Drugs for treatment of stroke, vascular dementia show promising results in early trial

news-medical | April 25, 2019

Treatments that prevent recurrence of types of stroke and dementia caused by damage to small blood vessels in the brain have moved a step closer, following a small study. The drugs - called cilostazol and isosorbide mononitrate - are already used to treat other conditions, such as heart disease and angina. This is the first time they have been tested in the UK for the treatment of stroke or vascular dementia. A study involving more than 50 stroke patients found that patients tolerated the drugs, with no serious side effects, even when the drugs were given in full dose or in combination with other medicines. Experts say the findings pave the way for larger studies to check if the treatments can prevent brain damage and reduce risk of stroke and vascular dementia. Damage to small blood vessels in the brain is responsible for around a quarter of strokes. It is also a common cause of memory problems and dementia. Around 400,000 people in the UK are affected but there are no specific treatments. Currently the only way to reduce risk of the disease is by controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, stopping smoking and managing symptoms of diabetes.

Spotlight

There are many good examples of innovative practice in primary care that integrate the skills of pharmacists as part of coordinated care to improve patient outcomes and safety whilst also reducing prescribing and downstream care costs. The RPS believes there is a compelling case for it to become normal practice to have pharmacists working much more closely with GPs across England. With current and future shortfall in GP and nurse numbers, pharmacists are ideally placed to support their fellow professionals and improve the quality of care for patients.


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PHARMA TECH

n-Lorem Foundation Partners with Alnylam to Expand Technology Access to RNAi Therapeutics for Patients with Nano-rare Diseases

n-Lorem a nonprofit Foundation | January 20, 2022

n-Lorem, a nonprofit Foundation, discovering and providing experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to nano-rare disease patients for free, for life, today announced a new partnership with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. “Discovering, developing and providing individualized medicines for nano-rare patients is a monumental task. At n-Lorem, using ASO technology, we take advantage of three decades of experience, unparalleled quality control and integrated safety databases that are used to select frequency and dosage for each individual ASO therapy. As we expand our highly selective and versatile model to other amendable technologies, it is important for us to maintain a high level of quality,” said Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, n-Lorem Foundation. “Alnylam’s RNAi therapeutic technology is the perfect complement to Ionis’ ASO technology, both are well understood, proven drug discovery technologies. Adding Alnylam as a partner is another step in the creation of a broad network of partner stakeholders committed to treating nano-rare patients.” “We are pleased to partner with the n-Lorem Foundation in identifying opportunities to bring our novel RNAi technology platform to potentially help patients with nano-rare diseases. At Alnylam, we are committed to identifying pathways to expand access to our medicines and we applaud the work of the foundation in bringing together industry partners who are driven to provide options for patients that have little or no options for treatment,” Akshay Vaishnaw, M.D., Ph.D., President at Alnylam “Although we have the tools and expertise to understand nano-rare patients at a genetic level, the extreme rarity of these patients present insurmountable challenges to the current healthcare systems,” said Dr. Sarah Glass, Chief Development Officer, n-Lorem Foundation. “n-Lorem is addressing these challenges one nano-rare patient at a time and is supported through a consortium of well-renowned and diverse organizations worldwide. These include our biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners, including Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, Ultragenyx and today Alnylam; our clinical research partners, including Charles River Labs, Korea Institute of Toxicology and Parexel; our contract manufacturing partners, including ChemGenes, Cytiva and Nitto Avecia; and many other collaborations that make n-Lorem’s mission possible.” Alnylam is leading the translation of RNA interference into a whole new class of innovative medicines with the potential to transform the lives of people afflicted with rare genetic, cardio-metabolic, hepatic infectious, and central nervous system ocular diseases. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, RNAi therapeutics represent a powerful, clinically validated approach for the treatment of a wide range of severe and debilitating diseases. Founded in 2002, Alnylam is delivering on a bold vision to turn scientific possibility into reality, with a robust RNAi therapeutics platform. Alnylam’s commercial RNAi therapeutic products are ONPATTRO®, GIVLAARI® (givosiran), and OXLUMO®, as well as Leqvio®, which is being developed and commercialized by Alnylam’s partner Novartis. Alnylam has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including six product candidates that are in late-stage development. Alnylam is executing on its “Alnylam P5x25” strategy to deliver transformative medicines in both rare and common diseases benefiting patients around the world through sustainable innovation and exceptional financial performance, resulting in a leading biotech profile. Alnylam is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. About n-Lorem n-Lorem Foundation is a non-profit organization established to apply the efficiency, versatility and specificity of antisense technology to charitably provide experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to treat nano-rare patients diagnosed with diseases that are the result of a single genetic defect unique to only one or very few individuals. Nano-rare patients describe a very small group of patients who, because of their small numbers, have few if any treatment options. n-Lorem Foundation was created to provide hope to these nano-rare patients by developing individualized ASO medicines, which are short strands of modified DNA that can specifically target the transcripts of a defective gene to correct the abnormality. The advantage of experimental ASO medicines is that they can be developed rapidly, inexpensively and are highly specific. To date, n-Lorem has assisted in the development and treatment of 14 nano-rare patients and received over 100 applications for treatment with more than 40 nano-rare patients approved. n-Lorem was founded by Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., former chairman and CEO of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, who founded Ionis Pharmaceuticals in 1989 and, through his vision and leadership, established the company as the leader in RNA-targeted therapeutics.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Clinical research and drug development accelerated via analytics

