Novartis' SMA gene therapy would not be cost-effective if priced over $1.5M: ICER

FiercePharma | April 04, 2019

The pricing analysis done by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Research (ICER) on new therapies for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been no small undertaking. One of the therapies ICER reviewed—Zolgensma from Novartis’ AveXis unit—isn't yet FDA-approved or priced, forcing the influential agency to assess it using hypothetical price ranges. Now, after considering input from Novartis, ICER has released its final word on the subject—and it hasn't changed. The agency stood by its initial assessment, saying a price of $900,000 or so would make the most sense, but it definitely shouldn't carry a price higher than $1.5 million. The FDA is expected to decide on Zolgensma in May, and Novartis will reveal its pricing plans then. But Dave Lennon, president of AveXis, has already had plenty to say on the subject. Lennon, who argues that gene therapy cures need an entirely different type of evaluation, created quite a stir last year when he said the gene therapy would be cost-effective at $4 million to $5 million.

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Conventional filling technologies such as piston or peristaltic pumps reach their limits when filling small quantities of viscous, medical or pharmaceutical products – such as gels, ointments, hyaluronic acid and polymers – with precision. Solids and abrasive products are used to be effect in these types of pump. It is exactly for these types of application that filling pumps using the endless piston principle are particularly suited.


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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Ex-Biocon team Symbio Generrics completes capital raise from Ascent Capital

Symbio Generrics | November 25, 2022

Symbio Generrics India Private Limited a specialized Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients & Intermediates manufacturing and marketing organization, announced that it has completed an equity capital raise from Ascent Capital, a leading growth-capital focused private equity fund. Symbio was founded by pharmaceutical professionals, Salim Shaikh and Abhijit Kale. They were soon joined by the third promoter, Akash Puranik; all of whom possess decades of experience in the global pharmaceutical industry. Symbio's journey from a sales and marketing organization to a full-fledged vertically integrated manufacturer of specialized APIs has been exemplary. Through a well-developed customer ecosystem, the highly experienced & skilled team at Symbio has established a global footprint for its APIs. Ascent Capital's sizeable investment in Symbio will further accelerate the company's expansion plans and sets the company enroute to emerge as a top-10 manufacturer of APIs in India. The funds raised from Ascent will be utilized towards undertaking strategic acquisitions, establishing a best-in-class R&D facility and ramping up manufacturing capacity. The company's R&D Centre is housed in Bengaluru while the manufacturing plant is located at Dobbaspet, Bengaluru. The Company is in the process of acquiring another manufacturing facility in India. The team is focused on building a high-potential generics API portfolio for the global markets and to this effect, will work towards getting US FDA and other SRA approvals for their recently acquired facilities. "We are glad to be associated with Ascent Capital which has a reputation of partnering with entrepreneurs to build leading businesses in India. The sizeable investment from Ascent Capital will add power to our next growth spurt and enable us to emerge as a top-10 API company in India. We are setting ourselves a medium-term goal of growing rapidly into a sizeable company by leveraging the strength of our team and expanding our horizons to actively serve the global API market." Commenting on the fund raise, Salim Shaikh, Executive Chairman & Founder of Symbio Generrics Akash Puranik, Promoter, MD& CEO of Symbio Generrics, says, "The latest feather in our cap is the influx of resources from Ascent Capital. We have carved strategic alliances and relationships spanning over two decades with leading pharmaceutical entities in regulated and semi-regulated markets and are now keen to expand these synergies further in the global arena. With a well-developed infrastructure, both on the manufacturing and R&D front, we are keen to engage with potential partners for CDMO Business." Mr. Raja Kumar, Founder and MD of Ascent Capital, said, "Ascent Capital has been known to support highly qualified professional teams in niche domains. Continuing with this tradition, we are delighted to partner with the first-generation technocrat founders at Symbio. Collectively, the team at Symbio is one of the best multi-disciplinary teams in the Indian pharma space and has shown an exemplary track record of building global relationships. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Company to ensure that we have another category leader from the Ascent stable, akin to BigBasket, Sequent, Skanray, to name a few." IC Universal Legal's Chennai team led by Senior Partner, Sameena Chatrapathy represented Symbio as the legal counsel for the fund raise from Ascent Capital as well as the follow-on acquisitions. About Symbio Symbio Generrics India Private Limited founded in the year 2010 is a specialized Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients & Intermediates manufacturing and marketing organization with headquarters in Bengaluru. The Company was founded by first generation entrepreneurs coming from a leading pharmaceutical organization, with a combined experience of over 40 years. About Ascent Capital Ascent Capital is a leading India-focused Independent Private Equity Fund Manager. The team at Ascent is one of the most experienced investment teams in India with 150+ years of collective experience in Indian PE and capital markets. Thus far, Ascent has helped more than 60 entrepreneurs build leading businesses across diverse sectors such as Technology, Healthcare, Financial Services, Consumer Brands, etc. It typically invests USD 10-30 MM in fast growing businesses, led by outstanding entrepreneurs, that have the potential to emerge as leaders in its segment thereby delivering exceptional exit outcomes. Ascent is backed by marquee investors, who include long term institutional investors like pension funds, foundations, endowments, fund of funds and large corporations - a vote of confidence in the team's ability to excel and deliver results.

