FDA re­jects Aca­ci­a's lead drug — again — due to the same man­u­fac­tur­ing is­sue

Aca­cia Phar­ma did well on the R&D front — by 2017, it had con­duct­ed four pos­i­tive piv­otal clin­i­cal tri­als for its lead drug, Barhem­sys. Lat­er that year, it sub­mit­ted an FDA ap­pli­ca­tion to mar­ket the drug for res­cue treat­ment of pa­tients who de­vel­op post­op­er­a­tive nau­sea & vom­it­ing (PONV), de­spite hav­ing been giv­en pri­or antiemet­ic pro­phy­lax­is — on­ly to re­ceive a re­jec­tion in Oc­to­ber 2018.

The US agency made its de­ci­sion based on a pre-ap­proval in­spec­tion of a fa­cil­i­ty run by the con­tract man­u­fac­tur­er of the drug’s main in­gre­di­ent — amisul­pride — and not on clin­i­cal or non-clin­i­cal da­ta in the ap­pli­ca­tion, as­sured Aca­cia in a press re­lease, adding that the FDA had asked for no ex­tra stud­ies or da­ta analy­ses re­lat­ed to the treat­ment.

With re­newed en­thu­si­asm lat­er that month, Aca­cia said its con­tract man­u­fac­tur­er had agreed to “in­sti­tute a cor­rec­tive and pre­ven­tive ac­tion plan that will rec­ti­fy the de­fi­cien­cy iden­ti­fied as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. We con­tin­ue to plan for a launch in the first half of 2019,” Aca­cia chief Ju­lian Gilbert said in a state­ment.

Ju­lian Gilbert

Aca­cia then re­sub­mit­ted its mar­ket­ing ap­pli­ca­tion in De­cem­ber, in­di­cat­ing that the FDA’s con­cerns out­lined in the com­plete re­sponse let­ter had been re­solved. But on Fri­day, the com­pa­ny re­ceived an­oth­er re­jec­tion, with the FDA flag­ging the same con­cerns.

“We are on track to com­plete the qual­i­fi­ca­tion of an al­ter­na­tive sup­pli­er of amisul­pride and plan to en­gage with FDA as soon as pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine the most rapid route to ob­tain­ing ap­proval,” Gilbert said in a state­ment on Fri­day.

Barhem­sys is de­signed to help the 30-40% of sur­gi­cal pa­tients who suf­fer from PONV de­spite pri­or pro­phy­lax­is, as well as for com­bi­na­tion pro­phy­lax­is in high-risk pa­tients.

Cam­bridge, UK-based Aca­cia Phar­ma, which al­so has US op­er­a­tions in In­di­anapo­lis, was found­ed in 2007. It has an­oth­er amisul­pride-based drug — APD403 — in mid-stage de­vel­op­ment for chemother­a­py in­duced nau­sea & vom­it­ing.

Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma AG, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Cap­i­tal­iz­ing Pablo: The world’s biggest drug roy­al­ty buy­er is go­ing pub­lic. And the low-key CEO di­vulges a few se­crets along the way

Pablo Legorreta is one of the most influential players in biopharma you likely never heard of.

Over the last 24 years, Legorreta’s Royalty Pharma group has become, by its own reckoning, the biggest buyer of drug royalties in the world. The CEO and founder has bought up a stake in a lengthy list of the world’s biggest drug franchises, spending $18 billion in the process — $2.2 billion last year alone. And he’s become one of the best-paid execs in the industry, reaping $28 million from the cash flow last year while reserving 20% of the cash flow, less expenses, for himself.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 82,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Getty Images)

Sanofi CEO Paul Hud­son has $23B burn­ing a hole in his pock­et. And here are some hints on how he plans to spend that

Sanofi has reaped $11.1 billion after selling off a big chunk of its Regeneron stock at $515 a share. And now everyone on the M&A side of the business is focused on how CEO Paul Hudson plans to spend it.

After getting stung in France for some awkward politicking — suggesting the US was in the front of the line for Sanofi’s vaccines given American financial support for their work, versus little help from European powers — Hudson now has the much more popular task of managing a major cash cache to pull off something in the order of a big bolt-on. Or two.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 82,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

The Advance Clinical leadership team: CEO Yvonne Lungershausen, Sandrien Louwaars - Director Business Development Operations, Gabriel Kremmidiotis - Chief Scientific Officer, Ben Edwards - Chief Strategy Officer

How Aus­tralia De­liv­ers Rapid Start-up and 43.5% Re­bate for Ear­ly Phase On­col­o­gy Tri­als

About Avance Clinical

Avance Clinical is an Australian owned Contract Research Organisation that has been providing high-quality clinical research services to the local and international drug development industry for 20 years. They specialise in working with biotech companies to execute Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials to deliver high-quality outcomes fit for global regulatory standards.

