MacroGenics looks to future with breast cancer drug margetuximab

pharmaphorum | June 03, 2019

A small biotech, MacroGenics, took the market by surprise earlier this year with some surprising data from its margetuximab essentially a tweaked version of Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab) where a few amino acid mutations are enough to produce a stronger cellular response to cancer.CEO Scott Koenig has been doing the rounds at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago following release of detailed data from the SOPHIA trial of margetuximab in breast cancer patients who have previously been treated with Herceptin and other similar medicines.In SOPHIA, the median progression-free survival (PFS) of patients treated with margetuximab and chemotherapy was 5.8 months compared to 4.9 months in patients treated with trastuzumab and chemotherapy.Among the approximately 85% of patients carrying the CD16A 158F allele, a pre-specified exploratory subpopulation in the study, PFS was prolonged by 1.8 months in the margetuximab arm compared to the trastuzumab arm (6.9 months versus 5.1 months).The objective response rate, a secondary outcome measure in the SOPHIA study, was 22% in the margetuximab arm compared to 16% in the trastuzumab arm at data cut-off in October.MacroGenics argues that margetuximab works by tweaking the “Fc” part of Herceptin the tail of the ‘Y’ shaped antibody so that it interacts more efficiently with the immune system and produces a stronger anti-cancer response.With Roche losing sales to biosimilars as Herceptin goes off patent, the obvious question to Koenig is whether he is looking to sell up to the Swiss pharma or one of its competitors on the basis of the margetuximab data.Not necessarily is the answer from Koenig, who pointed out that the company has eight other cancer drugs in various stages of clinical development in the pipeline and a share price that has been boosted by the data from SOPHIA.

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Researchers at Caltech have developed a kind of biological toolkit of parts that can be assembled to create custom circuits for cells. Researchers at Caltech have taken an interesting approach to synthetic biology. They’ve engineered a Lego-like toolkit of peptides that can be put together in different ways to initiate various cellular functions.


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Foundation Medicine Announces Strategic Collaboration with Arvinas