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VIEWS AND ANALYSIS

Enteris BioPharma Publishes White Paper Examining Factors to Consider While Evaluating Oral Administration of Peptides

Enteris BioPharma | September 13, 2022

Enteris BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company developing innovative drug products based on its proprietary delivery technologies, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWK Holdings Corporation announced the publication of a new white paper in Drug Development & Delivery entitled, "Key Considerations in Oral Delivery of Peptides – Factors to Consider While Evaluating Oral Administration." The paper, authored by John Vrettos, PhD, Director of Formulation Development for Enteris BioPharma, and Kalpana Ramakrishnan, PhD, Manager of Business Development for Enteris BioPharma, explores the barriers to developing oral delivery of peptides and how pharmaceutical companies can overcome them. Oral administration of peptides offers several advantages while treating chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity as they are less invasive and more cost effective compared to injections. "Molecule size, potency, and solubility are some of the key physicochemical properties that determine a peptide's suitability for oral delivery. The healthcare industry is in need of enabling drug delivery technologies with the capability to overcome barriers in oral delivery of peptides. Importantly, orally delivered medications may encourage patient compliance compared with more invasive approaches to administering drugs. Approximately 75% of peptides are delivered by injective routes, including subcutaneous injections which can be painful and difficult to incorporate into a daily routine." Dr. Vrettos Dr. Vrettos continued, "Enteris' Peptelligence® platform offers a 'triple-action' solution comprised of our enteric coating, protease inhibitor, and permeation enhancer. When combined, these technologies have demonstrated an ability to improve the solubility and permeation of orally delivered peptides. These properties can potentially enable oral delivery of some peptide drugs for the first time, and we are excited to share our knowledge on oral delivery of peptides through this informative whitepaper." Peptelligence is a novel formulation technology designed to enhance the oral delivery and bioavailability of selected drugs by enhancing the permeation of such compounds that are typically injected, including peptides and BCS class III and IV small molecules, and preventing their breakdown in the digestive tract. About Enteris BioPharma Enteris BioPharma, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SWK Holdings Corporation offering total integrated contract development and manufacturing services for innovative formulation solutions utilizing its proprietary drug delivery technologies, Peptelligence® and ProPerma®, and contract manufacturing (CMO) services using non-proprietary technologies. The company's proprietary technologies have been the subject of numerous feasibility studies and active development programs, some of which are in clinical development. Additionally, Enteris BioPharma is advancing an innovative internal product pipeline of drug products that address significant unmet clinical needs for which there is no satisfactory treatment option.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

NanOlogy Publishes Review Article of Preclinical and Clinical Research Supporting LSAM-DTX