As oncology sponsors look internationally to speed-up trials after unprecedented COVID-19 suspensions and delays, Australia, which has led the world in minimizing the pandemic’s impact, stands out as an attractive destination for early phase trials. This in combination with the streamlined regulatory system and the financial benefits including a very favourable exchange rate and the R & D cash rebate makes Australia the perfect location for accelerating biotech clinical programs.

Dan O'Day, Gilead CEO (Andrew Harnik, AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Gilead leas­es part­ner rights to TIG­IT, PD-1 in a $2B deal with Ar­cus. Now comes the hard part

Gilead CEO Dan O’Day has brokered his way to a PD-1 and lined up a front row seat in the TIGIT arena, inking a deal worth close to $2 billion to align the big biotech closely with Terry Rosen’s Arcus. And $375 million of that comes upfront, with cash for the buy-in plus equity, along with $400 million for R&D and $1.22 billion in reserve to cover opt-in payments and milestones..

Hotly rumored for weeks, the 2 players have formalized a 10-year alliance that starts with rights to the PD-1, zimberelimab. O’Day also has first dibs on TIGIT and 2 other leading programs, agreeing to an opt-in fee ranging from $200 million to $275 million on each. There’s $500 million in potential TIGIT milestones on US regulatory events — likely capped by an approval — if Gilead partners on it and the stars align on the data. And there’s another $150 million opt-in payments for the rest of the Arcus pipeline.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 82,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

No­var­tis jumps in­to Covid-19 vac­cine hunt, as Big Phar­ma and big biotech com­mit to bil­lions of dos­es

After spending most of the pandemic on the sidelines, Novartis is offering its aid in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

AveXis, the Swiss pharma’s gene therapy subsidiary, has agreed to manufacture the vaccine being developed by Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. The biotech will begin manufacturing this month, while the vaccine undergoes further preclinical testing. They’ve agreed to provide the vaccine for free for clinical trials beginning in the second half of 2020, but have not disclosed financials for after.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 82,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Bris­tol My­ers Squibb fi­nal­ly gets in the front­line NSCLC game dom­i­nat­ed by Mer­ck, adding a sec­ond Op­di­vo/Yer­voy-based op­tion

Bristol Myers Squibb may be trailing Merck and Roche in the checkpoint race to treat frontline cases of non-small cell lung cancer, but as it does, it makes sure to bring its best feet forward.

Just days after scoring a landmark NSCLC approval for Opdivo and Yervoy alone for PD-L1 positive patients, the company said the FDA has also OK’d using the two agents with a limited course of chemo regardless of the biomarker status.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 82,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Bryan Roberts, Venrock

Ven­rock sur­vey shows grow­ing recog­ni­tion of coro­n­avirus toll, wan­ing con­fi­dence in ar­rival of vac­cines and treat­ments

When Venrock partner Bryan Roberts went to check the results from their annual survey of healthcare leaders, what he found was an imprint of the pandemic’s slow arrival in America.

The venture firm had sent their form out to hundreds of insurance and health tech executives, investors, officials and academics on February 24 and gave them two weeks to fill it out. No Americans had died at that point but the coronavirus had become enough of a global crisis that they included two questions about the virus, including “Total U.S. deaths in 2020 from the novel coronavirus will be:”.

Stymied by the pan­dem­ic, Im­munomedic­s' new CEO bows out, tak­ing a mil­lion bucks plus perks as he heads out the vir­tu­al ex­it

Just a little more than a month since taking over as the latest CEO to helm Immunomedics, $IMMU Harout Semerjian is exiting the company after being confronted by “logistical” obstacles thrown up by the pandemic that made it impossible for him to move from London to carry out the job. And he’s getting a little over a million dollars in cash plus perks to grease the skids on the way out.

Word of the changeup arrived right after the market closed Wednesday.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 82,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Roger Perlmutter, Merck R&D chief (YouTube)

UP­DAT­ED: Backed by BAR­DA, Mer­ck jumps in­to Covid-19: buy­ing out a vac­cine, part­ner­ing on an­oth­er and adding an­tivi­ral to the mix

Merck execs are making a triple play in a sudden leap into the R&D campaign against Covid-19. And they have more BARDA cash backing them up on the move.

Tuesday morning the pharma giant simultaneously announced plans to buy an Austrian biotech that has been working on a preclinical vaccine candidate, added a collaboration on another vaccine with the nonprofit IAVI and inked a deal with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on an early-stage antiviral.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 82,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.