PharmaShots’ Key Highlights of Fourth Quarter 2020

  • The fourth quarter of 2020 contains multiple initiations of clinical trials, big approvals, and numerous deals. COVID-19 related news remains at the peak in this quarter
  • Multiple companies received regulatory bodies’ EUA for their vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Initiating with, Regeneron sought the US FDA’s EUA for REGN-COV2 Ab combination while Health Canada accelerated the review for AZ’s COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, AZ’s AZD1222 met its primary endpoint in preventing COVID-19
  • Our team at PharmaShots has summarized and complied with the insights of Q4’20

Sanofi Launches Tetraxim (DTaP-IPV) for Preschoolers in India

Date – Oct 01, 2020

Product – Tetraxim

  • Sanofi’s Tetraxim combines four vaccines into one and provides protection against four diseases – Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus and Polio. The launch reduces the number of injections, increases comfort, and improves vaccination compliance for children
  • Booster vaccines are designed to boost the immunity acquired during prior vaccination. With the launch, Sanofi currently protects school children in 100+ countries, with 63M doses distributed globally
  • Tetraxim (DTaP-IPV) is a 4-in-1 booster vaccine and the only inactivated poliomyelitis containing combination vaccine in India that has full-dose antigenic strength of Diphtheria, Tetanus and acellular Pertussis (whooping cough) for preschoolers

BioMarin Receives the US FDA’s Approval Allowing Maximum Dose of 60mg with Palynziq (pegvaliase-pqpz) for PKU

Date – Oct 08, 2020

Product – Palynziq (pegvaliase-pqpz)

  • The US FDA has approved the sBLA to increase the maximum allowable dose of 60mg with Palynziq for PKU. Previously, the maximum dose was 40mg
  • The label expansion is based on OLE study out to 3yrs. demonstrating that 66% had a blood Phe level ≤360 μmol/L consistent with the Phe target ACMG recommended guidelines @2yrs. of treatment and 50% had blood Phe levels ≤120 μmol/L @2yrs. 75%, 66% & 48% had a blood Phe ≤600, 360, and 120 μmol /L, respectively @3yrs. of treatment
  • Additional, safety data with over 6yrs. of follow up remains consistent with the previous safety profile of Palynziq irrespective of dose. Moreover, BioMarin has dosed the first participant in the global Phearless P-I/II study of BMN 307 for PKU

AbbVie Reports Results of Skyrizi (risankizumab) in P-III LIMMitless Study in Patients with Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

Date – Oct 08, 2020

Product – Skyrizi (risankizumab)

  • The P-III LIMMitless study is designed to evaluate the long-term safety & efficacy assessing risankizumab (150 mg q12wks.) continuous risankizumab with a loading dose in adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The analysis includes integrated data from five P-II & III studies (ultIMMa-1, ultIMMa-2, SustaIMM, IMMvent and NCT03255382) and the LIMMitless study
  • Results: ~63% of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis treated with SKYRIZI achieved completely clear skin for 172 wks., as measured by 100% improvement from baseline in the PASI 100. New results from the P-III LIMMitless study were presented at the 29th EADV Virtual Congress
  • Risankizumab is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy. It is part of a collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim & AbbVie, with AbbVie leading development & commercialisation globally

Regeneron Seeks the US FDA’s EUA for REGN-COV2 Antibody Combination to Treat COVID-19

 Date – Oct 09, 2020

 Product – REGN-COV2

  • Regeneron has submitted a request to the US FDA seeking EUA for its REGN-COV2 investigational Ab regimen to treat COVID-19. If EUA is granted, the US govt. has committed to making REGN-COV2 available in the US at no cost and would be responsible for its distribution
  • The company reported that there are doses available for ~50,000 patients and expects to have doses available for 300,000 patients in total within the next few months
  • REGN-COV2 is a combination of two mAbs, REGN10933 & REGN10987, designed to block the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. The company reported that a single 8g dose of REGN-COV2 was given to President Donald Trump following a compassionate-use request from doctors as part of a treatment regimen

Boehringer Ingelheim Initiates P-II Study of BI 764198 for Patients with Severe Respiratory Illness from COVID-19

 Date – Oct 29, 2020

 Product – BI 764198

  • The P-II trial will assess BI 764198 (qd for ~4wks.) in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with expected enrollment initiation in Oct’2020. The 1EPs will be the percentage of patients who are alive and free of mechanical ventilation at day 29 of treatment while other EPs include clinical improvement, oxygen saturation & ICU admission
  • The therapy has shown a reduction in cellular damage and lung edema in preclinical studies and may provide similar benefits in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. BI 764198 was well tolerated in P-I study in healthy adults
  • BI 764198 is potent & selective inhibitor of TRPC6, focusing to reduce the need for ventilator support and to improve patient recovery rate

Roche’s Tecentriq in Combination with Avastin Receives China NMPA’s Approval for the treatment of Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Date – Oct 30, 2020

Product – Tecentriq + Avastin

  • The approval was based on the P-III IMbrave150 study (n=501) assessing the combination of Tecentriq (1200 mg, IV) and Avastin (15 mg/kg, IV) or sorafenib (400 mg, bid) in unresectable HCC patients who had not received prior systemic therapy which included analyses of a cohort of Chinese patients (n=194) from the same study
  • Results: Tecentriq in combination with Avastin reduced the risk of OS by 56% (among Chinese patients) and 42% (global results) & the PFS risk by 40% (among Chinese patients) and 41% (global results) as compared with sorafenib
  • IMbrave150 is the 1st P-III cancer immunotherapy study to show an improvement in OS and PFS in people with unresectable or metastatic HCC compared with sorafenib. Additionally. in May 2020, the US FDA approved Tecentriq in combination with Avastin for the treatment of people with unresectable or metastatic HCC who have not received prior systemic therapy

Sanofi Entered into an Agreement with Merck to Conduct a P-II Study of THOR-707 in Sequenced Administration with MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in Patients with Various Cancers

 Date – Oct 30, 2020

 Product – Keytruda

  • Sanofi will sponsor the clinical trials while MSD will provide KEYTRUDA. Additionally, Sanofi is separately evaluating the activity of THOR-707 in combination with other anti-PD-1 antibodies, including Libtayo (cemiplimab-rwlc) and with anti-EGFR and anti-CD38 antibodies for various types of cancer tumors
  • In preclinical studies, THOR-707 demonstrated the ability to induce the expansion of CD8+T-cells resulting in anti-tumor effects both as a single agent as well as in combination with an anti-PD1 mAb
  • THOR-707 is currently being evaluated by Sanofi in an ongoing P-I dose escalation and expansion trial assessing THOR-707 and determining its recommended P-II dose alone and in combination with anti-PD-1 and anti-EGFR antibodies

Janssen Reports Results of Tremfya (guselkumab) in Interim Analysis of P-II GALAXI 1 study for Moderately to Severely Active Crohn’s Disease

 Date – Oct 30, 2020

  Product – Tremfya

  • The P-II GALAXI 1 study involves assessing of Tremfya vs PBO in patients with mod. to severely active CD with intolerance to conventional therapies. In interim analyses, patients were randomized equally into 5 arms, with Tremfya (200/600/1200 mg (IV) @0, 4 & 8wks. respectively or with ustekinumab, dosed at ~6mg/kg (IV) @0wk. and dosed 90 mg (SC) @8wks. or PBO
  • @12wks. (Tremfya vs PBO), reductions in CDAI (154.1, -144.3, -149.5 vs -36.0); patients achieving clinical remission vs PBO (CDAI<150): (54.0%, 56.0%, 50.0% vs 15.7%); clinical remission among conventional therapy failures & among patients who had previously failed biologic therapy, (61.6% vs 18.5% & 45.5% vs 12.5%) respectively
  • @12wks, Tremfya induced greater improvement across key clinical and endoscopic outcome measures, with a safety profile consistent with approved indications. Tremfya is a mAb that selectively binds to the p19 subunit of (IL)-23 and inhibits its interaction with the IL-23 receptor

Pfizer & BioNTech Receives MHRA’s EUA for BNT162b2 Against COVID-19

Date – Nov 02, 2020

Product- BNT162b2

  • Pfizer & BioNTech reports that the MHRA in the UK has granted a temporary authorization for the EU for BNT162b2 against COVID-19. The distribution of vaccine will be prioritized according to the populations identified in guidance from the JCVI
  • The MHRA’s decision is based on a rolling submission, including data from the P-III study, demonstrating 95% efficacy in participants without & with/ out prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, in each case measured from 7 days after the second dose
  • This marks the first EUA following a WW P-III trial of a vaccine to combat the pandemic. The companies are anticipating further regulatory decisions across the globe in Dec’2020

AstraZeneca to Divest European Rights of Crestor (rosuvastatin) to Grünenthal for ~$350M

Date – Nov 02, 2020

Product- Crestor

  • Grünenthal to acquire EU rights (Ex- Spain and the UK) of Crestor & its associated brands for ~$350M and will take over bulk production and packaging by 2025. The deal is expected to be closed in Q1’21
  • The payments will be made in two tranches: $320M will be paid upon transaction closing and $30M as additional milestones
  • Crestor is a statin, a lipid-lowering agent used to treat blood-lipid disorders & to prevent CV events, such as heart attacks & strokes, and is approved as a lipid-regulating medicine in 100+ countries

Genentech and Novartis’s Xolair (omalizumab) Receives the FDA’s Approval for Adults with Nasal Polyps

Date – Nov 02, 2020

Product- Xolair

  • The approval is based on P-III POLYP 1 & 2 trials assessing Xolair vs PBO in 138 & 127 adult patients with nasal polyps who had an inadequate response to nasal corticosteroids respectively
  • Results: @24wks. improvement in NPS (-1.1 vs 0.1 & -0.9 vs -0.3); improvement in NCS (-0.9 vs -0.4 & -0.7 vs -0.2); no new or unexpected safety signals were identified respectively
  • Xolair is the first biologic for the treatment of nasal polyps that targets and blocks IgE. In the US, Novartis & Genentech work together to develop and co-promote Xolair

Celltrion Presents Results of CT-P17 (biosimilar, adalimumab) in P-III Study for RA at ACR 2020

Date – Nov 03, 2020

Product – CT-P17(biosimilar,adalimumab)

  • The P-III study involves assessing CT-P17 (40mg, q2w) vs reference adalimumab for up to 24wks. in 648 patients with active moderate-to-severe RA despite MTX treatment
  • Results demonstrated that CT-P17 has equivalent efficacy to reference adalimumab i.e. ACR20 is 82.7% for both, 2EPs include ACR20/50/70 response rates, mean DAS28, CDAI & SDAI & EULAR (CRP) response, Ctrough of adalimumab is higher for CT-P17 & lower in the ADA positive subgroup than the ADA negative subgroup in both treatment groups, the safety profile is comparable
  • Additionally, comparable PK and safety data is presented for CT-P17 in comparison with EU-approved & US-licensed adalimumab in 312 healthy subjects. Celltrion also presented PK and safety data for two delivery methods for CT-P17, the auto-injector (AI) and pre- filled syringe (PFS)

AstraZeneca and Fusion Collaborate to Develop and Commercialize Radiopharmaceuticals and Combination Therapies for Cancer

