How ketamine can change the brain to fight depression

medicalnewstoday | April 24, 2019

New research in mice, which the National Institutes of Health supported, shows how ketamine can alter brain circuits, quickly redressing depression-like symptoms. Previous studies have shown that ketamine — an anesthetic — can rapidly reduce severe symptoms of major depressive disorder, particularly the occurrence of suicidal thoughts. However, researchers are still unsure how this substance acts in the brain to fight off depression or how to maintain its therapeutic effects in the long run. For this reason, a team of investigators from the University of Tokyo in Japan, Stanford University in California, and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY, recently set out to understand more about how ketamine fights depression in the brain by studying its effect in mouse models.

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Everest Medicines Appoints Rogers Yongqing Luo as Chief Executive Officer to Lead Next Stage of Company Growth

Everest Medicines | September 19, 2022

Everest Medicines a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing transformative pharmaceutical products to address critical unmet needs in Asia Pacific markets, announced that it has appointed Rogers Yongqing Luo as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective immediately. Mr. Luo will also serve as an Executive Director on Everest's Board of Directors. Mr. Luo brings to Everest more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry with an extensive leadership track record across clinical development, regulatory affairs and commercialization. Previously, Mr. Luo served as President and General Manager, Greater China at Brii Biosciences and CEO of TSB Therapeutics where he spearheaded the rapid registration approval, GMP certification and successful commercialization of the amubarvimab/romlusevimab combination, the first COVID-19 neutralizing antibody treatment in China. Prior to that, he was Global Vice President and China General Manager at Gilead Sciences where he led the clinical development, regulatory approval and successful commercial launch of eight innovative therapeutics, and efforts that rapidly expanded patient access across China. Mr. Luo previously oversaw the successful launch of several high-profile medicines. He managed sales, marketing, government affairs and market access functions for various leading multinational pharmaceutical companies including Roche and Novartis, and worked two years at Novartis headquarter in Switzerland. "As Everest Medicines continues to evolve our business strategy and expand our novel product pipeline at a rapid pace, we are thrilled to have Rogers join the Company to lead Everest through its next phase of growth in becoming a fully-integrated biopharma company in China. With his robust background as a top executive at both biotech startup and large multinational pharma companies, Rogers brings to Everest a unique set of expertise including comprehensive scientific insight, proven outstanding leadership and excellent commercialization capabilities in patient access, and a demonstrated history of successfully advancing early- and late-stage innovative pipeline to commercial launch in Greater China. In particular, Rogers' leadership will strengthen Everest's new product development and commercial capabilities as we progress toward potential approvals of our late-stage anchor product candidates, including Nefecon, Xerava, etrasimod and mRNA vaccines. We look forward to leveraging Rogers' leadership and industry expertise to generate long-term growth and success across the business." Mr. Wei Fu, Chairman of Everest Medicines and Chief Executive Officer of CBC Group "I'm very excited to join Everest and I look forward to working with this talented, world-class team of scientists and industry professionals to further the Company's industry leadership. We will continue to advance our late-stage pipeline towards commercialization and with our strong balance sheet, we aim to execute synergistic business development deals to accelerate our path to become an integrated biopharma," said Rogers Yongqing Luo, Chief Executive Officer of Everest Medicines. "We will continue to invest into our discovery platform to build an innovative therapeutic pipeline for the benefit of patients with unmet needs in Greater China and other Asia Pacific markets, and to create sustained, long-term value for our shareholders." About Everest Medicines Everest Medicines is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing transformative pharmaceutical products that address critical unmet medical needs for patients in Asian markets. The management team of Everest Medicines has deep expertise and an extensive track record of high-quality clinical development, regulatory affairs, CMC, business development and operations both in China and with leading global pharmaceutical companies. Everest Medicines has built a portfolio of potentially global first-in-class or best-in-class molecules, many of which are in late-stage clinical development. The Company's therapeutic areas of interest include oncology, autoimmune disorders, cardio-renal diseases and infectious diseases.

