Upbeat phase III findings outweighed less encouraging late-stage trial news, as big pharma provided a mixed bag of cancer findings – with one data batch to form the basis of global approval bids, as Astrazeneca plc with Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. unveiled interim results from a study called Tropion-Breast01. Targeting trophoblast cell surface antigen 2, datopotamab deruxtecan (dato) hit the mark in progression-free survival for patients with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-low or negative breast cancer in the study called Tropion-Breast01.
Travere Therapeutics Inc.’s narrow phase III miss in the study called Protect with the approved endothelin and angiotensin II receptor antagonist Filspari (sparsentan) in IgA nephropathy (IgAN) had Wall Street speculating about the fate of the compound, which is available for the indication by way of accelerated approval in the U.S., having been given the nod in February.
Although preclinical studies of genetically engineered interleukin-18 (IL-18) historically indicated its potential in cancer treatment, interest in the cytokine languished after GSK plc shelved its IL-18 therapeutic on lack of responses in a phase II melanoma trial. But in 2020, Yale University-based professor of immunobiology Aaron Ring set about reviving IL-18 as a cancer therapeutic. He went on to engineer a decoy-resistant form of IL-18 and then founded Simcha Therapeutics Inc. to develop the drug – named ST-067.
Starpharma Holdings Ltd.'s nanoscale drug delivery technology shows enhanced safety and durable responses in phase II trials compared to standard of care therapies in patients with advanced colorectal and ovarian cancer.
Iveric Bio Inc.’s regulatory win Aug. 4 drew attention to the already hot eye-disease space, where intriguing new developments include the possibility of an oral therapy for Stargardt disease. Belite Bio Inc. in late July finished enrollment of a phase III study with once daily tinlarebant, a retinol binding protein 4 antagonist for Stargardt’s. Data from 90 adolescent subjects in the study called Dragon are due in mid-2024.
Anthos Therapeutics Inc.’s phase II study of abelacimab in treating atrial fibrillation in patients at moderate to high risk of stroke has met its primary endpoint. The data monitoring committee stopped the study early as the fully human monoclonal antibody targeting factor XI/XIa reduced bleeding when compared to a leading standard of care, direct oral anticoagulant, Xarelto (rivaroxaban, Johnson & Johnson).
Galimedix Therapeutics Inc. plans to move its lead compound, GAL-101, into a phase IIa proof-of-concept trial next year, in order to test an intriguing hypothesis associated with certain retinal degeneration conditions. GAL-101 selectively binds misfolded amyloid beta species, and the company believes that this mechanism may benefit patients with the dry form of age-related macular degeneration or with glaucoma.
Hanmi Science Co. Ltd. is rolling out a new obesity pipeline with five candidates under its relatively new leadership with Lim Ju-hyun, the eldest daughter of Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. founder Lim Sung-ki, who serves as president of Hanmi’s global strategy division. Songpa-gu, Seoul-based Hanmi Science is the holding group of its main drug development and production arm, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, and its wholesaler arm, Online Pharm.
Though data won’t be available for a few years, the disclosure in mid-July that Grifols SA completed enrollment in the phase III study called Sparta caused some ears to perk up in the alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) space, where a number of contenders are busy.
The combination of new U.S. FDA phase II study guidance and a $175 million underwritten public offering sent gene therapy developer Rocket Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s stock soaring on Sept 13. Shares (NASADQ:RCKT) closed 38.8% upward to $21.23 each on Sept. 13.