Ascletis Pharma Inc. | February 14, 2022
Ascletis Pharma Inc.announces that it has submitted marketing authorization applications for ritonavir in Germany, France, Ireland and United Kingdom through its agent in Europe. It is expected that more marketing authorization applications for ritonavir in certain other countries, including the ones in Europe, North America and Asian Pacific will soon be submitted.
Ascletis has been in discussion with both domestic and international companies, including major multi-national pharmaceutical companies, for the commercial supplies of ritonavir in China and globally.
Oral ritonavir tablet is a pharmacokinetic booster of multiple oral antiviral drugs targeting viral proteases and a component of oral antiviral drug Paxlovid.
Ascletis aims to be one of the global commercial suppliers of oral ritonavir tablets. Ascletis owns the only authorized oral ritonavir tablet in China, which passed bioequivalence study. Ascletis' oral ritonavir tablet was approved in September 2021 by China National Medical Products Administration. Ascletis has been applying sophisticated formulation technology to significantly increase human bioavailability of ritonavir which has a very poor solubility and successfully achieved human bioequivalence with the oral ritonavir tablets produced by the originator, AbbVie. On January 3, 2022, Ascletis announced that oral ritonavir tablet annual production capacity has been expanded to 100 million tablets and can be further rapidly expanded based on market demand.
Ascletis is an innovative R&D driven biotech listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, a global platform covering the entire value chain from discovery and development to manufacturing and commercialization. Ascletis is committed to developing and commercializing innovative drugs in the areas of viral diseases, NASH/PBC, and cancer to address unmet medical needs both in China and globally. Led by a management team with deep expertise and a proven track record, Ascletis targets those therapeutic areas with unmet medical needs from a global perspective, and efficiently advances the developments of pipelines with an aim of leading in global competition. To date, Ascletis has three marketed products and 20 robust R&D pipelines of drug candidates with global competitiveness, and is actively exploring new therapeutic areas.
Virpax® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | December 29, 2021
Virpax® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "Company" achieved significant milestones relating to its pipeline of product candidates as of the end of 2021, which are summarized below.
“I believe that Virpax has made significant progress this past year toward our stated goalsThese accomplishments include accelerated development of our existing product candidates, broadening our pipeline of product candidates, and utilizing grants where appropriate. We recently announced that we anticipate commencing our initial human trial for Epoladerm™ in the second quarter of 2022.
Anthony P. Mack, Chairman and CEO of Virpax
“Virpax initially focused strictly on pain product candidates. However, our unique Molecular Envelope Technology delivery platform licensed from Nanomerics, Ltd. has enabled the development of product candidates for central nervous system and anti-viral indications. In the second half of 2021, we advanced the development of AnQlar™, a prophylactic, over-the-counter anti-viral product candidate formulated to prevent the spread of respiratory infections like influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and rhinovirus. We added VRP324 which is an intranasally delivered cannabidiol formulation for the management of epilepsy in adults and children. Our Envelta™ IND-enabling studies, completed by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences as a part of our Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, determined that the MET intranasal delivery formulation bypasses the liver which we believe reduces drug-to-drug interaction concerns for treatments using this technology.
“On the corporate front, we strengthened our Board by appointing two new members adding expertise in commercialization and financial strategy. Additionally, in 2021 we raised approximately $58 million in aggregate gross proceeds from our initial public offering and an underwritten follow-on public offering. These funds are being used for research and development activities of our product candidates. We are on track to add accomplishments in 2022 and I remain confident that we have the significant financial strength to continue advancing our pipeline,” concluded Mr. Mack.
Epoladerm is a diclofenac topical spray film product candidate that is being developed for pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Virpax recently reported successful results of a Charles River Laboratories single dose toxicology and pharmacokinetic study of dermal administration of Epoladerm in minipigs as part of the required Investigational New Drug Application enabling trials. Single-dose transdermal delivery of Epoladerm was well-tolerated in all minipigs. There were no treatment-related clinical observations, changes in body weight, or dermal irritation observed. The maximum plasma concentration was reached at 4 hours post-dose, and concentrations of plasma Epoladerm remained at 24-hour post-dose for all animals.
Upon completion of all the required IND enabling studies and subsequent review by the FDA, Virpax intends to conduct a Phase 1 study to evaluate the relative bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of Epoladerm™. Virpax recently announced the execution of a clinical trial agreement with Altasciences Company, Inc., to conduct this study in Canada. Virpax anticipates enrollment of the first patient by early second quarter of 2022.
