As investors await interim data this quarter from Arcus Biosciences Inc.’s ARC-7 phase II effort with domvanalimab (AB-154) in non-small-cell lung cancer, the anti-TIGIT space continues to bubble, with Wall Street busy trying to sort out the odds of various players.
The rocky first quarter for public biopharmaceutical companies continued into April as the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical index remained flat for the period in contrast to the general market, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average growing by more than 2%. Weighing on the sector has been softer than expected earnings in the period among the top tier companies.
With shortages of the COVID-19 drug, remdesivir, being reported in several states in India, the country’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization is calling on state regulators to “immediately initiate remedial action to ensure supply of remdesivir injection to public and private hospitals.”
In the debate over the interpretation of the U.S. government’s patent march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act, those arguing for march-in as a price control cite the billions of tax dollars being invested in scientific research at universities that may lead to marketable inventions.
Nearly 16,500 groups and individuals put in their two cents on a proposed National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) rule clarifying that the U.S. government, under the Bayh-Dole Act, can’t march in on patents derived from federally funded research just because it doesn’t consider the price of the resulting product “reasonable.”
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.
Positive COVID-19 efficacy numbers from Vir Biotechnology Inc. and Glaxosmithkline plc (GSK) has prompted them to immediately seek an emergency use authorization (EUA) with the FDA and similar authorizations in other countries for their monoclonal antibody, VIR-7831. Meanwhile, the phase III Remdacta study of Actemra/RoActemra (tocilizumab) plus Veklury (remdesivir) vs. placebo plus Veklury, from Roche Holding AG and Gilead Sciences Inc., missed its primary endpoint in treating hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia receiving standard of care.
According to an analysis conducted by BioWorld of the 2020 financial reports filed by public biopharmaceutical companies with market caps greater than $1 billion, and excluding big pharma companies, the amount that was invested in research and development (R&D) during the year increased by 23% compared to the same period last year.
Gilead Sciences Inc. was looking to get into oncology in a big way. Arcus Biosciences Inc. had a pipeline of cancer drugs it didn't want to break up. While a little unusual, the landmark 10-year pact the companies made last year just made sense, company executives explained during a session at Biocom California's Global Life Science Partnering Conference.
As developers continue their race in the anti-CD47 space, Gilead Sciences Inc. remains high profile with magrolimab, which has reached phase III development for myelodysplastic syndromes. Meanwhile, Alx Oncology Inc., of Burlingame, Calif., is emerging with potentially the first drug targeting the CD47-SIRPa axis to treat solid tumors as well as hematologic malignancies.