Ab­b­Vie en­lists pro­tein degra­da­tion ex­perts at Mis­sion for a new bet on Alzheimer's, Parkin­son's

As a group of pre­clin­i­cal biotechs fo­cused on pro­tein degra­da­tion steadi­ly gath­ers steam, Ab­b­Vie is jump­ing on the band­wag­on al­beit steer­ing it to a some­what sur­pris­ing di­rec­tion: Alzheimer’s and Parkin­son’s dis­eases.

Mis­sion Ther­a­peu­tics, its cho­sen part­ner, has been con­cen­trat­ing much of its ef­forts on hit­ting USP30 and USP10 — two of over 100 deu­biq­ui­ty­lat­ing en­zymes, or DUBs, in the hu­man body that col­lec­tive­ly serve as a nat­ur­al “garbage dis­pos­al” sys­tem for cells — with one USP30 pro­gram in Parkin­son’s and neu­rode­gen­er­a­tion. Ab­b­Vie, though, is more in­ter­est­ed in iden­ti­fy­ing new DUB tar­gets and get­ting Mis­sion’s dis­cov­ery plat­form to churn out be­spoke com­pounds.

Anker Lun­demose

The col­lab­o­ra­tion cov­ers ex­clu­sive rights to up to four se­lect­ed tar­gets — each to come with its own up­front li­cense fee and mile­stones for the Cam­bridge, UK-based biotech — if Ab­b­Vie ex­er­cis­es its op­tion. Fi­nan­cial terms were kept un­der wraps.

The the­o­ry is that by elim­i­nat­ing and pre­vent­ing the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of mis­fold­ed, tox­ic pro­teins — the hall­marks of both Alzheimer’s and Parkin­son’s — they can ad­dress the func­tion im­pair­ment and brain nerve cell deaths that come with the dis­eases.

Two of these pro­teins, tau and amy­loid be­ta, re­main the two key tar­gets in Alzheimer’s, even af­ter a se­ries of ma­jor set­backs in the field raise fresh ques­tions about how much we know and don’t know about this dev­as­tat­ing dis­eases.

While this marks the first ma­jor pact for Mis­sion in its sev­en years ac­cord­ing to CEO Anker Lun­demose, it’s one of sev­er­al ear­ly bets for Ab­b­Vie, which in Feb­ru­ary had al­so hand­ed Voy­ager Ther­a­peu­tics $69 mil­lion to pur­sue a gene ther­a­py ap­proach to Alzheimer’s.

Mis­sion’s peers in the pro­tein degra­da­tion field, mean­while, are main­ly fo­cused on on­col­o­gy, from C4 Ther­a­peu­tics, Arv­inas to Kymera, which raised $65 mil­lion just days ago.

Has the mo­ment fi­nal­ly ar­rived for val­ue-based health­care?

RBC Capital Markets’ Healthcare Technology Analyst, Sean Dodge, spotlights a new breed of tech-enabled providers who are rapidly transforming the way clinicians deliver healthcare, and explores the key question: can this accelerating revolution overturn the US healthcare system?

Key points

Tech-enabled healthcare providers are poised to help the US transition to value, not volume, as the basis for reward.
The move to value-based care has policy momentum, but is risky and complex for clinicians.
Outsourced tech specialists are emerging to provide the required expertise, while healthcare and tech are also converging through M&A.
Value-based care remains in its early stages, but the transition is accelerating and represents a huge addressable market.

No­vo Nordisk re­mains un­der UK scruti­ny as MHRA con­ducts its own re­view in 'in­cred­i­bly rare' case

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is now reviewing Novo Nordisk’s marketing violation that resulted in its loss of UK trade group membership last week. Novo Nordisk was suspended on Thursday from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) for two years after an investigation by its regulatory arm found the pharma broke its conduct rules.

MHRA said on Tuesday that its review of the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) investigation is standard practice. An MHRA spokesperson emphasized in an email to Endpoints News that the situation with Novo Nordisk is “incredibly rare” while also noting ABPI took “swift and proportionate action.”

