Obesity now leading cause of four cancers

Pharmatimes | July 03, 2019

New analysis from Cancer Research UK has found that excess weight causes more cases of certain cancers than smoking, as the number of people who are obese now outnumbers those who smoke two to one in the UK. According to the charity, almost one third of UK adults are obese, and being overweight or obese is now the leading cause of four different types of cancer, despite the fact that smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of cancer and carries a much higher risk of the disease. The data shows that excess weight causes around 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year, while the same “worrying pattern” is seen in cancer in the kidneys (1,400 more cases caused by excess weight than by smoking each year), ovaries (460) and liver (180), it warned. "As smoking rates fall and obesity rates rise, we can clearly see the impact on a national health crisis when the government puts policies in place – and when it puts its head in the sand,” said Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive. "Our children could be a smoke-free generation, but we’ve hit a devastating record high for childhood obesity, and now we need urgent government intervention to end the epidemic. They still have a chance to save lives.”

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PHARMA TECH

n-Lorem Foundation Partners with Alnylam to Expand Technology Access to RNAi Therapeutics for Patients with Nano-rare Diseases

n-Lorem a nonprofit Foundation | January 20, 2022

n-Lorem, a nonprofit Foundation, discovering and providing experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to nano-rare disease patients for free, for life, today announced a new partnership with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. “Discovering, developing and providing individualized medicines for nano-rare patients is a monumental task. At n-Lorem, using ASO technology, we take advantage of three decades of experience, unparalleled quality control and integrated safety databases that are used to select frequency and dosage for each individual ASO therapy. As we expand our highly selective and versatile model to other amendable technologies, it is important for us to maintain a high level of quality,” said Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, n-Lorem Foundation. “Alnylam’s RNAi therapeutic technology is the perfect complement to Ionis’ ASO technology, both are well understood, proven drug discovery technologies. Adding Alnylam as a partner is another step in the creation of a broad network of partner stakeholders committed to treating nano-rare patients.” “We are pleased to partner with the n-Lorem Foundation in identifying opportunities to bring our novel RNAi technology platform to potentially help patients with nano-rare diseases. At Alnylam, we are committed to identifying pathways to expand access to our medicines and we applaud the work of the foundation in bringing together industry partners who are driven to provide options for patients that have little or no options for treatment,” Akshay Vaishnaw, M.D., Ph.D., President at Alnylam “Although we have the tools and expertise to understand nano-rare patients at a genetic level, the extreme rarity of these patients present insurmountable challenges to the current healthcare systems,” said Dr. Sarah Glass, Chief Development Officer, n-Lorem Foundation. “n-Lorem is addressing these challenges one nano-rare patient at a time and is supported through a consortium of well-renowned and diverse organizations worldwide. These include our biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners, including Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, Ultragenyx and today Alnylam; our clinical research partners, including Charles River Labs, Korea Institute of Toxicology and Parexel; our contract manufacturing partners, including ChemGenes, Cytiva and Nitto Avecia; and many other collaborations that make n-Lorem’s mission possible.” Alnylam is leading the translation of RNA interference into a whole new class of innovative medicines with the potential to transform the lives of people afflicted with rare genetic, cardio-metabolic, hepatic infectious, and central nervous system ocular diseases. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, RNAi therapeutics represent a powerful, clinically validated approach for the treatment of a wide range of severe and debilitating diseases. Founded in 2002, Alnylam is delivering on a bold vision to turn scientific possibility into reality, with a robust RNAi therapeutics platform. Alnylam’s commercial RNAi therapeutic products are ONPATTRO®, GIVLAARI® (givosiran), and OXLUMO®, as well as Leqvio®, which is being developed and commercialized by Alnylam’s partner Novartis. Alnylam has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including six product candidates that are in late-stage development. Alnylam is executing on its “Alnylam P5x25” strategy to deliver transformative medicines in both rare and common diseases benefiting patients around the world through sustainable innovation and exceptional financial performance, resulting in a leading biotech profile. Alnylam is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. About n-Lorem n-Lorem Foundation is a non-profit organization established to apply the efficiency, versatility and specificity of antisense technology to charitably provide experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to treat nano-rare patients diagnosed with diseases that are the result of a single genetic defect unique to only one or very few individuals. Nano-rare patients describe a very small group of patients who, because of their small numbers, have few if any treatment options. n-Lorem Foundation was created to provide hope to these nano-rare patients by developing individualized ASO medicines, which are short strands of modified DNA that can specifically target the transcripts of a defective gene to correct the abnormality. The advantage of experimental ASO medicines is that they can be developed rapidly, inexpensively and are highly specific. To date, n-Lorem has assisted in the development and treatment of 14 nano-rare patients and received over 100 applications for treatment with more than 40 nano-rare patients approved. n-Lorem was founded by Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., former chairman and CEO of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, who founded Ionis Pharmaceuticals in 1989 and, through his vision and leadership, established the company as the leader in RNA-targeted therapeutics.

