Sanofi and Regeneron's Dupixent scores 3rd FDA approval in sinusitis with nasal polyps

fiercepharma | June 26, 2019

Sanofi and Regeneron’s Dupixent has been charging ahead since its initial approval in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, later picking up a follow-up nod in moderate-to-severe asthma. Wednesday, the drug scored FDA approval for its third use: to treat adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. Dupixent is the first biologic medicine approved for the condition, which obstructs sinuses and nasal passages. The disease leads to difficulty breathing, reduction in sense of smell and taste and facial pressure. It’s also associated with diseases such as asthma.  In clinical testing, patients who took Dupixent experienced reductions in nasal polyp size and congestion and experienced improvements in their ability to smell. Patients on the med also required less surgery and steroids. Fifty-nine percent of study patients also had asthma, and those patients experienced better lung function, investigators found. About three-fourths of patients in testing “no longer required either corticosteroids or surgery, the current standards of care,” Regeneron Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos said in a statement. Dupixent is approved for patients who aren't controlled on the current standard of care. The nod comes as Dupixent posts big sales growth for Sanofi. Last year, the med pulled in €788 million. It’s an important growth driver, particularly as other areas in Sanofi’s business struggle. Dupixent scored a priority review for the new use back in March.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

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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Teva Reaches Agreement With Texas to Settle the State’s Opioid-Related Claims

Teva Pharmaceuticals | February 08, 2022

Teva Pharmaceuticals, a U.S. affiliate of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its affiliates, has reached an agreement with the Attorney General (AG) of Texas that settles the state’s and its subdivisions opioid-related claims. Under the terms of the settlement, Teva will pay Texas $150 million over a 15-year time period and will provide the recently launched, lifesaving medicine generic Narcan®, valued at $75 million over 10 years. “Expanding access to lifesaving medicines is at the core of Teva’s mission. The Texas Attorney General is taking steps to address the opioid epidemic in the State by negotiating a settlement that includes critical medicines as part of their solution. While the settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by Teva or its affiliates, it remains in the best interest of Teva to put these cases behind us and continue to focus on the patients we serve every day.” Kåre Schultz, Teva’s President and CEO Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids.1 As of December 2021, Teva has made available the first generic version of this critical medicine and has included this product in the Company’s ongoing pursuit of a national or narrower settlement with individual states such as the deal announced today. The Company will continue to defend itself in court in states where we have not reached terms of a settlement agreement. Teva believes that today’s settlement with the state of Texas is a critical step forward in getting life-saving treatments to people suffering from opioid addiction. About Teva Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has been developing and producing medicines to improve people’s lives for more than a century. We are a global leader in generic and specialty medicines with a portfolio consisting of over 3,500 products in nearly every therapeutic area. Around 200 million people around the world take a Teva medicine every day, and are served by one of the largest and most complex supply chains in the pharmaceutical industry. Along with our established presence in generics, we have significant innovative research and operations supporting our growing portfolio of specialty and biopharmaceutical products.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Ultivue Announces Co-Marketing Agreement with Aignostics for Unique Spatial AI-Powered Imaging Solutions for Translational Medicine

Ultivue, Inc., | March 10, 2022

Ultivue, Inc., an industry leader in multiplexing tools and novel image analysis solutions for tissue biomarker studies, and Aignostics GmbH, a global leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered precision diagnostics focused on pathology to assist with research, clinical trials and CDx development, announced a partnership to collaborate on the co-development of AI-powered spatial multiplexed immunophenotype solutions for translational research groups and Biopharma. The companies have already been working together since early 2021 to adapt Aignostics’ client platform to support visualization and analysis for some of Ultivue’s products and services, as well as provisioning of results and corresponding reports. The resulting co-developed platform will now be made available to joint clients. Additionally, proof of concept work conducted on the Ultivue 12-plex Immunophenotyping biomarker panel in over 1,000 clinical NSCLC cases has demonstrated encouraging results for the capacity of AI-based analysis of multiplexed images for more consistent and reproducible readouts at scale. These results will be published later this year and respective AI models made available via the platform. The companies are now expanding their relationship under a co-marketing agreement to offer the multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) platform to their respective biotech and pharma clients, initially for research use, with a GCP-compliant version to follow later this year. Moreover, Ultivue and Aignostics will offer AI-powered image analysis services within the platform via Aignostics “Explainable AI” approach for the consistent and precise analysis of mIF cohorts at scale, for both translational research and clinical trial research services in Ultivue’s CLIA accredited clinical research laboratory. “We are excited to extend our workflow offering to include mIF AI for highly automated image analysis by partnering with Aignostics,” says Florian Leiss, VP Digital Health at Ultivue. “Improved viewing capabilities enable us to interactively explore the interplay of mIF-labeled cell populations in the histological context of same-slide H&E.” “We believe that development of Ultivue’s assays with our AI-powered image analysis will create insights from data at scale that are unprecedented in spatial biology today. We are excited to start offering this approach to our clients for translational science and clinical trials,” Viktor Matyas, CEO of Aignostics Besides offering research and development services to its clients, Ultivue and Aignostics will also develop products for standardized analysis of certain Ultivue products, paving the way for more widespread use of these technologies in both clinical trials and clinical routine. About Ultivue Ultivue provides researchers and scientists in translational medicine with multiplex biomarker assays for tissue phenotyping and digital pathology. Its proprietary InSituPlex® technology enables advanced exploration and interrogation of tissue samples for precision medicine research. These highly customizable solutions coupled with our scientific consultative approach strengthen and accelerate biomarker discovery and drug development programs. About Aignostics Aignostics, a Berlin based company with offices in the US, is a digital pathology company dedicated to novel precision diagnostics through the use of a proprietary “Explainable AI” platform in pre-clinical and translational research and clinical trials. The use of such technology is expected to be crucial to implementation of AI-powered algorithms in routine diagnostics in order to verify (explain) the model’s decision outputs. Additionally, through its close alignment to Charité and TU Berlin amongst other collaborators, only Aignostics offers the combination of data access, sample testing and pathology expertise to develop digital pathology algorithms spanning multi-modal biomarker assay detection systems such as H&E, IHC and mIF, amongst others.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Virpax Pharmaceuticals Recaps Milestones and Highlights Product Portfolio

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™ 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™ 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™ 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™ 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. VRP324 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.

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Spotlight

Download this white paper, which looks at novel biologics in development for the treatment of uncontrolled, eosinophilic asthma and whether they can fulfill the promise of truly targeted therapies for one of the most prevalent respiratory diseases worldwide. Novel Biologics for Asthma: Steps on the Long Road to Therapies for Uncontrolled Asthma

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