Foundation Medicine | June 06, 2022

Foundation Medicine, Inc., a pioneer in molecular profiling for cancer, announced a collaboration with Arvinas, Inc., to develop FoundationOne®Liquid CDx as a companion diagnostic for use with Arvinas’ bavdegalutamide an investigational novel PROTAC® protein degrader targeting the androgen receptor (AR). Arvinas’ bavdegalutamide is being developed for the potential treatment of men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer who have progressed on existing therapies. Arvinas is a clinical-stage biotechnology company and a pioneer in the rapidly growing field of targeted protein degradation. Arvinas’ proprietary PROTAC® targeted protein degraders, or proteolysis-targeting chimeras, work by harnessing the body’s natural protein disposal system to selectively and efficiently degrade and remove disease-causing proteins. AR activity is a key driver of prostate cancer, which makes the ability to regulate AR signaling an important factor in controlling disease progression. “We look forward to collaborating with Foundation Medicine to develop a companion diagnostic aimed at improving patient access. Foundation Medicine’s deep understanding of cancer genomics, scalable solutions, and regulatory expertise makes them an ideal partner for us as we develop bavdegalutamide as a potential new therapy for men with prostate cancer.” Ron Peck, M.D., chief medical officer at Arvinas Foundation Medicine’s portfolio of FDA-approved comprehensive genomic profiling tests offer physicians both blood- and tissue-based testing options for detecting genomic alterations that help guide personalized treatment decisions. As companion diagnostics, FoundationOne®CDx and FoundationOne®Liquid CDx allow oncologists to identify patients who may be appropriate for FDA-approved targeted therapies. “We are proud to serve as an end-to-end partner for Arvinas as they pioneer this new approach to treat cancer,” said Sanket Agrawal, chief biopharma business officer, Foundation Medicine. “Bringing our capabilities to this emerging area of biotechnology sets us on an exciting path to deepen our collective understanding of cancer biology and deliver more novel treatment options to patients now and in the future.” Foundation Medicine is an essential partner for biopharma organizations navigating the complexity of cancer care and research. This latest collaboration adds to its more than 65 global biopharma and biotechnology partnerships aimed at getting targeted cancer treatments to patients faster. About FoundationOne®CDx FoundationOne CDx is a next-generation sequencing based in vitro diagnostic device for detection of substitutions, insertion and deletion alterations (indels), and copy number alterations (CNAs) in 324 genes and select gene rearrangements, as well as genomic signatures including microsatellite instability (MSI) and tumor mutational burden (TMB) using DNA isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue specimens. FoundationOne CDx is for prescription use only and is intended as a companion diagnostic to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with certain targeted therapies in accordance with their approved therapeutic product labeling. Additionally, FoundationOne CDx is intended to provide tumor mutation profiling to be used by qualified health care professionals in accordance with professional guidelines in oncology for patients with solid malignant neoplasms. Use of the test does not guarantee a patient will be matched to a treatment. A negative result does not rule out the presence of an alteration. Some patients may require a biopsy. About FoundationOne®Liquid CDx FoundationOne Liquid CDx is a qualitative next generation sequencing based in vitro diagnostic test for prescription use only that uses targeted high throughput hybridization-based capture technology to analyze 324 genes utilizing circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) isolated from plasma derived from anti-coagulated peripheral whole blood of advanced cancer patients. The test is FDA-approved to report short variants in over 300 genes and is a companion diagnostic to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with specific therapies (listed in Table 1 of the Intended Use) in accordance with the approved therapeutic product labeling. Additional genomic findings may be reported and are not prescriptive or conclusive for labeled use of any specific therapeutic product. Use of the test does not guarantee a patient will be matched to a treatment. A negative result does not rule out the presence of an alteration. Patients who are negative for companion diagnostic mutations should be reflexed to tumor tissue testing and genomic alteration status confirmed using an FDA-approved tumor tissue test, if feasible. About Foundation Medicine Foundation Medicine is a pioneer in molecular profiling for cancer, working to shape the future of clinical care and research. We collaborate with a broad range of partners across the cancer community and strive to set the standard for quality, scientific excellence, and regulatory leadership. Our deep understanding of cancer biology helps physicians make informed treatment decisions for their patients and empowers researchers to develop new medicines. Every day, we are driven to help our partners find answers and take action, enabling more people around the world to benefit from precision cancer care.

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Bruker Acquires Optimal Companies for Pharma PAT Software and Biopharma Manufacturing Automation Expertise and Technologies

