Ab­b­Vie sur­veys emo­tion­al im­pact of chron­ic leukemia con­di­tion, finds 'roller coast­er' of emo­tions

Rare dis­eases of­ten have more than just phys­i­cal ef­fects on pa­tients — es­pe­cial­ly when it comes to chron­ic con­di­tions. In the case of the rare slow-grow­ing blood can­cer chron­ic lym­pho­cyt­ic leukemia (CLL), Ab­b­Vie want­ed to try to as­sess the men­tal and emo­tion­al toll on pa­tients.

So it sur­veyed more than 300 CLL pa­tients, care­givers and physi­cians. While each group dif­fered in how they felt — care­givers over­whelm­ing­ly (81%) felt pos­i­tive about their role, for in­stance — pa­tients de­scribed a “roller coast­er” of emo­tions tra­vers­ing di­ag­no­sis to treat­ment to re­mis­sion and even re­lapse for some.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, new­ly di­ag­nosed pa­tients felt wor­ried (32%) and un­cer­tain (36%), but a slight­ly high­er per­cent­age al­so felt op­ti­mistic (36%) and hope­ful (41%).

CLL pa­tients re­port­ed a ris­ing lev­el of emo­tion­al sup­port from their doc­tors across the span of their chron­ic con­di­tions. At di­ag­no­sis, 64% of pa­tients sur­veyed agreed they were sup­port­ed, but that rose to 86% dur­ing treat­ment, Ab­b­Vie re­port­ed.

The physi­cians sur­veyed agreed over­whelm­ing­ly (90%) about the im­por­tance of talk­ing to pa­tients about their emo­tion­al well-be­ing, with 71% who said they are like­ly to dis­cuss it with pa­tients.

Ab­b­Vie want­ed to get the per­spec­tives of the dif­fer­ent groups be­cause they’re all “crit­i­cal to a pa­tient’s dis­ease and treat­ment jour­ney,” an Ab­b­Vie spokesper­son said in an email.

“These re­sults are not sur­pris­ing based on our years of work­ing with the CLL com­mu­ni­ty; how­ev­er, they val­i­date the men­tal and emo­tion­al toll pa­tients and care­givers face as they move through all stages of the CLL jour­ney, from di­ag­no­sis to treat­ment and be­yond,” the spokesper­son said.

Ab­b­Vie is now shar­ing the sur­vey re­sults with pa­tient ad­vo­ca­cy groups and plans to en­gage CLL pa­tients, care­givers and health­care pro­fes­sion­als to en­able a “holis­tic jour­ney” across the con­di­tion.

The men­tal and emo­tion­al im­pact study dove­tails with Ab­b­Vie’s on­go­ing aware­ness and sup­port “Liv­ing with CLL” ef­fort that of­fers ad­vice, re­sources and dis­ease man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion on its web­site.

While the aware­ness ini­tia­tive and sur­vey are un­brand­ed, Ab­b­Vie’s port­fo­lio of med­i­cines in­cludes Ven­clex­ta, called Ven­clyx­to out­side the US, along with part­ner Roche’s Genen­tech. The drug is ap­proved to treat peo­ple liv­ing with CLL and small lym­pho­cyt­ic lym­phoma as well as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) com­bined with cer­tain oth­er med­i­cines for some pa­tients.

The Fac­tors Dri­ving a Rapid Evo­lu­tion of Gene & Cell Ther­a­py and CAR-T Clin­i­cal Re­search in APAC

APAC is the fastest growing region globally for cell & gene therapy trials representing more than a third of all cell & gene studies globally, with China leading in the region. 

APAC is the leading location globally for CAR-T trials with China attracting ~60% of all CAR-T trials globally between 2015-2022. The number of CAR-T trials initiated by Western companies has rapidly increased in recent years (current CAGR of about 60%), with multiple targets being explored including CD19, CD20, CD22, BCMA, CD30, CD123, CD33, CD38, and CD138.

The End­points 11; blue­bird's $3M gene ther­a­py; Bio­gen tout new neu­ro da­ta; Harsh re­views for can­cer drugs; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

Reading about John Carroll’s pick of biotech’s most promising startups has become a treasured tradition. If you ever get curious about previous classes of the Endpoints 11, you can find all of them (plus a number of our other regular specials) here.

