Roche closes on EU approval for Tecentriq in breast cancer

Pharmaphorum | July 01, 2019

Roche is heading for EU approval of Tecentriq as first-line therapy for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), ahead of its checkpoint inhibitor rivals. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) backed the use of the PD-L1 inhibitor in patients with locally-advanced or metastatic TNBC that cannot be treated with surgery and who haven’t previously received chemotherapy. The EMA typically approves drugs a few weeks after a positive CHMP opinion. The new indication – which was approved by the FDA in March – is seen as a big commercial opportunity for Tecentriq (atezolizumab) as it is the first checkpoint inhibitor to be cleared for use in any form of breast cancer. It not only represents a sizeable patient population, affecting around 15% of the 2 million women diagnosed with breast cancer each year worldwide, but also has no competition yet from other cancer immunotherapies such as Merck & Co/MSD’s market leading Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo. The CHMP positive opinion applies to women whose tumours express PD-L1 but lack receptors for oestrogen, progesterone or HER2 – effectively preventing treatment with hormonal therapies or anti-HER2 drugs like Roche’s Herceptin. TNBC is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer with treatment options that until recently were mostly limited to surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, depending on the stage of the disease. AstraZeneca’s Lynparza and Pfizer’s Lynparza can be used in TNBC, but only in patients whose cancers express the BRCA biomarker. Five-year survival rates tend to be much lower with TNBC than with other breast cancer types, so Tecentriq is a welcome new addition to the treatment options for this form of the disease.
Analysts have also suggested that Roche has a lead of at least a year over other checkpoint inhibitors in TNBC, with Keytruda considered to be closest behind with phase 3 results due later this year.

Spotlight

For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new research at the University of Turku in Finland, there is some brain activity during light anesthesia. When patients are awake and hear sentences or words, there is an identifiable brain wave pattern that shows up on EEG readings. The researchers in Finland used healthy volunteers who were given measured doses of anesthesia to a point right before unresponsiveness.


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Love Pharmas Investment in US Biotech Offers Strategic Industry Advantages and Enhanced Shareholder Value

