FDA seeks FTC ac­tion af­ter re­ject­ing pe­ti­tion to block first gener­ics for decades-old va­so­pressin

The FDA on Wednes­day not on­ly ap­proved the first gener­ic ver­sions of the decades-old di­a­betes in­sipidus treat­ment va­so­pressin, but al­so si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly of­fered a par­tic­u­lar­ly damn­ing re­buke of a cit­i­zen pe­ti­tion at­tempt­ing to block the gener­ic, while promis­ing to pass along the mat­ter to the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion.

The re­sponse could prove trou­ble­some for the spon­sor of the brand name ver­sion of the drug, En­do’s Par Ster­ile Prod­ucts, which brought in more than $780 mil­lion in 2020 for its brand name ver­sion of the drug Va­sostrict.

Last month, Par’s lawyers at Ax­inn called on the FDA to re­frain from ap­prov­ing any gener­ics for Va­sostrict due to the po­ten­tial for cer­tain sta­bil­i­ty and oth­er spec­i­fi­ca­tions that could cause con­cerns with im­pu­ri­ties or oth­er safe­ty is­sues.

But FDA points out at the top of its re­sponse that va­so­pressin has been mar­ket­ed as a ther­a­peu­tic agent for near­ly a cen­tu­ry.

“Pitressin, a nat­ur­al va­so­pressin prod­uct de­vel­oped as an ex­tract of the bovine pos­te­ri­or pi­tu­itary, was first in­tro­duced in 1928,” the agency said.

What’s more is that Par on­ly won FDA ap­proval for va­so­pressin in the first place, in 2014, be­cause of the FDA’s drug safe­ty ini­tia­tive at the time to en­cour­age man­u­fac­tur­ers to ob­tain the agency’s ap­proval for old, un­ap­proved drugs.

In ad­di­tion to the deny­ing the pe­ti­tion, FDA said that it “does not on its face raise valid sci­en­tif­ic or reg­u­la­to­ry is­sues” and “it ap­pears to have been sub­mit­ted with the pri­ma­ry pur­pose of de­lay­ing ap­proval of Ea­gle’s AN­DA and fails to raise valid sci­en­tif­ic or reg­u­la­to­ry is­sues. The Agency in­tends to re­fer this mat­ter to the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion (FTC), which has the ad­min­is­tra­tive tools and the ex­per­tise to in­ves­ti­gate and ad­dress an­ti­com­pet­i­tive busi­ness prac­tices.”

This kind of ac­tion from the FDA is rare to see, as lawyer Kurt Karst at Hy­man, Phelps & Mc­Na­ma­ra not­ed on Twit­ter, and it may be part of a wider col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the FDA and FTC to put com­pa­nies on no­tice over at­tempts to block fu­ture gener­ics.

MedTech clinical trials require a unique regulatory and study design approach and so engaging a highly experienced CRO to ensure compliance and accurate data across all stages is critical to development milestones.

In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

Avance Clinical is the Australian CRO for international biotechs providing world-class clinical research services with FDA-accepted data across all phases. With Avance Clinical, biotech companies can leverage Australia’s supportive clinical trials environment which includes no IND requirement plus a 43.5% Government incentive rebate on clinical spend. The CRO has been delivering clinical drug development services for international biotechs for FDA and EMA regulatory approval for the past 24 years. The company has been recognized for the past two consecutive years with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan CRO Best Practices Award and a finalist in Informa Pharma’s Best CRO award for 2022.

Up­dat­ed: Amid mas­sive re­struc­tur­ing, Bio­gen looks to re­duce phys­i­cal pres­ence in Boston

Biogen is putting a sizable chunk of office and research space in Kendall Square and Weston, MA up for sublease, marking another big change as the biotech grapples with the aftershock of a disastrous and controversial rollout for its Alzheimer’s drug.

The subbleases are “part of Biogen’s overall implementation of the ‘Future of Work,’ which is allowing us to optimize our footprint and reduce the amount of space we occupy, taking into consideration new elements such as the hybrid work model,” Biogen spokesperson Ashleigh Koss wrote in a statement to Endpoints News, adding that the company has had subleases across several buildings for years.

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Who are the women blaz­ing trails in bio­phar­ma R&D? Nom­i­nate them for End­points' 2022 spe­cial re­port

Over the past three years, Endpoints News has spotlighted 60 women who have blazed trails and supercharged R&D across the biopharma world. And judging from the response we’ve received, to both our special reports and live events, telling their stories — including any obstacles they may have had to overcome — has inspired our readers in many different ways.

