Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited | April 11, 2022
Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited announces that it has entered into a licence agreement with Eli Lilly and Company under which Telix is granted exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise radiolabelled forms of Lilly's olaratumab antibody for the diagnosis and treatment of human cancers. Telix's initial development focus will be on a rare type of cancer known as soft tissue sarcoma.
Olaratumab was originally developed by Lilly as a monoclonal antibody targeting Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor Alpha. PDGFRα is expressed in multiple tumour types including STS. STS is generally a radiation susceptible cancer that may be inherently amenable to systemic radionuclide therapy and olaratumab's ability to target PDGFRα makes it a highly novel and potentially exciting candidate for use as a radionuclide targeting agent. The exclusive worldwide licence will allow Telix to repurpose olaratumab as a targeting agent for radiopharmaceutical imaging and therapy of cancer. Olaratumab has an established safety profile that underpins its potential use as a radionuclide targeting agent.
Material terms of the agreement
Under the terms of the agreement Telix will pay Lilly an upfront payment of US$5M for the grant of an exclusive licence to Lilly's intellectual property related to the development of a radiolabelled olaratumab, as well as access to material for use by Telix in initial pre-clinical and early-phase clinical studies in application to potential uses for the diagnosis and treatment of human cancers.
Lilly may be eligible for up to US$225M in payments based upon the achievement of pre-specified development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Lilly would also be eligible to receive industry standard royalties on net sales. The agreement also includes an option for Lilly to be granted an exclusive licence to a radiolabelled companion diagnostic which would be developed by Telix. If exercised, Lilly will pay Telix US$5M and up to US$30M in potential development milestones, as well as industry standard royalties.
The agreement has typical termination rights for breach and related corporate issues. Telix retains termination rights typical to licence agreements of this nature to enable the Company to exit the agreement based on a development or commercial basis.
"This in-licence transaction with Lilly is a valuable – and rare – opportunity to acquire an asset which has demonstrated clinical safety. In our pre-transaction diligence and research, we have identified that a radiolabelled version of olaratumab could be efficacious in patients with STS, particularly as it is a highly radiation-sensitive cancer. The safety data generated by Lilly in relation to the original development program significantly de-risks the program for Telix. We anticipate that early clinical translation with a radiolabeled olaratumab as an imaging agent may also provide valuable clinical information as to whether this asset has potential therapeutic efficacy, demonstrating the advantage of Telix's "theranostic" approach.
Telix Group CEO and Managing Director, Dr. Christian Behrenbruch
"This acquisition mirrors the approach that Telix has taken in building its existing pipeline by in-licencing or acquiring assets that have already been proven to be safe for use in humans that can be harnessed as novel radiolabelled targeting agents. This partnership also demonstrates the value that Telix can bring as a capable partner with the expertise in radiopharmaceutical development and manufacturing, to help repurpose or expand the use of promising candidates to better target, find and treat cancer."
About Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Soft tissue sarcoma is a complex disease that encompasses a diverse group of relatively rare cancers, with more than 50 histological subtypes. In the United States, it is estimated that 13,040 new cases and 5,150 deaths were caused by STS in 2019, representing 0.75% of overall cancer incidence and 0.84% of overall cancer mortality.1 In Europe, nearly 23,600 new STS cases rose annually, and the crude incidence rate was 4.7 per 100,000.2 Approximately 39,900 new STS cases occurred nationwide in China in 2019, accounting for 1.05% of overall cancer incidence.3 The crude incidence rate was 2.91/100,000 and generally increased with age. Standard treatment for soft tissue sarcoma includes surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. For patients with advanced, unresectable, or metastatic disease, treatment typically involves chemotherapy with single agents or anthracycline-based combination regimens. However, the prognosis for these patients remains poor, with treated patients with metastatic disease having a median overall survival of around 12–18 months.
Olaratumab was originally developed as a monoclonal antibody targeting PDGFRα. Olaratumab was granted "Accelerated Approval" in the US and "Conditional Approval" in the EU based on Phase 2 trial data which showed a 1-year survival benefit in patients with STS, when given in combination with standard chemotherapy. Olaratumab was voluntarily withdrawn from the market by Lilly following the failure of the Phase 3 ANNOUNCE clinical trial, in which olaratumab did not improve survival for patients.
About Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited
Telix is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of diagnostic and therapeutic products using Molecularly Targeted Radiation. Telix is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia with international operations in Belgium, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States. Telix is developing a portfolio of clinical-stage products that address significant unmet medical need in oncology and rare diseases. Telix is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. | May 12, 2022
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. and Biopas Laboratorie announced that they have entered into distribution and supply agreements to commercialize INBRIJA® in Latin America. INBRIJA is indicated in the United States for the intermittent treatment of episodic motor fluctuations in adult patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) treated with a levodopa/dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor.
