulation, metabolism and digestive system, and central nervous system. About Fosun New Drug Fund New Drug Fund, under the management of Fosun Health Capital, is the first VC established by Fosun Pharma. The Fund focuses on innovative biopharmaceutical-based drug fields at the start-up and expansion stages, including gene therapy, cell therapy, bio-conjugate drugs, and medical aesthetics, etc. The Fund has committed to incubate cutting-edging science and revolutionary technologies from world top universities, research institutes and biotech, through which path we can establish and adopt a variety of models of cooperation.

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Spotlight

Preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancers are responsible for over 40 of the 56 million annual deaths worldwide (7 out of every 10 deaths). Our medical communities spend vast resources battling complications of these behavior-related conditions, despite the availability of technologies and processes to better engage patients when disease burden is low and the ability to prevent disease is high. Most importantly, clinical and behavioral information is locked within data silos inside healthcare organizations, unavailable to patients, clinicians, and researchers in ways that can leverage machine learning to personalize care and illuminate the drivers of disease and health. Because of these and other factors, patients are relegated to passive, rather than proactive positions, in their own health care.

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