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The Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) Partnership on May 18, 2020: Leadership of AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Evotec, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, KSQ Therapeutics, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda, and Vir. We also thank multiple NIH institutes (especially NIAID), the FDA, BARDA, CDC, the European Medicines Agency, the Department of Defense, the VA, and the Foundation for NIH

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

May 18, 2020

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) An Unprecedented Partnership for Unprecedented Times

JAMA. Published online May 18, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8920

First reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, COVID-19 is caused by a highly transmissible novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). By March 2020, as COVID-19 moved rapidly throughout Europe and the US, most researchers and regulators from around the world agreed that it would be necessary to go beyond “business as usual” to contain this formidable infectious agent. The biomedical research enterprise was more than willing to respond to the challenge of COVID-19, but it soon became apparent that much-needed coordination among important constituencies was lacking.

Clinical trials of investigational vaccines began as early as January, but with the earliest possible distribution predicted to be 12 to 18 months away. Clinical trials of experimental therapies had also been initiated, but most, except for a trial testing the antiviral drug remdesivir,2 were small and not randomized. In the US, there was no true overarching national process in either the public or private sector to prioritize candidate therapeutic agents or vaccines, and no efforts were underway to develop a clear inventory of clinical trial capacity that could be brought to bear on this public health emergency. Many key factors had to change if COVID-19 was to be addressed effectively in a relatively short time frame.

On April 3, leaders of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with coordination by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), met with multiple leaders of research and development from biopharmaceutical firms, along with leaders of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and academic experts. Participants sought urgently to identify research gaps and to discuss opportunities to collaborate in an accelerated fashion to address the complex challenges of COVID-19.

These critical discussions culminated in a decision to form a public-private partnership to focus on speeding the development and deployment of therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19. The group assembled 4 working groups to focus on preclinical therapeutics, clinical therapeutics, clinical trial capacity, and vaccines (Figure). In addition to the founding members, the working groups’ membership consisted of senior scientists from each company or agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Defense.

Figure.

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines

ACTIV’s 4 working groups, each with one cochair from NIH and one from industry, have made rapid progress in establishing goals, setting timetables, and forming subgroups focused on specific issues (Figure). The goals of the working group, along with a few examples of their accomplishments to date, include the following.

 

The Preclinical Working Group was charged to standardize and share preclinical evaluation resources and methods and accelerate testing of candidate therapies and vaccines to support entry into clinical trials. The aim is to increase access to validated animal models and to enhance comparison of approaches to identify informative assays. For example, through the ACTIV partnership, this group aims to extend preclinical researchers’ access to high-throughput screening systems, especially those located in the Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) facilities currently required for many SARS-CoV-2 studies. This group also is defining a prioritization approach for animal use, assay selection and staging of testing, as well as completing an inventory of animal models, assays, and BSL 3/4 facilities.

 

The Therapeutics Clinical Working Group has been charged to prioritize and accelerate clinical evaluation of a long list of therapeutic candidates for COVID-19 with near-term potential. The goals have been to prioritize and test potential therapeutic agents for COVID-19 that have already been in human clinical trials. These may include agents with either direct-acting or host-directed antiviral activity, including immunomodulators, severe symptom modulators, neutralizing antibodies, or vaccines. To help achieve these goals, the group has established a steering committee with relevant expertise and objectivity to set criteria for evaluating and ranking potential candidate therapies submitted by industry partners. Following a rigorous scientific review, the prioritization subgroup has developed a complete inventory of approximately 170 already identified therapeutic candidates that have acceptable safety profiles and different mechanisms of action. On May 6, the group presented its first list of repurposed agents recommended for inclusion in ACTIV’s master protocol for adaptive clinical trials. Of the 39 agents that underwent final prioritization review, the group identified 6 agents—including immunomodulators and supportive therapies—that it proposes to move forward into the master protocol clinical trial(s) expected to begin later in May.

 

The Clinical Trial Capacity Working Group is charged with assembling and coordinating existing networks of clinical trials to increase efficiency and build capacity. This will include developing an inventory of clinical trial networks supported by NIH and other funders in the public and private sectors, including contract research organizations. For each network, the working group seeks to identify their specialization in different populations and disease stages to leverage infrastructure and expertise from across multiple networks, and establish a coordination mechanism across networks to expedite trials, track incidence across sites, and project future capacity. The clinical trials inventory subgroup has already identified 44 networks, with access to adult populations and within domestic reach, for potential inclusion in COVID-19 trials. Meanwhile, the survey subgroup has developed 2 survey instruments to assess the capabilities and capacities of those networks, and its innovation subgroup has developed a matrix to guide deployment of innovative solutions throughout the trial life cycle.