LOVE Pharma | September 09, 2022

Love Pharma Inc. an international mental health and sexual wellness company, remains extremely active in shaping itself into a real competitor in the biotech/pharmaceutical space. The company’s growth and development plan took a major leap forward this week with the announcement that Love Pharma is establishing a “strategic alliance” with Starton Therapeutics a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company in the United States. It’s a relationship that finds Starton ideally aligned with Love Pharma’s mission of improving “quality of life” for its customers. And the benefit to Love Pharma is that Starton is well on its way to transforming standard of care therapies with its proprietary dermal drug delivery technology that allows cancer patients to receive continuous treatment so they can live better, longer. Love Pharma’s investment in Starton Therapeutics is primarily based upon “the company’s interest in innovative drug delivery technology, such as transdermal patches that can reduce side effects, transforming patient outcomes with established, approved medicines allowing for streamlined market entry with long-term IP protections.” A partnership with Starton offers a host of advantages to Love Pharma and its shareholders, including a wealth of experience from industry leaders, proven clinical trials using its proprietary technology, and a “continuous drug delivery” platform that Love Pharma could exploit in the development of its own clinical portfolio—especially in the “addiction” space. The company’s strategic investment certainly makes a lot of sense for the future of this young global brand. “This investment provides our shareholders with exposure to a rapidly developing therapeutics business, which just reported positive data from a phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the pharmacokinetics and safety of the company’s continuous delivery lenalidomide program. Starton is also entering a phase 2 trial, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already cleared an Investigational New Drug application for STAR-OLZ in Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV). Love Pharma’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zachary Stadnyk, said of the relationship “With this investment in Starton, we are building our relationship, forming an alliance, and look to Starton’s expert management team to reduce risk in our own portfolio of clinical pursuits and focus more on the addiction space.” So, what made Starton Therapeutics an attractive investment now? Well, earlier this year, Love Pharma partnered with researchers at Johns Hopkins University. This research initiative aligns with key principles in Love Pharma’s strategy as it aims to develop innovative products that establish new consumer applications based upon science and efficacy. And to further its meticulous plan, the company likely sees a much smoother path forward by expanding its development strategy to include guidance from a vast selection of industry and clinical experts and a highly de-risked avenue into the clinic by way of this strategic alliance with Starton. It's no secret that Love Pharma wants to develop its own clinical portfolio, and specifically, has its eye on developing therapeutic treatments for addiction. Pharmaceutical applications for addiction and recovery treatment are an unmet need and represent a growing market, including in the cannabis space where the Johns Hopkins research initiative is focused. With Starton’s mission of delivering meaningful patient outcomes by leveraging the untapped potential of continuous delivery and dermal technology, it’s obvious that Love Pharma sees this platform technology and its endless opportunities for expansion, as an ideal platform on which it can develop its own therapeutic treatment(s) for addiction. The benefit to partnering with Starton and having access to its platform technology is that the “proof of concept” is complete, and the technology has proven it can address unmet medical needs using already FDA-approved drugs to transform patient outcomes. For Love Pharma and its shareholders, this means much of the hard work is already done. Starton’s proprietary continuous delivery technology can increase efficacy of approved drugs, make them more tolerable, and expand their potential use. Starton uses three different delivery technologies to provide continuous, low-dose delivery as part of its strategic platform that provides a controlled, sustained release over multiple days. Starton uses proven transdermal and subcutaneous technologies to transform approved medicines–establishing superiority or new indications. It is the potential to establish a new indication/use for already approved drugs using the delivery technology, namely in the addiction space that is enticing to Love Pharma. And Love Pharma isn’t stopping there. The company announced that “to further accelerate its planned strategic alliance with Starton, and to bolster the company’s own biotech initiatives in the area, Love Pharma is in discussions with TRPL Laboratory, the lab that develops and supports Starton’s transdermal drug delivery programs and is a global leader in transdermal delivery systems.” Investors in Love Pharma couldn’t ask for a better way to reduce the risk associated with the company developing its own clinical portfolio than by surrounding itself with a plethora of industry and clinical leaders. That expertise begins with Pedro Lichtinger, the CEO and Chairman of the Board at Starton. Lichtinger has spent almost 40-years in the biotechnology arena, including 16 years at Pfizer as President of Global Primary Care and as Pfizer’s President of Europe. Additionally, Love Pharma can draw from the experiences of the former Global Lead, Multiple Myeloma at Celgene, world-renowned scientific leaders in their field leading each program at Dana Farber/Harvard, Mayo Clinic, and Moffitt Cancer Center, and a breadth of operational expertise in regulatory, clinical development, manufacturing, and intellectual property. The company stated that it is currently identifying and assessing disruptive opportunities within the transdermal biotechnology field, which it believes can be a superior delivery system in many cases for new and existing pharmaceutical therapeutic drugs. With its initial investment in Starton, the company believes it can leverage their expertise and proven success to credibly evaluate potential acquisitions in the transdermal field of advanced drug delivery systems. This news should be seen as extremely encouraging by the company’s investors as it could dramatically accelerate Love Pharma’s path to the clinic and the development of its own clinical portfolio. After all, it is these relationships in the biopharma industry that can lead to promising results and real shareholder value. About Love Pharma Inc. With a focus on the global sexual Health and Wellness markets, Love Pharma Inc. was founded in 2020, with a mission to bring to market innovative products that enhance sexual health and wellness while providing an improved quality of life. Love Pharma holds exclusive licenses to produce, market, package, sell, and distribute patent-protected therapeutic and pharmaceutical products throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America. About Starton Therapeutics A clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming standard of care therapies with proprietary dermal technology, so people with cancer can receive continuous treatment to live better, longer. Starton’s proprietary transdermal technology is intended to increase efficacy of approved drugs, to make them more tolerable and expand their potential use. About Stock Market Media Group Stock Market Media Group is a News and Media content development IR firm offering a platform for corporate stories to unfold in the media with press releases, feature news articles, research reports, corporate videos, and radio-style CEO interviews.

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SCA Pharma Names Louis Pace as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer

SCA Pharma | July 15, 2022

SCA Pharma, a nationally recognized leader in the 503B compounding pharmaceuticals outsourcing industry providing quality, service, and value to hospitals nationwide, has announced today the addition of Louis Pace as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer. Pace brings over 30 years of experience serving several successful private equity backed businesses in functional and P&L leadership roles. Most recently, Mr. Pace served as Chief Financial Officer at Orchid Orthopedic Solutions where he successfully led strategy deployment efforts that focused on growth and profitability improvement. "I am extremely excited to welcome Louis to the team and to partner with him as we continue to accelerate growth at SCA Pharma. SCA Pharma is committed to providing innovative solutions for our 503B customers that help health systems manage their drug supply chain and pharmacy operations more efficiently. That evolution requires a more strategic and diversified approach, which suits Louis' background. Louis will manage our finance and accounting teams as well as our information technology strategy. He will concentrate on prioritizing internal and external business opportunities." Scott Luce, CEO of SCA Pharma "I am looking forward to working with the exceptional team at SCA Pharma. I am excited to build on SCA Pharma's current success and be a part of the company's future growth," said Louis Pace. Mr. Pace holds an AB in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management. About SCA Pharma SCA Pharma is a nationally recognized leader in the FDA 503B outsourcing industry, specializing in providing the highest quality sterile admixture services and pre-filled syringes to hospital and health-care facility pharmacies. The company serves all therapeutic areas of pharmacy — including critical care, labor and delivery, anesthesia, and pain management — and maintains a wide portfolio of products, including ready-to-use and drug-shortage medications.