NanOlogy | September 21, 2022

NanOlogy LLC, a clinical-stage interventional oncology drug company, announced that a review article of preclinical and clinical research supporting its investigational drug, large surface area microparticle docetaxel has been published in Drug Delivery and Translational Research. The review article entitled Local administration of large surface area microparticle docetaxel to solid carcinomas induces direct cytotoxicity and immune‑mediated tumoricidal effects: preclinical and clinical studies provides a review of preclinical research that supports tumor-directed LSAM-DTX as well as promising results from the high-risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer arm of a clinical trial of local LSAM-DTX in urothelial carcinoma, which were published earlier this year in The Journal of Urology. The articles also follows an earlier review of preclinical and clinical research supporting another NanOlogy investigational drug, large surface area microparticle paclitaxel published in DDTR in 2020. In addition to LSAM-DTX, NanOlogy clinical programs have advanced tumor-directed LSAM-PTX in pancreas, lung, peritoneal, ovarian, prostate, and dermal cancers. The NanOlogy therapeutic platform is based on a proprietary supercritical precipitation technology that converts active ingredients into stable large surface area microparticles (LSAMs) of pure drug optimized for tumor-directed therapy and continuous drug release to maximize drug delivered to the tumor and minimize systemic toxicity. Taxane particles are covered by composition of matter patents issued in the US Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and Russia valid through June 2036. The composition patents form the foundation of an extensive intellectual property portfolio protecting NanOlogy investigational drugs, formulations, methods, and technology. About NanOlogy NanOlogy, LLC is a private clinical-stage interventional oncology drug company formed in 2015 to improve the treatment of solid tumors based on a proprietary particle engineering technology platform for tumor-directed drug therapy to maximize drug in tumor and minimize systemic toxicity.

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PHARMA TECH

Innate Pharma to Present Lacutamab PTCL Phase 1b Design and ANKET™ Platform at ESMO 2022

Innate Pharma | September 06, 2022

Innate Pharma SA announced that the following presentations will be presented at the ESMO Annual Meeting 2022 taking place from 9 to 13 September 2022, in Paris, France. About Lacutamab Lacutamab is a first-in-class anti-KIR3DL2 humanized cytotoxicity-inducing antibody that is currently in clinical trials for treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma an orphan disease, and peripheral T cell lymphoma. Rare cutaneous lymphomas of T lymphocytes has a poor prognosis with few efficacious and safe therapeutic options at advanced stages. KIR3DL2 is an inhibitory receptor of the KIR family, expressed by approximately 65% of patients across all CTCL subtypes and expressed by up 90% of patients with certain aggressive CTCL subtypes, in particular, Sézary syndrome. It is expressed by up to 50% of patients with mycosis fungoides and peripheral T-cell lymphoma. It has a restricted expression on normal tissues. About ANKET™ ANKET™ is Innate's proprietary platform for developing next-generation, multi-specific natural killer cell engagers to treat certain types of cancer. This versatile, fit-for-purpose technology is creating an entirely new class of molecules to induce synthetic immunity against cancer. It leverages the advantages of harnessing NK cell effector functions against cancer cells and also provides proliferation and activation signals targeted to NK cells. Our latest innovation, the tetra-specific ANKET molecule, is the first NK cell engager technology to engage activating receptors via a single molecule. About Monalizumab Monalizumab is a potentially first-in-class immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting NKG2A receptors expressed on tumor infiltrating cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and NK cells. NKG2A is an inhibitory checkpoint receptor for HLA-E. By expressing HLA-E, cancer cells can protect themselves from killing by NKG2A+ immune cells. HLA-E is frequently overexpressed in the cancer cells of many solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Monalizumab may reestablish a broad anti-tumor response mediated by NK and T cells, and may enhance the cytotoxic potential of other therapeutic antibodies1. The ongoing development for monalizumab is focused on investigating monalizumab in various combination strategies in different malignancies, including, in early lung cancer, the Phase 3 PACIFIC-9 study in adults with locally advanced (Stage III), unresectable NSCLC, who have not progressed following platinum-based concurrent chemoradiotherapy, and the Phase 2 NeoCOAST-2 study in the neoadjuvant early-stage setting of NSCLC. About Innate Pharma Innate Pharma S.A. is a global, clinical-stage oncology-focused biotech company dedicated to improving treatment and clinical outcomes for patients through therapeutic antibodies that harness the immune system to fight cancer. Innate Pharma’s broad pipeline of antibodies includes several potentially first-in-class clinical and preclinical candidates in cancers with high unmet medical need. Innate is a pioneer in the understanding of Natural Killer cell biology and has expanded its expertise in the tumor microenvironment and tumor-antigens, as well as antibody engineering. This innovative approach has resulted in a diversified proprietary portfolio and major alliances with leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi, and a multi-products collaboration with AstraZeneca.

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Spotlight

Conventional filling technologies such as piston or peristaltic pumps reach their limits when filling small quantities of viscous, medical or pharmaceutical products – such as gels, ointments, hyaluronic acid and polymers – with precision. Solids and abrasive products are used to be effect in these types of pump. It is exactly for these types of application that filling pumps using the endless piston principle are particularly suited.

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