 

The Vaccines Working Group has been charged to accelerate evaluation of vaccine candidates to enable rapid authorization or approval.4 This includes development of a harmonized master protocol for adaptive trials of multiple vaccines, as well as development of a trial network that could enroll as many as 100 000 volunteers in areas where COVID-19 is actively circulating. The group also aims to identify biomarkers to speed authorization or approval and to provide evidence to address cross-cutting safety concerns, such as immune enhancement. Multiple vaccine candidates will be evaluated, and the most promising will move to a phase 2/3 adaptive trial platform utilizing large geographic networks in the US and globally.5 Because time is of the essence, ACTIV will aim to have the next vaccine candidates ready to enter clinical trials by July 1, 2020.

References

1.

Desai  A .  Twentieth-century lessons for a modern coronavirus pandemic.   JAMA. Published online April 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4165
ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

2.

NIH clinical trial shows remdesivir accelerates recovery from advanced COVID-19. National Institutes of Health. Published April 29, 2020. Accessed May 7, 2020. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-shows-remdesivir-accelerates-recovery-advanced-covid-19

3.

NIH to launch public-private partnership to speed COVID-19 vaccine and treatment options. National Institutes of Health. Published April 17, 2020. Accessed May 7, 2020. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-launch-public-private-partnership-speed-covid-19-vaccine-treatment-options

4.

Corey  L , Mascola  JR , Fauci  AS , Collins  FS .  A strategic approach to COVID-19 vaccine R&D.   Science. Published online May 11, 2020. doi:10.1126/science.abc5312PubMedGoogle Scholar

5.

Angus  DC .  Optimizing the trade-off between learning and doing in a pandemic.   JAMA. Published online March 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4984
ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

6.

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) portal. National Institutes of Health. Accessed May 15, 2020. https://www.nih.gov/ACTIV

7.

Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP). National Institutes of Health. Published February 4, 2014. Accessed May 7, 2020. https://www.nih.gov/research-training/accelerating-medicines-partnership-amp
SOURCE

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Live Notes, Real Time Conference Coverage 2020 AACR Virtual Meeting April 27, 2020 Opening Remarks and Clinical Session 11:45am-1:15pm Advances in Cancer Drug Discovery

SESSION VMS.CH01.01 – Advances in Cancer Drug Design and Discovery

April 27, 2020, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM
Virtual Meeting: All Session Times Are U.S. EDT
DESCRIPTIONAll session times are U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Session Type
Virtual Minisymposium
Track(s)
Cancer Chemistry
14 Presentations
11:45 AM – 11:45 AM
– ChairpersonZoran Rankovic. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

11:45 AM – 11:45 AM
– ChairpersonChristopher G. Nasveschuk. C4 Therapeutics, Watertown, MA

11:45 AM – 11:50 AM
– IntroductionZoran Rankovic. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

11:50 AM – 12:00 PM
1036 – Discovery of a highly potent, efficacious and orally active small-molecule inhibitor of embryonic ectoderm development (EED)Changwei Wang, Rohan Kalyan Rej, Jianfeng Lu, Mi Wang, Kaitlin P. Harvey, Chao-Yie Yang, Ester Fernandez-Salas, Jeanne Stuckey, Elyse Petrunak, Caroline Foster, Yunlong Zhou, Rubin Zhou, Guozhi Tang, Jianyong Chen, Shaomeng Wang. Rogel Cancer Center and Departments of Internal Medicine, Pharmacology, and Medicinal Chemistry, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Ascentage Pharma Group, Taizhou, Jiangsu, China

12:00 PM – 12:05 PM
– Discussion

12:05 PM – 12:15 PM
1037 – Orally available small molecule CD73 inhibitor reverses immunosuppression through blocking of adenosine productionXiaohui Du, Brian Blank, Brenda Chan, Xi Chen, Yuping Chen, Frank Duong, Lori Friedman, Tom Huang, Melissa R. Junttila, Wayne Kong, Todd Metzger, Jared Moore, Daqing Sun, Jessica Sun, Dena Sutimantanapi, Natalie Yuen, Tatiana Zavorotinskaya. ORIC Pharmaceuticals, South San Francisco, CA, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, South San Francisco, CA, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, South San Francisco, CA, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, South San Francisco, CA

12:15 PM – 12:20 PM
– Discussion

12:20 PM – 12:30 PM
1038 – A potent and selective PARP14 inhibitor decreases pro-tumor macrophage function and elicits inflammatory responses in tumor explantsLaurie Schenkel, Jennifer Molina, Kerren Swinger, Ryan Abo, Danielle Blackwell, Anne Cheung, William Church, Kristy Kuplast-Barr, Alvin Lu, Elena Minissale, Mario Niepel, Melissa Vasbinder, Tim Wigle, Victoria Richon, Heike Keilhack, Kevin Kuntz. Ribon Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA

