Novartis AG rolled out positive phase III data Sept. 13 with Cosentyx (secukinumab), its interleukin-17A (IL-17A) inhibitor for hidradenitis suppurativa, offering more evidence for the approach taken up by a handful of biopharma firms.
Bearish investors dwelling on a single grade 4 liver enzyme elevation seemed to be the cause for Intellia Therapeutics Inc.’s sinking stock Sept. 16, despite the company reporting impressive, though early stage, data for its leading systemically administered CRISPR candidates targeting hereditary angioedema (HAE) and amyloid transthyretin (ATTR) amyloidosis.
E-nitiate Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. has raised ¥100 million (US$14.4 million) in a series A round to speed up the clinical trials of its lead assets, QY-201 and QY-101, and expand the pipeline. “Our strategy is to focus on the ‘blue ocean’ of the dermatosis market,” said Shi Jun, chief medical officer at E-nitiate Biopharma. “The first step is to enter China’s autoimmune skin diseases market.”
Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) dodged a black-box warning on the label of just-approved Sotyktu (deucravacitinib), but hurdles lie ahead for the first-in-class, oral, allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 inhibitor. Designed to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy, Sotyktu is priced as $75,000 per year, and will become available during September, BMS said.
Ducentis Biotherapeutics Ltd. has been acquired by Arcutis Biotherapeutics Inc. for up to $400 million, representing a landmark moment for seed investor Lifearc Ventures, which aims to kick-start promising biotechs in the U.K. while giving any investment returns to its parent medical charity.
The U.S. FDA’s approval of Revance Therapeutics Inc.’s Daxxify (daxibotulinumtoxinA-lanm) for the temporary improvement of moderate to severe glabellar lines, or frown lines, in adults, positioned the drug to compete with Abbvie Inc.’s blockbuster, Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA), which tallied $678 million in global net revenues for the second quarter of 2022.
The U.S. FDA has become the first global regulator to approve Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH’s spesolimab, the first treatment specifically approved for generalized pustular psoriasis flares in adults, a rare and potentially fatal disease. Branded as Spevigo, it works by inhibiting interleukin-36 and is delivered via intravenous injection. Ingelheim, Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim is not giving away details about pricing but Carinne Brouillon, a member of the company’s board responsible for human pharma, said Spevigo is “priced similarly to the other biologic therapies used to treat rare dermatologic diseases.”
As the PDUFA date looms for Bristol Myers Squibb Co. with its candidate, deucravacitinib, for psoriasis, others – notably Dice Therapeutics Inc. – strive for new solutions to the skin disease, which has remained problematic for many patients despite approvals of multiple drugs in various classes.
Shares of Pharvaris NV (NASDAQ:PHVS) fell 34% Aug. 22 to close at $12.15 after the company reported the U.S. FDA placed a clinical hold on PHA-121, its oral bradykinin B2-receptor antagonist for hereditary angioedema (HAE), citing a review of nonclinical data. PHA-121, which goes after the same target as well-established injectable HAE drug Firazyr (icatibant, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.), is the active ingredient in Pharvaris’ two lead programs: PHVS-416, a softgel capsule formulation, and PHVS-719, an extended-release tablet formulation.
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.