Date – Nov 03, 2020

Product – FPI-1434

  • Fusion to receive up front, as well as development milestones and other payments. The companies will jointly discover, develop, and have an option to co-commercialize novel TATs in the US while AstraZeneca will lead commercialization in the ROW with equal profit & loss sharing globally
  • The collaboration leverages Fusion’s TAT platform and expertise in radiopharmaceuticals with AstraZeneca’s leading portfolio of Abs and cancer therapies, including DDRis
  • Additionally, the companies will exclusively explore certain specified combination strategies between TATs (including Fusion’s FPI-1434) and AstraZeneca’s therapies for the treatment of multiple cancers. Both companies will retain full rights to their respective assets

Janssen Acquires Rights to Hemera’s HMR59 for Late-Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Date – Nov 03, 2020

Product- HMR59

  • Janssen acquires rights to Hemera’s HMR59, administered as a one-time, outpatient, IVT inj. to help preserve vision in patients with geographic atrophy
  • The acquisition will boost Janssen’s eye disease portfolio & strengthens its gene therapy capabilities
  • HMR59 is designed to increase the ability of retina cells to make a soluble form of CD59, helping to prevent further damage to the retina and preserve vision. The P-I study of the therapy for patients with geographic atrophy is completed while the P-I study exploring HMR59 in patients with wet-AMD is currently conducting follow-up visits to evaluate the long-term safety

BMS’ Deucravacitinib (BMS-986165) Demonstrate Superiority Over Amgen’ Otezla (apremilast) in P-III POETYK PSO-1 Study for Plaque Psoriasi

Date – Nov 04, 2020

Product- Deucravacitinib

  • The P-III POETYK PSO-1 study involves assessing deucravacitinib (6mg, qd) vs PBO & Otezla (apremilast) in 666 patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
  • The trial met its co-1EPs & 2EPs demonstrating deucravacitinib was superior to Otezla (apremilast) in the patients reaching a PASI 75 and sPGA 0/1 @16wks. The overall safety profile of deucravacitinib was consistent with previously reported P-II results
  • Deucravacitinib (BMS-986165, PO) is the first & only novel selective TYK2 inhibitor, currently being evaluated in psoriasis, PsA, lupus, and IBD

Janssen Reports BLA Submission of Amivantamab to the US FDA for Metastatic NSCLC with EGFR Exon 20 Insertion Mutations

Date – Nov 04, 2020

Product- amivantamab

  • The BLA is based on the P-I CHRYSALIS study assessing amivantamab as a monothx. and in combination with lazertinib in adult patients with advanced NSCLC
  • The company has established an EAP for patients in the US who may be eligible to obtain access to mivantamab during the review of the BLA
  • Amivantamab is an EGFR & MET bispecific Ab with the immune cell-directing activity that targets tumors with activating & resistance to EGFR & MET mutations & amplifications. Amivantamab has received the US FDA’s BTD in Mar’2020

Merck to Acquire VelosBio for $2.75B

Date – Nov 05, 2020

Product- VLS-101

  • Merck will acquire all the outstanding shares of VelosBio for $2.75B in cash. The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of 2020
  • The acquisition will bolster Merck’s oncology pipeline with the addition of VelosBio’s VLS-101, which is an investigational ADC targeting ROR1 to treat hematological malignancies and solid tumors
  • In Oct’2020, VelosBio has initiated P-II study to evaluate VLS-101 for the treatment of patients with solid tumors, including patients with TNBC, HR+/HER2+ BC, and NSCLC. Additionally, VelosBio is developing a preclinical pipeline of ADCs and bispecific Abs targeting ROR1 to complement VLS-101 by offering alternative methods of tumor cell killing

Merck KGaA Collaborates with Iktos to Deploy AI in New Drug Design

Date – Nov 05, 2020

Product- N/A

  • Iktos will leverage its de novo generative design technology to be used in a structure-enabled context, facilitating the rapid & cost-effective design of Merck KGaA’s drug discovery program
  • The collaboration follows the previous agreement of the companies signed in 2019. Merck KGaA is utilizing Iktos’ de novo design software platform Makya for MPO
  • Iktos’ AI technology is based on deep generative models that help bring speed & efficiency to the drug discovery process by automatically designing virtual novel molecules having desired activities for treating a disease

Novavax Collaborates with Commonwealth of Australia to Supply 40M doses of NVX-CoV2373 for COVID-19

Date – Nov 05, 2020

Product- NVX-CoV2373

  • Novavax has signed a non-binding Heads of Terms document with the Australian Government to supply 40M doses of NVX-CoV2373 for the Australian community
  • The delivery will start as early as H1’21, following the completion of P-III study and the TGA’s approval of the vaccine. The vaccine regimen is expected to require two doses per individual, administered 21 days apart.
  • NVX-CoV2373 is evaluated in P-ll trial in the UK and 2 ongoing P-ll studies that began in Aug’2020, a P-llb trial in SA, and a P-l/ll continuation in the US and Australia. Additionally, Novavax has multiple agreements for the supply of NVX-CoV2373 directly to the US, UK, Canada, and through partnerships, supply to Japan, South Korea, and India

Roche Presents Results of Hemlibra Reinforcing the Long-Term Benefits for Hemophilia A at ASH 2020

Date – Nov 07, 2020

Product- Hemlibra

  • The 4 pivotal HAVEN studies (HAVEN-1, 2, 3, 4) included pooled data from 401 people with hemophilia A with/ out factor VIII inhibitors, with a median duration efficacy period of 120.4wks.
  • Hemlibra maintained low treated bleed rates with ABR remaining low throughout the evaluation period at 1.4. The proportion of participants who experienced 0 treated bleeds (70.8-83.7%) increased with each consecutive 24wks. period
  • Roche also presented the first interim analysis of the EUHASS database suggesting that the safety profile of Hemlibra in the real-world setting is consistent with the clinical trials, with no new/ emerging safety signals. Hemlibra is a bispecific factor IXa- and factor X-directed Ab

Celltrion Reports Results of CT-P59 in P-I Study for COVID-19

Date – Nov 09, 2020

Product – CT-P59

  • The P-I clinical trial involves assessing CT-P59 (20/40/80 mg/kg) vs PBO in 18 patients with mild symptoms of SARS-COV-2 infection who were randomized into 3 cohorts
  • Results: patients demonstrated a 44% reduction in mean clinical recovery time, while no patients required hospitalization or antiviral therapy
  • Celltrion has submitted the IND application for the clinical trial globally & plans to conduct global P-II & P-III trials including Korea. Additionally, Celltrion has also initiated a post-exposure prophylaxis study assessing CT-P59 as a protective treatment, by investigating the efficacy of the treatment in those who have been in contact with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected patients

AstraZeneca’s Calquence (acalabrutinib) Receives EU’s Approval for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia

Date – Nov 10, 2020

Product- Calquence (obinutuzumab)

  • The approval is based on P-lll ELEVATE-TN study assessing Calquence + obinutuzumab or Calquence alone vs obinutuzumab + CT in patients with previously untreated CLL and ASCEND study assessing Calquence vs rituximab + idelalisib/ bendamustine in patients with r/r CLL
  • ELEVATE-TN results: a reduction in the risk of disease progression or death (90% and 80%). ASCEND results: patients remained alive and free from disease progression @12mos. (88% vs 68%)
  • Calquence is a selective inhibitor of BTK, binds covalently to BTK, thereby inhibiting its activity. The approval follows CHMP’s recommendation received in Jul’2020

Pfizer Reports Results of Abrocitinib in Fifth P-lll JADE REGIMEN Across Different Dosing Regimens

Date – Nov 12, 2020

Product- Abrocitinib

  • The P-lll JADE REGIMEN study involves assessing of Abrocitinib (100/ 200mg) vs PBO in 1233 patients aged ≥ 12 yrs. in a ratio (1:1:1) with mod. to sev. AD following response to initial open-label induction treatment with abrocitinib (200mg)
  • Result: The study met its 1EPs i.e. probability of not experiencing a flare @52wks. (81.1%, 57.4% vs 19.1%) and 2EPs i.e. patients maintain an IGA response of clear or almost clear relative
  • Following an initial 12wks. induction treatment phase, fewer patients experienced a flare at any point in the trial @40wks. Abrocitinib is a JAK inhibitor, which modulates multiple cytokines involved in the pathophysiology of AD, including IL-4, IL-13, IL-31, IL-22, and TSLP

UCB Acquires Handl Therapeutics to Augment its Gene Therapy Portfolio

Date – Nov 13, 2020

Product – Handl Therapeutics

  • The acquisition will bolster UCB’s pipeline program, capabilities, and platforms in the gene therapy space. The Handl Therapeutics will continue to be based in Leuven, Belgium while working closely with UCB’s international research teams
  • In addition, the UCB collaborated with Lacerta to focus on CNS diseases, under which Lacera will lead research, preclinical activities, and the early manufacturing process development, while UCB will complete IND-enabling studies, manufacturing, and clinical development
  • The collaboration will allow UCB to access Lacerta’s expertise in AAV-based CNS targeted gene therapies, fortifying UCB’s ability to produce effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

Henlius report the NMPA’s Acceptance of HLX15(biosimilar, Daratumumab) to treat multiple myeloma

Date – Nov 16, 2020

Product- HLX15  

  • The NMPA has accepted HLX15’s IND to be used in the treatment of multiple myeloma. HLX15 is Henlius’ second self-developed product around blood tumor treatment
  • The company evaluated the biosimilar in a head to head clinical studies demonstrating that HLX15 is highly similar to its reference daratumumab while the safety profiles are also similar
  • The company has developed the HLX15 in accordance with the technical guidelines of development and evaluation of biosimilar drugs and EMA guideline on similar biological medicinal products

Pfizer Launches US Pilot Programme for Delivery and Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine, BNT162b2

Date – Nov 20, 2020

Product- BNT162b2

  • collaborate to focus at developing & commercializing transformative therapies in Greater China. Both the companies will leverage their clinical development, regulatory and commercial expertise
  • Pfizer will contribute ~$70M of non-dilutive capital toward in-licensing & co-development. At LianBio’s discretion, products will be presented to Pfizer for joint development
  • Pfizer will have a right of first negotiation to obtain commercial rights to jointly developed assets & each company will carry separate financial considerations. Additionally, Pfizer may provide in-kind support for marketing, development & regulatory activities

AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 Meets its Primary Endpoint in Preventing COVID-19

Date – Nov 23, 2020

 Product – AZD1222

  • Interim analysis results of COV002 & COV003 study of AZD1222 in the UK & Brazil showed the vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 and no hospitalizations/ severe cases of the disease were reported
  • One dosing regimen showed an efficacy of 90% when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose of at least 1 mos. apart & another dosing regimen showed 62% efficacy when given as 2 full doses at least 1 mos. apart. The combined analysis from both dosing regimens resulted in the efficacy of ~70%
  • AZ will plan regulatory submission of the data across the globe and will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the WHO for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries.