Under the terms of the agreements, Acorda will receive a significant, double-digit, tiered percentage of the selling price of INBRIJA in Latin America in exchange for supply of the product. Acorda will also receive sales-based milestones. Biopas will have the exclusive distribution rights to INBRIJA in nine countries within Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico. According to current population estimates, there are at least 400,000 people living with Parkinson's disease in Latin America1. Biopas plans on seeking marketing authorization in all countries to make Inbrija available for patients as quickly as possible.
“BIOPAS is the leader in commercializing CNS therapies in Latin America and we are delighted to announce these agreements to make INBRIJA available there to people with Parkinson’s disease who suffer from OFF periods. We are also in active discussions with other companies for the rights to commercialize INBRIJA in additional countries.”
Ron Cohen, M.D., President and CEO of Acorda Therapeutics
“We are excited to be collaborating with Acorda to make INBRIJA available to people with Parkinson’s disease in Latin America. This important partnership supports Biopas’ mission to cover unmet medical needs of patients from Argentina to Mexico. Inbrija further strengthens Biopas’ complete and innovative CNS portfolio now consisting of nine original treatments: for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, movement disorders, sialorrea, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and sleep disorders,” said Pascal Forget, CEO of Biopas.
About Acorda Therapeutics
Acorda Therapeutics develops therapies to restore function and improve the lives of people with neurological disorders. INBRIJA® is approved for intermittent treatment of OFF episodes in adults with Parkinson’s disease treated with carbidopa/levodopa. INBRIJA is not to be used by patients who take or have taken a nonselective monoamine oxidase inhibitor such as phenelzine or tranylcypromine within the last two weeks. INBRIJA utilizes Acorda’s innovative ARCUS® pulmonary delivery system, a technology platform designed to deliver medication through inhalation. Acorda also markets the branded AMPYRA® Extended Release Tablets, 10 mg.
About Biopas Laboratories
Biopas is a leading and differentiated Latin American Pharmaceutical company, focused on in-licensing, marketing and selling cutting-edge specialty pharmaceutical products. Biopas offers the best-in-class capabilities in sales, marketing, medical, support functions and provides integral services to support the launch and development of products. All its functions operate in compliance with international standards and regulations. Biopas covers 20+ countries in LatAm through fully owned subsidiaries and is a trusted partner of reputable multinational pharmaceutical companies, and has products in leading positions in CNS, Immunology, Rare Disease, Oncology, and Dermatology.
Direct Biologics | April 13, 2022
Direct Biologics, an innovative biotechnology company with a groundbreaking extracellular vesicle platform drug technology, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded their EV drug product ExoFlo with a Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designation for the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome associated with COVID-19. The RMAT program is designed to expedite the approval of promising regenerative medical products in the US that demonstrate clinical evidence indicating the ability to address an unmet medical need for a serious life-threatening disease or condition. Under the RMAT designation, the FDA provides intensive guidance on drug development and post-market requirements through early and frequent interactions. Additionally, an RMAT confers eligibility for accelerated approval and priority review of biologics licensing applications.
"After intensively reviewing our preclinical data, manufacturing processes, and clinical data from our Phase II multicenter, double blinded, placebo controlled randomized clinical trial, the FDA has recognized ExoFlo as a lifesaving treatment for patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) due to severe or critical COVID-19. The additional attention, resources, and regulatory benefits provided by an RMAT designation demonstrate that the FDA views ExoFlo as a product that can significantly enhance the standard of care for the thousands still dying from ARDS every week in the US," he said.
Mark Adams, Chief Executive Officer
"We are very pleased that the FDA has recognized the lifesaving potential of our platform drug technology ExoFlo. The RMAT has provided a pathway to expedite our drug development to achieve a BLA in the shortest possible time," said Joe Schmidt, President. "I am very proud of our team. Everyone has been working around the clock for years in our mission to save human lives taken by a disease that lacks treatment options, both in the US and abroad. We are grateful for the opportunity to accelerate development of ExoFlo under the RMAT designation as it leads us closer to our goal of bringing our life saving drug to patients who desperately need it."
ExoFlo is an acellular human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell derived extracellular vesicle product. These nanosized EVs deliver thousands of signals in the form of regulatory proteins, microRNA, and messenger RNA to cells in the body, harnessing the anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties of bone marrow MSCs without the cost, complexity and limitations of scalability associated with MSC transplantation. ExoFlo is produced using a proprietary EV platform technology by Direct Biologics, LLC.
