Gilead’s HIV drug Descovy wins China’s endorsement; Revance investors smile as frown lines drug succeeds pivotal studies

→ Around the same time controversial Chinese scientist Jiankui He was working CRISPR tools to edit embryos that were later born as twin girls — in what critics deemed a misguided effort to stem the growing threat of HIV in China — China’s health regulator was likely reviewing Gilead’s TAF-based HIV drug $GILD, Descovy, which was granted approval on Tuesday. The drug, which was approved in the United States and Europe in 2016, joins Gilead’s TAF-based Genvoya as an approved treatment for HIV in China, where the number of HIV diagnoses have risen significantly in recent years, in part due to expanded screening. The Chinese government has provided free antiretroviral treatment to all persons living with HIV since 2003, Gilead noted in its release.

→ Why bother with surgery, if you can look like a Kardashian with a long-lasting neuromodulator to zap away those pesky frown lines? Revance $RVNC on Tuesday reported successful data from a third Phase III trials that showed its experimental neuromodulator, RT002, was safe and effective in alleviating moderate-to-severe glabellar lines (frown lines that develop between the eyebrows). If approved — following a BLA filing planned for H1 2019 — the Newark, California-based company expects the product will be the first neuromodulator with a long-acting duration of six months, an advance over existing neuromodulators such as Botox that tend to work for about three to four months. According to Revance, the treatment of frown lines is the most popular aesthetic procedure for an injectable neuromodulator, accounting for nearly a third of the $3.6 billion in global neuromodulator sales in 2016. Buoyed by the success of the drug, Revance separately announced it had also granted Shanghai Fosun Pharma the license to develop RT002 for a range of aesthetic conditions in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau for $30 million upfront, and up to $230.5 million in milestone payments.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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