British and Taiwanese scientists have described a novel approach to the treatment of autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis, using an already approved DNA-methylation inhibitor, which was shown to effectively treat active inflammatory disease in animal models.
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (Labcorp) further consolidated its position as a leading provider of rheumatoid arthritis testing with a definitive agreement to acquire the Vectra assay from Myriad Genetics Inc. along with other assets of the Salt Lake City-based company’s autoimmune business unit in a deal valued at $150 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2021.
If the March 25 vote from a joint FDA advisory committee meeting is anything to go by, the long and bumpy development road for Pfizer Inc.’s tanezumab, a nonopioid pain drug, may have just gotten longer and bumpier. In what was nearly a unanimous vote, the Arthritis Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee said the sponsor’s proposed risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) was not adequate to ensure the benefits of tanezumab in alleviating osteoarthritis pain outweigh its risks, which include further joint deterioration.
Aclaris Therapeutics Inc. CEO Neal Walker said “a lot of room within rheumatoid arthritis [RA]” remains for new drugs, such as his firm’s orally delivered ATI-450. “We see opportunities given the profile, the relative efficacy and safety that we've already demonstrated, to look at not only potentially monotherapy or earlier treatment of disease but also combo treatment, particularly given the safety profile. I think it's pretty well-known that polypharmacy is the rule in this indication.”
Neurotech startup Nēsos Corp. has emerged from stealth with a novel approach for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Using wireless earbuds, the technology delivers electrical fields to targeted areas of the brain to help regulate immune function. The company recently raised $16.5 million in a series A round to advance clinical development of its first e-immunotherapy product.
Immune Regulation Ltd., a U.S.-U.K. venture advancing peptide-based therapies for rheumatoid arthritis and allergic diseases, has closed a £40.6 million (US$53.4 million) series B financing that will support its preparation for multiple phase II studies next year, as well as an evaluation of one candidate in COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome. Morningside Ventures led the round, along with existing shareholders, including London-based 24Haymarket.
A bioelectronic platform that stimulates the vagus nerve to reduce inflammatory activity and restore balance in the immune system is the ultimate aim of Setpoint Medical Inc. The Valencia, Calif.-based startup is preparing to start a U.S. pivotal trial for its most advanced program in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) later this year or early next.
Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc. CEO Jed Latkin said positive findings from the second interim analysis of the phase IIb study called NAV3-31 “were certainly better than what we were looking for” and will “make our partnering discussions a lot more interesting.”
The FDA granted Setpoint Medical Corp. an investigational device exemption (IDE) approval to study its bioelectronic platform in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The Valencia, Calif.-based company expects to begin enrollment in a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled pivotal trial in patients with RA in the third quarter of 2020, Setpoint President and CEO Murthy Simhambhatla told BioWorld.