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EMA warns of short­ages of two Boehringer heart drugs due to a spike in de­mand

The EMA is putting EU member states on alert over the shortage of two drugs that counter heart attacks due to an uptick in demand.

On Friday, the EMA sent out a warning that two Boehringer Ingelheim drugs are experiencing a shortage: Actilyse and Metalyse. The drugs are used as emergency treatments for adults experiencing acute myocardial infarction, or a heart attack, by dissolving blood clots that have formed in the blood vessels.

The End­points 11: The top pri­vate biotechs in pur­suit of new drugs. Push­ing the en­ve­lope with pow­er­ful new tech­nolo­gies

Right around the beginning of the year, we got a close-up look at what happens after a boom ripples through biotech. The crash of life sciences stocks in Q1 was heard around the world.

In the months since, we’ve seen the natural Darwinian down cycle take effect. Reverse mergers made a comeback, with more burned out shells to go public at a time IPOs and road shows are out of favor. And no doubt some of the more recent arrivals on the investing side of the business are finding greener pastures.

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Klick Health gath­ers biotech and phar­ma lu­mi­nar­ies to dis­cuss in­dus­try in­no­va­tions, in­vest­ments and fu­ture

At Klick Health’s first Ideas Exchange conference with biotech and pharma industry insiders since before the pandemic began, it was no surprise many conversations included Covid topics. Yet while vaccines and treatments were discussed, so too were the effects on drug development, federal responses, health inequities — and what to do now and next.

George Yancopoulos, chief scientist and cofounder of Regeneron, opened the conference responding to a question from Acorda CEO Ron Cohen about the spotlight on the industry during Covid and some of the “flak” biopharma has taken in the past.

Pfiz­er sacks phar­ma com­pe­ti­tion in ear­ly NFL TV ad­ver­tis­ing sea­son

If pharma advertising had a fantasy football league, Pfizer would be crushing the competition. A dive into the National Football League’s TV commercial buys across early season games by iSpot shows a hefty lead with its Covid-19 Comirnaty vaccine ads.

More than 175 million impressions with $9.5 million in media spending put Pfizer in the top spot with a 65% share of voice across NFL pharma spending, according to the real-time TV ad tracker. In a distant second place is Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo with 44 million impressions, $5.2 million in spending and a 16% share, followed by BMS’ Zeposia with 31 million impressions, $3.3 million in media buys and an 11% share.

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Wendy Lund, WPP chief client officer for health and wellness

WPP taps Organon chief com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Wendy Lund for new health and well­ness client role

Wendy Lund is going home – to WPP, that is. Lund is leaving the Merck women’s health spinoff Organon where she is chief communications officer for a newly created role as WPP chief client officer for health and wellness. Before Organon, Lund led GCI Group, a WPP healthcare communications agency, as CEO for 11 years.

Lund joins WPP’s group of global client leaders who act as a single point of contact or entry for clients with WPP brands and businesses inside the holding company. and in this case, for the WPP health and wellness business.

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Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar

Should SCO­TUS hear Am­gen's Repatha case? So­lic­i­tor gen­er­al says no

Back in April, Amgen said it was encouraged by the solicitor general’s anticipated review of its Supreme Court petition to rehear a Repatha patent case. They’re likely much less optimistic about the outcome now.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in a recent 27-page brief that Amgen’s arguments “lack merit and further review is not warranted.”

The case traces back to a suit filed in 2014 against Sanofi and Regeneron’s Praluent, which ended up beating Amgen’s PCSK9 blockbuster Repatha to market by a month just a year later.

FDA's out­side ex­perts vote in fa­vor of Fer­ring's fe­cal trans­plant for C. dif­fi­cile, set­ting the stage for Seres

FDA’s outside advisors voted in favor of Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ RBX2660, an experimental poop-based drug implant that the company says would be the first microbiota-based live biotherapeutic to receive an FDA green light.

That was a point repeatedly discussed during the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, or VRBPAC, meeting Thursday when evaluating Ferring’s fecal microbiota transplant, or FMT, for reducing the recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection in adults who have received antibiotics. Multiple members brought up the need for a regulated product amid a landscape of unregulated FMTs already happening in clinical care.

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