Healthcare Companies Search for New Ways to Oppose the Spread of Cancer

ptcommunity | April 17, 2019

Cancer is among one of the leading causes of death in the world since many countries are burdened by the lack of access to adequate healthcare, which results in the high number of deaths. In 2018, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) estimated that there were 18 million new cancer cases worldwide. Among the 18 million, 9.5 million were men and 8.5 million were women, while the most commonly diagnosed cancers were lung, breast, and colorectal. The three top diagnosed cancers accounted for over a third of global cases. Most cases of cancers are caused primarily by risk factors which include poor diet, nutrition, and physical condition. However, in some instances, cancer can be caused by hereditary factors such as genetics or even environmental impacts. The WCRF even said that around 40% of cases could have been prevented in 2018 if patients had a more well-rounded diet. Now, due to the increasing rate of cases, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are challenged with developing new therapies and treatments to aid patients suffering from cancer. Within the cancer marketspace, some companies are developing and manufacturing treatments designed to suppress the side effects. Others are aiming to neutralize the cancerous cells and prevent spreading, while yet others are ultimately looking for a cure for cancer. Regardless of the segment companies are involved within, collectively, they are bolstering the overall cancer therapy market. And according to data compiled by Mordor Intelligence, the global cancer therapy market was valued at USD 136.25 Billion in 2018. By 2024, the market is expected to reach USD 220.70 Billion, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.37%. SourcingLink.net, Inc. (OTC: SNET), CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSE: CVM), Curis, Inc.  (NASDAQ: CRIS), Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), NewLink Genetics Corporation (NASDAQ: NLNK)

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GoodRx Closes Acquisition of vitaCare, A Tech-Enabled Pharmacy Services Platform

GoodRx | April 18, 2022

GoodRx, a leading consumer-focused digital healthcare platform announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of vitaCare for $150 million in cash, with an additional $7 million of consideration contingent payment upon vitaCare’s financial performance through 2023. VitaCare is a pharmacy services platform that expands GoodRx’s offering to pharmaceutical manufacturers while helping to improve patient access and adherence to affordable brand drugs. The acquisition will enable GoodRx to help more patients receive their prescriptions in an efficient, affordable, and transparent manner, and stay on their prescribed therapies as long as appropriate. In addition, the acquisition is expected to further strengthen our rapidly growing Pharma Manufacturer Solutions offerings which span medication awareness, access, and adherence with unique capabilities. “The vitaCare acquisition gives us unique capabilities to facilitate the brand prescription process from start to finish, expanding our capabilities beyond our digital platform and into the patient’s pharmacy journey. We look forward to growing our reach across consumers and providers, along with our established relationships with manufacturers, to help more patients access the brand drugs they need." Doug Hirsch, co-CEO and co-founder of GoodRx GoodRx plans to provide an update on the impact of vitaCare to its 2022 financial guidance during its first quarter 2022 earnings conference call scheduled for Monday, May 9, 2022. About GoodRx GoodRx is a leading consumer-focused digital healthcare platform. Our technology delivers strong savings, trusted information and access to care to make healthcare affordable and convenient for all Americans. Since 2011, we have helped consumers save over $35 billion and are one of the most downloaded medical apps over the past decade.

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ApiJect Announces Investment by Royalty Pharma and Jefferies

