With rising rates of disease and established guidelines for treatment, officials at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc. have “the wind at our backs” as they go about commercializing Inpefa (sotagliflozin) for heart failure (HF), after the drug was cleared late May 26 by the U.S. FDA, said CEO Lonnel Coats. Shares of The Woodlands, Texas-based Lexicon (NASDAQ:LXRX), which had risen significantly after hours on word of the Inpefa go-ahead, closed May 30 at $2.90, down 28 cents. Regulators gave their nod to the inhibitor of renal sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) and intestinal SGLT1 with a broad label across the full range of left ventricular ejection fraction, including HFpEF and HFrEF, and for patients with or without diabetes.
On the strength of upside in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in patients with geographic atrophy (GA), Annexon Inc. officials will meet with the U.S. FDA to talk about what’s next for ANX-007, after the C1q inhibitor missed the phase II trial’s primary endpoint: mean rate of change, or slope, in the GA lesion area compared to sham.
“We clearly see an active drug here,” PTC Therapeutics Inc. CEO Matthew Klein said of the 15-lipoxygenase inhibitor vatiquinone for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), tested in a phase III study called Move-FA that missed the primary endpoint of statistically significant change in modified FA Rating Scale score at 72 weeks. The company will “take one step at a time” decisions about the drug, analyzing the results and then consulting with the U.S. FDA regarding how to proceed, he said. Meanwhile, Wall Street wasn’t happy, and South Plainfield, N.J.-based PTC’s shares (NASDAQ:PTCT) closed May 24 at $46.95, down $11.46, or 19.6%.
Once weekly vs. once daily injections plus increased potency vs. Gattex (linaclotide) inspired Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. in its $1 billion takeover of Vectivbio Holding AG, which brings aboard the phase III-stage synthetic glucagon-like peptide-2 analog apraglutide, potentially a best-in-class agent for short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure.
Trouble presaged by U.S. FDA concerns over potential drug-induced liver injury (DILI) caused by obeticholic acid (OCA) 25 mg came to pass during the Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee meeting May 19 on Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s accelerated approval effort with the compound.
Word from Immix Biopharma Inc. of updated data due with NXC-201 brought to the forefront an ongoing push by drug developers to come up with a treatment for AL amyloidosis. Immix has the only CAR T therapy in the works for the disease, and the principal investigator in the Nexicart-1 phase Ib/IIa effort is slated to speak May 19 during the annual meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.
With PTC Therapeutics Inc.’s positive results in phase III with sepiapterin for pediatric and adult patients with phenylketonuria (PKU), attention turned to the would-be showdown with Kuvan (sapropterin dihydrochloride), the drug from Biomarin Pharmaceuticals Inc. that was approved in December 2017.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc.’s balloting March 12 from the U.S. FDA’s Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee (OTAT) in favor of gene transfer therapy SRP-9001 (delandistrogene moxeparvovec) in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) had Wall Street mulling the odds for others in the space.