Obesity and Diabetes Risk Linked to Common Food Ingredient

genengnews | April 25, 2019

The combined results from a small-scale randomized human trial and studies in mice suggest that consuming propionate, a common food ingredient that is used widely to prevent mold, increases levels of hormones that are linked with diabetes and obesity. The research, headed by a team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that in mice, exposure to low doses of propionate activated the sympathetic nervous system, triggered the production of fasting hormones, leading to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. Tests showed that animals gradually put on weight when chronically exposed to a propionate dose equivalent to that used for preserving food, while a small study in human volunteers indicated that propionate may disrupt metabolic processes and lead to hyperinsulinemia. The investigators say their findings have important public health implications, given that there are no particular limitations on the use of propionate under its FDA-approved labeling.

Spotlight

Harbisson is one of many patients reaping the benefits of increased connectivity in the healthcare industry. Connected medical device—such as pacemakers and insulin pumps that communicate with other networks and devices over the Internet—provide patients and physicians with technology to better manage chronic conditions, improve outcomes, and reduce the overall cost of care2.


Other News
BUSINESS INSIGHTS

FDA Accepts Dupixent® (dupilumab) for Priority Review in Adults with Prurigo Nodularis

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. About Dupixent 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.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

KemPharm Announces Strategic Acquisition of Arimoclomol from Orphazyme, Expanding its Rare CNS Diseases Pipeline

KemPharm | May 16, 2022

Arimoclomol is an NDA-stage, revenue-generating investigational drug candidate being developed for the treatment of Niemann-Pick disease type C a rare progressive neurodegenerative disease KemPharm plans to refile the New Drug Application (NDA) for arimoclomol in NPC with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as early as the First Quarter of 2023 CELEBRATION, Fla., May 15, 2022 KemPharm, Inc. a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for rare central nervous system (CNS) diseases, announced a definitive agreement with Orphazyme A/S to acquire arimoclomol, an orally-delivered, first-in-class heat shock protein (HSP) amplifier being developed as a treatment for Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC). NPC is a rare progressive neurodegenerative disease that impacts children, adolescents, and adults, and is characterized by an inability of the body to transport cholesterol and lipids inside of cells, which leads to the abnormal accumulation of these substances within various tissues of the body, including the brain. Arimoclomol is currently being made available to NPC patients in the U.S., France and Germany under Orphazyme’s Early Access Programs (EAP). Under the terms of the agreement, KemPharm will purchase substantially all of the assets and operations of Orphazyme, including arimoclomol, for a cash payment of USD $12.8 million. The Company expects to finance the cash payment with a revolving line of credit secured by KemPharm’s balance sheet. KemPharm intends to retain the majority of Orphazyme’s current employees. In addition, KemPharm has agreed to assume an estimated reserve liability equal to approximately USD $5.2 million, which is an estimated future rebate due to the French regulatory authorities based on the revenue generated from the EAP in France. For the year ending December 31, 2022, the EAP is expected to generate at least USD $12 million in revenue based upon enrollment in France as of March 2022. The EAP is expected to remain in place until arimoclomol becomes commercially available in each of the current EAP markets. The transaction is expected to close on or before June 1, 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and approval by Orphazyme’s creditors and the Danish bankruptcy court. Canaccord Genuity LLC acted as a strategic advisor to KemPharm for the transaction. “This strategic acquisition of arimoclomol is a transformative event that significantly expands our rare CNS disease development pipeline, bringing to KemPharm an NDA-stage, revenue-generating product upon which we intend to build commercial capabilities that allow KemPharm to create and retain value for the benefit of shareholders. Moreover, the financial structure of the acquisition combined with the revenue currently being generated by arimoclomol from the early access program in France affords us the opportunity to acquire the asset in a capital efficient manner that has the potential to create positive cash flow, while incurring no shareholder dilution.” Richard Pascoe, Executive Chairman of KemPharm Arimoclomol is administered orally and has been studied in ten Phase 1, four Phase 2, and three pivotal Phase 2/3 trials. Arimoclomol has received Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for NPC in the United States and the European Union. Arimoclomol has received Fast-Track Designation (FTD), Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD), and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation (RPDD) from the FDA for NPC. If approved in the U.S., arimoclomol would also be eligible to receive a Pediatric Priority Review Voucher. On June 17, 2021, Orphazyme received a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the FDA regarding its NDA for arimoclomol for the treatment of NPC. Orphazyme also withdrew its European Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) for arimoclomol for the treatment of NPC ahead of a final vote and opinion by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use. “The acquisition of arimoclomol aligns perfectly with our strategy to build KemPharm’s value via the advancement and commercialization of novel treatments that address rare CNS conditions, including our lead clinical candidate, KP1077 in idiopathic hypersomnia,” stated Travis Mickle, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of KemPharm. “We have carefully evaluated the CRL issued by the FDA and the minutes from the subsequent Type A meeting, as well as the data that has been generated from the development work performed to date. We believe the efficacy signal for arimoclomol in NPC is convincing and that there is a viable regulatory path that could enable a successful NDA resubmission. KemPharm has significant experience with challenging regulatory situations, having successfully led or participated in three FDA product approvals, two of which followed an initial CRL. We welcome the opportunity to work with the FDA on the resubmission of the NDA for arimoclomol in NPC, which we expect to file as early as the first quarter of 2023.” NPC is a rare progressive lysosomal storage disorder characterized by an inability of the body to transport cholesterol and lipids inside of cells. This leads to dysfunction in organs such as the brain, spleen and liver. NPC can range from a fatal disorder within the first few months after birth (neonatal period) to a late onset, chronic progressive disorder that remains undiagnosed well into adulthood. Disease progression is irreversible in all patients, and loss of neuro-cognitive function adversely impacts their daily life. The mean age of death is 13 years (Bianconi, 2019), and there are no approved treatments for NPC in the United States. “NPC is an ultra-rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease that affects people of all ages from infancy to adulthood, and leads to progressive impairment of mobility, cognition, speech, and swallowing, culminating in premature death,” said Marc Patterson, MD, Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics and Medical Genetics at Mayo Clinic. “Therapies to treat NPC are desperately needed, and there is hope that a treatment such as arimoclomol could provide a solution to patients around the world who are living daily with the disease. It is encouraging that there is an opportunity to continue the regulatory process for arimoclomol with the FDA.” About KemPharm KemPharm is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatments for rare central nervous system diseases through its proprietary LAT® platform technology. KemPharm utilizes its proprietary LAT® platform technology to generate improved prodrug versions of FDA-approved drugs as well as to generate prodrug versions of existing compounds that may have applications for new disease indications. KemPharm’s prodrug product candidate pipeline is focused on the high need areas of idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) and other CNS/rare diseases. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AZSTARYS®, a new once-daily treatment for ADHD in patients age six years and older containing KemPharm’s prodrug, serdexmethylphenidate (SDX), which is being commercialized by Corium, Inc. in the U.S., and APADAZ®, an immediate-release combination product containing benzhydrocodone, KemPharm’s prodrug of hydrocodone, and acetaminophen, which is being commercialized by KVK-Tech, Inc. in the U.S.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