ApiJect Systems Corp. | May 19, 2022

ApiJect Holdings, Inc., the parent company of ApiJect Systems, Corp., a medical technology public-benefit corporation transforming the fill and finish and delivery of injectable vaccines and medicines, announced today that it had completed a $111 million private round of investment. This investment round values ApiJect at approximately $300 million. The new round was led by Royalty Pharma and Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE: JEF), which acquired a revenue interest in addition to equity. Jefferies and ApiJect's other lenders also converted all of their debt into ApiJect equity, such that following this transaction, ApiJect has no debt on its balance sheet. The funds will be used for continued development of ApiJect's proprietary Blow-Fill-Seal (BFS) plastic prefilled injection system, to deploy its equipment and proprietary technologies to licensees, and for general working capital purposes. Royalty Pharma and Jefferies are represented on ApiJect's Board of Directors, along with ApiJect co-founders Jay Walker and Marc Koska, and Hanjin In, the CEO of Tae-Chang Industrial Co., Ltd., ApiJect's South Korean cannula supplier. ApiJect is developing an innovative portfolio of drug delivery devices using high-speed BFS manufacturing, which is recognized by the FDA as an advanced aseptic process that forms, fills and seals a single unit dose in a continuous, automated manufacturing step. BFS technology greatly reduces the risk of contamination and error during one of the most critical steps of drug production. BFS is cost-efficient for short and long runs, and highly suitable to scale quickly in order to meet unexpected spikes in demand such as for a rapid response to population-scale health emergencies. Advancements developed by ApiJect for temperature management now enable BFS manufacturing of a vast array of sterile injectable drugs, including ultra-cold mRNA vaccines. "This is an important day for injection device innovation, and, with that, the future health of billions of people throughout the world. The investment provided by Royalty Pharma and Jefferies supports further development of an injection technology that can scale rapidly and efficiently to meet global demand for injectable medicines." ApiJect Chief Executive Officer Jay Walker Mr. Walker further said: "We welcome Royalty Pharma's commitment to the ApiJect mission. Royalty Pharma has a proven track record in selecting successful partners and in assisting in advancing its partners' goals. We could not ask for a better strategic partner from within the pharma industry. In Jefferies, we have a partner that has been with us from virtually the beginning of ApiJect." "We are delighted to form this win-win partnership with ApiJect," said Pablo Legorreta, Royalty Pharma's Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "The global pandemic highlighted the clear unmet need for a new kind of prefilled syringe that can be rapidly produced to respond to public health threats, and at massive scale that would be capable of delivering hundreds of millions, potentially billions, of doses to people in the U.S. as well as globally. ApiJect is developing a truly innovative technology, that could transform the manufacturing and delivery of life-saving injectable drugs in a way that would also make these medicines safer and more readily accessible for patients around the world." "We are proud of our association with ApiJect and believe strongly that their solutions will be a positive gamechanger in many of the most critical aspects of improving health globally," said Rich Handler, CEO of Jefferies. The first potential device made on the ApiJect Platform is the Prefilled ApiJect Injector, a single-dose prefilled injector designed to efficiently deliver a 0.5mL dose into a patient with a simple squeeze of the BFS container by the healthcare professional. This new type of prefilled injector will be ApiJect's first product submitted for regulatory review and approval. The Prefilled ApiJect Injector and its manufacturing process include An aseptically filled single-dose container, designed to enable efficient and intuitive injection administration. A pen-needle-style hub that turns the BFS container into an injection device. Innovations in temperature management to expand the range of medicines and vaccines suitable for BFS packaging. ApiJect recently launched its Technology Development Center in the greater Orlando area to bring to the U.S. critical capabilities for device design and engineering, and BFS mold development, as well as for small-scale manufacturing of single-dose, prefilled injectors and other injectable devices. Its purpose is to dramatically reduce the time and processes necessary for product development. ApiJect's Technology Development Center supports the company's existing fill-finish lines at its manufacturing partner site in South Carolina, which currently has the capacity to produce up to 540 million single-dose prefilled injectors annually. About ApiJect Systems ApiJect Systems, Corp., is a public-benefit medical technology company working to use our platform to bring more prefilled, single-dose injections to patients everywhere. The ApiJect Platform enables pharmaceutical and biotech companies to design scalable prefilled injectors and efficiently fill-finish them with their injectable drug products. This can be done either on one of their own Blow-Fill-Seal packaging lines with ApiJect-licensed technology, or at one of ApiJect's world-class manufacturing partners.

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Iktos and Teijin Pharma to Co-Develop New Technology for Small Molecule Drug Discovery