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Glaukos Licenses Iveena’s Investigational Keratoconus Therapy

iVeena and Glaukos | August 25, 2022

iVeena Delivery Systems Inc. a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with developmental products in keratoconus and pediatric myopia, has entered into a strategic licensing agreement with Glaukos Corporation that grants Glaukos an exclusive global license to develop and commercialize IVMED-80, a pharmacologic treatment for keratoconus. Keratoconus, a rare corneal disorder, is the leading cause of primary full-thickness corneal transplantation in the United States. IVMED-80 is a proprietary disease modifying topical eye drop with orphan drug designation that upregulates lysyl oxidase and induces pharmacologic corneal crosslinking to strengthen the cornea and treat keratoconus. In a 6-month phase 1/2a clinical study, IVMED-80 met its primary endpoint of a statistically significant reduction in baseline-adjusted Kmax of 1.0 D relative to placebo. “We are pleased to complete this agreement with Glaukos. This deal validates the technology we have developed at iVeena to induce corneal crosslinking pharmacologically via eyedrops. Glaukos is a strong partner to complete development of this product where, if approved, patients will have an additional keratoconus treatment option.” iVeena CEO Jerry Simmons As part of the agreement Glaukos paid $10 Million upfront and will assume all costs associated with development and regulatory activities on IVMED-80. In addition, deal terms include the potential for both development and sales milestone payments as well as royalties on sales to iVeena. About iVeena iVeena Delivery Systems, Inc. is a privately held, clinical stage ophthalmology company developing disease-modifying pharmacologic innovations for refractive diseases. iVeena has licensed its lead asset to Glaukos Corporation, IVMED-80, an Orphan Drug Designated eye drop for keratoconus. iVeena is developing IVMED-85, a first in class, investigational eyedrop formulation for pediatric myopia where it plans to initiate a first in human clinical trial early 2023. About Glaukos Glaukos is an ophthalmic medical technology and pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel therapies for the treatment of glaucoma, corneal disorders and retinal diseases. Glaukos first developed Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) as an alternative to the traditional glaucoma treatment paradigm, launching its first MIGS device commercially in 2012, and has since developed a portfolio of technologically distinct and leverageable platforms to support ongoing pharmaceutical and medical device innovations. Products or product candidates for each of these platforms are designed to advance the standard of care through better treatment options across the areas of glaucoma, corneal disorders and retinal diseases.

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Satio and Institut Pasteur de Dakar Form Strategic Partnership on Research, Development, Manufacture, and Distribution

Satio, Inc and Institut Pasteur de Dakar | August 24, 2022

Satio, Inc., a privately held medical device company developing breakthrough, consumer-driven diagnostic and drug delivery solutions, announced a strategic partnership agreement with Institut Pasteur de Dakar. By combining SatioRxTM intradermal patches and Institut Pasteur de Dakar technologies, the partnership aims to accelerate clinical development of and access to vaccine patches for addressing epidemics, as well as diagnostic patches for blood sampling, genetic testing, and pathogen surveillance. Both entities also collaborate with INTACT, an innovative aseptic packaging company. The collaboration will enable access to immunization by exploring alternatives to vials such as plastic pouches for vaccines, and by replacing traditional needles with SatioRxTM intradermal patches and INTACT aseptic fluid transfer technology. The focus for the three-way collaboration will be for epidemics with pandemic potential. “Satio’s technologies are designed to transform the workflows in healthcare for blood draw, diagnostics and drug delivery using our patented patch-based technology. It’s an honor to partner with Institut Pasteur on these important initiatives specifically for Africa.” Namal Nawana, Executive Chairman and Founder of Satio "The global COVID pandemic has further highlighted the need for rapid and broad access to vaccines and, diagnostics in Africa and beyond. Satio’s technology has the potential to radically simplify the healthcare workflows and to enable delivery at a significantly lower total cost in healthcare systems globally" said Sharad Joshi, President & Chief Executive Officer of Satio. Dr. Amadou Alpha Sall, General Administrator of Foundation Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal, said “Access to innovative health technologies for epidemics is critical to ensure an effective response to global threats. This collaboration aims to put Africa at the heart of vaccine innovation.” About Satio, Inc Satio, Inc., is a privately held medical device company focused on point-of-care patches with on board diagnostic and therapeutic solutions leveraging low-cost and user-friendly technology. The company is developing three different platforms. The first is a vaccine and drug delivery patch that allows for intradermal delivery. The second is a dry blood spot and whole blood sampling patches that allows for a wide variety of lab-based and genomic testing. The third is consumer-based diagnostic patch. About Institut Pasteur de Dakar The Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) is a non-profit public interest foundation located in Senegal with the mission to advance public health in Senegal and Africa by conducting research, providing training and education, sharing scientific knowledge, and advancing vaccine production. Since its founding in 1896, IPD has been at the forefront of the fight against infectious diseases in West Africa. IPD is one of the four WHO prequalified manufacturers for yellow fever vaccine.

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Spotlight

For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new research at the University of Turku in Finland, there is some brain activity during light anesthesia. When patients are awake and hear sentences or words, there is an identifiable brain wave pattern that shows up on EEG readings. The researchers in Finland used healthy volunteers who were given measured doses of anesthesia to a point right before unresponsiveness.

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