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SmartSkin Partners With PDA to Bring New Technology to Aseptic Processing

SmartSkin Technologies and PDA | October 06, 2022

SmartSkin Technologies and Parenteral Drug Association, Inc. announced a partnership to integrate SmartSkin’s data collection technologies with PDA’s aseptic processing and visual inspection training. SmartSkin is recognized by leading pharmaceutical brands as an innovator. Its technology helps the industry adapt faster and improve production quality by providing timely data from the container’s perspective inside the production process — from the washer to warehousing. This previously unavailable information enables data-driven decisions, improving efficiency, lowering costs, and reducing waste. Built on a reputation of scientifically reliable and compliant industry best practices, PDA's hands-on aseptic processing and visual inspection training courses provide new and experienced pharmaceutical professionals with practical information and implementable solutions related to these critical manufacturing operations. “PDA’s training curriculum is widely acknowledged as the gold standard for the pharmaceutical industry. We have been working closely with them for the past several months and are thrilled to have our technology included as part of their training. We have been working hard to understand all aspects of sterile products, aseptic processing, and how to improve quality in pharmaceutical manufacturing. PDA training will ensure industry professionals understand what is now possible.” SmartSkin CEO, Evan Justason “We are always looking to integrate new technologies into our training courses to provide meaningful hands-on experience to our attendees. Smartskin’s technology to protect the integrity of containers across the fill-finish process will enhance the aseptic processing and visual inspection training courses, making them even more unique and valuable,” said PDA VP of Education, David Talmage. SmartSkin discussed manufacturing and quality assurance issues at the 2022 PDA/FDA Joint Regulatory Conference in Washington earlier this month and showcased its latest product innovations to PDA and FDA members. SmartSkin will also be attending the upcoming PDA Universe of Pre-Filled Syringes and Injection Devices show in Palm Springs, CA, October 18-19. About PDA The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) is the leading global provider of science, technology, and regulatory information. The PDA creates awareness and understanding of important issues facing the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical community and delivers high-quality, relevant education to the industry. Since its founding in 1946 as a nonprofit organization, PDA has been committed to developing scientifically sound, practical technical information and expertise to advance pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical manufacturing science and regulation, so members can better serve patients. About SmartSkin Technologies SmartSkin Technologies, Inc. is based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. The company’s patented Quantifeel™ solutions fuse innovative sensors, deep analytics and artificial intelligence to provide global manufacturers with actionable data on the forces their containers experience during the filling and packaging process. By identifying previously undetectable adverse or abnormal operating conditions, workers are able to better control the process, preventing product defects and costly downtime. SmartSkin’s technology is in use around the world and has earned a reputation as a world leader in IIoT productivity solutions across multiple industries. SmartSkin was honored with the “Best Manufacturing Innovation” at the 2020 PharmaPack Awards in Paris.

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IceCure Submits Regulatory Filing in Vietnam for Approval of ProSense®

IceCure Medical Ltd | August 30, 2022

IceCure Medical Ltd. developer of minimally-invasive cryoablation technology, the ProSense® System that destroys tumors by freezing as an alternative to surgical tumor removal, announced it has submitted a regulatory filing with the Department of Medical Equipment and Construction of Vietnam's Ministry of Health for the ProSense System and accessories. The application covers indications including benign and malignant breast tumors, benign and malignant lung tumors, benign and malignant liver tumors, kidney cancer, ablation of cancerous or malignant tissue, musculoskeletal tumors, and other indications. Vietnam's medical device market was valued at $1.4 billion in 2019 and was projected to grow 10% annually through 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, with overall healthcare expenditures in the country totaling $17 billion. Liver, lung, and breast cancer were the three most prevalent cancers in Vietnam in 2020 according to the World Health Organization. "Asia is a significant market for ProSense and Vietnam is one of the fastest growing healthcare markets in the region. Having started the regulatory process in Vietnam, we anticipate high interest from potential distributors in the country. This comes on the heels of our recent successes in the region with Shanghai Medtronic Zhikang Medical Devices Co. Ltd. in China and Terumo in Japan, Singapore, and Thailand." IceCure CEO, Eyal Shamir About IceCure Medical Ltd. IceCure Medical Ltd. develops and markets ProSense®, an advanced liquid-nitrogen-based cryoablation therapy for the treatment of tumors (benign and cancerous) by freezing, with the primary focus areas being breast, kidney, bone and lung cancer. Its minimally invasive technology is a safe and effective alternative to hospital surgical tumor removal that is easily performed in a relatively short procedure. The system is marketed and sold worldwide for the indications cleared to-date by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approved in Europe with the CE Mark.

