Genentech Inc. is paying Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals Ltd. $100 million in up-front and near-term payments for the development and commercialization rights to vixarelimab, a fully human monoclonal antibody. Kiniksa also could receive up to approximately $600 million in certain clinical, regulatory and sales-based milestones, as well as royalties on annual net sales.
Recently published real-world data with Firazyr (icatibant), the selective B2 bradykinin receptor antagonist from Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to treat acute hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks, trained a spotlight on the space, where a handful of players compete. Among the prospects is the early stage but intriguing Star-0215 from Astria Therapeutics Inc., which could be the next advance in the kallikrein-inhibitor class.
Trevi Therapeutics Inc. took its place among several late-stage contenders by scoring a win in prurigo nodularis in the form of positive data from the 360-participant, phase IIb/III Pruritus Relief through Itch-Scratch Modulation, or PRISM, trial with oral Haduvio (nalbuphine extended release).
Paragon Biosciences-backed Castle Creek Biosciences Inc. pulled off an oversubscribed and upsized preferred stock financing of $112.8 million. The money should let the firm tie the bow on a phase III study and roll out top-line results of its lead ex vivo product candidate for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) called D-Fi (dabocemagene autoficel, also known as FCX-007).
The U.S. FDA has rejected Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s drug-device combination to treat the viral skin disease molluscum for a third time, losing more ground to a potential rival from Novan Inc., because of continued manufacturing issues. There are no FDA-approved treatments for molluscum contagiosum, which leads to skin-colored or pink lesions and affects around 6 million people in the U.S. annually.
Dermavant Sciences Inc. has received its first FDA approval with the agency’s blessing of Vtama (tapinarof) for treating plaque psoriasis in adults. The treatment is also the first FDA-approved, steroid-free topical medication in its class in addition to being the first psoriasis novel topical chemical entity introduced to the market in the past 25 years.
Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc. is on track for an NDA filing for CTP-543 in alopecia areata during the first half of 2023, following a positive read-out from the first of two phase III trials of the oral Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitor. The molecule hit the primary endpoint of the placebo-controlled Thrive-AA1 study, which was defined as the percentage of patients achieving a SALT (Severity of Alopecia Assessment Tool) score of 20 or less after 24 weeks of therapy.
Evotec AG and Almirall SA have entered a multitarget drug discovery alliance focused on severe skin disease, from which Evotec could earn up to €230 million (US$243.5 million) in per-program milestones. It is also receiving an undisclosed up-front payment, research funding and, should any products reach the market, it would also bank sales royalties in the high-single-digit percentage range.
UCB SA’s share price slumped after the U.S. FDA rejected the pharma’s filing for psoriasis drug Bimzelx (bimekizumab), citing issues with “inspection observations” that must be resolved before approval. Shares in Brussels-based UCB (Brussels:UCB) fell 13.6% following the announcement that the FDA had rejected Bimzelx for treatment of adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
Bristol Myers Squibb Co. has announced long-term data from its closely watched psoriasis pill, deucravacitinib, which it hopes will supplant Amgen Inc.’s blockbuster, Otezla (apremilast), as the main oral therapy for the disease.