Rinvoq bags FDA green light

PharmaTimes | August 19, 2019

AbbVie has announced the US Food and Drug Administration FDA approval of Rinvoq upadacitinib for moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis RA. In the SELECT programme, the oral JAK inhibitor met all primary and ranked secondary endpoints across a variety of patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, and significantly inhibited radiographic progression even without methotrexate. The study was one of the largest registrational Phase III programs in RA with approximately 4,400 patients evaluated across all treatment arms in five studies, which included assessments of efficacy, safety and tolerability across a variety of RA patients, including those who failed or were intolerant to biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and who were naive or inadequate responders to methotrexate. Rinvoq is not indicated for methotrexate-naive patients. "Despite the availability of multiple treatment options with varying mechanisms of action, many patients still do not achieve clinical remission or low disease activity—the primary treatment goals for rheumatoid arthritis," said Roy M. Fleischmann, primary investigator for SELECT.

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Pharmaceutical companies are already coping with the patent cliff and the pressures of a changing healthcare system, and now face potential disruption from real world evidence as a factor in evaluating new drugs. Strategy& Partner Volker Roenicke and Senior Associate Thomas Solbach introduce a recent survey of pharmaceuticals industry leaders, explain the potential risks and opportunities that real world evidence presents, and discuss ways in which pharmaceutical companies can overhaul their R&D model and build the capabilities system they need to survive and thrive in the future…


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Virpax Pharmaceuticals Enters Into CRADA With The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research

Virpax® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | May 06, 2022

Virpax® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a company specializing in developing non-addictive products for pain management, post-traumatic stress disorder, central nervous system (CNS) disorders and anti-viral indications, today announced that it has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research to evaluate Virpax’s Probudur™, an injectable long-acting liposomal bupivacaine in a hydrogel formulation that is injected at the wound site. Probudur is being developed to significantly reduce or eliminate the need for opioids after surgery in approved indications. Probudur is a local anesthetic that binds to the sodium channel, preventing pain signals from reaching the brain. In pre-clinical trials, Probudur has shown long duration pain control for at least 96 hours. The USAISR is the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) primary laboratory for developing solutions for trauma and critical care challenges in combat casualties. “We are excited to announce this CRADA with the DOD as these military and government research collaborations are an integral part of our non-dilutive funding strategy,” Anthony P. Mack, chairman and CEO of Virpax In August of 2020, Virpax entered into a CRADA with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the development of Envelta™, it’s intranasal spray product candidate for severe post-cancer pain and non-cancer pain. Under that agreement, multiple contracts to support the research, development, and manufacturing of Envelta have been awarded by the NIH to continue the product’s progress. About Virpax Pharmaceuticals Virpax is developing branded product candidates for non-addictive pain management and neurological disorders using its proprietary technologies to optimize and target drug delivery. Virpax is initially seeking FDA approval of its three patented drug delivery platforms. Epoladerm™ is a topical diclofenac spray film formulation being developed to manage osteoarthritis pain. Probudur™ is a single injection long-acting liposomal bupivacaine formulation being developed to manage post-operative pain. Envelta™ is an intranasal Molecular-Envelope Technology (MET) enkephalin formulation being developed for the management of post-cancer pain and non-cancer pain, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) under the name PES200. MET technology is also used in AnQlar™, Virpax’s product candidate to inhibit viral replication caused by influenza or SARS-CoV-2. Virpax recently acquired global rights to VRP324, a product candidate for the nasal delivery of a pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol (CBD) for the management of rare pediatric epilepsy.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Ascletis Announces Submission of Marketing Authorization Applications for Ritonavir in Multiple European Countries

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. About Ascletis 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.