PCI Pharma Services Selects Thoughtworks for Digital Platform Transformation with Agile Approach

Thoughtworks | July 11, 2022

Thoughtworks a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, today announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with PCI Pharma Services, a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization. Thoughtworks will help PCI in its journey to digitize its supply chain, with the goal of accelerating the time it takes to bring clients’ life-changing therapies to market for patients. By co-developing tools for digital business modernization, Thoughtworks will help PCI improve client visibility into its clinical and commercial drug supply chains for pharmaceutical and biotech companies of all sizes in 100+ countries. By digitizing the supply chain, Thoughtworks will help PCI deliver greater insights to clients to increase their overall efficiency, support their business goals and ultimately produce high quality treatments for patients. The agreement includes expanding and adapting pci | bridge, an industry first-of-its-kind, end-to-end data platform that provides real-time status of projects, automatically identifies risks, spots trends and provides business analytics insights. With this modern application programming interface (API), clients have the ability to seamlessly integrate their systems with PCI’s, creating greater transparency and a more simplified process for decision-making. “Digital transformation has been a key differentiating factor for PCI’s business strategy, and the evolution of pci | bridge will be critical to increasing client engagement and maximizing the value of data and analytics for PCI and our external partners. With Thoughtworks’ 28+ years of experience at the forefront of innovation, we look forward to making our clients’ lives easier through this partnership." Wayne Hull, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, PCI Pharma Services With a shared commitment to customer-centricity, the Thoughtworks and PCI product and engineering teams will create a new level of intuitive self-service solutions for clients. The partnership will also simplify the collection and analysis of information to reach business insights faster and streamline processes to develop useful new products for clients. The teams will do this by working side-by-side using agile development methods, including pair programming, test-driven development and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) automation. “Recognized as a leader in global CDMO services, PCI Pharma Services is well on its digital transformation journey, providing clients with sophisticated supply chain solutions and a digitally integrated experience unlike anything else in the industry,” said Chris Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Thoughtworks North America. “We are thrilled to partner with PCI Pharma Services as it empowers its clients to make even more powerful, life-impacting decisions through their expansive data and analytics ecosystems.” About PCI Pharma Services PCI is a leading global CDMO, providing clients with integrated end-to-end drug development, manufacturing and packaging capabilities that increase their products’ speed to market and opportunities for commercial success. PCI brings the proven experience that comes with more than 50 successful product launches each year and over five decades in the healthcare services business. We currently have 30 sites across seven countries and over 4,300 employees that work to bring life-changing therapies to patients. Leading technology and continued investment enable us to address global drug development needs throughout the entire product life cycle – from manufacturing capabilities through the clinical trial supply chain and into commercialization. Our clients view us as an extension of their business and a collaborative partner with the shared goal of improving patients’ lives. For more information, please visit pci.com About Thoughtworks Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are 11,000+ people strong across 49 offices in 17 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Innocoll Announces Publication of Positive Results from Pivotal Clinical Trial of POSIMIR in Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression

Innocoll Pharmaceuticals | July 07, 2022

Innocoll Pharmaceuticals Limited, a commercial-stage biotechnology company and portfolio business of Gurnet Point Capital, announced the publication of the results of Study BU-002-IM evaluating the safety and efficacy of POSIMIR® for infiltration use in 107 patients undergoing arthroscopic subacromial decompression. The peer-reviewed paper, entitled “SABER-Bupivacaine Reduces Postoperative Pain and Opioid Consumption After Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” was published online on May 17, 2022 in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Global Research & Reviews. According to the report, POSIMIR 5 mL administered into the subacromial space at the end of arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery in this double-blind, randomized, controlled, multicenter study, reduced mean postoperative pain on movement over 72 hours by 1.3 points on a 0-10 scale compared with vehicle control, a relative reduction of 20%. Simultaneous improvements in postoperative opioid use during the same 72-hour period provided evidence that the observed pain reduction was clinically meaningful. The median time to first request for opioid rescue medication was 12.4 hours among patients treated with POSIMIR compared with 1.2 hours in patients who received vehicle control. The median total opioid consumption in intravenous (IV) morphine milligram equivalents over 72 hours was 4.0 mg in the POSIMIR group vs 12.0 mg in the vehicle control group. The proportion of patients who were opioid free at 72 hours was 40% in the POSIMIR group vs 16% in the vehicle control group. As reported in the paper, the most common treatment-emergent adverse events were headache, nausea, musculoskeletal pain, cardiac disorders, skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders, injury and procedural complications, general disorders and administration site conditions and respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders. Of 2 serious adverse events reported among patients in these treatment groups, only 1 occurred during the immediate 2-week postsurgical follow-up period, and none was considered related to treatment. There were no TEAEs leading to study discontinuation. “These very compelling results, demonstrating up to three days of local analgesia after a single intra-operative injection, make POSIMIR an important new tool in treating postoperative pain from arthroscopic subacromial decompression,” said Sten Rasmussen, MD PhD, Professor and Head of Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Denmark, the senior author and a principal investigator in the POSIMIR study. “We are excited to publish the positive results of this pivotal clinical trial of POSIMIR, the second approved product in our portfolio of nonopioid, extended-duration, locally-acting analgesics for postsurgical pain control. As the only company with two non-opioid extended release bupivacaine products on the market, we look forward to bringing POSIMIR to the orthopedic community,” Louis Pascarella, Innocoll President and Chief Executive Officer About POSIMIR POSIMIR for infiltration use contains more bupivacaine in a single dose than any other approved, sustained-release bupivacaine product. It employs a proprietary extended-release technology that enables the continuous release of bupivacaine, a non-opioid local anesthetic, directly to the surgical site for 3 days after administration. POSIMIR was approved in February, 2021 by the US Food and Drug Administration. POSIMIR is indicated in adults for administration into the subacromial space under direct arthroscopic visualization to produce post-surgical analgesia for up to 72 hours following arthroscopic subacromial decompression. Use in any other surgical procedure is investigational. POSIMIR is a registered trademark of Innocoll Pharmaceuticals Limited. About Subacromial Decompression Shoulder Surgery Subacromial decompression is a type of shoulder surgery used to treat impingement syndrome, a common repetitive-use injury that causes pain when the arm is raised over the head. The procedure is performed arthroscopically, meaning that several small incisions are made in the skin and muscle of the shoulder through which a camera (arthroscope) and surgical instruments are inserted during surgery. Arthroscopic subacromial decompression is generally performed as outpatient surgery, and most patients go home within a few hours of surgery. The most intense pain typically occurs during the first 3 days and is often managed with a combination of nerve block and oral opioids. There are over 600,000 surgeries involving arthroscopic subacromial decompression performed each year in the U.S. About Innocoll Pharmaceuticals Limited Innocoll Pharmaceuticals Limited is a global biotech pharmaceutical company headquartered in Athlone, Ireland and is a subsidiary of Innocoll Biotherapeutics Holding Limited. The Innocoll group of companies is focused on the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical technologies to meet some of today’s most important healthcare challenges. About Gurnet Point Capital Gurnet Point Capital is a unique healthcare investment platform within the B-Flexion Group and led by a team with deep expertise in an industry for which they share a passion, both as investors and senior executives. GPC invests long-term capital and supports entrepreneurs in building a new generation of companies that deliver outsized returns through active ownership. Based in Cambridge, MA, its remit encompasses life sciences and health care focused businesses, with a particular emphasis on businesses that have high growth potential in the product development and commercialization stages of their evolution. With its strategy of driving best in class operational transformation for these businesses, to create social impact while generating significant economic value, Gurnet is able to deliver differentiated results for its investors and partners.

Read More

Spotlight

Harbisson is one of many patients reaping the benefits of increased connectivity in the healthcare industry. Connected medical device—such as pacemakers and insulin pumps that communicate with other networks and devices over the Internet—provide patients and physicians with technology to better manage chronic conditions, improve outcomes, and reduce the overall cost of care2.

Resources