Roche Launches Cobas PIK3CA Mutation Test for Patients with Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer

Date – Dec 15, 2020

Product- Cobas PIK3CA Mutation Test

  • Roche launches the cobas PIK3CA mutation test for patients with advanced/ m-BC in countries accepting the CE mark
  • The IVT test is a real-time PCR test for the qualitative detection & identification of 17 mutations in exons 2, 5, 8, 10 & 21 in the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of PIK3CA in DNA isolated from FFPET and is intended to identify patients with m-BC harboring mutations
  • This test reports automated results, with flexible throughput to process 30 samples/ run on the widely available cobas z 480 analyzers. The test can detect 17 mutations in the PIK3CA gene and can help clinicians to identify patients who may benefit from PI3K targeted therapy

Abbott’s COVID-19 IgG Quantitative Antibody Blood Test Receives CE Mark

Date – Dec 16, 2020

Product- SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant test

  • Abbott received CE Mark for its new quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG lab-based serology test. The test measures levels of IgG Abs to help in the evaluation of a person’s immune response
  • The study to determines the clinical performance of Abbott’s SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant test on its Alinity i instrument showed that it had 99.60% specificity & 99.35% sensitivity in patients tested 15 days or more after symptoms began
  • The test will be available on both the Abbott ARCHITECT and Alinity i platforms. Abbott plans to submit its test for US FDA’s EUA imminently

Health Canada Accelerates the Review for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine

Date – Dec 15, 2020

Product- COVID-19 vaccine

  • Health Canada expedite the review of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after the vaccine received the UK’s MHRA approval for emergency use
  • Following an agreement to supply 20M of doses for the Government of Canada, AstraZeneca seek out Health Canada’s clearance in Oct’2020, leading to data submission done on a rolling basis for accelerating the review process
  • Health Canada is looking to give Canadians access to COVID-19 vaccines asap without compromising its safety, efficacy, and quality standards

Related Post: PharmaShots’ Key Highlights of Third Quarter 2020

The post PharmaShots’ Key Highlights of Fourth Quarter 2020 first appeared on PharmaShots.

ViewPoints Interview: Janssen’s Kiran Patel Shares Insights on Amivantamab for Metastatic EGFR Exon 20+ NSCLC

In a recent interview with PharmaShots, Kiran Patel, Vice President Clinical Development, Solid Tumor Franchise at Janssen shared his views on the regulatory submission of Amivantamab for the Treatment of Patients with Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with EGFR Exon 20 Insertion Mutations.

Shots:

  • Janssen reported the BLA submission to the US FDA seeking approval of Amivantamab for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 insertion mutations
  • The filing is the first regulatory submission for patients with exon 20 insertion mutations and it also marks Janssen’s first filing for the treatment of patients with lung cancer
  • Amivantamab is an investigational bispecific antibody that targets both a driver mutation as well as a resistance mechanism and has received BTD in March, is being studied as a monothx. & combination therapy in NSCLC with EGFR mutations, including in earlier lines of therapy

Tuba: A quick highlight of clinical data submitted for the BLA submission of Amivantamab to the US FDA?

Kiran: On December 3, 2020, Janssen submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  seeking approval of amivantamab for the treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 insertion mutations whose disease has progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy.

The BLA is supported by data from the monotherapy arm of the Phase 1 CHRYSALIS study, a multi-center, open-label, multi-cohort study. The study evaluated the safety and efficacy of amivantamab as a monotherapy and in combination with lazertinib, a novel third-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), in adult patients with advanced NSCLC.

The submission of this BLA is an important step as we hope to advance a new therapeutic option for patients with NSCLC and exon 20 insertion mutations for whom there are currently no approved targeted therapies. The current standard of care for EGFR Exon 20 insertion mutation-positive NSCLC is chemotherapy.

Tuba: What is the mechanism of action of Amivantamab and how does it work?

Kiran: Amivantamab is an investigational, fully-human, EGFR, and mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) bispecific duo-body with immune-cell directing activity that targets tumors with activating and resistance EGFR and MET mutations and amplifications. As a monotherapy, amivantamab has shown activity in patients with diverse EGFR mutant disease.

Tuba: Why is Janssen focused on metastatic NSCLC with EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations?

Kiran: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. In the U.S., lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, after skin cancer and NSCLC makes up 80 to 85 percent of all lung cancers. EGFR genetic alterations are among the most common driver mutations for NSCLC and are present in 10 to 15 percent of patients with NSCLC. Additionally, EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations identify a distinct subset of lung adenocarcinomas, accounting for at least nine percent of all EGFR mutations.

Currently, there are currently no FDA-approved targeted therapies for patients with NSCLC who have EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations. Given this significant unmet need, we are committed to improving outcomes for patients diagnosed with this complex, deadly disease. Janssen is committed to advancing targeted therapies for patients living with genetically defined lung cancer where there remains a high unmet need for new treatment options.

Tuba: When can we expect approval and launch of amivantamab in the US?

Kiran: The BLA submission was completed on December 3, 2020. In March 2020, amivantamab received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation, which is granted to expedite the development and regulatory review of an investigational medicine that is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening condition. We do not speculate on potential approval timelines.

Tuba: When can we expect results from the CHRYSALIS combination arm?

Kiran: We presented interim data from the CHRYSALIS combination arm at the ESMO 2020 Virtual Congress in September. Data showed the combination of amivantamab and lazertinib achieved a 100 percent overall response rate in the cohort of patients with treatment-naïve EGFR-mutated NSCLC. We look forward to the continued evaluation of amivantamab in combination with lazertinib in EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC patients.

Tuba: How many patients have been part of the expanded access program (EAP) in the US?

Kiran: Jansen established an expanded access program (EAP) for EGFR Exon 20 insertion patients in the U.S. who may be eligible to obtain access to amivantamab during review of the BLA. For information about Janssen’s pre-approval access program, visit https://www.janssen.com/compassionate-use-pre-approval-access. We cannot disclose patient enrollment numbers for the EAP.

Tuba: Has Janssen started any HCP awareness, HCP education, and patient support and awareness programs?

Kiran: We recently launched a website, Hidden EGFR Threats, intended to inform physicians and patients about the multiple threats of EGFR-mutated advanced NSCLC.

Tuba: Is Janssen planning to assess amivantamab in other indications?

Kiran: The results from the CHRYSALIS study have led to new studies to further evaluate the potential of amivantamab and lazertinib combination therapy. The Phase 3 MARIPOSA study will compare amivantamab in combination with lazertinib with osimertinib in untreated advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC, and a Phase 2 trial, CHRYSALIS-2 is ongoing and enrolling patients who have progressed after treatment with osimertinib and chemotherapy.

Tuba: Any near-future plans to file for EU or any other geographies?

Kiran: We have plans to pursue approval of amivantamab in other markets with the goal of bringing this novel therapy to patients around the world who may benefit, but it is premature to speculate about timing.

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Kiran Patel is a Vice President of Clinical Development, Solid Tumor Franchise at Janssen and is serving Janssen since 2015.

Related Post: ViewPoints Interview: Janssen’s Andrew Greenspan Shares Insights on the Data Presented at ACR2020

The post ViewPoints Interview: Janssen’s Kiran Patel Shares Insights on Amivantamab for Metastatic EGFR Exon 20+ NSCLC first appeared on PharmaShots.

Exclusive Webinar: Health Economics & Outcomes Research /Health Technology Assessment: The evolving role in the Indian Healthcare Ecosystem

Intellimed in collaboration with alpha MD & IMPA along with PharmaShots as the media partner is gladly organizing a webinar on “Health Economics & Outcomes Research /Health Technology Assessment: The evolving role in the Indian Healthcare Ecosystem”

The objective of the webinar is to discuss the need for affordable healthcare in India and the role of economic evidence for affordable healthcare in India.

Key-note address:

  • Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, MD

President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)

Topic: The need for affordable healthcare in India

Special address:

  • Dr. V. M. Katoch, MD

FNASc, FASc, FAMS, FNA. NASI-ICMR Chair on Public Health Research at (RUHS), Jaipur

Topic: The Role of economic evidence in India for affordable healthcare

  Guest Speaker:

  •   Dr. Rajesh Balkrishnan, PhD

 Professor of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine

 Clinical Professor, University of Virginia School of Nursing

TopicReal World Evaluations of the Effectiveness of Medical Care: Relevance in the Current Scenario

Panel Discussion:

  Topic: HEOR & HTA studies for healthcare delivery in India – An Industry Perspective

  • Mr. A Vaidheesh

Chief Executive Officer Northstar Asis LLP, Former manager director/VP south Asia glaxosmithkline & former VP India Johnson & Johnson

  • Mr. Manoj Saxena

  Managing Director, Bayer Zydus Pharma & CDH south Asia Bayer Pharma

  • Mr. Omar Sherief Mohammad

General Manager, Roche Diabetes Care India Pvt. Ltd.

  • Dr. Anish Desai

  Director. IntelliMed Healthcare Solutions & Honorary Professor, Pharmaceutical Medicine MUHS.

 Moderator:

  • Mr Vivek Padgaonkar

Independent Healthcare Consultant Former-Director, Former Director OPPI (Project & Policy), Former GSK (Sales & Marketing)

The post Exclusive Webinar: Health Economics & Outcomes Research /Health Technology Assessment: The evolving role in the Indian Healthcare Ecosystem first appeared on PharmaShots.

PharmaShots’ Most Read News of 2020

“Lockdown’ declared Collins Dictionary word of the year. The year 2020, well known as COVID-19 year has been a busy year for global pharma and biotech companies involved in M&A, option & licensing agreements, and gaining approvals. Our team has compiled a list of 30 most read life sciences news on PharmaShots in 2020.

1. Bayer Signs an Exclusive Option to License Agreement with Dare Biosciences to Commercialize Ovaprene in the US

  • Dare to receive up front, $20M as option exercise fee, $310M as commercial milestones, royalties on sales of the product along with access to Bayer’s clinical and market capabilities and remain responsible for development & regulatory activities of Ovaprene
  • Bayer to get exclusive right to commercialize Ovaprene in the US, once approved by the FDA. Dare is expected to file IDE for the therapy in H1’20 and the initiation of its clinical study in H2’20 following FDA’s review and clearance of the IDE
  • Ovaprene is an investigational hormone-free monthly vaginal contraceptive, currently in development for the prevention of pregnancy and if approved, will be the first monthly non-hormonal contraceptive therapy

2. Theramex to Acquire Commercial Rights of MSD’s Zoely to Expand its Footprints

  • Theramax acquires commercialization rights of Zoely, allowing it to commercialize the therapy in 50+ countries globally. Earlier, Theramax has right to commercialize Zoely in eleven countries in the EU while MSD retains rights in the US and Canada
  • The acquisition of further rights of Zoely expands Theramex global footprints by providing innovative therapies to maintain the healthcare of women
  • Zoely is a combined oral contraceptive therapy consisting of two steroid hormones: 17-beta estradiol and nomegestrol acetate

3. Gilead Signs an Exclusive License Agreement with Rockefeller University for its Portfolio of HIV Abs

  • Rockfeller to receive up front, milestones plus royalties on sales and will retain rights to perform non-clinical and early-stage clinical research on the portfolio of HIV Abs. Gilead to get exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Rockefeller’s full portfolio of HIV bNAbs
  • The focus of the agreement is to enhance Gilead’s HIV pipeline and will advance academic programs into potential future products
  • 3BNC117 and 10-1074 are clinical-stage products with the ability to be used as HIV long-acting therapies for treatment and prevention

4. Fujifilm’s CAD EYE Receives CE Mark to Support the Detection of Colonic Polyp Utilizing AI in the EU

  • Fujifilm’s CAD EYE receives CE mark, backing the real-time detection of colonic polyps during colonoscopy utilizing AI, will be available with software EW10-EC01 and the compatible expansion unit EX-1 in combination with the ELUXEO 7000 system
  • CAD EYE utilizes FUJIFILM’s REiLi AI technology and can perform complex segmentation of 2D/3D images, spot lesions & is compatible with various imaging modalities. It automatically engages with white light or LCI mode to improve the accuracy of lesion detection
  • CAD EYE is customized detection support used with the ELUXEO system, aimed to improve lesion detection in the colon at the expert level and is expected to be available with EX-1 in Mar’2020