Bruker Corporation | April 06, 2022

Bruker Corporation announced the acquisition of Optimal Industrial Automation and Technologies, a leader in pharma and biopharma process analytical technology pharma manufacturing automation and Quality Assurance (QA) software and systems integration, based in the United Kingdom. The Optimal biopharma tools acquisition strengthens Bruker as a key software and solutions provider for small molecule, biologics and new drug modalities pharma companies. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Optimal’s 2022 revenue is expected to be approximately $10 million, and Optimal’s revenue growth rate and operating margins are projected to be accretive to Bruker in 2023 and beyond. The Optimal biopharma tools and automation capabilities complement Bruker’s innovative and differentiated high-value NMR, mass spectrometry, SPR, molecular spectroscopy and X-ray scientific instruments, and life-science solutions for biopharma drug discovery and development, as well as for PAT analytical and QA solutions. Together these biopharma tools enable Bruker’s global biopharma customers to bring efficacious and safe medicines to market more quickly. Optimal has a focus on the automation and optimization of batch and continuous processes in the biopharma industry – from R&D to manufacturing. As an integrated PAT solutions provider, Optimal offers development, testing, deployment and support of quality-centric pharmaceutical production systems. Optimal has more than 30 years of experience in successfully delivering regulatory-compliant biopharma solutions, ranging from the development of automated control systems for process control to the market-leading, vendor-agnostic PAT knowledge management software synTQ®. The synTQ PAT software can interface between multiple analytical instruments (spectral and univariate), multi-variate analysis (MVA) packages, manufacturing control systems and a range of adjacent software solutions to ensure quality in real-time. As a 2021 Pharma Innovation Award winner, synTQ is a proven enabler of quality-by-design (QbD) via PAT. For users of synTQ, this can significantly increase productivity and quality, while reducing waste, time-to-manufacture and time-to-market, with proven Optimal use cases tripling biopharma productivity. While remaining a vendor-agnostic biopharma solutions provider, Optimal can integrate bioanalytical technologies such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry (MS) and FTIR/NIR/Raman systems into innovative drug discovery, development, PAT and quality control workflows. Combining next-generation, high-performance technologies with Optimal solutions eases the transition from development to biopharma manufacturing, while remaining in regulatory compliance. “The acquisition of Optimal is a very exciting step for Bruker as it supports more comprehensive solutions for the biopharmaceutical industry, now adding the capabilities to integrate cutting-edge systems into biopharma manufacturing processes and workflows. We welcome the Optimal team with their strong PAT and automation expertise and, together, are eager to support biotech and pharmaceutical companies in increasing their manufacturing efficiency and flexibility – a global need highlighted by the response to the pandemic crisis.” Dr. Falko Busse, President of the Bruker BioSpin Group Mr. Martin Gadsby, the CEO and Co-Founder of Optimal Industrial Automation and Technologies, added: “We are delighted to become part of the Bruker family. Optimal and Bruker together are a perfect fit – we share the common ethos of innovation with integrity, together with our industry recognition as a high-quality solutions provider delivering tangible benefits to our customers. The whole Optimal team is excited by this new chapter in our history and looks forward to delivering benefits to even more biopharma customers and ultimately to patients around the world.” About Optimal Industrial Technologies and Automation A well-established system integrator with more than 30 years of experience, at Optimal we specialize in automating a client’s R&D or manufacturing system to ensure that their processes remain at the highest level of efficiency. The demands being placed on manufacturers in relation to production costs, product quality and business sustainability are ever increasing, and our primary aim within Optimal is to assist you in being the most competitive supplier of your product to the highest level of quality in the worldwide marketplace, and to ensure that you continue to maintain your lead in the years ahead. We have a rare and wide-ranging skill set covering a multitude of automation technologies, manufacturing processes and industry types, with very specific knowledge in highly regulated environments. In addition, we manufacture the world leading PAT Data Management software package - synTQ® and the widely used integrated Print and Inspect system - synTI®. The combination of our PAT implementation knowledge and synTQ® product together with our automation experience positions us with unique skills that can be leveraged to great advantage by our customers. About Bruker Corporation Bruker is enabling scientists to make breakthrough discoveries and develop new applications that improve the quality of human life. Bruker’s high-performance scientific instruments and high-value analytical and diagnostic solutions enable scientists to explore life and materials at molecular, cellular and microscopic levels. In close cooperation with our customers, Bruker is enabling innovation, improved productivity and customer success in life science molecular research, in applied and pharma applications, in microscopy and nanoanalysis, and in industrial applications, as well as in cell biology, preclinical imaging, clinical phenomics and proteomics research and clinical microbiology.

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LexisNexis® Reed Tech™ and Schlafender Hase® Alliance Provides Mutual Customer Benefits for Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies

LexisNexis Reed Tech | April 27, 2022

Reed Technology and Information Services Inc. a leading provider of data management and analytics solutions for the life sciences industry, announced an alliance with Schlafender Hase®, the market leader for intelligent, automated proofreading software and services for regulated industries. Current and prospective customers of both companies can leverage exclusive benefits as part of this new alliance ecosystem. Pharmaceutical labelers who have regulatory deadlines for US FDA can benefit from the expert conversion and submission services offered by Reed Tech while ensuring reduced risk and greater accuracy in the proofreading process for drug labels and related documentation with Schlafender Hase's TVT®, the Text Verification Tool®. "Schlafender Hase is already a trusted ally as part of our pharmaceutical SPL conversion process. By offering our UDI and pharma customers the benefits of TVT, we continue advancing our mission of providing innovation for the unique workflows of these specialty manufacturers. Ensuring the accuracy of labels, barcodes, graphics and IFU language is essential. With TVT®, regulatory team members around the world benefit from superior, automated proofreading in order to reduce risk and meet the compliance requirements of local health authorities," Arshad Rahman, General Manager of the Reed Tech Life Sciences division "Schlafender Hase is pleased to recognize Reed Tech as an industry-leading, core SPL conversion service provider. It will be productive for our customers to have access to their deep understanding of regulatory submission requirements for drug manufacturers and distributors," said Peter Muller, Sales Director, North America at Schlafender Hase. Those manufacturers bringing new products to market or maintaining existing portfolios will benefit from the subject-matter expertise offered by Reed Tech." Both the pharmaceutical and medical device industries are continually upgrading processes and preparing for multiple global health authority requirements. The complementary solutions and services between Reed Tech and Schlafender Hase offer critical efficiency gains in managing the product life cycle. About LexisNexis Legal & Professional LexisNexis® Legal & Professional provides legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase their productivity, improve decision-making, achieve better outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 10,500 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. Reed Tech serves manufacturers and distributors of medical device and drug products, and for those who support them in consulting and IT roles by delivering better outcomes for the collection, transformation, submission and analysis of regulatory data. Our solutions support the innovation ecosystem and enable you to achieve regulatory compliance and improved product data management contributing to impactful innovations to our world. The corporate mission is to advance humanity by delivering better outcomes to the innovation community. Reed Tech is a LexisNexis® company. About Schlafender Hase Schlafender Hase leads the way in intelligent, automated text and graphic proofreading solutions. With its flagship product, TVT®, the Text Verification Tool®, users can quickly compare source content with output formats, detecting changes and deviations prior to publication. Schlafender Hase serves regulated industries across the globe. Clients include the world's leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies, as well as healthcare regulatory bodies. The continued success of Schlafender Hase is based on delivering quality products and a strong understanding of customer pain points. Easy to use, our products reduce proofreading workloads, assure the quality of printed and online materials, and mitigate the risk of costly errors.

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Can Fite Announces First Patient Enrolled in Phase IIb NASH Clinical Trial with Namodenoson

CordenPharma | February 01, 2022

Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. a biotechnology company advancing a pipeline of proprietary small molecule drugs that address inflammatory, cancer and liver diseases, today announced it has enrolled the first patient in a Phase IIb study of its drug candidate Namodenoson in the treatment of NASH. The Phase IIb trial is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in subjects with biopsy-confirmed NASH. The primary efficacy objective of the trial is to evaluate the efficacy of Namodenoson as compared to placebo in 140 subjects with NASH, as determined by a histological endpoint. Eligible subjects are randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to oral doses of Namodenoson 25 mg every 12 hours or a matching placebo for 36 weeks. There is currently no U.S. FDA approved treatment for NASH, an addressable pharmaceutical market estimated to reach $35-$40 billion by 2025 driven by increasing incidence. The U.S. National Institutes of Health estimate the prevalence of NASH in the U.S. at 2-5% of the population. NASH is the leading cause for liver transplants among women and second leading cause overall in the U.S. Given the rate of increase, it is expected to become the leading indication for liver transplants in males as well. “Our Phase IIa study demonstrated very encouraging results based on key liver fibrosis and NASH biomarkers. We hope to see a similar therapeutic effect in a larger patient population as measured by liver biopsy,” Can-Fite CEO Dr. Pnina Fishman Can-Fite has out-licensing agreements for Namodenoson in the treatment of NASH in Eastern Europe, China, and South Korea which include milestone payments and double-digit royalties upon approval and commercialization. About Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. is an advanced clinical stage drug development Company with a platform technology that is designed to address multi-billion dollar markets in the treatment of cancer, liver, and inflammatory disease. The Company's lead drug candidate, Piclidenoson, is currently in a Phase III trial for psoriasis. Can-Fite's liver drug, Namodenoson, is headed into a Phase III trial for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer, and a Phase IIb trial for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Namodenoson has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. and Europe and Fast Track Designation as a second line treatment for HCC by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Namodenoson has also shown proof of concept to potentially treat other cancers including colon, prostate, and melanoma. CF602, the Company's third drug candidate, has shown efficacy in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. These drugs have an excellent safety profile with experience in over 1,500 patients in clinical studies to date.

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Spotlight

Researchers at Caltech have developed a kind of biological toolkit of parts that can be assembled to create custom circuits for cells. Researchers at Caltech have taken an interesting approach to synthetic biology. They’ve engineered a Lego-like toolkit of peptides that can be put together in different ways to initiate various cellular functions.

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