12:30 PM – 12:35 PM
– Discussion

12:35 PM – 12:45 PM
1039 – Fragment-based drug discovery to identify small molecule allosteric inhibitors of SHP2. Philip J. Day, Valerio Berdini, Juan Castro, Gianni Chessari, Thomas G. Davies, James E. H. Day, Satoshi Fukaya, Chris Hamlett, Keisha Hearn, Steve Hiscock, Rhian Holvey, Satoru Ito, Yasuo Kodama, Kenichi Matsuo, Yoko Nakatsuru, Nick Palmer, Amanda Price, Tadashi Shimamura, Jeffrey D. St. Denis, Nicola G. Wallis, Glyn Williams, Christopher N. Johnson. Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, United Kingdom, Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, Tsukuba, Japan

Abstract: The ubiquitously expressed protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 is required for signalling downstream of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and plays a role in regulating many cellular processes. Recent advances have shown that genetic knockdown and pharmacological inhibition of SHP2 suppresses RAS/MAPK signalling and inhibits proliferation of RTK-driven cancer cell lines. SHP2 is now understood to act upstream of RAS and plays a role in KRAS-driven cancers, an area of research which is rapidly growing. Considering that RTK deregulation often leads to a wide range of cancers and the newly appreciated role of SHP2 in KRAS-driven cancers, SHP2 inhibitors are therefore a promising therapeutic approach.
SHP2 contains two N-terminal tandem SH2 domains (N-SH2, C-SH2), a catalytic phosphatase domain and a C-terminal tail. SHP2 switches between “open” active and “closed” inactive forms due to autoinhibitory interactions between the N-SH2 domain and the phosphatase domain. Historically, phosphatases were deemed undruggable as there had been no advancements with active site inhibitors. We hypothesised that fragment screening would be highly applicable and amenable to this target to enable alternative means of inhibition through identification of allosteric binding sites. Here we describe the first reported fragment screen against SHP2.
Using our fragment-based PyramidTM approach, screening was carried out on two constructs of SHP2; a closed autoinhibited C-terminal truncated form (phosphatase and both SH2 domains), as well as the phosphatase-only domain. A combination of screening methods such as X-ray crystallography and NMR were employed to identify fragment hits at multiple sites on SHP2, including the tunnel-like allosteric site reported by Chen et al, 2016. Initial fragment hits had affinities for SHP2 in the range of 1mM as measured by ITC. Binding of these hits was improved using structure-guided design to generate compounds which inhibit SHP2 phosphatase activity and are promising starting points for further optimization.

  • anti estrogen receptor therapy: ER degraders is one class
  • AZ9833 enhances degradation of ER alpha
  • worked in preclinical mouse model (however very specific)
  • PK parameters were good for orally available in rodents;  also in vitro and in vivo correlation correlated in rats but not in dogs so they were not sure if good to go in humans
  • they were below Km in rats but already at saturated in dogs, dogs were high clearance
  • predicted human bioavailability at 40%

 

12:45 PM – 12:50 PM
– Discussion

12:50 PM – 1:00 PM
1042 – Preclinical pharmacokinetic and metabolic characterization of the next generation oral SERD AZD9833Eric T. Gangl, Roshini Markandu, Pradeep Sharma, Andy Sykes, Petar Pop-Damkov, Pablo Morentin Gutierrez, James S. Scott, Dermot F. McGinnity, Adrian J. Fretland, Teresa Klinowska. AstraZeneca, Waltham, MA

1:00 PM – 1:05 PM
– Discussion

1:05 PM – 1:15 PM
– Closing RemarksChristopher G. Nasveschuk. MA

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Advancing Drug Development – 12/12/2019, 8:30AM – 8:30PM at The University of Massachusetts Club, One Beacon Street, Boston, MA

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

4th Advancing Drug Development Forum – Making the Impossible Possible – Harnessing Small Molecule Drug Development scheduled to take place December 12th, 2019 at The University of Massachusetts Club, in Boston, Massachusetts from 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM.

http://advdrug.com/agenda/

 

Scientists are more than just chipping away and kicking down the barricades to develop complex small molecule products better and faster.  Successful companies are spending quality time finding novel and clever approaches and powerful technologies to better support their knowledgeable teams.  Often it takes establishing strong partnerships with 1 or more specialized service providers, cleverly combining resources – always striving to raise the bar in order to make life threatening diseases more of a chronic and tolerable disease or eradicated completely.

Hear from key opinion leaders in pharma, biotech, the investment community and innovative service providers on how they are meeting the challenges. Keep in mind, it takes being open-minded, flexible and willing sometimes to redesigning a new formulation that better enhances bioavailability, optimizes drug-delivery profiles, reduces dosing frequency, or improves the patient experience to have the potential to deliver quicker returns on investments than developing a completely new drug.