5. GSK Reports the Acceptance of EMA’s MAA for Zejula (niraparib) as 1L Maintenance Treatment for Platinum-Responsive Advanced Ovarian Cancer

  • The EMA has accepted Type II Variation (T2V) for Zejula as maintenance therapy in a 1L setting for women with advanced platinum-responsive advanced OC, regardless of biomarker status. The validation indicates the acceptance of MAA and the initiation of CHMP’s formal review process
  • The submission is based on P-III PRIMA study assessing Zejula vs PBO in women in a ratio (2:1) as 1L therapy for stage III/ IV platinum-responsive advanced OC. The study demonstrated clinical outcomes of Zejula
  • Zejula (PO, qd) is a PARP inhibitor, indicated as a monothx. for the maintenance treatment of patients with platinum‑sensitive relapsed high grade serous epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in response to platinum-based CT

6. Esperion’s Nexlizet (bempedoic acid and ezetimibe) Tablet Receives the US FDA’s Approval as LDL-Cholesterol Lowering Medicine

  • The approval is based on P-III trial Fixed Combination Drug Product LDL-C Lowering program, involves assessing of Nexlizet vs PBO when added on to maximally tolerated statins
  • The study resulted in well-tolerated data and lowered LDL-C by 38%, when added on to maximally tolerated statins. Also, the results are published in The European Journal of Preventative Cardiology
  • Nexlizet is an oral qd, non-statin LDL-cholesterol lowering medicine approved by the US FDA on Feb 21, 2020 and will be available in Jul 2020. Nexletol (bempedoic acid) is a novel ATP Citrate Lyase inhibitor involves lowering of LDL-C by cholesterol biosynthesis and up-regulating the LDL receptors, will be available from Mar 30, 2020

7. AstraZeneca Reports Results of Imfinzi + Tremelimumab in P-III CASPIAN Study as 1L Treatment for Extensive-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • The P-III CASPIAN study involves assessing of Imfinzi + SOC (etoposide and carboplatin/ cisplatin CT) or Imfinzi + Tremelimumab vs CT as monothx. as a 1L treatment for 805 patients with ES-SCLC in 200+ centers across 23 countries
  • The first arm (Imfinzi + SOC) has met its 1EPs of OS in Jun’2019 while the second arm (Imfinzi + tremelimumab) did not meet its 1EPs of OS. The safety profile of each therapy is consistent with the known safety profiles
  • Imfinzi (durvalumab) is mAb targeting PD-L1, acts by blocking the interaction of PD-L1 with PD-1 & CD80 and is currently under review in combination with etoposide and carboplatin/cisplatin as 1L treatment for ES-SCLC in the US, EU and Japan with its anticipated PDUFA date in 2021

8. Novo Nordisk’s Fiasp (insulin aspart injection) Receives Health Canada’s Approval for Children with Diabetes

  • Health Canada has expanded the approval of Fiasp (10mL vials) to include use in insulin infusion pumps for the improvement of glycemic control in pediatric patients aged ≥2yrs with diabetes (T1D/T2D both)
  • The approval is based on data from 7 clinical studies that verified the safety & efficacy of Fiasp in children. The label change for use in insulin infusion pumps is based on Health Canada’s review of data from 5 clinical studies which demonstrated the efficacy of Fiasp used in insulin infusion pumps in adults with diabetes
  • Fiasp is the first and only fast-acting mealtime insulin injection, administered at the beginning of a meal or within 20 minutes after starting a meal and has received FDA’s approval as an IV infusion or SC MDI in adults with diabetes

9. Merck KGaA’s ERBITUX (cetuximab) Receives NMPA’s Approval as a 1L treatment for Recurrent/ Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

  • The approval is based on P-III CHANGE II study assessing extreme regimen (ERBITUX + cisplatin + 5-FU, followed by ERBITUX as maintenance therapy) vs Pt. based CT (cisplatin + 5-FU) in 243 patients aged ≥18 yrs. with R/M SCCHN, prior not treated with any systemic therapy in China
  • The P-III CHANGE II study results: improvement in PFS (5.5 vs 4.2mos.); OS (10.2 vs 8.4mos.), ORR (50% vs 27%) with no new safety findings
  • ERBITUX is an IgG1 mAb targeting the EGFR and is an approved therapy in 100+ countries for RAS wild-type m-CRC and for HNSCC

10. Bausch Health to Initiate Clinical Study Evaluating Virazole (Ribavirin for Inhalation Solution, USP) in Patients with COVID-19 in Canada

  • The clinical study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Virazole + SOC in hospitalized patients aged ≥18yrs. with respiratory distress due to COVID-19
  • The clinical study has been approved by Health Canada and is expected to initiate within the next few weeks. The company is working with multiple health authorities including the US FDA regarding additional studies to assess Virazole as a treatment for COVID-19 infection
  • Virazole (ribavirin for inhalation solution, USP) aerosol is indicated only for lower respiratory tract infection due to RSV. The Bausch Foundation is working with health authorities in Italy to make Virazole for inhalation available free of charge in compassionate use in hospitals

11. Amgen Signs a Partnership with Adaptive Biotechnologies to Develop Abs for COVID-19

  • Adaptive to expand its platform for selection of B cell receptors of recovered patients from COVID-19. Amgen will utilize its Ab engineering and drug development capabilities to select and develop Abs designed to bind and neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, Amgen ‘s subsidiary DeCODE Genetics located in Iceland, will provide genetic information from patients infected with COVID-19
  • The focus of the collaboration is to combine expertise to discover and develop fully human neutralizing Abs for SARS-CoV-2 virus to treat COVID-19 where Adaptive’s immunological medicine platform will help in identification of virus neutralizing Abs
  • Additionally, the Abs can be used to treat patients with COVID-19 and can be administered to patients with who are at increased risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2

12. BioNTech and Pfizer Complete Dosing of BNT162 in First Cohort of P-I/II Study in Germany

  • The companies reported that the first cohort of BioNTech’s P-I/II clinical trial has dosed 12 participants with BNT162 in Germany since dosing began on Apr 23, 2020. Following the regulatory approvals, both the companies plan to initiate the clinical study for BNT162 in the US
  • The dose-escalation portion of the P-I/II study will include ~200 healthy participants aged 18-55yrs. and will target a dose range of 1-100 µg, focusing on determining the optimal dose for further studies and to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine
  • The study will evaluate the effects of repeated vaccination following a prime injection for 3 vaccine candidates that contain uRNA or modRNA. The fourth vaccine candidate contains saRNA will be evaluated following a single dose of vaccine. Additionally, BioNTech is collaborating with Fosun Pharma to develop BNT162 in China, where the companies expect to conduct clinical studies

13. Fresenius Kabi Signs an Agreement with Medec to Commercialize IDACIO (adalimumab, biosimilar) in Germany

  • Fresenius Kabi and Medec collaborated to offer IDACIO as an additional therapy option for rheumatologists and dermatologists to treat rheumatic illnesses. From Jun 01, 2020, Medec’s will market the biosimilar therapy
  • Last year, Fresenius Kabi launched IDACIO in the EU for arthritis and psoriasis. The collaboration offers patients and doctors new benefits and synergies in therapy offerings as well as consulting
  • Medac provides methotrexate (metex PEN, metex FS) as the parenteral treatment of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, the affected patients are treated with a combination of methotrexate and adalimumab

14. Neurocrine Biosciences Exercises its Option with Idorsia for ACT-709478

  • Idorsia to receive $45M upfront in cash, $365M for development & regulatory milestone, one-time sales threshold and royalties on sales. Additionally, will receive $7M in funding to discover, identify and develop additional novel T-type calcium channel blockers
  • Neurocrine exercises its option to license rights for ACT-709478 (post IND acceptance from the US FDA on Apr 30, 2020) for rare pediatric epilepsy. In 2019, Neurocrine and Idorsia signed a preclinical research collaboraion for ACT-709478 to treat rare pediatric epilepsy
  • ACT-709478 is an selective, orally-active and brain penetrating T-type calcium channel blocker also received the US FDA’s Rare Pediatric Disease designation for rare pediatric epilepsy with completion of P-I in 2019 and expected P-II initiation in in H2’20

15. Moderna Signs a Ten-Year Worldwide Agreement with Lonza to Manufacture mRNA-1273 Against COVID-19

  • The companies intend to establish manufacturing suites at Lonza’s facilities in the US and Switzerland to manufacture mRNA-1273 at both sites. The collaboration will deploy Lonza’s global expertise in technology transfer and manufacturing while the technology transfer expected to begin in Jun’2020
  • The focus of the collaboration is to enable the manufacturing of mRNA-1273 up to 1B doses/year and anticipates the manufacturing of the first batches of mRNA-1273 at Lonza US site in Jul’2020, assuming the currently expected dose of 50µg
  • Manufacturing operations at Lonza US site is covered by Moderna’s agreement with BARDA under which BARDA will support late-stage clinical development programs of mRNA-1273. On Apr 27, 2020, Moderna has submitted IND to the US FDA for P-II studies with its expected initiation in Q2’20

16. Roche’s Enspryng (satralizumab) Receives MHLW’s Approval for Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder in Japan

  • The approval is based on two P-III SAkuraStar & SAkuraSky studies involve assessing Enspryng (120mg, SC, q4w) as a monothx & as an add-on therapy to baseline IST vs PBO in 95 & 83 patients aged 20-70 & 13-73yrs. in a ratio (2:1) & (1:1) administered at week 0,2 & 4 in patients with NMOSD respectively
  • In overall population: reduction in the risk of relapse (62% & 55%); In the pre-specified subgroup of AQP4-IgG seropositive patients: reduction in the risk of relapse (79% & 74%) respectively
  • Enspryng is a mAb targeting IL-6 and is under PR in Canada for NMOSD patients who are AQP4-IgG seropositive. In Oct’2019, the FDA & EMA has accepted the MAA for the therapy with expected CHMP & FDA’s decision in 2020

17. Cipla Launches Cipremi (remdesivir lyophilized powder for injection 100 mg) to Treat Patients with Severe COVID-19

  • The US FDA has issued a EUA to Gilead for emergency use of remdesivir to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In May, Gilead has extended a voluntary non-exclusive license to Cipla to manufacture and market Cipla’s Remedisvir called CIPREMI
  • Cipla has received DCGI’s approval for restricted emergency use in India as part of the accelerated approval process. Cipla will provide training on the use of the drug, informed patient consent documents, conduct post-marketing surveillance as well as to conduct a P-IV clinical trial on Indian patients
  • As per ACTT-1 study, 1063 patients were treated with Remdesivir vs PBO over 60 centers across the US, EU and Asia demonstrated faster time to clinical recovery in hospitalized patients with the mortality rate as (7.1% vs 11.9%)

18. Sorrento Submits EUA to the US FDA for its COVI-TRACK Test to Detect COVID-19

  • Sorrento has reported that its EUA is under review at the US FDA for its COVI-TRACK in vitro diagnostic test kit for the detection of IgG and IgM Abs in sera of patients exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus
  • Following the issuance of an EUA, the COVI-TRACK test will be available for distribution to clinical testing sites nationwide. The assay develops three clear lines that confirm the assay validity and the qualitative detection & differentiation of IgM and IgG Abs to the COVID-19
  • Sorrento has secured manufacturing capacity to ramp up the production of up to 5M test kits/ month with the availability of results in ≤8mins. The assay showed specificity > 97% and diagnostic sensitivity of > 94% in an analytical validation