SAS | June 22, 2022

Bringing life-changing therapies to market requires pharmaceutical companies to efficiently design and run clinical trials, gather and analyze massive amounts of data, and manage a complicated regulatory review process. SAS, a leader in clinical research analytics, delivers powerful technologies to support the life sciences industry – including machine learning, AI and analytics for IoT – through the SAS® Life Science Analytics Framework on Azure. The advanced analytics platform – a single, open, cloud-native statistical computing environment for clinical trial analysis and submission – helps pharmaceutical companies navigate the heavily regulated world of clinical research analytics and bring new therapies to the world faster. Delivering the power of analytics in the cloud From drug discovery to regulatory approval, developing a new medicine can take over a decade with a price tag in the billions. The clinical research required to achieve approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and other regulatory authorities involves massive amounts of data that can be difficult to manage, share and analyze, creating delays that affect patients' well-being. The cloud-based SAS Life Science Analytics Framework on Azure features an integrated and collaborative environment to manage and analyze clinical trial information as well as deliver trial results for the FDA and other global regulatory agencies' review. With the analytic solution, life sciences organizations can extract valuable insights from clinical data, mitigate risk, increase efficiency, and speed time to market for lifesaving pharmaceuticals. "The primary goal is to get drugs approved so that they can reach patients. The faster you can do that, the greater benefit for the patient and to help save lives." Bhawna Goel, CEO of Gunvatta Gunvatta USA, Inc, a contract research organization (CRO) headquartered in Washington, DC, helps clients collect, manage, analyze and visualize the terabytes of clinical and healthcare data produced by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals, and provider groups. With the SAS Life Science Analytics Framework, Gunvatta has modernized the way it approaches clinical trials. The CRO helps life sciences organizations reduce risk with secure data access, ensure data and results are validated, maintain an audit trail, and report their data to health authorities like the FDA. "The biggest advantage of the SAS Life Science Analytics Framework is that the analytics platform is cloud-based," said Goel. "I feel like SAS has jumped 15 to 20 steps ahead of where the market is." For more about Gunvatta's experience, see the customer story Helping pharmaceutical companies bring new therapies to the world faster using analytics for life sciences. Developing cutting-edge clinical research tools SAS life science experts will attend the DIA Global Annual Meeting this week in Chicago to share next generation approaches for driving excellence and innovation in clinical trial operations. At DIA, SAS will preview SAS Clinical Enrollment Simulation Cloud – a cloud-native, solution based in SAS® Viya® 4 – that enables life sciences and contract research organizations to simulate the outcome of the complex clinical trial enrollment process in a virtual world, resulting in faster, more strategic clinical trial enrollment plans. The new SaaS offering – available later this year on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace – uses a powerful discrete event simulation analytical engine to model the clinical trial enrollment process as it evolves over time, facilitating improved insights to guide enrollment strategy and meet contracted patient targets. "SAS Clinical Enrollment Simulation Cloud is highly differentiated from traditional methodologies for predicting trial enrollment," said Jim Box, Life Sciences Principal Data Scientist at SAS. "The technology helps life sciences organizations reduce timelines, minimize costs, and gain greater insight to inform clinical enrollment planning and rescue." Modernizing clinical trials for the future While the current clinical development research model can be an obstacle to the creation of safe, cost-effective therapies, the COVID-19 pandemic and other events set the stage for disruption in clinical trials. "The silver lining of the pandemic for the life sciences industry is the acceleration of digital transformation and modernization of clinical research," said Simon Tilley, Health and Life Sciences Product Director at SAS. "We experienced widespread adoption of innovative approaches, such as decentralized clinical trials for the development of new vaccines." "While the business benefits of modernizing clinical research include significant cost savings, efficiency improvements, accelerated time to regulatory approval and faster time to market, it is patients who stand to gain the most from clinical trial innovation." About SAS SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®. SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2022 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Integrity Bio and LakePharma Become Curia

Curia | February 15, 2022

Curia, formerly AMRI, a leading contract research, development and manufacturing organization, announced that Integrity Bio and LakePharma, two companies that it acquired last year, have fully transitioned to the Curia brand. This change reflects the accelerated organizational integration of the acquired companies into Curia and its provision of comprehensive biologics discovery, development and manufacturing solutions to customers. Curia completed the acquisition of Integrity Bio in August 2021 and closed the LakePharma transaction in September 2021. “The addition of LakePharma and Integrity Bio demonstrate our commitment to expanding and deepening our biologics capabilities. We have moved quickly to integrate our expanded organization so we can provide comprehensive technology and scientific solutions that enable customers to advance their biologics candidates from R&D through manufacturing. More than a name change, the combined Curia organization brings a singular focus on creating a distinctive customer experience designed to accelerate projects and navigate complexity, all driven by a shared commitment to the mission of improving patients’ lives." Curia Chairman and CEO John Ratliff About Curia Curia, formerly AMRI, is a leading contract research, development and manufacturing organization providing products and services from R&D through commercial manufacturing to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers. Curia’s 3,700 employees at 29 locations across the U.S., Europe and Asia help its customers advance from curiosity to cure.

