Is Bayer finally heading for a Roundup deal? Its new legal team suggests so

fiercepharma | June 28, 2019

Bayer has said it intends to defend itself vigorously in thousands of lawsuits that claim its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer. But that harsh tone has softened, increasing the possibility that a settlement could be near. The German company has hired an independent lawyer to advise its supervisory board on the Roundup litigation and set up a special committee to oversee it. “The supervisory board recognizes the negative effect the litigation uncertainty has had on the stock price and stakeholder perception and is determined to help the company decisively but prudently advance the matter,” Bayer said in a statement. Besides the ongoing litigation, it also “looks forward to constructively engaging in the mediation process,” the company said. Investors soon applauded the moves, sending Bayer’s stock in Frankfurt up 8.7% Wednesday, which marked its biggest daily gain in a decade, Reuters reported. The steps are widely interpreted as a sign that a settlement could be on the way. “Ultimately, we believe today’s announcement makes a settlement more likely,” Bernstein analysts Gunther Zechmann and Wimal Kapadia said in a Thursday note to clients. The analysts just recently called on Bayer management to settle the mounting cases and stop past practices of “campaigning” to defend the chemical. Billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, which holds €1.1 billion ($1.25 billion) in Bayer shares, also said the new development could help resolve uncertainty around the litigation and lead to settlements, according to Reuters.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Teva Announces Unique Collaboration with HealthSnap to Expand the Reach of its Respiratory Digital Health Platform

Teva Pharmaceuticals | November 21, 2022

Teva Pharmaceuticals, a U.S. affiliate of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced a new collaboration with HealthSnap, a leading full-service Virtual Care Management Platform for chronic disease management. The collaboration will enable more consumers to have access to Teva’s Digihaler® system, a digital health platform designed to enable patients to have more informed treatment discussions with their healthcare providers through personalized care. The collaboration will enable healthcare providers to better integrate patient data into their workflows, supporting proactive remote care across large populations. The platform can be used to monitor and manage large populations by a network of health systems. It can capture objective and actionable data for asthma patients, thereby creating the mechanism for personalized care. “Digital health platforms will succeed only by seamlessly integrating multiple data sources into workflows and systems like electronic medical records (EMR). We believe in building an ecosystem and are delighted to partner with HealthSnap as we seek to expand the reach of our platform, and continue to shape digital therapeutics and the integrated care landscape,” said Manny Montalvo, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Health & Innovation at Teva. “We believe that the future of healthcare is in predictive and preventative care, which is a significant paradigm shift from the standard of care today. That is why we will focus our collaboration and our services on facilitating this change, to help providers deliver better care and help patients manage their condition.” “With a rich heritage of delivering innovative medicines, alongside technology development capabilities, Teva is uniquely positioned to help the healthcare ecosystem move toward greater integration of objective health data, and create meaningful population-scale solutions to help patients and providers. We envision broad utilization of our platform by consumers, healthcare providers and other technology organizations. In respiratory care, our long-term vision is ambitious and clear: harnessing the power of technology and therapeutics to predict asthma attacks.” Montalvo continued, “Over the past few years, through a talented and continuously evolving in-house team we have built a robust technology arm within Teva to continue exploring ways to improve patient outcomes. Through our vision for connected therapy, we strive to be at the nexus between patients, healthcare providers, technology, and the future of medicine, exploring new ways for digital health to serve as an economically sustainable solution for small and large healthcare provider organizations, offering timely, data-driven solutions to benefit patients. Our hope is that by working with HealthSnap and other capable companies in this space, we will fulfill our mission of improving the lives of patients, and do so by improving the health and effectiveness of our healthcare system – and we’re just getting started.” “By partnering with Teva, HealthSnap is expanding its reach to patients with respiratory diseases, allowing them to receive personalized care based on their data. HealthSnap is continuously seeking partnerships and we look forward to delivering quality at home programs with this new and exciting collaboration with Teva,” Samson Magid, Co-Founder and CEO of HealthSnap About Teva Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has been developing and producing medicines to improve people’s lives for more than a century. We are a global leader in generic, biosimilar and specialty medicines with a portfolio consisting of over 3,500 products in nearly every therapeutic area. Around 200 million people around the world take a Teva medicine every day, and are served by one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry. Along with our established presence in generics, we have significant innovative research and operations supporting our growing portfolio of specialty and biopharmaceutical products. Learn more at www.tevapharm.com About Teva Digital Health Teva aims to be a global leader in personalized, predictive care, continuously investing in platforms and regulatory-compliant systems that will help change the nature of digital health as we know it. Teva’s proprietary software platform Digihaler® – developed and maintained in-house by a team of research specialists and programmers – is built into a series of FDA-approved inhalers, currently marketed in the U.S., and with plans to expand to Europe in 2023. About HealthSnap HealthSnap is an integrated Virtual Care Management Platform that helps healthcare organizations improve patient outcomes, reduce utilization, and diversify revenue streams. From chronic disease-agnostic Remote Patient Monitoringand Chronic Care Management to AI-guided care coordination, virtual care delivery, automated care management billing, population analytics - and so much more, HealthSnap is the simplest way to manage chronic conditions remotely.

