New collaborations and licensing activities for biotech/pharma industries pick up pace heading into 2017.
Biotech and Big Pharma companies focus on forging ahead with developing pipeline candidates and licensing opportunities that appear to be a promising opportunity versus developing therapy products from scratch. News of note within the biotech sector today includes significant asset acquisitions and licensing agreements as companies push forward to advance research and development in focus this week include: AzurRx BioPharma, Inc., ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., Abbott Laboratories and Kite Pharma, Inc.
AzurRx BioPharma, Inc. , a company specializing in the development of non-systemic, recombinant therapies for gastrointestinal diseases, announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle with TransChem, Inc. to license TransChem’s proprietary transition state chemistry technology for MTAN inhibition.
MTAN plays a key role in bacterial quorum sensing. Specifically, MTAN (methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase) disrupts the synthesis of autoinducers essential for bacterial quorum sensing. The absence of nucleosidase in mammals suggests that MTAN is likely to be an attractive target for antimicrobial design. While the proposed TransChem license is intended to cover a range of compounds and bacterial species specific targets, at this time, the Company’s initial focus for research and development is H. Pylori and its ability to form biofilms.
Thijs Spoor, president and CEO of AzurRx BioPharma, Inc., stated “We believe this technology will enable us to tackle one of the major frontiers in medicine, the impact of bacterial biofilms on humans. This proposed license from TransChem will be a step forward in positioning AzurRx BioPharma to become a significant player in the development of non-systemic therapies for gastrointestinal and infectious diseases. We look forward to entering into a definitive license agreement for this groundbreaking technology in the coming weeks as we believe that the addition of these compounds to our portfolio potentially will allow us to drive transformational benefits to patients and the health care system.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, two-thirds of the global population is infected with the Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, in the U.S. H. pylori causes more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers, and infected persons have a 2-6 fold increased risk of developing gastric cancer compared with uninfected counterparts. According to Persistence Market Research, the global peptic ulcer drug market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2022, with North America and Europe accounting for 67% of this market.
In other Biotech and Big Pharma news and developments of note this week:
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a rare cancer-focused innovative biotechnology company, yesterday announced clinical data on brigatinib, its investigational anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, from the ongoing Phase 1/2 and pivotal ALTA trials in patients with ALK-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and intracranial central nervous system (CNS) metastases. These data, being presented today at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) being held in Vienna, showed that in patients with measurable brain metastases, the confirmed intracranial objective response rate (ORR) was 53 percent in the Phase 1/2 trial, and the confirmed intracranial ORR was 67 percent in Arm B (brigatinib 180 mg with seven-day lead-in at 90 mg once daily) in the ALTA trial. Median intracranial progression-free survival (PFS) in ALTA Arm B was 18.4 months.
Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on neurological and endocrine related disorders, announced after the close yesterday that two abstracts representing additional data from several clinical trials of the investigational drug INGREZZATM (valbenazine) are being presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Hollywood, Florida. The posters include an evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of long-term dosing of INGREZZA in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia.
Abbott Laboratories announced late last week its i-STAT Alinity System, an innovative, handheld blood testing platform, received CE Mark and is now for sale in Europe and other countries that recognize CE Mark. The portable device can perform and analyze the largest menu of blood tests on a single device, ranging from blood chemistries to cardiac markers, using only two to three drops of a person’s blood.1 Delivering results in two to 10 minutes, i-STAT Alinity equips healthcare professionals with the information they need to make fast and accurate medical decisions without ever leaving their patient’s side. Its advanced connectivity features allow testing to be conducted virtually anywhere.
Kite Pharma, Inc. yesterday announced that it has initiated the rolling submission with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Biologics License Application (BLA) for KTE-C19 as a treatment for patients with relapsed/refractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). The pivotal ZUMA-1 study supporting this submission enrolled patients with chemorefractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL), and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), three subtypes of aggressive NHL. The company expects to complete its BLA submission by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
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(Source: PR Newswire)