The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit made it clear that it’s the court’s purview, not a jury’s, to determine whether an expert’s testimony is “relevant and reliable” when it comes to issues such as causation. It gave that lesson Feb. 13 when it affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of multi-district litigation in which the plaintiffs claimed that Onglyza (saxagliptin) and Kombiglyze (saxagliptin/metformin hydrochloride), developed by Astrazeneca plc and Bristol Myers Squibb Co., caused their heart failure.
Amgen Inc. reported its latest financial numbers but much of the conversation on the Feb. 6 conference call was about obesity. The same was true with Eli Lilly and Co. as weight loss drove the narrative.
Sciwind Biosciences Co. Ltd.’s oral ecnoglutide (XW-004) produced strong weight loss results after short-term treatments, up to a 6.8% body weight decrease in obese and overweight participants after once-daily dosing for six weeks, according to data from the first four cohorts of the phase I trial.
Jilin, China-based Huisheng Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd. gained China NMPA approval for Huiyoujing (proline janagliflozin tablets), its independently developed sodium glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor for type 2 diabetes. The regulatory clearance, announced on Jan. 23, makes janagliflozin the second China-made SGLT2 inhibitor after Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co. Ltd.’s henagliflozin (SHR-3824), which was launched domestically in May 2022.
Sciwind Biosciences Co. Ltd.’s injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog, ecnoglutide (XW-003), achieved positive top-line results in a phase III trial in Chinese adults with type 2 diabetes. A long-acting, cAMP signaling biased GLP-1 analog, ecnoglutide is being developed for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity. GLP-1 receptor agonists are increasingly gaining attention in the obesity therapy area.
Given what CEO Raymond Stevens called a space that’s “evolving extremely rapidly,” Structure Therapeutics Inc. chose – rather than wait for next year’s 12-week data – to unblind the eight-week obesity findings with GSBR-1290, an oral glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist for which the firm also provided a phase IIa update in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Biomea Fusion Inc.’s diabetes treatment produced enhanced glycemic control at week 26 courtesy of its 200-mg cohort. It’s the latest advance for the company’s candidate that also has strong prospects in treating leukemia. Top-line data from the ongoing phase II Covalent-111 study of BMF-219, a covalent menin inhibitor for regenerating insulin-producing beta cells, demonstrated that about 40% of participants, four of 11 patients, in the 200-mg cohorts showed a durable reduction, 1% or more, in the amount of blood sugar attached to the type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients’ hemoglobin. The data came from participants who had received the last dose in a four-week treatment.
The same mechanism of action deployed by Eli Lilly and Co.’s obesity drug Mounjaro (tirzepatide) helped lure Roche Holding AG to the buyout of Carmot Therapeutics Inc., as the pharma giant agreed to pay $2.7 billion up front for the privately held outfit, promising another $400 million if milestones are met.
Astrazeneca plc will pay up to $2 billion for Eccogene Co. Ltd.’s oral weight loss candidate, ECC-5004, as big and small pharma players alike work to gain ground in the burgeoning obesity market where Eli Lilly and Co. scored the latest U.S. FDA approval of Zepbound (tirzepatide).
Orsobio Inc., already in the clinic with three candidates, has completed its $60 million series A financing. The company, CEO Mani Subramanian told BioWorld, has taken its time to find the right programs, put them together and only raised capital when it saw the programs had legs. Even the series A is a measured step, as Subramanian called the financing “modest.”