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FTC says patent bat­tle over Parkin­son's drug could have 'sig­nif­i­cant im­pli­ca­tion­s' for pa­tients

The Federal Trade Commission has gotten involved in a patent feud over Supernus’ Parkinson’s drug Apokyn, a case the agency said may have ‘‘significant implications” for patients who rely on the drug.

Sage Chemical won the first generic approval for its Apokyn formulation (also known as apomorphine hydrochloride injection) back in 2022. The non-ergoline dopamine agonist is approved to treat Parkinson’s symptoms during “off episodes,” such as difficulty moving, tremors and intense cramping. However, regulators specified that the approval pertained to the generic drug cartridges only, not the injector pen required for administration.

Growth hor­mone from No­vo Nordisk is in short­age over man­u­fac­tur­ing de­lays

Novo Nordisk’s growth hormone Norditropin is in shortage because of manufacturing delays, according to an FDA site that tracks drug shortages as well as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ shortages list.

The FDA has shortages of the drug listed for its 5, 10, 15 and 30 mg doses, while the pharmacists’ group, also known as ASHP, reported shortages of the same doses, except for the 15 mg version.

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PhRMA calls for more di­verse in­fra­struc­ture up­grades to US emer­gency tri­als frame­work

The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) last year sought to find ways to better coordinate large-scale clinical trials in the US — as the UK lead by example during the pandemic — especially for these emergency clinical trials.

The lobbying group PhRMA Tuesday called for more clinical trial diversity in underserved areas, including by making participation less of a burden, and expanding eligibility criteria when appropriate.

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: What could a US Tik­Tok ban mean for phar­ma? Pfiz­er, Lil­ly lead phar­ma March Mad­ness ad­ver­tis­ers

Just as pharma marketers finally make moves into TikTok, the threat of a US ban on the social media channel is now looming. Already banned on federal employee phones by an initial Congressional act, more bills and maybe bans are on the way. With rare bipartisan agreement, lawmakers have introduced legislation that would give the US president the power to ban TikTok (although not mentioned by name) and other foreign-owned technology platforms that represent a security threat to the US.

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Chat­G­PT with phar­ma da­ta de­buts for med­ical meet­ings, be­gin­ning with AACR

What do you get when you combine ChatGPT generative AI technology with specific pharma and clinical datasets? A time-saving tool that can answer questions about medical conference abstracts and clinical findings in seconds in one new application from ZoomRx called FermaGPT.

ZoomRx is debuting a public version of its generative AI product specifically for medical conferences beginning this week for the upcoming American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting that runs April 14-19.

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Andy Plump, Takeda R&D chief (Jeff Rumans for Endpoints News)

What kind of PhI­Ib da­ta is worth $4B cash? Take­da’s Andy Plump has some thoughts on that

A few months back, when Takeda caused jaws to drop with its eye-watering $4 billion cash upfront for a mid-stage TYK2 drug from Nimbus, it had already taken a deep dive on the solid Phase IIb data Nimbus had assembled from its dose-ranging study in psoriasis.

Now, it’s rolling that data out, eager to demonstrate what inspired the global biopharma to go long in a neighboring, but new, disease arena for the pipeline. And the most avid students of the numbers will likely be at Bristol Myers Squibb, who will have a multi-year head start on pioneering the TYK2 space with Sotyktu (deucravacitinib) as Takeda makes its lunge for best-in-class status.

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FDA warns Proc­ter & Gam­ble over NyQuil la­bel's in­gre­di­ent list­ings

The FDA on Tuesday released a warning letter sent earlier this month to the Mason, OH-based site of Procter & Gamble Manufactura, raising questions about the list of ingredients on the label and in the electronic filing.

The warning says that for P&G’s over-the-counter Vicks Nyquil Severe Hot Remedy Cold and Flu Plus Congestion, there’s a “mismatched” list of active ingredients between the labeling and the electronic listing file. The listing file for the active ingredients did not match the active ingredients in the electronic file.