PROGRAM AGENDA Thursday, December 12, 2019
8:30 AM Registration and Networking Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM Welcome Address and Opening Remarks
Kevin Bittorf, Ph.D., & Shelly Amster
9:15 AM Opening VC Keynote
9:45 AM Bridging the Gap between Experimentation and Implementation
Panel Discussion
10:15 AM Refreshment Break
10:45 AM Cross-Talk Between Clin-Ops and Tech-Ops
Panel Discussion
11:15 AM The Cost of Speed and Value in Drug Development
Panel Discussion
12:00 PM Networking Luncheon
1:00 PM Advances in the Delivery of Therapeutics to the Brain
Academic Keynote
Mansoor M. Amiji, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Professor of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University
1:30 PM Advancing Drug Delivery and Controlled Release
Panel Discussion
2:00 PM Drowning in DATA
2:30 PM Disruptive AI Technologies Improving Drug Development
3:00 PM Refreshment Break
3:30 PM Small Specialty VS Full Service – What Makes Sense for US?
Panel Discussion
4:00 PM Fireside Chat
Michael Bonney, Executive Chair, Kaleido Biosciences
Heinrich Schlieker, Ph.D., SVP Technical Operations, Sage Therapeutics
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Networking Social
Direct electronic communication with Shelly Amster

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eProceedings – Day 1: Charles River Laboratories – 3rd World Congress, Delivering Therapies to the Clinic Faster, September 23 – 24, 2019, 25 Edwin H. Land Boulevard, Cambridge, MA

 

https://events.criver.com/event/9eab0ee1-982e-42c6-a4cd-fb43f9f2f1d0/confirmation:7c68cf9b-c599-469e-b602-42178c77e4f9

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (LPBI) Group will cover this event in Real Time for pharmaceuticalintelligence.com 

Confirmation Number: 8ZNCBYNGHCK

In attendance generating in realtime event’s eProceeding and social media coverage by

 

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Director & Founder

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (LPBI) Group, Boston

Editor-in-Chief

http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com 

e-Mail: avivalev-ari@alum.berkeley.edu

(M) 617-775-0451

https://cal.berkeley.edu/AvivaLev-Ari,PhD,RN

SkypeID: HarpPlayer83          LinkedIn Profile        Twitter Profile

#crlworldcon

@CRiverLabs

@pharma_BI

@AVIVA1950

 

 

Join us this year as we explore novel approaches to drug development that effectively reduce program timelines and accelerate delivery to the clinic. Using a variety of case studies, our speakers will illustrate methods that successfully cut time to market and highlight how artificial intelligence and genomics are expediting target discovery and drug development. In an agenda that includes presentations, panel discussions, and short technology demonstrations, you will learn how the latest science and regulatory strategies are helping us get drugs to patients faster than ever.

AGENDA

Day One, September 23, 2019

  • Novel approaches to silence disease drivers
  • The role of AI in expediting drug discovery

Monday, September 23

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Introduction and Welcome Remarks James C. Foster, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Charles River
9:00 – 9:30 a.m. 2019 Award Winner: A Silicon Valley Approach to Understanding and Treating Disease Matt Wilsey, Chairman, President, and Co-Founder, Grace Science Foundation
9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Keynote Session Brian Hubbard, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Dogma Therapeutics
10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 – 11:15 a.m. Novel Approaches to Silence Disease Drivers Systemic Delivery of Investigational RNAi Therapeutics: Safety Considerations and Clinical Outcomes Peter Smith, PhD, Senior Vice President, Early Development, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Novel Approaches to Silence Disease Drivers: Considerations for Viral Vector Manufacturing to Support Product Commercialization Richard Snyder, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Founder, Brammer Bio
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 – 1:45 p.m. Accelerating Drug Discovery Through the Power of Microscopy Images Anne E. Carpenter, Ph.D., Institute Scientist, Sr. Director, Imaging Platform, Merkin Institute Fellow, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
1:45 – 2:30 p.m. The Role of AI in Expediting Drug Discovery Target Identification for Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Using Machine Learning: The Case for nference Tyler Wagner PhD, Head of Cardiovascular Research, nference
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Technobite Sessions with Emulate Bio and University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute

Kyung Jin H Jang, VP of Bio Product development, Emulate, Inc.

Albert Gough, PhD, U Pittsburg School of Medicine

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. Artificial Intelligence Panel Discussion: Real World Applications from Discovery to Clinic Moderated by Carey Goldberg, WBUR
4:15 – 4:45 p.m. Jack’s Journey Jake and Elizabeth Burke, Cure NF with Jack
4:45 – 5:00 p.m. Closing Remarks
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

 

 

Day Two – September 24, 2019

  • How genomics is expediting drug discovery
  • Accelerating therapies through the regulatory process