But change takes time, and the fact remains that women are still underrepresented at the upper ranks of the drug-making world.

Illustration: Kim Ryu for Endpoints News

Why non-opi­oid pain drugs keep fail­ing — and what's next for the field

In 1938, Rita Levi-Montalcini was forced to move her lab into her bedroom in Turin, as Mussolini’s facist government expelled Jewish people from studying or working in schools in Italy. Levi-Montalcini, then just a few years out of medical school and using sewing needles as scalpels in her makeshift lab, would soon discover nerve growth factor, or NGF, in chicken embryos.

Her discoveries formed the basis of our understanding of the peripheral nervous system and how cells talk to each other, and Levi-Montalcini went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1986. Much later, NGF was hailed as a promising target for new pain therapies, with some analysts quoting an $11 billion market. However, the latest anti-NGF candidate, Pfizer and Eli Lilly’s tanezumab, was rejected by the FDA last year because of a side effect that dissolved bone in some of its patients.

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Pfiz­er launch­es re­bate pro­gram for rare dis­ease pa­tients who have to stop tak­ing Panzy­ga

Pfizer is launching its second-ever rebate program, this time for Panzyga, its treatment for a rare neurological disease of the peripheral nerves.

The program began last month, according to STAT which first reported the news, and offers a refund of out-of-pocket costs for patients who must discontinue their course before the fifth treatment for “clinical reasons.”

Panzyga was approved back in 2018 to treat primary immunodeficiency (PI) in patients two years and older and chronic immune thrombocytopenia (cITP) in adults. It has since picked up an indication in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), a condition that’s characterized by weakness of the arms or legs, tingling or numbness, and a loss of deep tendon reflexes, according to the NIH.

Horizon's back-to-school campaign for children with cystinosis includes an all about me poster as part of a care package box.

Hori­zon read­ies kids and fam­i­lies for back to school with week­long ac­tiv­i­ties around rare dis­ease cysti­nosis

Going back to school is usually a bumpy readjustment from summer freedom for all kids, but especially for kids with chronic health conditions. Horizon Therapeutics is hoping to help smooth the way for some who have the rare disease cystinosis. Cystinosis is a genetic disease that causes the amino acid cystine to build up in different tissues and organs.

The “Gear Up” for school campaign is running all week with different online and at-home events and activities for families and children with cystinosis. Each family who signed up receives a care package mailed to their home including an activity coloring book “Michael’s Show-and-Tell.” The book tells Michael’s story about living with cystinosis while offering kids matching, coloring and finding object games along with information.

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Phar­mas spend mil­lions on di­a­betes ad­ver­tis­ing, but few pa­tients can re­call brand names — sur­vey

While many Big Pharma diabetes brands spend millions of dollars on TV ads every year, most people with type 2 diabetes don’t recognize specific drug brand names, according to a new study.

No brand garnered more than 30% recognition in Phreesia Life Science’s latest in-office patient survey of more than 4,000 adults with type 2 diabetes. Eli Lilly’s Trulicity topped the list as the most recognized brand with 29% of those surveyed recalling it, followed by Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly’s Jardiance at 27% and Merck’s Januvia and Novo Nordisk tying for the third spot with 24%. Meanwhile, 76% of the patients surveyed were familiar with the generic treatment metformin.

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Faced with thou­sands of opi­oid law­suits, En­do says it will like­ly file for bank­rupt­cy 'im­mi­nent­ly'

Endo International will likely be the next pharma company to file for bankruptcy under a mountain of opioid lawsuits.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company revealed in its Q2 results on Tuesday that it’s in talks with first lien creditors, and that “these negotiations will likely result in a pre-arranged filing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code by Endo International plc and substantially all of its subsidiaries, which could occur imminently.”

Feud be­tween two biotechs left near­ly 12M dos­es of mon­key­pox an­tivi­ral on the ta­ble

As the US embarks on a new delivery strategy to stretch out its thinning supply of monkeypox vaccines, the need for treatments could pick up as cases of the virus rise. And the amount of courses of one potential antiviral, soon to be clinically tested for efficacy in humans, was almost 12 million more than it is today, according to SEC filings.

While not greenlit for treating monkeypox, SIGA’s FDA-approved smallpox antiviral, Tpoxx, can be requested by physicians under an expanded use program. As of Monday, HHS tells Endpoints News it had tapped into more than 15,000 of the 1.7 million courses of Tpoxx that have been stockpiled, but with cases climbing over the past few weeks, demand will likely not peter out in the near future, especially if the vaccine supply runs dry.

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