Physicians can learn more and may request information on becoming a study site at clinicaltrials.gov. For more information on Direct Biologics and regenerative medicine, visit: https://directbiologics.com.
About Direct Biologics
Direct Biologics, LLC, is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with an R&D facility located at the University of California, and an Operations and Order Fulfillment Center located in San Antonio, Texas. Direct Biologics is a market-leading innovator and cGMP manufacturer of regenerative medical products, including a robust EV platform technology. Direct Biologics' management team holds extensive collective experience in biologics research, development, and commercialization, making the Company a leader in the evolving segment of next generation regenerative biotherapeutics. Direct Biologics has obtained and is pursuing multiple additional clinical indications for ExoFlo through the FDA's investigational new drug (IND) process.
OptimizeRx Corporation | March 16, 2022
OptimizeRx Corp. a leading provider of point-of-care technology solutions helping patients start and stay on therapy, announced a definitive agreement to acquire the EvinceMed platform and related assets. EvinceMed is a leader in delivering end-to-end automation for specialty pharmaceutical transactions. The acquisition includes the full Market Access Management Platform supporting pharma manufacturers, hub providers and pharmacies to improve patient access, speed to therapy and activation of affordability programs.
With the EvinceMed platform, OptimizeRx will be able to help patients get access to the drugs they need by simplifying the prescribing process for specialty products, automating manual steps to determine drug eligibility and affordability, and introducing electronic enrollment and medical documentation within workflow across the OptimizeRx network of over 300 electronic health record (EHR) systems, ePrescribing platforms, and account-based marketing technologies spanning more than 700 thousand providers. The integration of the EvinceMed and OptimizeRx platforms has already begun with an exclusive collaboration that began last year. Full integration of the technology assets will further the Company’s ability to help patients start and stay on therapy.
While specialty drugs account for only 2.2% of total prescription volume in the U.S, they accounted for over 45% of total pharmacy spend, or $218.6 billion in 2019 1,2. The cost and increasing use of specialty medications has exposed unique barriers to the prescription and patient access process. Manufacturer support programs provide much-needed services to prescription medication access, affordability, and adherence. However, a recent survey of 10,000 patients across multiple therapeutic areas found that only 20% of patients were aware of such programs3. Doctors and their staff can assist patients with enrollment into these programs, yet the enrollment process is often time-consuming, and doctors remain dissatisfied with current patient support options available. In addition, less than 10% of patient enrollment into these support programs is currently completed electronically4.
“We are thrilled to have EvinceMed transition from an exclusive technology partner over the last year to being part of the team. Given the success we saw working together, this combination strengthens our position to serve our pharma customers across the full HCP network and throughout the patients’ journeys – from the moment the doctor logs into their EHR right through the point of dispense at the pharmacy. This acquisition offers significant high margin cross-selling opportunities across our growing customer base of leading life science companies, while further fortifying our business through vertical integration, and helping drive upward momentum to our key performance indicators. We expect this acquisition to benefit revenue growth in 2023 as we further develop our network around connectivity to additional partners.”
William Febbo, CEO of OptimizeRx
David Jackson, CEO of EvinceMed commented, “We are very excited to be joining the OptimizeRx team. The impact of our combined technologies and the reach and scale that OptimizeRx has with pharmaceutical manufacturers is a game-changer to patient access to specialty medications. By automating the processes and tasks required to be completed prior to the fill and dispense of specialty medications, we can get patients on treatment much faster and at a lower overall cost.”
OptimizeRx chief commercial officer, Steve Silvestro, added, “Our commitment to leveraging technology to assist providers and patients in accessing the tools they need to improve outcomes is a mission-driven effort. The EvinceMed assets give us additional resources to accomplish that while also expanding the network’s reach to point-of-dispense, a goal we have long pursued. Prescribing support through automation for providers will both accelerate workflows and remove barriers to the specialty prescribing process ensuring patients are able to readily access the life-changing innovative therapies that they need.”
OptimizeRx is committed to investing in innovation to bring more digital in-workflow solutions to execute against the commercialization goals of life science organizations. OptimizeRx currently provides solutions to 19 of the 20 largest pharma manufacturers and seeks to continue driving long-term, sustainable ROIs for its clients while supporting initiatives that improve health outcomes. Recent market research commissioned by OptimizeRx revealed specialty drug access support as being a $12B+ market. This acquisition further diversifies OptimizeRx revenue streams as the Company scales to address the client needs in this space.