Tuesday, September 24

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks and Recap James C. Foster, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Charles River
9:00 – 9:30 a.m. 2018 Award Winner Update David Hysong, Patient Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Shepherd Therapeutics William Siders, CDO, Shepherd Therapeutics
9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Advances in Human Genetics and Therapeutic Modalities Enable Novel Therapies Eric Green, Vice President of Research and Development, Maze Therapeutics
10:15 – 11:00 a.m. How Genomics is Expediting Drug Discovery Manuel Rivas, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Data Science, Stanford University
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Genomics Panel Discussion: Signposting Targets That Will Speed the Path to Market Moderated by Martin Mackay, Co-Founder, RallyBio
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 – 1:45 p.m Truly Personalized Medicines for Ultra-rare Diseases: New Opportunities in Genomic Medicine Timothy Yu, Attending Physician, Division of Genetics and Genomics and Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital
1:45 – 2:30 p.m. Application of Machine Learning Technology for the Assessment of Bulbar Symptoms in ALS Fernando Vieira, Chief Scientific Officer, ALS Therapy Development Institute
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Accelerating Rare Disease Therapies Through the Regulatory Process Martine Zimmermann, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Wearing ALL the Hats: From Impossible to Possible Allyson Berent, Chief Operating Officer, GeneTx Biotherapeutics
4:00 – 4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks

 

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  • Find a cause and work with passion
  • CVD increased 53% from 2005 to 2016
  • Cholesterol, LDL receptor and CV disease
  • Genetics  evolution and discovery of PCSK9
  1. A PCSK9 Variant lowers CV risk
  2. complete lack of PCSK9 is safe – protects from CVD
  • LDL receptor
  • Statins do not work on LDL receptor if the mutation exists
  • Antibody and antisense for the PCSK9 mutation – Inexpensive Oral Medications can change Global Diseases
  • Dogma of Drug DIscovery: Approach a Patent vs Approach a Disease
  • Ligands bind within a cryptic binding pocket adjacent to a novel PCSK9 polymorphism

12 years of drug discovery

  1. 2003: PCSK9 mutation discovered
  2. 2005:
  3. 2006:
  4. 2012;
  5. 2012: Dogma Scientists begin
  6. compound found binds to primates
  7. 2015:
  8. 2018: Efficiency DGM-4403 lowers LDL-c by 55% 0ver 14 days
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  • 2014 – @Moderna, mRNA
  • 2017 – Alnylam

RNAi – delivery is the most difficult

  • gene silencing changes medicine and diseases
  • Small Interfeering RNA (siRNA) Therapeutics
  • Delivery challenges – stability and targeting
  • RNA Interference (RNAi) – Onpattro (patisiran)
  • GalNAc-siRNA Conjugates – delivery to the hepatocytes
  • N-Acetyl Galactosamine (GalNACc-siRNA conjugates
  • Hepatocyte specific : Liver across species: ASGPR expression
  • Metabolic Stability: Chemistry to Improve siRNA
  • Platform for genetic diseases
  • Evolution of COnjugate Design: GalNAc-siRNA – enhanced stabilization chemistry
  • ALN-TTRSC02 compared to Revusiran
  • ALN-TTRsc02 (advanced) –  – tetrameric protein binds transports serum retinol binding
  • AL Amyloidosis
  • ApoA1 Amyloidosis
  • ATTR Amyloidosis – manufacture in the Liver: Hereditery vs non-hereditary – Wild-Type
  • Patisiran Therapeutic Hypothesis – siRNA targeting TTR formulated
  • Pharmacology of TTR siRNA in Animal Model
  • V30M TTR Transgenic Mouse Model: Patisiran Phase 1 Study to Phase 3 APOLLA Study Design for any TTR mutation – Prior tetramer stabilizer used permitted
  • hATTR Amyloidosis and APOLLO Assessment: Phase 3 is Global – Cardiomyopathy – potential,
  • Patisiran met all secondary Endpoints: Canadian, Japanese approval – US approved indication, European approved
  • Alnylam Investigational RNAi Therapeutics:
  • Pipeline: Genetic medicines
  • Hepatic Infectious diseases
  • CNS & Ocular
  • Cardiovascular
11:15 AM-12:00 PM
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  • Viral-Vector-mediated in vivo Gene Therapy
  • VVS Viral Vector Platforms:
  1. Adenovirus immunogenicity
  2. Lentivirus
  3. Retrovirus
  4. Herpes
  5. Recombinant Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors: Glybera, Luxturna
  6. Zolgenzma
  • Establish the product specifications based on data (CQAs)
  • Is the vector product: parenteral or anciliary material

Considerations:

  • Large scall vs small
  • lot demand vs platform choice
  • Proof of concept
  • Own/License the manufacturing reagents (portability) vs reliance on providers
  • Process and Analytical Design & Development: Cell line: Mamalian, others
  • Raw materials: Viral clearance steps – cell banks generation
  • impurity profiles
  • Cell Substrates
  • Cell clone screening
  • Preclinical/Clinical, Alachua, FL; Phase III/Commercial: Cambridge & Lexington
  • Biologics Upstream Process Flow: Master cell banks
  • Transient Transfection Process (Lenti and AAV)
  • rAAV Proviral cell line
  • Production Vector-based Process (Baculo or HSV)
  • Product purification: Filtration methods, Chromatography, centrifugal separation: Concentration/filtration
  • Formulation
  • Compatibility wiht vial: Glass, CZ, COP: absorption vs Inactivation
  • Single use
  • Frozen storage
  • Storage, Packing and Distribution
  • Technology Transfer: Research vs Mature Process (Qualified cell bank)
  • Plasmids: E.coli MCB backbone
  • Analytics Design & Development: Testing: Nucleic-acid based, protein-based
  1. AAV Vector Lot Release Assays
  2. Lentivirus
  • QA: QA Management System –
  • Analytical Assays
  • FDA Issues SIX New Draft Guidance Documents in 7/2018
  • Process Validation: Life cycle approach: Process caracterizationProcess performance qualification
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  • assayGene clusterbased on morphological similarity: Express each gene, gene painting Image analysis, cluster morphological profiles
  • identification of allelle that are not constitutively activating mutants.
  • weakly supervised deep learning to extract features
  • identify similarities and differences among treatments at the same population level
  • Predict many distinct expensive assays on a huge compound library using a single cell painting
  1. Test 5,000 compounds in the assay of interest as well as cell painting
  2. Find combination of iamge-based features that predict in the assay of interest
  3. Predict “hit” from existing 1Million compound cell paining data set
The Role of AI in Expediting Drug Discovery Target Identification for Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Using Machine Learning: The Case for nference
Tyler Wagner PhD, Head of Cardiovascular Research, nference
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  • Lung-Chip Applications
  • Pulmonary inflammation
  • Intestine-chip Applications
  • Liver-Chip: Building Tissue Complexity: Co-culture, tri-culture, quatro-culture, Transcriptomic Analysis
  • Liver-Chip: Kupffer cells Characterization
  • Stellate Cells
  • parenchymal channel, non-parenchymal channel
  • Liver Chip: Predicting species differences in liver toxicity: Effects of Bosentan on Albumin secretion
  • Acetaminophen Toxicity in Liver-Chip: APAP Metabolism: detected changes in morphology, ATP, GSH – Dosepdependent increase of ROS
  • Steatosis and Stellate Cell Activation: and Species difference in Toxicity Liver chip data correlates with in vivo data
  • Predict Human safety risks with liver chip
Albert Gough, PhD, U Pittsburg School of Medicine
  • Approaches for repurposing drugs:
  1. Integrated, fluidic organ MPD,
  2. cells, 3D structures,
  3. O2 Modulation & Sensing
  4. Biosensors
  5. secretome
  • Higher Biomimetic content Higher throughput
  • regulatory liver-pancreas axis in Type 2 Diabetes model
  • Estradiol-Induced proliferation of mutants in Breast Cancer varies from 2D monoculture to 3D LAMP
  • MPS Models:
  1. celle and organ Structure in MPS
  2. Single organ MPS & Coupled organ
Carey Goldberg.PNG
Carey Goldberg, WBUR
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September 24, 2019

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Pfizer buys out Array BioPharma for $11.4 Billion to beef up its oncology offerings

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, PhD

As reported in FiercePharma.com:

by Angus Liu |

Three years after purchasing Medivation for $14.3 billion, Pfizer is back with another hefty M&A deal. And once again, it’s betting on oncology.

In the first big M&A deal under new CEO Albert Bourla, Pfizer has agreed to buy oncology specialist Array BioPharma for a total value of about $11.4 billion, the two companies unveiled Monday. The $48-per-share offer represents a premium of about 62% to Array stock’s closing price on Friday.

With the acquisition, Pfizer will beef up its oncology offerings with two marketed drugs, MEK inhibitor Mektovi and BRAF inhibitor Braftovi, which are approved as a combo treatment for melanoma and recently turned up positive results in colon cancer.

The buy will enhance the Pfizer innovative drug business’ “long-term growth trajectory,” Bourla said in a Monday statement, dubbing Mektovi-Braftovi “a potentially industry-leading franchise for colorectal cancer.”

RELATED: Array’s ‘extremely compelling’ new colon cancer data spark blockbuster talk

In a recent interim analysis of a trial in BRAF-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer, the pair, used in tandem with Eli Lilly and Merck KGaA’s Erbitux, produced a benefit in 26% of patients, versus the 2% that chemotherapy helped. The combo also showed it could reduce the risk of death by 48%. SVB Leerink analysts at that time called the data “extremely compelling.”

Right now, one in every three new patients with mutated metastatic melanoma is getting the combo, despite its third-to-market behind combos from Roche and Novartis, Andy Schmeltz, Pfizer’s oncology global president, said during an investor briefing on Monday.