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VIEWS AND ANALYSIS, PHARMA TECH

Anaqua and PatSnap Team Up to Deliver an End-to-End Pharma IP Management Solution

Anaqua and PatSnap | December 08, 2022

Anaqua, the leading provider of innovation and intellectual property management technology announced it is partnering with innovation intelligence platform PatSnap. The collaboration will deliver an enhanced IP management solution to provide Anaqua’s pharmaceutical industry clients with a more detailed and informed view of the market and competitive landscape for key use cases. The combined Anaqua AQX® Pharma and PatSnap Synapse solutions will help AQX Pharma clients further enhance competitiveness, keep up with the fast-paced requirements of the current market, eliminate duplicated work across functions, as well as identify and realize new areas of investment. PatSnap is a platform for innovation intelligence, utilizing AI technology – including machine learning, computer vision and Optical Character Recognition that facilitates access to an unrivaled breadth of data that is connected in a meaningful way. PatSnap’s Synapse solution will give AQX Pharma users access to millions of data points, sourced utilizing best-in-class algorithms and expert manual curation, providing a comprehensive 360-degree market view and adding strategic value to drug development processes and strategy. The new integration is in response to client requests to access more pharmaceutical market data within the AQX platform to improve internal team efficiency and streamline processes. The integration will support sharing deeper intelligence between clients and partners and simplify the route of administration through features such as docket personalization that will allow teams to focus on their most strategic initiatives. Specifically, the combined system will address the use case of conducting stage gate reviews and automatically kick off relevant workflows. “AQX Pharma helps clients manage the business aspects of pharmaceutical IP management, while Synapse powers the external aspects of drug discovery through external and competitor drug discovery processes. Together, we’re using our unique capabilities to enable best practices in Life Science lifecycle stage gate reviews. We’re pleased to offer a complete pharma innovation solution, which can be further complemented by leveraging Anaqua’s strategic integrations, such as its innovation management solution, ideaPoint.” Vincent Brault, SVP of Product & Innovation at Anaqua Ray Chohan, Co-founder and VP of Corporate Development at PatSnap, said, “PatSnap is thrilled to team up with Anaqua, who are true innovators in life sciences IP management. Synapse will empower users of AQX Pharma to comb through millions of data points to discover and commercialize new therapies.” About Anaqua Anaqua, Inc. is a premier provider of integrated intellectual property management technology solutions and services for corporations and law firms. Its IP management software solutions, AQX® and PATTSY WAVE®, both offer best practice workflows with big data analytics and tech-enabled services to create an intelligent environment designed to inform IP strategy, enable IP decision-making, and streamline IP operations, tailored to each segment’s need. Today, nearly half of the top 100 U.S. patent filers and global brands, as well as a growing number of law firms worldwide, use Anaqua’s solutions. Over one million IP executives, attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and innovators use the platform for their IP management needs. The company’s global operations are headquartered in Boston, with offices across the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia. About PatSnap PatSnap’s AI-powered innovation intelligence platform transforms billions of innovation data points into actionable intelligence for over 10,000 global customers in more than 50 countries. With an unrivaled breadth of data, including patents, drug information, technology news, market reports, scientific literature, and more, PatSnap breaks barriers to connect innovators with insights.

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PHARMACY MARKET, PHARMA TECH

MTTI Obtains FDA Allowance of Investigational New Drug (IND) for Hürthle Cell Thyroid Cancer

Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc | December 09, 2022

Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc. a clinical stage radiopharmaceutical therapy company focused on therapies for rare diseases, announced today the allowance of an Investigational New Drug application by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is now waiting for Institutional Review Board approval. Once approved by IRB, it will enable a Phase I/II clinical study of the Safety, Dosimetry and Efficacy of EBTATE in adult patients with metastatic, radioactive iodine non-responsive Hürthle cell thyroid cancer.” EBTATE is a new generation of peptide receptor radiotherapeutic drug that has demonstrated potential clinical superiority over standard of care. It selectively binds to somatostatin receptor 2 on neuroendocrine and other tumors, which are then killed by the radionuclide. EvaThera platform products were designed to bind to serum albumin, due to the Evans blue moiety, extending in vivo residence time, enabling lower, less frequent dosing of the radiopharmaceutical and reducing risk of renal injury vs. the current standard of care. Dr. Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, MD, Ph.D, MHSc, acting section chief of Thyroid Tumors and Functional Thyroid Disorders in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and study author commented: “Hürthle cell thyroid cancer, which currently lacks effective treatment options, is characterized by a particularly high expression of SSTR2*. With this phase I/II clinical trial, we hope to implement individualized dosimetry-based dosing for each patient with Hürthle cell thyroid cancer that spread outside of the thyroid gland and analyze how much of an active agent is being accumulated in the tumor tissue to establish a threshold associated with the best efficacy and safety.” “The clearance of our IND is an important milestone for MTTI. Having solidified our clinical trial preparedness and manufacturing readiness, we are well-positioned to advance EBTATE to target Hürthle cell thyroid cancer.” Dr. Chris Pak, President & CEO of MTTI About Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc. (MTTI) Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc., is a privately held, rapidly growing, well financed, clinical-stage biotech company developing next-generation targeted radiotherapeutics and diagnostics for rare cancers. Evathera platform technology product has shown application for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cancer patients overexpressing integrin. MTTI is committed to building value by acquiring and translating innovative imaging, radiopharmaceutical and theranostics assets to improve human health, reduce healthcare costs and reward stakeholders. MTTI expects to be orchestrating multiple clinical trials in 2023. The content in this release is the sole responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views or imply endorsement of the National Institutes of Health.

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VIEWS AND ANALYSIS, PHARMACY MARKET

Soligenix Initiates Phase 2 Clinical Trial of SGX302 (synthetic hypericin) for the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate Psoriasis