Probudur is an injectable bupivacaine liposomal hydrogel for postoperative pain management which Virpax believes has improved onset and extended duration of action compared to existing treatment options. Additional pre-clinical trials are being conducted with Lipocure, the product developer, to improve the formulation to potentially enhance manufacturing efficiencies, prolong duration and extend patent protection. Once completed, we plan to perform seven preclinical animal studies as part of required FDA IND enabling trials.
Envelta is an endogenous enkephalin intranasal spray for acute and chronic pain, including pain associated with cancer. This product leverages Nanomeric’s MET platform technology which Virpax licensed to deliver the endogenous enkephalin formulation through an intranasal delivery enabling the enkephalin to permeate the blood-brain barrier while bypassing the liver. This product candidate is being funded through an in-kind CRADA with the NCATS.
Virpax recently announced that under this CRADA, the National Institutes of Health has awarded multiple contracts to support the research, development and manufacturing of Envelta. These contracts are to support Good Manufacturing Practices production of drug substance and drug product, as well as to support Good Laboratory Practices toxicology, safety studies and preclinical efficacy studies. The NIH has contracted with a clinical research organization to conduct additional pre-clinical efficacy studies and has procured a device to be used with the manufactured GMP drug product for preclinical and clinical studies. The NIH has also engaged a firm to manufacture Leu-enkephalin, the active ingredient in Envelta, and a company to manufacture the MET carrier that delivers L-ENK to the brain to promptly suppress pain.
AnQlar is a high-density intranasal molecular masking spray in development as an anti-viral OTC product for protection against respiratory infections, such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza, that Virpax anticipates will be used as an adjuvant to barrier-based personal protective equipment. Virpax recently announced a manufacturing and supply agreement with Seqens to provide AnQlar for both clinical studies and the long-term commercial supply of AnQlar.
Additionally, Virpax engaged Sinclair Research to initiate IND-enabling studies for AnQlar. The Company anticipates that these preclinical animal studies will begin in early 2022.
Virpax has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights from Nanomerics to use its MET platform for the nasal delivery of CBD for the management of epilepsy in children and adults.
Under this agreement, Virpax has the global rights to develop, manufacture, market and sell VRP324, the first investigational formulation delivered via the nasal route to enhance CBD transport to the brain. This product candidate will be formulated to potentially treat seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients one year of age and older. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome are rare CNS diseases considered serious epileptic encephalopathies that cause epileptic seizures, as well as cognitive and behavioral changes, and are generally resistant to treatment. Preclinical studies of VRP324 have been initiated by Nanomerics which it anticipates will be completed in the first quarter of 2022. Upon completion, Virpax will collaborate with RRD International, a clinical drug development company which Virpax has engaged, to prepare the pre-IND briefing documents for the FDA.
About Virpax Pharmaceuticals
Virpax is developing branded product candidates for non-addictive pain management and neurological disorders using its proprietary technologies that optimize and target drug delivery. Virpax is initially seeking FDA approval of its three different patented drug delivery platforms. Epoladerm™ is a topical diclofenac spray film formulation being developed to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Probudur™ is a single injection long-acting liposomal bupivacaine formulation being developed to manage post-operative pain. Envelta™ is an intranasal Molecular Envelope Technology enkephalin formulation being developed for the management of acute and chronic pain, including pain associated with cancer, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder under the name PES200. MET technology is also used in AnQlar™, a candidate to inhibit viral replication caused by influenza or SARS-CoV-2. Virpax acquired global rights to VRP324, a product candidate for the nasal delivery of a pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol for the management of epilepsy in children and adults.
Vifor Pharma Group | December 15, 2021
Global biotechnology leader CSL Limited and Vifor Pharma Ltd, a global specialty pharmaceutical company with leadership in iron deficiency, nephrology & cardio-renal therapies, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for CSL to acquire Vifor Pharma for an aggregate equity value for Vifor Pharma of US$ 11.7 / CHF 10.9 billion.
CSL has offered to acquire Vifor Pharma in an all-cash tender offer of US$179.25 per share, payable in U.S. dollars.1 The offer assumes a dividend of CHF 2 expected to be declared at the AGM of 26 April, consistent with past practice.
The tender offer represents an implied premium of approximately 61% to the unaffected closing price of Vifor Pharma on 1 December 2021 and a 47% premium to Vifor Pharma’s unaffected 1-month VWAP as of 1 December 2021.2
Patinex AG, Vifor Pharma’s largest shareholder holding 23.2% has agreed to tender its shares into the offer.