19. Dr. Reddy’s and GRA Collaborate with Fujifilm for Avigan (favipiravir) to Treat COVID-19 Outside the Japan

  •  Fujifilm to receive upfront, license fee along with royalties on sales of the therapy. Dr. Reddy’s and GRA to get the exclusive right to develop & commercialize Avigan globally (Ex- Japan). Additionally, Dr. Reddy’s would have exclusive rights for the therapy in India
  • Fujifilm will provide pre/ clinical data of Avigan to Dr. Reddy’s and GRA for utilizing it in clinical studies targeting COVID-19. Moreover, Dr. Reddy’s will get right to use Avigan’s patents of formulation and manufacturing method and will establish a setup for developing drug-like Avigan and utilizes the GRA’s global sales network to supply the manufactured drugs
  • Fujifilm is currently conducting a clinical study on Avigan targeting COVID-19 patients in the US and Japan and is collaborating with multiple companies to increase the drug’s production

20. ViiV Healthcare’s Rukobia (fostemsavir) Receives the US FDA’s Approval for HIV in Patients with Limited Treatment Options

  • The approval is based on P-III BRIGHTE study assessing Rukobia (600mg, ER) + OBT in 371 HTE adults living with multidrug-resistant HIV. Participants were enrolled in either a randomized or nonrandomized cohort
  • In the randomized cohort, 60% adults achieved undetectable HIV viral load and clinically meaningful improvements to CD4+ T-cell count @96wks., HIV-1 RNA <40 copies/mL @24 & 96wks. (53% & 60%); changes in CD4+ cell count (90 & 205 cells/mm3) respectively
  • In the nonrandomized cohort, 37% achieved HIV-1 RNA <40 copies/mL @24 & 96wks.; HIV-1 RNA <200 copies/mL (42% & 39%); mean changes in CD4+ cell count (41 & 119 cells/mm3) respectively. Fostemsavir is a first-in-class HIV-1 attachment inhibitor, currently under EMA’s review with additional submissions to regulatory authorities anticipated in 2020 & 2021

21. Zydus Launches Cheapest Version of Remdesivir at $37.41 per Vial in India

  • The company has launched Remdec at a price of $37.41 (Rs. 2800) for a 100mg lyophilized injection. The generic version is the most economical Remdesivir brand in India
  • In Jun’2020, Zydus signed a non-exclusive agreement with Gilead to manufacture and commercialize Remdesivir for severe COVID-19 in India. The API of the therapy has been developed and manufactured at the group’s API manufacturing facilities in Gujarat
  • The drug will be made available across India via Zydus’ strong distribution chain reaching out to government and private hospitals treating COVID patient

22. Johnson & Johnson to Acquire Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $6.5B

  • J&J acquires Momenta in all-cash transaction at a price of $52.50/ share, making a total deal value as $6.5B. The transaction is expected to be closed in H2’20
  • The acquisition allows J&J to expand its portfolio for autoimmune diseases with the addition of Momenta’s Nipocalimab (M281) to its pipeline. In addition to nipocalimab, Janssen will acquire Momenta’s pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical assets
  • Janssen plans to retain Momenta’s presence in Cambridge, Massachusetts which will increase J&J footprint and capabilities in the key innovation hub. Nipocalimab provides an opportunity for Janssen to deliver transformative treatments in autoantibody-driven autoimmune diseases

23.  Novartis’ Beovu (brolucizumab) Receives EMA’s Approval for its Safety Label Update to Treat Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

  • The EU label update includes additional categorization of retinal vasculitis and/or retinal vascular occlusion, usually in the intraocular inflammation. The approval follows Novartis completion of safety review and initiation of an update to the Beovu prescribing information globally
  • The label update is applicable to all 27 EU member states as well as UK, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. Beovu is now approved for wet AMD treatment in 40+ countries including in the US, EU, UK, Japan, Canada, and Australia
  • Beovu (brolucizumab) is the clinically advanced humanized single-chain Ab fragment (scFv) that enhances tissue penetration, rapid clearance from the systemic circulation, and drug delivery characteristics. Novartis has established a multidisciplinary panel of internal experts collaborating with external advisors to examine the root cause, potential risk factors, and mitigation of AEs

24. Boehringer Ingelheim Initiates P-II Study of BI 764198 for Patients with Severe Respiratory Illness from COVID-19

  • The P-II trial will assess BI 764198 (qd for ~4wks.) in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with expected enrollment initiation in Oct’2020. The 1EPs will be the percentage of patients who are alive and free of mechanical ventilation at day 29 of treatment while other EPs include clinical improvement, oxygen saturation & ICU admission
  • The therapy has shown a reduction in cellular damage and lung edema in preclinical studies and may provide similar benefits in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. BI 764198 was well tolerated in P-I study in healthy adults
  • BI 764198 is potent & selective inhibitor of TRPC6, focusing to reduce the need for ventilator support and to improve patient recovery rate

25. Roche’s Tecentriq in Combination with Avastin Receives China NMPA’s Approval for the treatment of Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma

  • The approval was based on the P-III IMbrave150 study (n=501) assessing the combination of Tecentriq (1200 mg, IV) and Avastin (15 mg/kg, IV) or sorafenib (400 mg, bid) in unresectable HCC patients who had not received prior systemic therapy which included analyses of a cohort of Chinese patients (n=194) from the same study
  • Results: Tecentriq in combination with Avastin reduced the risk of OS by 56% (among Chinese patients) and 42% (global results) & the PFS risk by 40% (among Chinese patients) and 41% (global results) as compared with sorafenib
  • IMbrave150 is the 1st P-III cancer immunotherapy study to show an improvement in OS and PFS in people with unresectable or metastatic HCC compared with sorafenib. Additionally. in May 2020, the US FDA approved Tecentriq in combination with Avastin for the treatment of people with unresectable or metastatic HCC who have not received prior systemic therapy

26. Sanofi Entered into an Agreement with Merck to Conduct a P-II Study of THOR-707 in Sequenced Administration with MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in Patients with Various Cancers

  • Sanofi will sponsor the clinical trials while MSD will provide KEYTRUDA. Additionally, Sanofi is separately evaluating the activity of THOR-707 in combination with other anti-PD-1 antibodies, including Libtayo (cemiplimab-rwlc) and with anti-EGFR and anti-CD38 antibodies for various types of cancer tumors
  • In preclinical studies, THOR-707 demonstrated the ability to induce the expansion of CD8+T-cells resulting in anti-tumor effects both as a single agent as well as in combination with an anti-PD1 mAb
  • THOR-707 is currently being evaluated by Sanofi in an ongoing P-I dose escalation and expansion trial assessing THOR-707 and determining its recommended P-II dose alone and in combination with anti-PD-1 and anti-EGFR antibodies

27. AstraZeneca and Fusion Collaborate to Develop and Commercialize Radiopharmaceuticals and Combination Therapies for Cancer

  • Fusion to receive up front, as well as development milestones and other payments. The companies will jointly discover, develop, and have an option to co-commercialize novel TATs in the US while AstraZeneca will lead commercialization in the ROW with equal profit & loss sharing globally
  • The collaboration leverages Fusion’s TAT platform and expertise in radiopharmaceuticals with AstraZeneca’s leading portfolio of Abs and cancer therapies, including DDRis
  • Additionally, the companies will exclusively explore certain specified combination strategies between TATs (including Fusion’s FPI-1434) and AstraZeneca’s therapies for the treatment of multiple cancers. Both companies will retain full rights to their respective assets

28. Lucira’s All-In-One Test Kit Receives the US FDA’s EUA as the First COVID-19 Test for Self-Testing at Home

  • The Lucira’s COVID-19 all-in-one test kit test has been authorized for home use with self-collected nasal swab samples in individuals aged≥ 14yrs. who are suspected of COVID-19 by their HCPs
  • It is also authorized for use in POC settings for all ages, but samples must be collected by an HCP when the test is used at the POC to test individuals <14yrs. The test is currently authorized for prescription use only
  • Lucira plans to amend its EUA or file a new EUA so people who think they’re infected with COVID-19 can communicate with a medical professional online through a website to arrange a prescription and overnight delivery of the test kit by Q2’21

29. UCB Acquires Handl Therapeutics to Augment its Gene Therapy Portfolio

  • The acquisition will bolster UCB’s pipeline program, capabilities, and platforms in the gene therapy space. The Handl Therapeutics will continue to be based in Leuven, Belgium while working closely with UCB’s international research teams
  • In addition, the UCB collaborated with Lacerta to focus on CNS diseases, under which Lacera will lead research, preclinical activities, and the early manufacturing process development, while UCB will complete IND-enabling studies, manufacturing, and clinical development
  • The collaboration will allow UCB to access Lacerta’s expertise in AAV-based CNS targeted gene therapies, fortifying UCB’s ability to produce effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

30. Janssen Acquires Rights to Hemera’s HMR59 for Late-Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration

  • Janssen acquires rights to Hemera’s HMR59, administered as a one-time, outpatient, IVT inj. to help preserve vision in patients with geographic atrophy
  • The acquisition will boost Janssen’s eye disease portfolio & strengthens its gene therapy capabilities
  • HMR59 is designed to increase the ability of retina cells to make a soluble form of CD59, helping to prevent further damage to the retina and preserve vision. The P-I study of the therapy for patients with geographic atrophy is completed while the P-I study exploring HMR59 in patients with wet-AMD is currently conducting follow-up visits to evaluate the long-term safety

Related Post: PharmaShots’ Most Read News of 2019

The post PharmaShots’ Most Read News of 2020 first appeared on PharmaShots.

PharmaShots Wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Shots:

  • Thank you for your overwhelming affection and support throughout the year. This year we achieved a massive increase in subscribers
  • PharmaShots mobile app is ready and we planned to launch our PharmaShots mobile app in January 2021
  • May this holiday season fills your life with happiness and wealth. Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021!

Ref: PharmaShots | Image: Canva

The post PharmaShots Wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year first appeared on PharmaShots.

ViewPoints Interview: FibroGen’s Peony Yu Shares Insight on Roxadustat

In a recent interview with PharmaShots, Peony Yu, Chief Medical Officer of FibroGen shared her insights and highlights on data of Roxadustat

Shots:

  • FibroGen presented new efficacy and safety analyses from the roxadustat global P-III program at ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined. FibroGen and its partners, AstraZeneca and Astellas, presented 42 abstracts, including 2 late-breaker poster presentations, and 10 oral presentations
  • The roxadustat clinical data demonstrated consistent efficacy and reassuring safety results across the continuum of CKD patients with anemia
  • FibroGen is pursuing groundbreaking research and science to drive forward a pipeline that may transform the patient experience and create new standards of care in anemia and an array of serious fibrotic conditions

Tuba: Can you briefly summarize the presentation & abstracts of P-III Global Program of roxadustat at ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined?

Peony Yu: FibroGen presented new efficacy and safety analyses from the roxadustat global Phase 3 program at American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined. FibroGen and its partners, AstraZeneca and Astellas, presented 42 abstracts, including 2 late-breaker poster presentations, and 10 oral presentations.

Specifically:

  • Twenty-eight presentations on roxadustat for the treatment of anemia associated with CKD further demonstrated the depth and breadth of the roxadustat global Phase 3 development program and build on the known clinical profile of roxadustat in treating a broad spectrum of CKD patients.
  • Twelve presentations on CKD anemia epidemiology and disease state outlined the burden of anemia on CKD patients and their unmet medical need for innovative therapies.
  • Two late-breaking poster presentations explored associations between cardiovascular safety and hemoglobin levels achieved with roxadustat in both non-dialysis-dependent (NDD) and dialysis-dependent (DD) CKD patients.

