→ Just four months after inking its rare disease-focused co-development partnership with WuXi Biologics, CANbridge Pharma is adding four projects to the mix. Promising the whole package of upfront, milestones and royalties, CANbridge will get exclusive regional or global rights for rare genetic chronic disease therapies developed by WuXi, which will supply the drugs for this year.
→ What’s to come of the over $700 million Arie Belldegrun and David Chang have raised for Allogene Therapeutics $ALLO? Why, a manufacturing site for their off-the-shelf CAR-T cell therapies, of course. And it will be built in the Bay Area, CEO Chang told attendees of his presentation at JP Morgan, with details to come in the “near future.”
→ The Phase II data that set the stage for Acceleron $XLRN and Celgene to a pair of stellar Phase IIIs for luspatercept is on full display. The key numbers in the study published in Blood: Eighteen (58%) non-transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia patients receiving higher dose levels of the drug achieved mean hemoglobin increase ≥1.5 g/dL over ≥14 days versus baseline, while 26 (81%) with transfusion dependence achieved ≥20% reduction in red blood cell transfusion burden. While the erythroid maturation agent will likely have to compete with a number of gene therapies being developed for beta thalassemia, execs are bullish on a $2 billion-plus peak sales estimate in all indications and Bristol-Myers Squibb is counting on it as one of the six drugs in Celgene’s late-stage pipeline that will collectively bring in $15 billion in near-term annual revenue.
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