Neurocrine Biosciences Inc.’s chief business development and strategy officer, Kyle Gano, said “there was really no playbook” for the deal in which his firm is paying Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. $120 million up front for an exclusive license to seven programs, including three clinical-stage assets targeting the notoriously difficult indications of schizophrenia and treatment-resistant depression (TRD), as well as depression-related anhedonia.
With an increasingly aging global population, neurological disorders have become a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Despite the significant investments that continue to be made in research and development in the neurological field, the discovery of new drugs targeting many CNS disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, has proved to be difficult.
As expected, Viela Bio Inc. won FDA clearance for the humanized anti-CD19 monoclonal antibody Uplizna (inebilizumab-cdon) to treat adults with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a rare neuroinflammatory disease.
According to Todd Haim, chief of the Office of Small Business Research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a major issue. In his opening remarks on a BIO Digital panel, titled “Brave Innovations: public and private solutions to advance Alzheimer’s therapeutics and diagnostics in a risk-averse climate,” he provided data showing why new treatments for AD and AD-related dementias (ADRD) are desperately needed.
LONDON – Evox Therapeutics Ltd. sealed a $1.2 billion collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co. to apply its exosome technology to the doubly difficult task of systemically delivering RNA interference and antisense oligonucleotide drugs, to reach central nervous system targets.
Athira Pharma Inc. closed on an $85 million series B financing designed to advance its small molecule, NDX-1017, into a phase II/III trial for treating Alzheimer’s disease later this year. The company is using positive data generated last year from its phase Ia/b trial in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease as a springboard to the clinic.
LONDON – With results of its first phase I trial imminent, inflammasome specialist Nodthera Ltd. has raised $55 million in a series B round, providing funding for phase II proof-of-concept studies and to advance a second, brain-penetrant, compound to the clinic.
Prilenia Therapeutics BV, a private company developing an experimental therapy for Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has raised $62.5 million in a series A financing round to support new trials in the indications, both of which are expected to yield top-line data by the end of 2022, CEO Michael Hayden told BioWorld.
A phase III test of roluperidone, a drug developed by Minerva Neurosciences Inc. with a goal of treating negative symptoms in schizophrenia, found that the experimental medicine failed to deliver statistically significant differences vs. placebo in improving both the trial's primary endpoint, a common measure of symptom severity, and its secondary endpoint, a score measuring social function.