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.
Swanbio Therapeutics Inc. closed a $56 million series B round to take its lead gene therapy program, SBT-101, into clinical development later this year. The candidate, comprised of an adeno-associated virus type 9 vector encoding the ABCD1 peroxisomal ATP-binding cassette transporter, is in development for adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN), an inherited disease that affects the central nervous system.
Evotec AG and Sernova Corp. are joining forces in a bid to develop a functional cure for type 1 diabetes. The companies plan to file an IND early in 2024 for a combined cell therapy and medical device product comprising Evotec’s human beta cells, derived from the company’s induced pluripotent stem cell platform, and Sernova’s Cell Pouch delivery system, which provides transplanted cells with a vascularized, physiologically appropriate environment that enables them to secrete insulin and other hormones involved in regulating blood glucose levels.
Astrazeneca plc has signed up for more of the heavy-duty structure-based drug discovery services Proteros Biostructures GmbH specializes in, inking an extension to their existing collaboration agreement.
Although gene therapy is now “a clinical reality,” it still remains an early stage therapeutic modality. That’s the view of Caroline Man Xu, CEO and co-founder of Vigeneron GmbH, a German gene therapy company that has maintained a low profile while steadily staking out a promising position in gene therapies for inherited retinal disease.
Bone Therapeutics SA has entered an exclusive three-month discussion period with Medsenic SAS, which could culminate in a reverse merger. The potential transaction represents a lifeline for the troubled Belgian cell therapy developer, which is running out of cash and which has been more or less abandoned by its shareholders.
Shares in Oxurion NV dropped 40.3% percent May 9 on news that one of its two clinical-stage assets, THR-687, failed to demonstrate efficacy in a phase II trial in diabetic macular edema (DME). The candidate, a small-molecule pan integrin receptor antagonist, failed to demonstrate efficacy in Part A of the trial, called Integral, in which treatment-naïve patients received one of two doses of THR-687.
Dianthus Therapeutics Inc. has, appropriately, flowered in springtime. The Waltham, Mass.-based company emerged from stealth with $100 million in series A funding and lofty ambitions to rewrite the rules of targeting the complement system with a pipeline of antibodies that bring new levels of selectivity to an area of innate immunity that has proved difficult to target.
Switzerland’s biotechnology sector maintained its strong investment performance in 2021. The final tally for the year came to CHF3.33 billion (US$3.4 billion), which is almost equivalent to its record-breaking total of CHF3.4 billion for 2020.