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Astellas Announces Topline Results from Phase 3 Long-Term Safety Study of Fezolinetant in Mainland China

Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 05, 2022

Astellas Pharma Inc. announced topline results from the Phase 3 MOONLIGHT 3™ clinical trial in women in mainland China evaluating the long-term safety and tolerability of fezolinetant, an investigational oral, nonhormonal compound being studied for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause. MOONLIGHT 3 is a 52-week single-arm Phase 3 clinical trial investigating the long-term safety and tolerability of fezolinetant 30 mg taken once daily in 150 women in mainland China seeking treatment for relief of VMS associated with menopause. The study's primary endpoint is the frequency and severity of adverse events which were generally consistent with previous Phase 3 studies of fezolinetant. Detailed results will be submitted for publication in the near future. "The topline results from the MOONLIGHT 3 study are very encouraging and, upon initial review, further support the long-term safety of fezolinetant. We are evaluating the full MOONLIGHT data sets and remain committed to developing innovative treatments in this therapeutic area with the hope of delivering a first-in-class, nonhormonal treatment option for women with moderate to severe VMS." Ahsan Arozullah, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Head of Development Therapeutic Areas, Astellas Fezolinetant is an investigational selective neurokinin-3 receptor antagonist and is not approved anywhere in the world. In the U.S., a New Drug Application for fezolinetant for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause is under review. The NDA submission is based on results from two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials, SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™, and the Phase 3 long-term safety study, SKYLIGHT 4™. About the MOONLIGHT Phase 3 Clinical Trials MOONLIGHT 1™ is designed to investigate the efficacy and safety of fezolinetant for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause in women in Asia. The study is double-blinded and placebo-controlled for the first 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week non-controlled extension treatment period. A total of 302 women with moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause were enrolled at nearly 60 sites in mainland China, Korea and Taiwan. MOONLIGHT 3™ is a 52-week single-arm Phase 3 clinical trial designed to investigate the long-term safety and tolerability of fezolinetant in women in mainland China with VMS associated with menopause. A total of 150 women were enrolled at 34 sites in mainland China. About the BRIGHT SKY™ Phase 3 Program The BRIGHT SKY pivotal trials, SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™ enrolled over 1,000 women with moderate to severe VMS. The trials are double-blinded, placebo-controlled for the first 12 weeks followed by a 40-week treatment extension period. Women were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe. SKYLIGHT 4™ is a 52-week double-blinded, placebo-controlled study designed to investigate the long-term safety of fezolinetant. For SKYLIGHT 4, over 1,800 women with VMS were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe. About VMS Associated with Menopause VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause.1,2 Worldwide, more than 50% of women 40 to 64 years of age experience VMS and, in East Asia, the prevalence of VMS has been estimated to be around 80% of women 40 to 65 years of age, with 55% having moderate to severe VMS.3,4 VMS can have a disruptive impact on women's daily activities and overall quality of life.1 About Fezolinetant Fezolinetant is an investigational oral, nonhormonal therapy in clinical development for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause. Fezolinetant works by blocking neurokinin B (NKB) binding on the kisspeptin/neurokinin/dynorphin (KNDy) neuron to moderate neuronal activity in the thermoregulatory center of the brain (the hypothalamus) to reduce the frequency and severity of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause.5,6,7 The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established. There is no guarantee the agent will receive regulatory approval or become commercially available for the uses being investigated. About Astellas Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.

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