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RESEARCH

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals and Selexis SA Will Advance Hemogenyx’s Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) CDX Bispecific Antibody to Human Trials

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc | January 13, 2022

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc the biopharmaceutical group developing new therapies and treatments for blood diseases, and Selexis SA, a JSR Life Sciences company, have signed a service agreement to develop the cell line for Hemogenyx’s CDX bispecific antibody for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Under the agreement, Hemogenyx will leverage Selexis’ proprietary SUREtechnology Platform™, a suite of cell line development tools and technologies that significantly reduces the time, effort, and costs associated with developing high-performance mammalian cell lines. The CDX bispecific is made using the Hemogenyx’s proprietary humanised monoclonal antibody against a target on the surface of AML cells. CDX was co-developed by Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company (“Lilly”). This cutting-edge application of immune therapy offers a potentially more benign and effective form of treatment that, if successful, could have a significant impact on treatment and survival rates for AML. CDX is planned to be the Company’s second therapeutic candidate to enter clinical trials. Following the completion of the co-development phase, Lilly granted the Company an exclusive worldwide license to certain intellectual property developed by Lilly related to the CDX bispecific antibody for all uses, including the treatment of AML and other blood cancers. “We are delighted to partner with Selexis, and access its proprietary protein expression tools and technologies, IP and know-how. The partnership is key to advancing our CDX programme into clinical trials and accelerating the timeline to deliver this innovative therapy to patients in need of a more benign and effective treatment for AML.” Dr. Vladislav Sandler, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals Mr. Dirk Lange, CEO of Selexis, added, “There’s an urgent need for effective treatments for AML, and we at Selexis are pleased to apply our technologies to help Hemogenyx advance the CDX bispecific antibody to the clinic. We’ve built a reputation for delivering cell lines rapidly and cost-effectively, without compromising safety. This is an exciting milestone for Hemogenyx and we welcome the opportunity to join the company on its journey toward delivering a promising and effective therapy for patients with AML.” Selexis’ modular SUREtechnology Platform™ facilitates the rapid, stable, and cost-effective production of recombinant proteins and vaccines, providing seamless integration of the development continuum from discovery to commercialization. About Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals plc Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals is a publicly traded company headquartered in London, with its US operating subsidiaries, Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals LLC and Immugenyx LLC, located in New York City at its state-of-the-art research facility. The Company is a pre-clinical stage biopharmaceutical group developing new medicines and treatments to treat blood and autoimmune disease and to bring the curative power of bone marrow transplantation to a greater number of patients suffering from otherwise incurable life-threatening diseases. Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals is developing several distinct and complementary product candidates, as well as a platform technology that it uses as an engine for novel product development. For more than 50 years, bone marrow transplantation has been used to save the lives of patients suffering from blood diseases. The risks of toxicity and death that are associated with bone marrow transplantation, however, have meant that the procedure is restricted to use only as a last resort. The Company’s technology has the potential to enable many more patients suffering from devastating blood diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, as well as severe autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, aplastic anemia and systemic lupus erythematosus (Lupus), to benefit from bone marrow transplantation. About Selexis SA Selexis SA, a JSR Life Sciences company, is the global leader in cell line development with best-in-class modular technology and highly specialized solutions that enable the life sciences industry to rapidly discover, develop and commercialize innovative medicines and vaccines. Our global partners are utilizing Selexis technologies to advance more than 146 drug candidates in preclinical and clinical development and the manufacture of eight commercial products. As part of a comprehensive drug development process, the Company’s technologies shorten development timelines and reduce manufacturing risks.

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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.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Stallergenes Greer Strengthens Precision Medicine Approach in Allergen Immunotherapy With Imperial College London Research Collaboration

Stallergenes Greer | January 17, 2022

Stallergenes Greer, a global healthcare company specialising in allergen immunotherapy (AIT), today announced that the company has entered into a research collaboration on the discovery of biomarkers of AIT efficacy with Imperial College London, a global top ten university with a world-class reputation in science, engineering, business and medicine. This long-term research collaboration, which combines the long-standing expertise of Stallergenes Greer in AIT with the prestigious research capabilities of Imperial College London, aims to push the boundaries of allergic patient care by identifying biomarkers of AIT efficacy and expanding the knowledge of the pathophysiology of allergic diseases and their treatment with AIT. “We are thrilled about this collaboration with Imperial College London which will contribute to both deciphering the mode of action of AIT and identifying key markers that can be used in the routine practice of allergology for the benefit of patients and healthcare practitioners. Based on the understanding of specific phenotypes and the responses of patients with allergies, allergologists will be able to tailor treatment modalities with the right dosing at the right time for each individual. This underscores our commitment to advancing precision medicine for allergy sufferers”, Amer Jaber, Executive VP Operations Europe and International and President of Stallergenes SAS “This research collaboration is a remarkable opportunity for a fruitful partnership between Imperial College London, a pioneer and world-leading university in the biomarker field, and Stallergenes Greer. It will build on the recent advances of biomarker research to further develop precision medicine in AIT for the benefit of patients with allergic diseases,” said Dr Mohamed Shamji, Head of the Immunomodulation and Tolerance Group, Imperial College London. The results of this research collaboration will be shared in international congresses and peer review publications. About Allergen Immunotherapy Allergies are the most prevalent and fastest growing chronic diseases in the industrialised world, affecting over one billion people worldwide. Allergen immunotherapy uniquely alters the natural course of respiratory allergies. It is the only therapeutic class capable of modifying disease progression and potentially preventing the onset of the disease by inducing tolerance in the immune system. About Stallergenes Greer Headquartered in London (UK), Stallergenes Greer Ltd is a global healthcare company specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies through the development and commercialisation of allergen immunotherapy products and services. Stallergenes Greer Ltd is the parent company of Greer Laboratories, Inc. About Imperial College London Imperial College London is one of the world's leading universities. The College's 20,000 students and 8,000 staff are working to solve the biggest challenges in science, medicine, engineering, and business. Imperial is University of the Year 2022 in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is the world’s fifth most international university, according to Times Higher Education, with academic ties to more than 150 countries. Reuters named the College as the UK's most innovative university because of its exceptional entrepreneurial culture and ties to industry.

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Spotlight

Pharma biotech companies requiring entirely new or updated on-boarding or annual cGMP training programs turn to NSF International for an innovative approach and the very latest regulatory information and trends to ensure employees are gaining valuable cGMP knowledge which will help them in their work. Watch this brief video to learn more.

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