Tuba: What are the knock-on effects of the newly released roxadustat data?

Peony Yu: The roxadustat clinical data at ASN Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined demonstrated consistent efficacy and reassuring safety results across the continuum of chronic kidney disease patients with anemia, adding to the established body of evidence highlighting roxadustat as a potential foundational treatment for this condition affecting millions of patients.

Roxadustat, being the first oral medicine for the treatment of CKD anemia which can be administered in patients’ homes, is conducive for telehealth as patients no longer need to receive treatment via injections in doctors’ offices or hospital infusion centers.

Tuba: Can you quickly recall your collaboration with AstraZeneca & Astellas for roxadustat?

Peony Yu: AstraZeneca and FibroGen are collaborating on the development and commercialization of roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in the U.S., China, and other markets in the Americas and in Australia/New Zealand, as well as Southeast Asia.

Astellas and FibroGen are collaborating on the development and commercialization of roxadustat for the treatment of anemia in territories including Japan, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East, and South Africa.

Tuba: Can you highlight the expansion of the clinical development of roxadustat in CKD & other indications?

Peony Yu: The roxadustat NDA for the treatment of anemia in CKD in patients on dialysis and those not on dialysis is under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act date of December 20, 2020. Roxadustat is also in Phase 3 clinical development for anemia associated with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Phase 2 clinical development for chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA).

Roxadustat is approved in China for the treatment of anemia in adult patients with CKD, both on dialysis and not on dialysis. In Japan, roxadustat is approved for the treatment of anemia in CKD patients on dialysis, and a supplemental NDA for the treatment of anemia in CKD patients not on dialysis is under regulatory review.

The marketing authorization application (MAA) of roxadustat for treatment of CKD in Europe is under review by the EMA. Similarly, the roxadustat NDA has been submitted to a number of countries, including Australia, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, South Korea, India, Philippines, etc. Our goal for roxadustat is to serve patients around the world.

Source: Fibrogen

Tuba: As anticipated PDUFA date is December 20, 2020, if approved, how it will be helpful for the patients in the US?

Peony Yu: With roxadustat, FibroGen is advancing toward a new standard of care for anemia – an area that has not seen significant progress or the introduction of a new approach in 30 years. Patients are searching for new, convenient, and effective treatment options. If approved, roxadustat will be administered orally, mostly at home, eliminating the risks associated with needle injection and infection exposure with health care facilities and offering the potential for patients to live a more normal life.

Tuba: What are other products in FibroGen’s pipeline and discuss about their targeted indications?

Peony Yu: Pamrevlumab is a first-in-class antibody developed by FibroGen that inhibits the activity of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a common factor in fibrotic and proliferative disorders. Pamrevlumab is in clinical development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer (LAPC), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and coronavirus (COVID-19).

Notably, the U.S. FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation to pamrevlumab for the treatment of patients with IPF, LAPC, and DMD. Pamrevlumab has also received Fast Track designation from the FDA for the treatment of patients with IPF and LAPC. These designations speak to the need for new, safe, and effective treatment options for these serious conditions.

Tuba: Can you provide an overview on the epidemiology of anemia associated with CKD?

Peony Yu: Anemia, a serious medical condition in which patients have insufficient red blood cells and low levels of hemoglobin and thus reduced oxygen delivery to the cells in the body, is a common early complication of CKD, affecting approximately 20% of CKD patients. CKD is estimated to occur in approximately 10-12% of adults worldwide and is predicted to become the fifth most common cause of premature death globally by 2040.

Source: Fibrogen

Tuba: Are FibroGen and partners planning to involve in any digital health solution to promote awareness of kidney diseases?

Peony Yu: We do believe digital health technology is a useful tool for promoting disease awareness, patient education, and treatment for patients and health care providers.  Our partner AstraZeneca has already started digital applications towards disease awareness of CKD anemia. 

Tuba: What next, we can expect from FibroGen to treat chronic and life-threatening conditions?

Peony Yu: FibroGen is pursuing groundbreaking research and science to drive forward a pipeline that may transform the patient experience and create new standards of care in anemia and an array of serious fibrotic conditions.

The company is currently developing roxadustat and continuing clinical development for pamrevlumab.

Tuba: What is FibroGen thinking about the potential benefits of using telehealth and mobile-based health resources to improve care for people with CKD?

Peony Yu: Roxadustat, being the first oral medicine for the treatment of CKD anemia which can be administered in patients’ homes, is conducive for telehealth as patients no longer need to receive treatment via injections in doctors’ offices or hospital infusion centers. There are many potential applications of digital health resources to improve anemia care in CKD patients.

About Peony Yu:

Dr. Peony Yu is Chief Medical Officer of FibroGen and has joined the company in 2008. She oversees all global and regional clinical development strategies and execution of the various clinical programs, as well as providing leadership for the roxadustat program.

Related Post: ViewPoints Interview: AstraZeneca’s Global Medicine Leader John Houghton Shares Insights on Roxadustat in Treating Patients with Anemia Due to CKD at ASN 2019

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Top 20 Immunology Companies Based 2019 Immunology Segment Revenue

Immunology is an important branch of science which deals with the study of the immune system. The immune system is a highly regulated and balanced system and when the balance is disturbed, the disease can result. A lot of this work has importance in the development of new therapies and treatments that can handle or heal the condition by modifying the way the immune system is working or, in the case of vaccines, instructing the immune system and enhancing the immune reaction to specific pathogens. In the top 20 ledgers, AbbVie again ensured the top position with total revenue of $19.57B with its blockbuster drug, Humira (adalimumab) from its immunological segment. Our team at PharmaShots has compiled a list of the top 20 immunology companies based on their 2019 immunology revenue

Immunology Segment Revenue: $0.01B

Founded Year: 1979

Market Cap: ~ $0.49B

Total Employees: ~178

Headquarter: New Jersey, United States

Stock Exchange: NASDAQ

Antares Pharma is an American pharmaceutical company focus on developing and commercializing therapies for rheumatology, urology, endocrinology, and neurology. Antares has reported a total sale of $0.01B from its immunology segment in 2019

Immunology Segment Revenue: $0.24B

Founded Year: 2008

Market Cap: ~$15.70B

Total Employees: ~1,200

Headquarter: Dublin, Ireland

Stock Exchange: NASDAQ

Horizon Therapeutics is an Ireland based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and rare diseases. Horizon has generated the sale of $0.24B from its four approved immunology products including Tepezza, Rayos, Duexis and Vimovo. Horizon’s Tepezza was selected for “2020 R&D World R&D 100 Award”

Immunology Segment Revenue: $0.49B

Founded Year: 1993

Market Cap: ~$2.57B

Total Employees: ~5,047

Headquarter: Shenyang, China

Stock Exchange: HKD

3SBio is a fully integrated Chinese biotechnology company with market-leading biopharmaceutical franchises in oncology, auto-immune diseases, nephrology, metabolic diseases, and dermatology. There are three approved drugs in its immunology portfolio including Yisaipu, Tpiao and Xenopax. 3SBio’s Tpiao used to treat chemotherapy-induced thrombopenia (approved in 2005) and immune thrombocytopenia has generated global sales of $0.33B in 2019.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $0.73B

Founded Year: 1978

Market Cap: ~$42.57B

Total Employees: ~7,400

Headquarter: Massachusetts, United States

Stock Exchange: NASDAQ

Biogen is a global biopharma company focused on neurology, hematologic, and autoimmune diseases. Biogen has a total of six products in its immunology segment with four approved drugs including Tysabri, IMRALDI, FLIXABI, BENEPALI. Biogen’s lead drug Tysabri recorded a revenue of $1.89B. Biogen revealed the positive result of BIIB059 in the Phase 2 LILAC study for cutaneous lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $0.81B

Founded Year: 2000

Market Cap: ~$88.14

Total Employees: ~99,000

Headquarter: Brentford, United Kingdom

Stock Exchange: LON

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a global healthcare company serving the world with drugs, vaccines & consumer healthcare products. With only approved products, Benlysta, GSK has generated a revenue of $0.81B in 2019. In Jul 2019, GSK initiated the phase 3 study of otilimab for rheumatoid arthritis. In Sep’19, EMA granted a positive CHMP opinion for intravenous Benlysta in children with lupus and was approved in Oct 2019.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $1.11B

Founded Year: 2007

Market Cap: ~$34.6B

Total Employees: ~7,228

Headquarter: Osaka, Japan

Stock Exchange: TYO

Mitsubishi Tanabe is a Japanese pharma company focused on autoimmune diseases, diabetes and kidney diseases, neurological disorders, and vaccines. Mitsubishi has reported a total sale of $1.11B from its immunology segment in 2019.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $1.24B

Founded Year: 1891

Market Cap: ~$197.46B

Total Employees: ~71,000

Headquarter: New Jersey, United States

Stock Exchange: NYSE

Merck & Co. is a global health care company delivering innovative health care products with its Prescription medicines, Oncology drugs, Vaccines, Biologic therapies, and Animal Health care products. Merck has recorded the sale of $1.24B in 2019 from its five approved drugs in its immunology portfolio including Simponi, Remicade, Renflexis, Brenzys, Hadlima. Simponi and Remicade was co-commercialized by Merck and Johnson & Johnson and Simponi recorded the revenue of $0.83B in 2019.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $1.68B

Founded Year: 1991

Market Cap: ~$19.38B

Total Employees: ~1,300

Headquarter: Delaware, United States

Stock Exchange: NASDAQ

Incyte Corp is a global biopharmaceutical firm focused on developing therapies in two categories Oncology and Inflammation & Autoimmune. Incyte has generated a revenue of $1.68B from its immunological segment. In Jan’19, Incyte reports results of Itacitinib in GRAVITAS-301 P-III study for patients with treatment-naive acute graft-versus-host disease.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $1.79B

Founded Year: 2005

Market Cap: ~ $26.49B

Total Employees: ~15,883

Headquarter: Tokyo, Japan

Stock Exchange: TYO

Astellas Pharma is a Japanese multinational pharmaceutical company focused on the therapeutic fields of urology, immunology including transplantation and infectious diseases, oncology, neuroscience and DM complications, and metabolic diseases. Astellas has four drugs in its immunology portfolio including two approved drugs Smyraf And Prograf and has recorded the sale of $1.79B in 2019. In Jul’19, Astellas Pharma launched Smyraf 50 mg and 100 mg tablets for rheumatoid arthritis.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $1.79B

Founded Year: 1901

Market Cap: ~$135.16B

Total Employees: ~33,625

Headquarter: Indiana, United States

Stock Exchange: NYSE

Eli Lilly and Company is a global pharmaceutical firm focused on delivering therapies in two divisions Human Pharmaceutical Products and Animal Health products. The pharmaceutical portfolio offers products for Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Immunology, Neuroscience, and Oncology. Eli Lilly has two approved drugs including Taltz and Olumiant. Lilly’s Taltz, an approved drug for plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis has generated a revenue of $1.6B in 2019. In Apr’19, Eli Lilly signs research and licensing agreement with avidity biosciences to develop therapies in immunology.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $1.92B

