With the world heading straight into a "very tough" stretch of the COVID-19 pandemic in which "too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in cases," according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, two lucrative deals announced Oct. 28 showed little slack in efforts to confront the virus, even as evidence is still developing. In one deal, Novartis AG agreed to pay its Swiss compatriot Molecular Partners AG as much as CHF210 million (US$231 million) for an option on global rights for two early stage direct-acting antivirals that might help prevent or treat COVID-19. In the other, the U.S. government agreed to pay Eli Lilly and Co. as much as $1.19 billion for 950,000 million doses of the experimental antibody therapy bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555), contingent on the FDA's go-ahead for Lilly to market the medicine and on government need.
The ACTIV-3 phase III study testing Eli Lilly and Co.’s COVID-19 antibody candidate, LY-CoV555, which was paused two weeks ago following a participant’s unexplained illness, has now been halted, the company reported Oct. 26, based on a review of trial data suggesting the drug, also known as bamlanivimab, is unlikely to help hospitalized patients recover from an advanced stage of the disease.
Eli Lilly and Co.’s definitive agreement to acquire privately held Disarm Therapeutics Inc. brings Cambridge, Mass.-based Disarm $135 million up front and as much as $1.225 billion in additional future payments for potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones if Lilly successfully develops and commercializes therapies tied to the agreement.
Despite an NIH move to pause enrollment in a trial testing Eli Lilly and Co.'s COVID-19 antibody candidate, LY-CoV555, after a participant's unexplained illness, at least three other studies of the candidate remain underway, the company said Oct. 14.
With an ongoing phase II trial showing that a pair of its SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies has so far reduced viral load, symptoms and COVID-19-related hospitalization and ER visits, Eli Lilly and Co. has asked the FDA to consider an emergency use authorization (EUA) for one of the components, LY-CoV555.
Given the minimal accountability written into the 340B prescription drug discount program, a few biopharma companies recently began taking oversight into their own hands by demanding data claims or refusing to extend the mandated discounts to contract pharmacies.
The FDA’s approval of Genentech Inc.’s Gavreto (pralsetinib) for treating adults with metastatic rearranged during transfection (RET) fusion-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) follows the FDA’s May approval of Eli Lilly and Co.’s Retevmo for patients whose tumors have a RET alteration. Gavreto will be commercialized in the U.S. by Genentech, part of the Roche Group, along with Blueprint Medicines Corp., which developed the once-daily oral therapy. Outside the U.S., Roche will handle commercialization.
LONDON – CEOs of five leading biopharma companies have hit back against any suggestion COVID-19 vaccines and therapies could be approved in advance of phase III data, saying it is imperative the highest standards of quality, safety and efficacy are upheld everywhere. The most important thing is to reinforce to the public the commitment to safety as the number one priority, said Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck & Co. Inc.
Innovent Biologics Inc., of Suzhou, has out-licensed ex-China rights for its PD-1 drug Tyvyt (sintilimab) to Eli Lilly and Co. in an expanded license deal. The Chinese firm will receive $200 million upfront in the deal, the value of which could approach up to $1.03 billion. Innovent’s CEO Michael Yu called this “the first solid step in getting Innovent's innovative portfolio into the global market.” With the ex-China rights of Tyvyt, Lilly plans to seek approval for the PD-1 drug in the U.S. and other markets.
Innovent Biologics Inc., of Suzhou, has out-licensed ex-China rights for its PD-1 drug Tyvyt (sintilimab) to Eli Lilly and Co. in an expanded license deal. The Chinese firm will receive $200 million upfront in the deal, the value of which could approach up to $1.03 billion.