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PHARMA TECH

CSL Limited announces tender offer to acquire Vifor Pharma Ltd

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 About CSL 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.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Daewoong Pharmaceutical and HanAll Biopharma Invest in Turn Biotechnologies to Expand Growth Initiative

Daewoong Pharmaceutical and HanAll Biopharma | April 12, 2022

Daewoong Pharmaceutical and HanAll Biopharma announced expansion of their open collaboration strategy by investing in Turn Biotechnologies, a Silicon Valley based company focused on developing novel mRNA medicines. The companies are supporting Turn Bio's continued development of a high-potential platform and are considering future long-term collaborations. Turn Bio is a pre-clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on cellular repair via epigenetic reprogramming of cells. The technological foundation for Turn Bio's proprietary Epigenetic Reprogramming of Age (ERA™) methodology was developed by Turn Bio's co-founders in the Sebastiano Lab, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine. The technology has since been patented and Turn Bio is currently using it to complete pre-clinical research on therapies targeting indications in dermatology and immunology, as well as developing therapies for ophthalmology, osteoarthritis and the muscular system. "Many age-related diseases have long been significant areas of patients' unmet need. Turn Bio's innovative platform may bring a pivotal transformation to a wide array of therapeutic areas. HanAll is committing support and investment to help realize the full potential of this pioneering technology as Turn Bio advances to a new phase of growth." Dr. Almira Chabi, chief medical officer and chief development officer at HanAll Pharmaceutical International "The support of Daewoong Pharmaceutical and HanAll Biopharma validates our approach to cellular rejuvenation and enables Turn to expand its efforts in multiple therapeutic indications," said Anja Krammer, the company's CEO. "We are thrilled that a company as well known for its innovation, has taken interest in our promise to transform the way medicine treats diseases of aging and we look forward to further collaborations to help change quality of life and healthcare economics globally." The proceeds from this round of financing will support Turn Bio's advancement towards a phase 1 trial of its mRNA therapy candidate TRN-001, which targets indications in dermatology. About HanAll Biopharma Co., Ltd. HanAll Biopharma is a global biopharmaceutical company founded in 1973, with a mission of making meaningful contributions to patients' lives by introducing innovative, impactful therapies to address severe unmet medical needs. HanAll has been operating a portfolio of pharmaceutical products in areas ranging from endocrine, circulatory, and urologic diseases for more than 48 years. HanAll has also expanded its focus to ophthalmology, immunology, oncology and neurology to discover and develop innovative medicines for patients with diseases for which there are no effective treatments. A leading pipeline asset, HL161 (INN: batoclimab), an anti-FcRn antibody drug, is in Phase 3 and Phase 2 trials across the world for the treatment of rare autoimmune disorders including myasthenia gravis, thyroid eye disease, warm autoimmune hymolytic anemia, neuromyelitis optica, and immune thrombocytopenia. Another main asset, HL036 (INN: tanfanercept), an anti-TNF alpha protein drug, is in Phase 3 clinical trials in the US and China for the treatment of dry eye disease. About Daewoong Pharmaceutical. Co., Ltd. Established in 1945, Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a leading South Korean pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, and commercializes pharmaceuticals for both domestic and international markets. With a strong and innovative in-house R&D and advanced manufacturing facilities, Daewoong provides a total healthcare solution to customers across the globe. Continuing on its course of building a strong global healthcare company, Daewoong has broadened international operations by establishing branch offices and research centers throughout Asia and the United States. Daewoong has also expanded strategic partnerships in more than 100 countries worldwide. About Turn Biotechnologies Turn Bio is a pre-clinical-stage company focused on repairing tissue at the cellular level. The company's proprietary mRNA platform technology, ERA™, restores optimal gene expression by combatting the effects of aging in the epigenome. This restores the cells' ability to prevent or treat disease, and heal or regenerate tissue and will help to fight incurable chronic diseases.

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Spotlight

Pharmaceutical companies are already coping with the patent cliff and the pressures of a changing healthcare system, and now face potential disruption from real world evidence as a factor in evaluating new drugs. Strategy& Partner Volker Roenicke and Senior Associate Thomas Solbach introduce a recent survey of pharmaceuticals industry leaders, explain the potential risks and opportunities that real world evidence presents, and discuss ways in which pharmaceutical companies can overhaul their R&D model and build the capabilities system they need to survive and thrive in the future…

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