Abbvie, Principia join forces on immunoproteasome inhibitors; Scripps develops heroin vaccine, FDA fast tracks NGF pain drug

→  Abbvie and Principia are collaborating to develop oral immunoproteasome inhibitors to treat autoimmune disease using novel technology discovered at Principia. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the two will work together during development and preclinical testing. Then Abbvie will move the technology forward to the clinical phase.

→  Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have developed a vaccine against an unusual target – heroin. The researchers gave their vaccine to rhesus monkeys and showed that it prevented them from experiencing a high when exposed to the drug months later. The researchers will begin testing the vaccine, which they believe will help addicts avoid relapsing. The vaccine does not work for other opioids, nor does it prevent overdoses.

→  The FDA has given its Fast Track designation to Pfizer and Eli Lilly’s NGF-inhibitor tanezumab. The monoclonal antibody is designed to treat chronic pain in patients with osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain.  “If approved, tanezumab would be the first in a new class of non-opioid chronic pain medications,” said Ken Verburg, chief development officer, neuroscience & pain, Pfizer Global Product Development. “We believe it would represent an important medical advance in the treatment of debilitating osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain for patients who do not experience adequate pain relief or cannot tolerate currently available pain medications.” Phase III results are expected in 2018.

→  OSE Immunotherapeutics SA is partnering with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to study OSE-703, a monoclonal antibody against CD127.

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