SoniVie | June 20, 2022
SoniVie, an Israeli company developing a novel proprietary Therapeutic Intra-Vascular Ultrasound System to treat a variety of hypertensive disorders, announced that on May 5th 2022 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted IDE approval for its "REDUCED1" Pilot study to treat Resistant Hypertension Patients with Renal Artery Denervation using TIVUS™, its innovative Ultra-Sound Ablation System.
Resistant hypertension is defined as blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg despite use of three antihypertensive medications of different classes at the best tolerated doses, one of which must be a diuretic. Millions of people world-wide suffer from resistant hypertension which substantially increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.
"We are very pleased that FDA has approved the REDUCED1 study. Sites initiation has started, and many clinical teams have responded very favourably about participating to the study. There is a significant number of patients that may benefit from our technology and we are genuinely happy for this important step towards the introduction of TIVUS™ in the US. There is a lack of effective therapeutic solutions for patients suffering from resistant hypertension, and physicians are looking forward to a safe, effective and easy to use device treatment,"
Christian Spaulding, CMO, SoniVie Ltd
"This is a significant US Regulatory milestone for SoniVie, starting the feasibility study using the Ultra-Sound ablation platform in the US for the Renal Denervation indication. This is a major step and priority in the company's history," says Tomaso Zambelli, CEO, SoniVie LTD.
The REDUCED1 study will further expand the Company's clinical experience based on two clinical trials in Renal Denervation performed using the earlier generation of the TIVUS™.
Renal Denervation with TIVUS™ is a minimally invasive procedure that uses high-frequency non-focused Ultra-Sound energy to ablate nerves in the renal artery. This causes a reduction in the nerve activity, which may decrease blood pressure. This procedure is designed for patients who suffer from resistant hypertension.
SoniVie is a medical device company developing the TIVUS™, the only Ultra-Sound Denervation platform with active development programs in three therapeutic areas: pulmonary artery denervation for pulmonary hypertension, renal artery denervation for resistant hypertension, and lung denervation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with chronic bronchitis. These diseases affect millions of patients in the United States and Europe.
Integral Molecular | June 09, 2022
Integral Molecular and Optimeos Life Sciences announce a partnership to develop next-generation mRNA and DNA therapeutics that will use antibody-based molecular targeting to direct vaccines and gene therapies to relevant tissues in a patient's body. This partnership combines Integral Molecular's experience in antibody discovery and mRNA immunization with Optimeos' technology for nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems.
DNA and mRNA therapeutics harness a patient's own molecular machinery to encode proteins. Integral Molecular and Optimeos plan to encapsulate these therapeutic molecules within nanoparticle spheres that are decorated with antibodies on the outer surface. The antibodies can then target the particles to specific tissues. Currently, gene therapies and mRNA vaccines are delivered into the body via infusion or injection, but only a fraction of the molecules arrive at their intended site. The proposed molecular targeting strategy has the potential to transform the delivery of vaccines and therapeutics by dramatically reducing dosages, decreasing toxicity, and enabling scalable administration.
Integral Molecular will apply its industry-leading antibody discovery expertise against complex cell-surface proteins to provide targeting moieties for the therapies. Its specialized MPS Antibody Discovery platform is tailored to work with challenging membrane protein targets and routinely uses mRNA-based immunization strategies. "Precision targeting of an isolated cell type with gene therapy holds great promise for genetic diseases and may provide brand-new directions in cancer immunotherapy including in vivo CAR-T cell therapeutics," said Joseph Rucker, Co-founder and VP of R&D at Integral Molecular.
Optimeos' technology allows the robust and scalable incorporation of mRNA and DNA therapeutics and other biologics into customizable nanoparticles. "We are excited to work with Integral Molecular towards the next generation of gene-therapy that no longer relies on viral-based delivery systems," said Robert Prud'homme, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Optimeos.
Integral Molecular and Optimeos will be attending the BIO International Convention in San Diego later this month.
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular is the industry leader in developing and applying innovative technologies that advance the discovery of therapeutics against difficult protein targets. With 20 years of experience focused on membrane proteins and antibodies, Integral Molecular's technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 400 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue viruses.
About Optimeos Life Sciences
Optimeos Life Sciences has developed a novel, highly differentiated, non-viral, nanoparticle technology, for delivery of new therapeutic drugs to address important unmet medical needs. The technology is a patented and scalable polymeric drug delivery system, which was developed and refined in Professor Prud'homme's lab at Princeton University over 20 years. Optimeos' technology enables encapsulation of mRNA, DNA, peptides, proteins or small molecules, as well as their targeted delivery to cells and tissues beyond the liver.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals | August 02, 2022
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated announced that effective August 1, 2022, Ligand’s Board of Directors approved the grant of non-qualified stock option awards to purchase an aggregate of 90,073 shares of its common stock, 5,000 restricted stock units and 4,000 performance stock units the target level to six non-executive employees. The options were granted on August 1, 2022, and the grant date for the RSUs and the PSUs will be the date on which Ligand files a Form S-8 Registration Statement to register the shares pursuant to Ligand’s 2022 Employment Inducement Plan.