Soligenix, Inc. | December 20, 2022

Soligenix, Inc. a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat rare diseases where there is an unmet medical need, announced today that patient enrollment has been opened for its Phase 2a study evaluating SGX302 in the treatment of mild-to-moderate psoriasis. Psoriasis is an ongoing unmet medical need, with as many as 7.5 million people in the U.S. and 60-125 million people worldwide affected by this incurable disease. "We are excited to expand synthetic hypericin's development into different cutaneous T-cell diseases such as psoriasis, as a component of our long-term strategy to enhance the value of this unique compound. Given our promising published results with hypericin to date, including a small Phase 1/2 proof of concept clinical trial in mild-to-moderate psoriasis, and the Phase 3 FLASH study in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, where we filed a New Drug Application this month, we are hopeful synthetic hypericin will have a role to play in helping patients suffering from this difficult to treat and chronic disease." Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Soligenix The Phase 2a clinical trial will target enrollment of up to 42 patients ages 18 years or older with mild to moderate, stable psoriasis covering 2 to 30% of their body. In both Parts A and B, all patients will apply the study drug twice per week and will activate the drug with visible light 24 ± 6 hours later using the supplied visible light devices and according to the manufacturer's instructions. Patients will undergo treatments for a total of 18 weeks and, on completion, will be followed for a 4-week follow-up period in which patients will not receive other psoriasis treatments. In Part A, 5-10 patients will be assigned open-label SGX302 at the time of enrollment. Once the tolerability and response to SGX302 has been established, Part B of the protocol will commence. In Part B, patients will be randomized to double-blind treatment groups at a ratio 1:1 of active drug to placebo ointment. Active dermatologic assessment of treated lesions for adverse events will be performed immediately before and during light treatments. Patients will be assessed for overall disease status through 4 weeks of follow-up. Efficacy endpoints will include the extent of lesion clearance and patient reported quality of life indices. Routine safety laboratories also will be collected. About Synthetic Hypericin Visible light-activated synthetic hypericin is a novel, first-in-class, photodynamic therapy that is expected to avoid much of the long-term risks associated with other PDT treatments. Synthetic hypericin is a potent photosensitizer that is topically applied to skin lesions and taken up by cutaneous T-cells. With subsequent activation by safe, visible light, T-cell apoptosis is induced, addressing the root cause of psoriasis lesions. Other PDTs have shown efficacy in psoriasis with a similar apoptotic mechanism, albeit using ultraviolet light associated with more severe potential long-term safety concerns. The use of visible light in the red-yellow spectrum has the advantage of deeper penetration into the skin potentially treating deeper skin disease and thicker plaques and lesions, similar to what was observed in the positive Phase 3 FLASH study in CTCL. Synthetic hypericin or HyBryte™ was demonstrated in this study to be equally effective in treating both plaque and patch lesions in this orphan disease caused by malignant T-cells. In a published Phase 1/2 proof of concept clinical study using synthetic hypericin, efficacy was demonstrated in patients with CTCL. This treatment approach avoids the risk of secondary malignancies (including melanoma) inherent with both the frequently used DNA-damaging drugs and other phototherapies that are dependent on UV A or B exposure. The use of synthetic hypericin coupled with safe, visible light also avoids the risk of serious infections and cancer associated with the systemic immunosuppressive treatments used in psoriasis. The Phase 3 FLASH trial enrolled a total of 169 patients with Stage IA, IB or IIA CTCL. The trial consisted of three treatment cycles. Treatments were administered twice weekly in 6-week cycles. In the first double-blind treatment cycle, 116 patients received HyBryte™ treatment and 50 received placebo treatment of their index lesions. A total of 16% of the patients receiving HyBryte™ achieved at least a 50% reduction in their lesions (using the standard Composite Assessment of Index Lesions Severity [CAILS] score) compared to only 4% of patients in the placebo group after just 6 weeks of treatment (p=0.04). Further treatment with HyBryte™ increased the number of treatment successes to 40% and 49% after 12 and 18 weeks, respectively (p<0.0001 for both). Additional analyses also indicated that HyBryte™ is equally effective in treating both plaque (42% treatment response rate after 12 weeks treatment, p<0.0001 relative to placebo treatment in Cycle 1) and patch (37%, p=0.0009) lesions of CTCL, a particularly relevant finding given the historical difficulty in treating plaque lesions. This is also relevant to psoriasis where the lesions can be thicker than the patches observed in CTCL. In a subset of patients evaluated during their third treatment cycle, it was demonstrated that HyBryte™ is not systemically available, consistent with the general safety of this topical product observed to date. At the end of Cycle 3, HyBryte™ continued to be well tolerated despite extended and increased use of the product to treat multiple lesions. About Psoriasis Psoriasis is a chronic, non-communicable, itchy and often painful inflammatory skin condition for which there is no cure. Psoriasis has a significantly detrimental impact on patients' quality of life, and is associated with cardiovascular, arthritic, and metabolic diseases, as well as psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression and suicide. Many factors contribute to development of psoriasis including both genetic and environmental factors. The lesions develop because of rapidly proliferating skin cells, driven by autoimmune T-cell mediated inflammation. Of the various types of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis is the most common and is characterized by dry, red raised plaques that are covered by silvery-white scales occurring most commonly on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Approximately 80% of patients have mild-to-moderate disease. Mild psoriasis is generally characterized by the involvement of less than 3% of the body surface area (BSA), while moderate psoriasis will typically involve 3-10% BSA and severe psoriasis greater than 10% BSA. Between 20% and 30% of individuals with psoriasis will go on to develop chronic, inflammatory arthritis (psoriatic arthritis) that can lead to joint deformations and disability. Studies have also associated psoriasis, and particularly severe psoriasis, with an increased relative risk of lymphoma, particularly CTCL. Although psoriasis can occur at any age, most patients present with the condition before age 35. Treatment of psoriasis is based on its severity at the time of presentation with the goal of controlling symptoms. It varies from topical options including PDT to reduce pain and itching, and potentially reduce the inflammation driving plaque formation, to systemic treatments for more severe disease. Most common systemic treatments and even current topical photo/photodynamic therapy such as UV A and B, carry a risk of increased skin cancer. Psoriasis is the most common immune-mediated inflammatory skin disease. According to the World Health Organization Global Report on Psoriasis 2016, the prevalence of psoriasis is between 1.5% and 5% in most developed countries, with some suggestions of incidence increasing with time. It is estimated, based upon review of historic published studies and reports and an interpolation of data that psoriasis affects 3% of the U.S. population or more than 7.5 million people. Current estimates have as many as 60-125 million people worldwide living with the condition. The global psoriasis treatment market was valued at approximately $15 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach as much as $40 billion by 2027. About Soligenix, Inc. Soligenix is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat rare diseases where there is an unmet medical need. Our Specialized BioTherapeutics business segment is developing and moving toward potential commercialization of HyBryte™ as a novel photodynamic therapy utilizing safe visible light for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. With a successful Phase 3 study completed, regulatory approval is being sought and commercialization activities for this product candidate are being advanced initially in the U.S. Development programs in this business segment also include expansion of synthetic hypericin into psoriasis, our first-in-class innate defense regulator technology, dusquetide for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, including oral mucositis in head and neck cancer, and proprietary formulations of oral beclomethasone 17,21-dipropionate for the prevention/treatment of gastrointestinal disorders characterized by severe inflammation including pediatric Crohn's disease.

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Spotlight

We interviewed the course leader, John Faulkes, of the Educo Life Sciences on-demand e-learning course: An Introduction to the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Beginner’s Guide. We ask john to provide us with a summary of the course, who it is aimed at and how the course is taught.

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