HONG KONG – Beijing Stonewise Technology Co. Ltd., a med-tech firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in the discovery of small molecule drugs, closed series B and B+ financing rounds that added $100 million to its pocket. The company intends to use the proceeds to upgrade its AI-enabled drug discovery platform.
PERTH, Australia – In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia is shoring up its national supply of medical products and making it a national priority to drive economic recovery and ensure future resilience. The objective of the government’s modern manufacturing strategy is to build scale and capture income in high-value areas of manufacturing where Australia either has established competitive strength or emerging priorities.
Plx Pharma Inc. is not letting out the details just yet about next quarter’s launch of liquid-filled aspirin capsule Vazalore, recently cleared by the FDA in 81-mg and 325-mg doses, but CEO Natasha Giordano said cardiologists are “essential to our strategy. We have developed very deep sales plans [that are] laser-focused.”
If the U.S. Congress is receptive to recommendations approved by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) April 9, the FDA's accelerated approval path for innovative new drugs could lose a bit of its appeal. And sponsors using that path may speed the pace of seeking full approval.
Citing the limited data for CAR T therapies in treating multiple myeloma, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review said their cost-effectiveness for some patients will depend on whether a second dose is needed.
LONDON – A new route to the approval of drugs promises to smooth the path from clinical trials to approval, reimbursement and commissioning in the National Health Service, through closer and earlier collaboration between the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and health technology assessment bodies.
U.S. lawmakers, advocacy groups and state officials who urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to march in on patents covering Gilead Sciences Inc.’s COVID-19 drug, Veklury (remdesivir), likely were disappointed, and perhaps surprised, by the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) conclusion this week that, despite a $161.5 million taxpayer investment in the antiviral’s development, there are no government patents to march in on.
Shares of Humanigen Inc. (NASDAQ:HGEN) leapt 54.5% to $21.61 March 29 on news that its monoclonal antibody, lenzilumab, improved the relative likelihood of survival without mechanical ventilation in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, setting the company up to submit an application for emergency use authorization (EUA) in the U.S. "as soon as possible," it said. Separately, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, the Eli Lilly and Co.-Abcellera Biologics Inc.-developed therapy bamlanivimab and the Vir Biotechnology Inc.-Glaxosmithkline plc candidate VIR-7831, demonstrated a 70% relative reduction in persistently high SARS-CoV-2 viral load at day seven compared to placebo for low-risk adult patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, the companies reported.
The first BCMA-targeted CAR T therapy, idecabtagene vicleucel, cleared FDA approval for use in adults with multiple myeloma (MM) who have received four or more prior lines of therapy. Developed by partners Bluebird Bio Inc. and Bristol Myers Squibb Co., the drug, branded Abecma, is also the first CAR T drug indicated for MM. It is designed for use as a one-time infusion, with a recommended dose range of 300 to 460 x 106 CAR-positive T cells. The personalized therapy will be produced at BMS’ cellular manufacturing facility in Summit, N.J. Bluebird developed the lentiviral vector used in Abecma.
If the biopharma industry thought its round-the-clock efforts and considerable financial investments in tackling COVID-19 would earn it good will in the U.S. Congress, those hopes were dashed March 23 when both Democrats and Republicans serving on a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee reverted to blaming drug companies for much of what’s wrong with the U.S. health care system.