It is being studied in more than 30 clinical studies across several solid tumor indications. Moving forward, Pfizer believes the combo could potentially be used in the adjuvant setting to prevent tumor recurrence after surgery, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, Mikael Dolsten, said on the call. The company is also keen to know how it could be paired up with Pfizer’s own investigational PD-1, he said, as the combo is already in studies with other PD-1/L1s.

But as Pfizer execs have previously said, the company’s current business development strategy no longer centers on adding revenues “now or soon,” but rather on strengthening Pfizer’s pipeline with earlier-stage assets. And Array can help there, too.

“We are very excited by Array’s impressive track record of successfully discovering and developing innovative small-molecules and targeted cancer therapies,” Dolsten said in a statement.

On top of Mektovi and Braftovi, Array has a long list of out-licensed drugs that could generate big royalties over time. For example, Vitrakvi, the first drug to get an initial FDA approval in tumors with a particular molecular feature regardless of their location, was initially licensed to Loxo Oncology—which was itself snapped up by Eli Lilly for $8 billion—but was taken over by pipeline-hungry Bayer. There are other drugs licensed to the likes of AstraZeneca, Roche, Celgene, Ono Pharmaceutical and Seattle Genetics, among others.

Those drugs are also a manifestation of Array’s strong research capabilities. To keep those Array scientists doing what they do best, Pfizer is keeping a 100-person team in Colorado as a standalone research unit alongside Pfizer’s existing hubs, Schmeltz said.

Pfizer is counting on Array to augment its leadership in breast cancer, an area championed by Ibrance, and prostate cancer, the pharma giant markets Astellas-partnered Xtandi. For 2018, revenues from the Pfizer oncology portfolio jumped to $7.20 billion—up from $6.06 billion in 2017—mainly thanks to those two drugs.

Source: https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/pfizer-never-say-never-m-a-buys-oncology-innovator-array-for-11-4b

 

About Array BioPharma

Array markets BRAFTOVI® (encorafenib) capsules in combination with MEKTOVI® (binimetinib)  tablets for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAFV600E or BRAFV600K  mutation in the United States and with partners in other major worldwide markets.* Array’s lead clinical programs, encorafenib and binimetinib, are being investigated in over 30 clinical trials across a number of solid tumor indications, including a Phase 3 trial in BRAF-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer. Array’s pipeline includes several additional programs being advanced by Array or current license-holders, including the following programs currently in registration trials: selumetinib (partnered with AstraZeneca), LOXO-292 (partnered with Eli Lilly), ipatasertib (partnered with Genentech), tucatinib (partnered with Seattle Genetics) and ARRY-797. Vitrakvi® (larotrectinib, partnered with Bayer AG) is approved in the United States and Ganovo® (danoprevir, partnered with Roche) is approved in China.

 

Other Articles of Note of Pfizer Merger and Acquisition deals on this Open Access Journal Include:

From Thalidomide to Revlimid: Celgene to Bristol Myers to possibly Pfizer; A Curation of Deals, Discovery and the State of Pharma

Pfizer Near Allergan Buyout Deal But Will Fed Allow It?

Pfizer offers legal guarantees over AstraZeneca bid

Re-Creation of the Big Pharma Model via Transformational Deals for Accelerating Innovations: Licensing vs In-house inventions

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Real Time Coverage @BIOConvention #BIO2019:  Issues of Risk and Reproduceability in Translational and Academic Collaboration; 2:30-4:00 June 3 Philadelphia PA

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, PhD @StephenJWillia2

Derisking Academic Science: The Unmet Need  

Translating academic research into products and new therapies is a very risky venture as only 1% of academic research has been successfully translated into successful products.

Speakers
Collaboration from Chicago area universities like U of Chicago, Northwestern, etc.  First phase was enhance collaboration between universities by funding faculty recruitment and basic research.  Access to core facilities across universities.  Have expanded to give alternatives to company formation.
Half of the partnerships from Harvard and companies have been able to spin out viable startups.
Most academic PI are not as savvy to start a biotech so they bring in biotechs and build project teams as well as developing a team of ex pharma and biotech experts.  Derisk as running as one asset project.  Partner as early as possible.  A third of their pipeline have been successfully partnered.  Work with investors and patent attorneys.
Focused on getting PIs to get to startup.  Focused on oncology and vaccines and I/O.  The result can be liscensing or partnership. Running around 50 to 60 projects. Creating a new company from these US PI partnerships.
Most projects from Harvard have been therapeutics-based.  At Harvard they have a network of investors ($50 million).   They screen PI proposals based on translateability and what investors are interested in.
In Chicago they solicit multiple projects but are agnostic on area but as they are limited they are focused on projects that will assist in developing a stronger proposal to investor/funding mechanism.
NYU goes around university doing due diligence reaching out to investigators. They shop around their projects to wet their investors, pharma appetite future funding.  At Takeda they have five centers around US.  They want to have more input so go into the university with their scientists and discuss ideas.
Challenges:

Takeda: Data Validation very important. Second there may be disconnect with the amount of equity the PI wants in the new company as well as management.  Third PIs not aware of all steps in drug development.