Founded Year: 1928

Market Cap: ~$20.49

Total Employees: ~7,600

Headquarter: Brussels, Belgium

Stock Exchange: EBR

UCB is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on neurology, inflammatory, gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders. UCB has recorded the sale of $1.92B in 2019 from its immunology segment with its only approved drug, Cimzia indicated for psoriatic arthritis (PsA). In Jul’19, Cimzia was approved by China’s NMPA.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $2.53B

Founded Year: 1973

Market Cap: ~$122.35B

Total Employees: ~100,000

Headquarter: Paris, France

Stock Exchange: EPA

Sanofi is a global healthcare leader in vaccines providing healthcare solutions in 170+ countries around the world. Sanofi is ranked third in the global market and first in EU and Latin America. Sanofi has four drugs in its immunology portfolio including one approved drug Kevzara, developed in partnership with Regeneron. In Dec’19, Sanofi presented the positive result from its pivoted phase 3 study of sutimlimab for cold agglutinin disease. Additionally, Sanofi restructured its agreement with Regeneron to obtain worldwide rights for Kevzara.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $2.97B

Founded Year: 1887

Market Cap: ~$135.30B

Total Employees: ~30,000

Headquarter: New York, United States

Stock Exchange: NYSE

Bristol-Myers Squibb is an American pharmaceutical company focused on Oncology, Cardiovascular, Immuno-Science, and Fibrosis. BMS has two approved drugs Orencia and Nulojix. BMS’ Orencia is a protein indicated to treat adult rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and adult psoriatic arthritis has generated the highest revenue of $2.97B in 2019. The acquisition of Celgene in 2019, has boosted up BMS’ Immunology pipeline.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $3.66B

Founded Year: 1925

Market Cap: ~$52.60B

Total Employees: ~49,578

Headquarter: Osaka, Japan

Stock Exchange: TYO

Takeda is a global biopharma company focused on Oncology, Gastroenterology (GI), Neuroscience, Immunology, and Rare Diseases. With three approved drugs including Immunoglobulin, Albumin, and Entyvio, Takeda has generated a $3.66B sale in 2019. In Apr’19, EMA accepted the application for a subcutaneous formulation of Entyvio in Crohn’s disease, and in Oct 2019, Takeda acquired CNP-101 from COUR Pharmaceuticals. In Feb’20, Takeda acquired PvP Biologics to strengthen its immunology pipeline. Additionally, Takeda got approval for Entyvio from China’s NMPA for Crohn’s disease in Mar 2020.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $4.22B

Founded Year: 1996

Market Cap: ~$205.93B

Total Employees: ~109,000

Headquarter: Basel, Switzerland

Stock Exchange: SIX Swiss Exchange, NYSE

Novartis is a multinational group of companies specializing in research, development, manufacturing, and marketing with a broad range of healthcare solutions including generic and ophthalmic therapies. The company is focused on Immunology, Hepatology, Dermatology, Oncology, Neurology, and Ophthalmology. Novartis has the uppermost number of immunology drugs with eight approved products including ACZ885/Ilaris, AIN457/Cosentyx, Myfortic (Renal transplant), Neoral, Simulect, and Zortress. Novartis’ Cosentyx (secukinumab) used to treat Psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis have generated global sales of $3.55B in 2019. In Apr’19 Novartis acquired IFM Tre to enhance its immunologic portfolio with its NLRP3 inhibitors for $1.5B.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $4.73B

Founded Year: 1849

Market Cap: ~$206.05B

Total Employees: ~83,000

Headquarter: New York, United States

Stock Exchange: NYSE

Pfizer is a research-based, global biopharmaceutical company having a vast portfolio including Oncology, Medicines, vaccines, and other health care products for the prevention & treatment of untreated diseases. With 3 approved drugs including Xeljanz, Enbrel (outside the US and Canada), and Inflectra (Biosimilar), Pfizer has generated $4.73B sale from its immunology portfolio indicated for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, Behcet’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Pfizer’s Xeljanz has generated revenue of $2.24B in 2019. In Jan’2019, CytoReason signed a research partnership with Pfizer to develop drugs using CytoReason’s cell-centered models of the immune system.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $5.39B

Founded Year: 1980

Market Cap: ~$134.11B

Total Employees: ~23,400

Headquarter: California, United States

Stock Exchange: NASDAQ

Amgen is one of the leading biotechnology company developing novel therapies focused on cardiology, oncology, neurology, nephrology, and inflammatory diseases. Amgen has generated a total sale of $5.39B in 2019 with its drugs Otezla, Avsola, Enbrel, Nplate, and Prolia. Amgen’s Otezla used to treat certain types of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis has generated sales of $1.6B.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $8.79B

Founded Year: 1896

Market Cap: ~ $281.59B

Total Employees: ~98,000

Headquarter: Basel, Switzerland

Stock Exchange: SWX

Roche Holding AG is a Swiss multinational healthcare company that operates worldwide under two divisions: Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. The immunology department focus on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and giant cell arteritis including severe persistent allergic asthma (AA), chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) with 3 approved drugs including Actemra, CellCept and Mabthera and has generated the sale of $8.97B in 2019. In Dec’2019, Roche signed an exclusive global option and license agreement with Rheos Medicines to develop and commercialize therapies for immune metabolism.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $13.95B

Founded Year: 1887

Market Cap: ~$378.94B

Total Employees: ~132,100

Headquarter: New Jersey, United States

Stock Exchange: NYSE

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is an American multinational healthcare company focused on the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer packaged products. The pharmaceutical portfolio offers products for Cardiovascular, Endocrinology, Immunology, Neuroscience, and Oncology. J&J has generated $13.95B from its Immunology portfolio with 5 approved products including Remicade, Simponi, Stelara, Tremfya, Simponi Aria. Remicade was jointly marketed by J&J and Merck and has generated a revenue of $4.38B in 2019. In Nov 2019, J&J’s Tremfya meets the primary endpoint in the phase 3 study for Psoriatic Arthritis. Additionally, J&J submit two applications with the USFDA for Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis. FDA approved Tremfya for Psoriatic Arthritis and Simponi Aria for polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and active psoriatic arthritis for patients 2 years of age and older in Jul 2020.

Immunology Segment Revenue: $19.57B

Founded Year: 2012

Market Cap: ~$146.29B

Total Employees: ~30,000

Headquarter: Illinois, United States

Stock Exchange: NYSE

AbbVie is a global, research and development-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative advanced therapies. The company is focused on developing products in immunology, oncology, virology, and neuroscience, dermatology. AbbVie has generated the sale of $19.57B in 2019 from its immunological segment with 3 approved drugs including RINVOQ, SKYRIZI, HUMIRA. AbbVie’s blockbuster drug HUMIRA recorded a revenue of $19.16B. In Apr’2019, AbbVie received EMA approval of SKYRIZI for Plaque Psoriasis. Its RA drug RINVOQ received FDA approval in Aug 2019 and EMA approval in Dec 2019. Additionally, RINVOQ achieved positive results in primary and key secondary endpoints for Psoriatic Arthritis and subsequently submitted the regulatory applications with the FDA and EMA.

Related Post: Top 20 Immunology Companies Based on 2018 Immunology Segment Revenue

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ViewPoints Interview: QIAGEN’s Kai te Kaat Shares Insights on QIAprep&amp Viral RNA UM Kit

In a recent interview with PharmaShots, Kai te Kaat, the Vice President, Head of Franchise Oncology, MDx at QIAGEN shares his insights and highlights on QIAprep&amp Viral RNA UM Kit.

Shots:

  • QIAGEN to launch the QIAprep&amp Viral RNA UM Kit, designed to simplify and accelerate PCR swab analysis and remove key testing bottlenecks for Covid-19 and other RNA viruses
  • The kit combines a liquid-based sample preparation step completed in the only 2min. with real-time PCR detection in a streamlined workflow that can be automated with standard lab equipment for any throughput, any assay and any reaction need from single to multiplex testing
  • The workflow takes ~1hr. to deliver a result, compared to ~3hrs. for standard extraction-based quantitative PCR processes and can handle~2,600 samples /8hrs. shift per cycler. The kit complements QIAGEN’s COVID-19 testing portfolio and accelerates PCR analysis for research applications

Tuba: Can we have a detailed discussion on QIAprep&amp Viral RNA UM Kit?

Or

Would you like to discuss the working of the novel kit and how it is accelerating the PCR analysis for research application?

Kai te Kaat: QIAprep&amp is an innovative ultrafast method that combines liquid-based sample preparation with real-time PCR detection for research purposes and/or epidemiological research debottlenecking the detection of SARS CoV2 and other RNA viruses. The end-to-end liquid-based workflow can be automated with standard lab equipment for any throughput, any assay and any reaction need from single to multiplex testing. It can be implemented on all open platforms, typically liquid handlers, and be used in conjunction with any RT PCR cycler such as Rotor-Gene Q, QIAquant, and others. The kit can also be used with a wide range of transport media from Universal Transport media (UTMTM), Viral Transport Media (VTM), or eSwabTM to Virocult®, physiological salt solution, or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Besides, it includes a control concept to increase the value of negative results consisting of a human sample control based on RNAse P and B2M genes to indicate the sufficiency of human material in the sample avoiding false negatives and an inhibition control based on artificial sequences to indicate the absence of inhibition by the sample matrix.

Image Source: QIAGEN

The QIAprep&amp workflow is simple, swift, and straightforward, consisting of only three steps: an aliquot is taken from a primary sample (nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, or nasal swab) in transport media (8 uL) and added to a sample preparation buffer (2 uL) that is optimized to prepare the viral RNA template without degradation. This is next combined with the RT-qPCR reaction mix (10 uL), which provides reliable and sensitive results for RNA viruses in transport media. The sample then undergoes a routine real-time PCR in a cycler using any assay for SARS-CoV2 RNA detection. The output is finally interpreted, delivering test results in under one hour from start to finish – including incubation and hands-on time – depending on the cycler used.

As the kit only uses three small pipette tips (10 uL and 50uL) per sample, the kit helps to keep consumption of plastic materials to a minimum, and thereby addresses the current major bottleneck of pipette tips at the market while providing significant cost savings by reducing reagent use and labor utilization. In addition, the QIAprep&amp kit can also be used manually with a multi-pipette in lower resources settings or to cover capacity peaks.

QIAprep&amp is a research-based kit and not a diagnostic test and hence cannot be compared to other typical COVID tests that are in the marketplace right now.

Tuba: As mentioned in a press release, QIAprep&amp complements QIAGEN’s efforts to build the broadest portfolio of COVID-19 solutions. Comment over the statement.

Kai te Kaat: Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we focus on building the most comprehensive portfolio of solutions for COVID-19 testing that addresses the varying needs for clinical and research applications in the fight against the pandemic. These include the production of viral RNA extraction for use on our QIAcube, QIAsymphony, and EZ1 platforms as well as third-party instruments; building up a range of PCR tests on the QIAstat-Dx and NeuMoDx systems that enable COVID-19 detection while analyzing samples at the same time for other respiratory infections and are developing novel easy-to-use solutions for antibody and antigen testing running on a portable device that provides highly accurate results in less than 15 minutes. We are also providing universal next-generation sequencing (NGS) solutions for research use with any sequencer, in particular gene panels integrated with bioinformatics for analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and are scaling up production capacity for reagents sold to other companies for use in their own COVID-19 tests. With the launch of QIAprep&amp that includes both sample extraction components and optimized PCR reagents for only one procedure we now complement our COVID-19 testing portfolio further removing key testing bottlenecks for SARS-CoV-2.