Iktos | April 07, 2022

Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, and Teijin Pharma Limited, the core company of the Teijin Group’s healthcare business that provides comprehensive healthcare services to improve the quality of life, today announced a strategic collaboration agreement in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design. Under the agreement, Iktos generative modelling technology will be implemented and applied to several Teijin Pharma’s small molecule drug discovery projects to expedite the identification of potential pre-clinical candidates. Iktos and Teijin Pharma will collaborate in developing new AI technology aiming to bring further improvement and speed to the drug design process, leveraging Iktos’ proprietary know-how in AI for Computer Aided Drug Design (CADD) and complementing Teijin’s research and development capabilities. In the recent years, Iktos has emerged as one of the world leaders in AI for drug design, establishing multiple collaborations with renowned pharmaceutical companies and successfully developing the AI software platforms Makya™ for new drug design and Spaya™ for synthesis planning. Iktos’ generative AI technology, based on deep generative models, automatically designs virtual novel molecules presenting the desirable characteristics specified by the researchers. This approach brings unprecedented efficiency in the exploration of chemical space and produces innovative molecule designs with greater freedom to operate. It is a novel solution, validated through many collaborations, to one of the key challenges in drug design: the rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. Based on the recent drastic demographic change and increased health consciousness, Teijin Pharma is committed to providing healthcare solutions in the priority fields of bone, joint, rehabilitation, neurology, respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Creating innovative drugs is one of the company’s core business strategies and Teijin Pharma is now focusing on strengthening technological foundation for small molecule drugs that play major roles among the drug modalities for innovative drug discovery. "We are thrilled and proud to announce a strategic collaboration with Teijin Pharma, a leading company that contributes to society by providing advanced healthcare solutions. It is a major recognition for Iktos to be selected by Teijin Pharma as a strategic partner for implementation, development, and application of generative modeling technology for new drug design. Iktos has been a pioneer in the application of generative models for drug discovery and is recognized as a world leader in the technology space that has the potential to disrupt the way new therapeutics are designed.’’ “Our ultimate objective is to expedite drug discovery and achieve time and cost efficiencies for our global collaborators by using Iktos’s proprietary AI platform and know-how. We are confident that together with our Teijin collaborators, we will be able to develop new technology to bring further speed and efficiency to drug discovery.” Yann Gaston-Mathé, Co-founder and CEO of Iktos “We are delighted to create innovative new small molecule drugs together with Iktos,” said Ichiro Watanabe, President of Teijin Pharma. “We provide solutions in the field of demographic change and increased health consciousness and are focusing on the launch of new drugs. Iktos’ proprietary AI technology will dramatically accelerate our small molecule drug discovery. We continue to enhance patients' quality of life by providing new treatment options for diseases with high unmet needs.” About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a start-up company specializing in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, the design of molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project. The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya™. Iktos is also developing Spaya™, a synthesis planning software based upon Iktos’s proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis. About the Teijin Group Teijin is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the fields of environmental value; safety, security and disaster mitigation; and demographic change and increased health consciousness. Originally established as Japan's first rayon manufacturer in 1918, Teijin has evolved into a unique enterprise encompassing three core business domains: high-performance materials including aramid, carbon fibers and composites, and also resin and plastic processing, films, polyester fibers and products converting; healthcare including pharmaceuticals and home healthcare equipment for bone/joint, respiratory and cardiovascular/metabolic diseases, nursing care and pre-symptomatic healthcare; and IT including B2B solutions for medical, corporate and public systems as well as packaged software and B2C online services for digital entertainment. Deeply committed to its stakeholders, as expressed in the brand statement “Human Chemistry, Human Solutions,” Teijin aims to be a company that supports the society of the future. The group comprises more than 170 companies and employs some 20,000 people across 20 countries worldwide. Teijin posted consolidated sales of JPY 836.5 billion and total assets of JPY 1,036.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2021.

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Ascletis Announces Submission of Marketing Authorization Applications for Ritonavir in Multiple European Countries

Ascletis Pharma Inc. | February 14, 2022

Ascletis Pharma Inc.announces that it has submitted marketing authorization applications for ritonavir in Germany, France, Ireland and United Kingdom through its agent in Europe. It is expected that more marketing authorization applications for ritonavir in certain other countries, including the ones in Europe, North America and Asian Pacific will soon be submitted. Ascletis has been in discussion with both domestic and international companies, including major multi-national pharmaceutical companies, for the commercial supplies of ritonavir in China and globally. Oral ritonavir tablet is a pharmacokinetic booster of multiple oral antiviral drugs targeting viral proteases and a component of oral antiviral drug Paxlovid. Ascletis aims to be one of the global commercial suppliers of oral ritonavir tablets. Ascletis owns the only authorized oral ritonavir tablet in China, which passed bioequivalence study. Ascletis' oral ritonavir tablet was approved in September 2021 by China National Medical Products Administration. Ascletis has been applying sophisticated formulation technology to significantly increase human bioavailability of ritonavir which has a very poor solubility and successfully achieved human bioequivalence with the oral ritonavir tablets produced by the originator, AbbVie. On January 3, 2022, Ascletis announced that oral ritonavir tablet annual production capacity has been expanded to 100 million tablets and can be further rapidly expanded based on market demand. About Ascletis Ascletis is an innovative R&D driven biotech listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, a global platform covering the entire value chain from discovery and development to manufacturing and commercialization. Ascletis is committed to developing and commercializing innovative drugs in the areas of viral diseases, NASH/PBC, and cancer to address unmet medical needs both in China and globally. Led by a management team with deep expertise and a proven track record, Ascletis targets those therapeutic areas with unmet medical needs from a global perspective, and efficiently advances the developments of pipelines with an aim of leading in global competition. To date, Ascletis has three marketed products and 20 robust R&D pipelines of drug candidates with global competitiveness, and is actively exploring new therapeutic areas.

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