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PHARMA TECH

Novotech and Medidata expand partnership to continue advancements in clinical research

Medidata | June 16, 2022

Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company, announced its renewed, expanded partnership with Novotech, a leading contract research organisation to continue scaling clinical studies in various therapeutic areas from 2022. Leveraging Rave EDC, Rave RTSM, eCOA and eConsent technology from Medidata, Novotech is equipped with flexible, configurable tools that can address clinical research needs at scale and facilitate accelerated drug and device development in Asia Pacific and the U.S. Since its partnership in 2018, Novotech has doubled its growth and has also acquired CRO companies in APAC and the U.S. as well as invested in advanced DCT and data companies to deliver a seamless CRO platform amidst the increasing demand for clinical trials services in the region. The partnership extends access to a suite of end-to-end solutions from Medidata Clinical Cloud, the industry's only unified platform dedicated to clinical research. It also underscores Medidata and Novotech's commitment to work collaboratively towards accelerating clinical trials and research efficiently, while improving clinical trial timelines and patient experiences. The Medidata Clinical Cloud is the only unified technology platform dedicated to clinical research, with solutions that leverage centralized data to address the holistic research process from start to finish. With the physical limitations and fragmentation of healthcare ecosystems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for digital integration for accelerated clinical development is crucial, and a unified platform allows for streamlined management of studies, sites, users, and access from a single location. "The pandemic has underscored the importance of redesigning how trials are run, with more stakeholders realising the vital role that technology plays in clinical development. Medidata is pleased to continue our strong partnership with Novotech and is dedicated to providing support in their acceleration of clinical studies. Working with leading technologies, we can deliver better patient experiences and accelerate drug development in the new normal in clinical research." Edwin Ng, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Medidata Andries Claassen, Senior Director Biometrics, Novotech, added, "We are excited to continue our partnership with Medidata, with their sustained support in driving clinical research and business growth with customers. Novotech has always invested heavily in the latest technology to provide our clients with better data visibility for improved decision-making. Together, we will help sponsors deliver more efficient, effective, and scalable trials." Medidata is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes, which with its 3DEXPERIENCE platform is positioned to lead the digital transformation of life sciences in the age of personalized medicine with the first end-to-end scientific and business platform, from research to commercialization. About Medidata Medidata is leading the digital transformation of life sciences, creating hope for millions of patients. Medidata helps generate the evidence and insights to help pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostics companies, and academic researchers accelerate value, minimize risk, and optimize outcomes. More than one million registered users across 2,000+ customers and partners access the world's most trusted platform for clinical development, commercial, and real-world data. Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company (Euronext Paris: FR0014003TT8, DSY.PA), is headquartered in New York City and has offices around the world to meet the needs of its customers. About Dassault Systèmes Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, is a catalyst for human progress. We provide business and people with collaborative 3D virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations. By creating virtual twin experiences of the real world with our 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications, our customers push the boundaries of innovation, learning and production to achieve a more sustainable world for patients, citizens, and consumers. Dassault Systèmes brings value to more than 300,000 customers of all sizes, in all industries, in more than 140 countries. 3DEXPERIENCE, the Compass icon, the 3DS logo, CATIA, BIOVIA, GEOVIA, SOLIDWORKS, 3DVIA, ENOVIA, NETVIBES, MEDIDATA, CENTRIC PLM, 3DEXCITE, SIMULIA, DELMIA, and IFWE are commercial trademarks or registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes, a French "société européenne" (Versailles Commercial Register # B 322 306 440), or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. About Novotech Novotech is the leading Asia Pacific biotech specialist CRO with labs, phase I facilities, and drug development consulting services. Novotech has accumulated experience in over 3,700 clinical projects, including Phase I to Phase IV clinical trials and bioequivalence studies. Novotech is positioned to serve biopharmaceutical clients conducting clinical trials in Asia and globally and serves biotechs globally leveraging deep relationships built with hundreds of Asia-Pacific sites over the last 25 years. As of May 2022, Novotech has over 2,500 FTEs working across our offices in 12 geographies in Asia-Pacific and the United States.

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Spotlight

There are many good examples of innovative practice in primary care that integrate the skills of pharmacists as part of coordinated care to improve patient outcomes and safety whilst also reducing prescribing and downstream care costs. The RPS believes there is a compelling case for it to become normal practice to have pharmacists working much more closely with GPs across England. With current and future shortfall in GP and nurse numbers, pharmacists are ideally placed to support their fellow professionals and improve the quality of care for patients.

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