Celltrion's rheumatoid arthritis drug meets both endpoints in PhIII; New company Tribune emerges to take on fibrotic diseases
Celltrion Healthcare announced positive results from its year-long Phase III trial of its rheumatoid arthritis drug Yuflyma in patients receiving therapy on Tuesday, as the trial met both the primary and secondary endpoints.
The trial in patients with moderate-to-severe RA tested 3 groups: 1 in patients who received 40 mg of CT-P17 or 1 that received the reference drug Humira, and a third that switched from Humira to CP-P17 halfway through the trial, for the remainder of the year.
The average Ctrough levels were maintained after week 24 in all 3 treatment groups, and the safety profile was comparable across all 3 groups. Anti-drug antibody and neutralizing antibody results were similar across the 3 groups too, with 28.4%/24.8% in CT-P17 maintenance, 27.0%/24.3% in reference to Humira maintenance and 28.3%/26.3% in switched to CT-P17 groups. — Josh Sullivan
New company Tribune emerges to take on Fibrotic diseases
Novo Holdings and HealthCap announced on Wednesday that they have joined forces to create Tribune Therapeutics, a company focused on targeting fibrotic diseases.
Tribune has emerged from stealth mode as a company founded in 2020 with a pipeline the company has called promising, and ready to take on a range of fibrotic diseases, including those that affect the kidney, lung and liver. The pipeline is based on research from Håvard Attramadal’s lab at Oslo University Hospital.
Georg Vo Beiske, the incoming CEO of Tribune, said in a statement:
There is a great need for novel treatment options for patients suffering from fibrotic diseases. Tribune Therapeutics is built on strong science and has the potential to develop life-changing therapies for these patients. With the support of Novo Seeds and HealthCap we are eager to bring the science into pharmaceutical development.
— Josh Sullivan
Kineta scores financing for solid tumor antibody
A Seattle-based biotech focused on oncology closed a $10 million financing round Tuesday.
Kineta is eligible to receive up to $25 million in additional financing before the end of 2021, the company said in a release. The round was led by Cheongbo Industrial. The proceeds will go toward advancing Kineta’s anti-VISTA antibody KVA12.1 to an investigational new drug application with the FDA.
CEO Shawn Iadonato said in the press release:
We are excited to have the confidence of this leading investor syndicate in supporting KVA12.1 and our pipeline of novel immunotherapies. Closing this financing round further validates the innovative research and development at Kineta. These new funds provide the resources to advance the preclinical development of our potential best-in-class anti-VISTA antibody to benefit patients with a broad range of solid tumor cancers.
An investor from CBI, to be named later, will also join the Kineta board of directors.
KVA12.1 is an anti-VISA antibody in development for the treatment of solid tumors. VISTA blockades can reprogram suppressive myeloid cells and reactivate antitumor immune function. — Josh Sullivan
AstraZeneca and Proteros team up in cancer partnership
AstraZeneca is appointing a German company as a new collaboration partner, with the duo going after different types of cancer.
The Big Pharma will team up with Proteros Biostructures on an unspecified number of new programs, the pair announced Wednesday. AstraZeneca will pay out up to $75.6 million in potential milestones to take Proteros research and push them forward into the clinic.
“Proteros’ proprietary discovery platform enables us to screen epigenetic targets in a physiologically relevant setting, supporting accelerated discovery and development of the next wave of anti-cancer medicines,” AstraZeneca senior VP of oncology R&D Susan Galbraith said in a statement.
Proteros works with several pharma companies and biotechs to provide early-stage services. The company says it helps “most” of the world’s 20 biggest pharma companies and more than 250 biopharmas. — Max Gelman