The awards were granted under the Inducement Plan as employment inducement awards pursuant to NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The Inducement Plan is used exclusively for the grant of equity awards to individuals who were not previously employees of Ligand, or following a bona fide period of non-employment, as an inducement material to such individuals’ entering into employment with Ligand, pursuant to Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
The options have an exercise price of $89.70 per share, which is the closing price of Ligand’s common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on August 1, 2022. The stock options have a term of ten years and will vest over four years, with 12.5% of the shares vesting six months after the employee’s commencement of employment and the balance of the shares vesting in 42 equal monthly installments thereafter, subject to the grantee’s continued service on such vesting dates.
The RSUs will vest over three years on the first three anniversaries of the grantee’s commencement of employment, subject to continued service through each applicable vesting date. The PSUs will vest based on the achievement of certain total shareholder return objectives and the completion of the contemplated spin-off of OmniAb, Inc. from Ligand. The number of shares earned under the PSUs may be up to 6,500 in the aggregate if maximum performance levels are achieved.
About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand is a revenue-generating biopharmaceutical company focused on developing or acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. Our business model creates value for stockholders by providing a diversified portfolio of biotech and pharmaceutical product revenue streams that are supported by an efficient and low corporate cost structure. Our goal is to offer investors an opportunity to participate in the promise of the biotech industry in a profitable, diversified and lower-risk business than a typical biotech company. Our business model is based on doing what we do best: drug discovery, early-stage drug development, product reformulation and partnering. We partner with other pharmaceutical companies to leverage what they do best (late-stage development, regulatory management and commercialization) ultimately to generate our revenue. Ligand’s OmniAb® technology platform is a patent-protected transgenic animal platform used in the discovery of fully human monoclonal and bispecific therapeutic antibodies. The Captisol® platform technology is a patent-protected, chemically modified cyclodextrin with a structure designed to optimize the solubility and stability of drugs. Ligand’s Pelican Expression Technology® is a robust, validated, cost-effective and scalable platform for recombinant protein production that is especially well-suited for complex, large-scale protein production where traditional systems are not. Ligand has established multiple alliances, licenses and other business relationships with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies including Amgen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, Janssen, Takeda, Gilead Sciences and Baxter International.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | May 31, 2022
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted for Priority Review the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Dupixent® Medical (dupilumab) to treat adults with prurigo nodularis, a chronic skin disease that causes extreme itch and inflammatory skin lesions. The target action date for the FDA decision is September 30, 2022.
The sBLA is supported by data from two pivotal Phase 3 trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of Dupixent in patients 18 years and older with prurigo nodularis Both trials met the primary and key secondary endpoints, showing Dupixent significantly improved disease signs and symptoms compared to placebo, including reduction in itch and skin lesions. The safety results from these trials were generally consistent with the known safety profile of Dupixent in its approved dermatology indications. The adverse event more commonly observed with Dupixent was conjunctivitis.
The FDA grants Priority Review to therapies that have the potential to provide significant improvements in the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of serious conditions. Additional regulatory filings around the world are also planned in 2022.The potential use of Dupixent in prurigo nodularis is currently under clinical development, and the safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.
About Prurigo Nodularis
People with prurigo nodularis experience intense, persistent itch, with thick skin lesions (called nodules) that can cover most of the body. Prurigo nodularis is often described as painful with burning, stinging and tingling of the skin. The impact of uncontrolled prurigo nodularis on quality of life is one of the highest among inflammatory skin diseases due to the extreme itch and is comparable to other debilitating chronic diseases that can negatively affect mental health, activities of daily living and social interactions. High-potency topical steroids are commonly prescribed but are associated with safety risks if used long-term. There are approximately 75,000 people in the U.S. who are unable to control their disease with systemic therapy and are most in need of a treatment option.
Dupixent, which was invented using Regeneron's proprietary VelocImmune® technology, is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) pathways and is not an immunosuppressant. The Dupixent development program has shown significant clinical benefit and a decrease in type 2 inflammation in Phase 3 trials, establishing that IL-4 and IL-13 are key and central drivers of the type 2 inflammation that plays a major role in multiple related and often co-morbid diseases. These diseases include approved indications for Dupixent such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) and eosinophilic esophagitis, as well as investigational diseases such as prurigo nodularis.
Dupixent is approved for use in certain patients with atopic dermatitis, asthma, CRSwNP or eosinophilic esophagitis in different age populations in a number of countries around the world. Dupixent is currently approved across these indications in the U.S. and for one or more of these indications in the European Union and Japan and more than 60 countries. More than 400,000 patients have been treated with Dupixent globally.
About Regeneron's VelocImmune Technology
Regeneron's VelocImmune technology utilizes a proprietary genetically engineered mouse platform endowed with a genetically humanized immune system to produce optimized fully human antibodies. When Regeneron's President and Chief Scientific Officer George D. Yancopoulos was a graduate student with his mentor Frederick W. Alt in 1985, they were the first to envision making such a genetically humanized mouse, and Regeneron has spent decades inventing and developing VelocImmune and related VelociSuite® technologies. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have used VelocImmune technology to create approximately one in five of all original, FDA-approved or authorized fully human monoclonal antibodies currently available. This includes Dupixent, REGEN-COV® (casirivimab and imdevimab), Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc), Praluent® (alirocumab), Kevzara® (sarilumab), Evkeeza® (evinacumab-dgnb) and Inmazeb™.
Dupilumab Development Program
Dupilumab is being jointly developed by Regeneron and Sanofi under a global collaboration agreement. To date, dupilumab has been studied across 60 clinical trials involving more than 10,000 patients with various chronic diseases driven in part by type 2 inflammation.