The Transaction remains subject to the conditions and further terms including:
Minimum acceptance rate of 80% of all Vifor Pharma shares on a fully diluted basis; and
further customary offer conditions, including regulatory approvals.
The tender is currently expected to commence around 18 January 2022 and the transaction is expected to complete around mid-2022.
The Board of Directors of Vifor Pharma considers that the proposed transaction respects the interests of all stakeholders and is unanimously recommending the offer to shareholders. There is committed financing for the deal and a strong commitment to pursue regulatory clearances.
“Vifor Pharma's strategy has been to focus towards continuing being a market leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The offer provides an excellent strategic opportunity for Vifor Pharma to optimize future market opportunities from a position of strength and to create substantial value for all stakeholders.”
Jacques Theurillat, Chairman of the Board of Directors Vifor Pharma Group
The transaction will enable Vifor Pharma to leverage CSL’s global reach, balance sheet and capabilities to bring more products to patients within its key categories. The transaction also enables Vifor Pharma to accelerate growth in cardiovascular-metabolic, renal and transplant.
Centerview Partners UK LLP is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Vifor Pharma on the transaction.
IFBC have been retained as Fairness Opinion providers by the Vifor Pharma Board of Directors.
About Vifor Pharma Group
Vifor Pharma Group is a global pharmaceuticals company. It aims to become the global leader in iron deficiency, nephrology and cardio-renal therapies. The company is a partner of choice for pharmaceuticals and innovative patient-focused solutions. Vifor Pharma Group strives to help patients around the world with severe and chronic diseases lead better, healthier lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products for precision patient care. Vifor Pharma Group holds a leading position in all its core business activities and consists of the following companies: Vifor Pharma and Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma Vifor Pharma Group is headquartered in Switzerland, and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange
CSL is a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving medicines, including those that treat hemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. Since our start in 1916, we have been driven by our promise to save lives using the latest technologies. Today, CSL — including our two businesses, CSL Behring and Seqirus- provides life-saving products to more than 100 countries and employs more than 25,000 people. Our unique combination of commercial strength, R&D focus and operational excellence enables us to identify, develop and deliver innovations so our patients can live life to the fullest.
Pneuma Systems Corporation | April 08, 2022
Medical technology company, Pneuma Systems Corporation, has entered a multi-faceted business collaboration with West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. with the goal of improving the patient's experience with drug therapy.
West is a leading global manufacturer in the design and production of technologically advanced, high-quality, integrated containment and delivery systems for injectable medicines. Pneuma Systems Corporation has developed a family of fluid flow technologies that are aimed at scientific and medical applications. The global intravenous pump market segment is expected to reach USD 20.5 billion over the next five years.
Pneuma will provide a novel closed-loop fluid flow control platform that West will use to develop drug delivery solutions for pharmaceutical companies and clinical end users. West will provide technical and financial support to Pneuma and access to the emerging West Digital Platform, designed to improve transmission of data and other information.
"West's almost century-long commitment to the development of drug delivery systems dovetails with our cutting-edge flow control technology. West's latest foray into a broad digital architecture is very important to us. When you improve both fluid flow and information flow, the result is an improvement in workflow, which results in higher levels of patient safety and lower costs," said Pneuma CEO Jeffrey Carlisle. "We are aiming at disruptive improvements in workflow."
"We are excited about our collaboration with Pneuma and the potential of their technologies to address a variety of flow control challenges to drive improvements in healthcare. At West our mission is to improve patient lives not only through our products and services but also by investing in small innovative companies and offering our deep technical and commercial expertise to help them bring their transformation technologies to the market,"
Scott Young, VP Venture & External Collaboration at West
Pneuma Systems, together with its strategic partners, plans to install PneumaDrive™ technology-based infusion devices in infusion centers, home care, and acute care settings around the world. The low cost PneumaDrive™ technology can replace existing infusion pumps and automate "gravity drip" infusions, providing patients with a safer and easier experience.
Pneuma Systems is a New Hampshire based company founded by Jeffrey Carlisle, also Founder of the recently acquired Ivenix. Pneuma is dedicated to improving fluid flow, information flow, and workflow for the IV therapy process.
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative, high-quality injectable solutions and services. As a trusted partner to established and emerging drug developers, West helps ensure the safe, effective containment and delivery of life-saving and life-enhancing medicines for patients. With approximately 10,000 team members across 50 sites worldwide, West helps support our customers by delivering over 45 billion components and devices each year.