Image Source: QIAGEN

Tuba: How confidently you can pitch about its accuracy since it delivers results in under one hour?

Kai te Kaat: It is a research-based kit with which we achieve a detection limit of less than 8 viral copies/reaction and a high concordance to established extraction-based methods.

Tuba: What are your other targets except for COVID-19. Are you specifically working on something?

Kai te Kaat: The product is optimized for the mentioned transport media and detection of enveloped RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV2. We are further qualifying additional transport media for the workflow to increase its universal applicability. Further, we are looking into deploying the same workflow for other respiratory viruses.

Tuba: When can we expect QIAprep& Viral RNA UM Kit’s availability for research applications?

Kai te Kaat: The kit is available worldwide for research applications starting the week of October 19th. Since it is a fully liquid-based workflow, scalability in manufacturing is deep with the potential of more than 20 million reactions per month.

The kit is available worldwide for research applications starting the week of October 19th. Since it is a fully liquid-based workflow, scalability in manufacturing is deep with the potential of more than 20 million reactions per month.

Tuba: What do feel was the biggest roadblock in developing an accurate testing solution for COVID-19?

Kai te Kaat: General roadblocks for the development of accurate testing solutions for COVID-19 are the access to defined standard materials and controls as well as overall supply challenges in the industry, especially on plasticware.

Tuba: What all developments and can you count the name of QIAGEN in providing solutions for the COVID-19 to date?

Kai te Kaat: From the onset of the novel coronavirus outbreak, our teams have been working around the clock to ensure the availability of existing testing solutions and to develop new SARS-CoV-2 tests to address international testing needs. Today, we offer the most comprehensive portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 testing solutions on the market, covering the needs of clinical and research customers, from manual to automated sample processing, low to high throughput, single-plex to multi-plex, and from active infection testing to the detection of previous viral exposure. An overview of our global efforts in the fight against coronavirus can be found here; for background information on our coronavirus testing solutions please download our factsheet.

Tuba: Are you planning to further develop solutions for the COVID-19 testing portfolio?

Kai te Kaat: Based on the technology used in the novel QIAprep&amp kit we are currently developing IVD test kits for SARS-CoV2 RNA.

Tuba: Do you want to highlight anything else about QIAGEN for our subscribers?

Kai te Kaat: Today, we offer the most comprehensive portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 testing solutions on the market addressing the varying testing needs in the fight against the pandemic covering the needs of clinical and research applications, from manual to automated sample processing, low to high throughput, single-plex to multi-plex, and from active infection testing to the detection of previous viral exposure. Testing will continue to be a dominant factor in the fight against the pandemic: even when the vaccines will come to market, the immune status of the population will need to be assessed and monitored. Here, PCR will continue to remain the gold standard for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses, and with our QIAprep&amp technology, we made it even faster without compromising performance.

 About Kai te Kaat:

Kai te Kaat is the Vice President and the Head of QIAGEN’s Oncology Franchise in the Molecular Diagnostics Business Area.  He has joined QIAGEN in 2005 as the Global Business Director Proteins. He has been working for the last 11 years at QIAGEN

Related Post: ViewPoints Interview: Eli Lilly’s Dr. Lotus Mallbris Shares Insights on Baricitinib

The post ViewPoints Interview: QIAGEN’s Kai te Kaat Shares Insights on QIAprep&amp Viral RNA UM Kit first appeared on PharmaShots.

ViewPoints: COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution the Next Supply Chain Frontier

An overview of various aspects of the supply chain that would be crucial in the production and distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine. Write to us at [email protected] if you want a PDF copy of this report.

Over the past seven months, the global pandemic caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has impacted the global economy and people’s lives tremendously. A number of countries and companies have concentrated their resources to produce a vaccine for COVID-19 and considering the present scenario, one can be hopeful to have a vaccine available soon. However, finding the vaccine is just the first step. Other critical steps that every government should be thinking about in relation to their national vaccine strategy are product integrity and safety, public education, and the actual distribution program itself.

Product integrity and safety tests that assure the vaccine is safe to use, communication programs that inspire public confidence, and a robust supply chain management strategy that anticipates local demand efficiently which will deliver a vaccination program that the general population is willing to participate in. Since the sense of urgency is critical, governments all over the world should start planning based on these important enablers. Without this planning, the goal of having a confident and vaccinated population ready to return to “normality” and participating fully in the economy will not become a reality.

On Tuesday 11th of August, Vladimir Putin announced the first vaccine to the world, named Sputnik V. With this announcement the race to get a working vaccine to people all over the world has heated up further between key players all over the world eager to cash in on this opportunity for financial and political reasons. One thing is clear, whichever vaccine makes it to commercialization the supply chain will play an integral part in the upstream manufacturing supply chain and the downstream distribution.

Some of the key contenders for the Covid-19 vaccine are:

 

Demand for the Vaccine

Many experts around the world are expecting the introduction of these vaccines to cause major challenges to global supply chains in manufacturing, transportation, and distribution as companies scramble to meet demand from countries all over the world. The demand for this vaccine will be at a historic high. Never in the world before has there been a situation where a vaccine needs to go out to the whole world at the same time. With a global population of more than 8 billion people, this will be more than a mammoth undertaking.

Image source: Canva

Upstream Manufacturing Supply Chain

To get to making a vaccine, there are several manufacturing steps that need to be taken which although invisible to most people are critical in the time path to a final drug product. These include making and testing the API product which forms the active ingredient of the drug. Making the actual drug itself (drug substance), the filling process involved in turning the bulk drug substance into usable vials or syringes for vaccination. The other needed parts related to the syringe itself, the needle, the vial, the cap, the label, etc. The last step is the actual final labeling and packaging of the vials into the finished product. In the pharmaceutical industry, all these manufacturing steps are usually performed at different factories often across different countries in the world. Synchronizing these production steps and the availability of all the components, the ingredients, and manufacturing capacity, as well as the logistics between the various factories all, create potential bottlenecks and risks.

Procurement of Vaccines – Access Rights  

Image source: Business Standard

Governments around the world are competing to get first access to available vaccines. They are faced with critical questions around which vaccine brand to back now to secure access to large quantities to be able to start domestic immunization programs. Backing a vaccine and paying upfront for access and guaranteeing certain quantities of doses whilst there is no advance guarantee the vaccine will work is a large financial and political risk only the richer countries are able to make. The US, clusters of countries in Europe, and some other richer nations are making these types of advanced access agreements with key manufacturers. These funds help finance the manufacturing work already started whilst the vaccines are still being developed and tested for approval.

Although it is good that some of the richer nations have stepped up to help pre-finance these vaccine programs it presents a real moral dilemma once the vaccines are approved in terms of which countries get first access rights and which ones do not. Given the share volume of vaccines that need to be produced to cover the whole global population the difference between being a “first mover” country versus a “last mover” could be as long as 3-5 years.

In other words, countries with more money will buy priority access to vaccine programs whilst emerging countries will not be able to do so financially. It will mean that as the world moves out of the COVID-19 lockdown phase, clusters of countries can do so more easily than others. It will create a further disparity between regions around the world economically which potentially poses new socio-economic and (geo) political risks.

Downstream Supply Chain

Image source: CNBC

Once a vaccine has been produced it is ready to be shipped under heavily regulated and temperature-controlled conditions to countries around the world. Many industry experts predict this enormous logistics task will lead to huge capacity problems for airlines and logistics companies. Laurent Foetisch, Supply Chain Management Consultant as Supply Chain Operations with more than 35 years of pharmaceutical manufacturing and logistics experience argues differently. “It is not possible to produce the quantities of vaccines needed all at once. Typically, vaccines are produced in batches of around 100,000 – 150’000 vials/syringes based on a daily production cycle. Even if multiple filling lines are used across various manufacturing locations it is not possible to produce all the vaccines immediately at these numbers in millions for everyone”.

This also means that the “big bang” launch theory of a vaccine might not be as big as many predict. It would mean that availability of vaccines for distribution is spread over a longer time frame which from a capacity perspective is less complicated to manage by logistics companies and airlines. Rather than a “bulk” shipment program, it could well turn more into a “Just in Time” shipment program feeding into domestic immunization programs.

However, there are other factors to think about as the first batches of vaccines are released and shipped. Eelco Dijkstra, Managing Partner at Europhia Consulting points out that ensuring product security across the entire supply chain will be vital. Not just in terms of establishing and using validated temperature-controlled transport and storage solutions but also in terms of risks such as the product being “highjacked” and/or “counterfeited” by organized crime as the product is transported across multiple countries.

National Vaccination Program – The Final Mile Distribution

Image source: Medical Express

 The two major challenges of the government-run vaccination program on a national level would be in public education and in the distribution program itself. To make any vaccination program successful, it is vital to plan on how to educate the end community to ensure that the public is fully aware prepared to take the vaccination timely and efficiently.

Talking about the distribution strategy, the key questions that need to be addressed include how to best manage any vaccination program. The biggest first question for governments to address is whether a vaccine will be made mandatory for the whole population or be voluntary? Who will receive vaccination first? Vulnerable groups first such as people with a medical condition or the elderly? Will governments use hospitals throughout the country for people to come to and get vaccinated or will government look to use more points of vaccination such as medical clinics including private ones?

In some countries it will make sense to use existing COVID-19 infrastructure such as dedicated clinics and testing centers already in place. In some cases, it might make sense to set up “mobile” vaccine units which come to elderly homes, local community centres and schools.

Vaccines are pharmaceutical drugs and will need tight temperature and security control during storage and transportation. Given the share size of any vaccination program based on population size, it will run into the millions of vaccinations for which an end to end distribution model will need to be designed, tested, and executed in a very short period of time. Therefore, the timing for the planning for such a distribution model cannot start soon enough. For any vaccination program to be successful, the distribution part will be critical. Therefore, any national distribution plan linked to a country’s vaccination program will need to involve partnerships between government and private companies in logistics and distribution to plan and execute. We are already working with several governments on these initiatives providing input on strategic and tactical elements of such distribution plans.

Disclaimer: The opinions are based on the author’s own experience and understanding of the dynamics within the sector.

Europhia Consulting is an international management consulting company specialized in the logistics and supply chain industry in the life sciences sector. We operate global assignments for our clients.

Supply Chain Operations SA, based in Switzerland, is a specialized healthcare supply chain consultancy firm created in 2011 to serve the biopharmaceutical and Medtech industry.

We bring more than 120 years of end-to-end supply chain expertise to our valued customers. Both companies work together on strategic assignments for clients globally. We do not pretend to have been able to capture all challenges and all insights and have deliberately focused this strategy paper on some of the key challenges we see based on our work with clients within the industry.

For any questions or comments about this strategy paper please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Eelco Dijkstra

Eelco Dijkstra of Europhia Consulting has worked in supply chain and consultancy for over 25 years and in recent years has focused his expertise on the global pharmaceutical sector. He as worked a number of years for TNT Express and Kuehne & Nagel and in recent years managed his own consultancy practice. 
Mobile: +31 624661688 
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.europhia.com  

Laurent Foetisch

Laurent Foetisch of Supply Chain Operations has extensive experience as a supply chain executive responsible for managing a global biopharmaceutical company in Switzerland for more than 20 years. In 2007 Laurent managed the supply chain integration between Merck and Serono with the responsibility to create one central supply chain structure using common processes and tools. Since 2011, Laurent runs its own supply chain boutique consulting firm named Supply Chain Operations SA. 
Mobile: +41 792052332 
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.supplychainoperations.ch

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