Harvard:  Pharma and biotech have robust research and academic does not have the size or scope of pharma.  PIs must be more diligent on e.g. the compounds they get from a screen… they only focus narrowly

NYU:  bring in consultants as PIs don’t understand all the management issues.  Need to understand development so they bring in the experts to help them.  Pharma he feels have to much risk aversion and none of their PIs want 100% equity.

Chicago:  they like to publish at early stage so publication freedom is a challenge

Dr. Freedman: Most scientists responding to Nature survey said yes a reproduceability crisis.  The reasons: experimental bias, lack of validation techniques, reagents, and protocols etc.
And as he says there is a great ECONOMIC IMPACT of preclinical reproducability issues: to the tune of $56 billion of irreproducable results (paper published in PLOS Biology).  If can find the core drivers of this issue they can solve the problem.  STANDARDS are constantly used in various industries however academic research are lagging in developing such standards.  Just the problem of cell line authentication is costing $4 billion.
Dr. Cousins:  There are multiple high throughput screening (HTS) academic centers around the world (150 in US).  So where does the industry go for best practices in assays?  Eli Lilly had developed a manual for HTS best practices and in 1984 made publicly available (Assay Guidance Manual).  To date there have been constant updates to this manual to incorporate new assays.  Workshops have been developed to train scientists in these best practices.
NIH has been developing new programs to address these reproducability issues.  Developed a method called
Ring Testing Initiative” where multiple centers involved in sharing reagents as well as assays and allowing scientists to test at multiple facilities.
Dr.Tong: Reproduceability of Microarrays:  As microarrays were the only methodology to do high through put genomics in the early 2000s, and although much research had been performed to standardize and achieve best reproduceability of the microarray technology (determining best practices in spotting RNA on glass slides, hybridization protocols, image analysis) little had been done on evaluating the reproducibility of results obtained from microarray experiments involving biological samples.  The advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning though can be used to help validate microarray results.  This was done in a Nature Biotechnology paper (Nature Biotechnology volume28pages827–838 (2010)) by an international consortium, the International MAQC (Microarray Quality Control) Society and can be found here
However Dr. Tong feels there is much confusion in how we define reproduceability.  Dr. Tong identified a few key points of data reproduceability:
  1. Traceability: what are the practices and procedures from going from point A to point B (steps in a protocol or experimental design)
  2. Repeatability:  ability to repeat results within the same laboratory
  3. Replicatablilty:  ability to repeat results cross laboratory
  4. Transferability:  are the results validated across multiple platforms?

The panel then discussed the role of journals and funders to drive reproduceability in research.  They felt that editors have been doing as much as they can do as they receive an end product (the paper) but all agreed funders need to do more to promote data validity, especially in requiring that systematic evaluation and validation of each step in protocols are performed..  There could be more training of PIs with respect to protocol and data validation.

Other Articles on Industry/Academic Research Partnerships and Translational Research on this Open Access Online Journal Include

Envisage-Wistar Partnership and Immunacel LLC Presents at PCCI

BIO Partnering: Intersection of Academic and Industry: BIO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION June 23-26, 2014 | San Diego, CA

R&D Alliances between Big Pharma and Academic Research Centers: Pharma’s Realization that Internal R&D Groups alone aren’t enough

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Biotechnology & Pharma: 2018 Investment Budget in R&D – Top Ten Companies, Top R&D% AZ, Merck, BMS, Eli Lilly

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

AstraZeneca Budget 5,932,000,000 R&D 5,932,000,000 27.0%

Merck            Budget 9,750,000,000 R&D 9,750,000,000 23.0%

BMS               Budget 6,345,000,000 R&D 6,345,000,000 23.0%

Eli Lilly           Budget 5,307,100,000 R&D 5,307,100,000 22.5%

The top 10 pharma R&D budgets in 2018

Annual pharma R&D budgets
Company Measure Names SUM(Budget (copy)) SUM(Budget) SUM(R&D as percentage of revenue)
GlaxoSmithKline Budget 5,196,000,000 5,196,000,000 12.6
Eli Lilly Budget 5,307,100,000 5,307,100,000 22.5
AstraZeneca Budget 5,932,000,000 5,932,000,000 27.0
Bristol-Myers Squibb Budget 6,345,000,000 6,345,000,000 23.0
Sanofi Budget 6,961,000,000 6,961,000,000 17.1
Pfizer Budget 8,006,000,000 8,006,000,000 14.9
Novartis Budget 9,074,000,000 9,074,000,000 17.5
Merck Budget 9,750,000,000 9,750,000,000 23.0
Johnson & Johnson Budget 10,800,000,000 10,800,000,000 13.2
Roche Budget 11,060,000,000 11,060,000,000 19.3
Showing first 20 rows.
SOURCE

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