Halozyme scores $30M in cash for its latest alliance; Bernie Sanders takes aim at $375,000 rare disease drug
→ Now it’s argenx’s turn to sign up on a collaboration deal with Halozyme aimed at using their platform tech to create subcutaneous versions of their therapies. Halozyme is getting $30 million upfront for 3 programs, with $160 million per target in milestones on the table. Halozyme has had a long-running alliance with Roche, among others. “By gaining exclusive access to Enhanze technology for our anti-FcRn asset, we also solidify our leadership position in this exciting new space that has the potential to disrupt the way severe autoimmune diseases are treated,” commented Keith Woods, COO of argenx.
→ Bernie Sanders is spotlighting a new case of price gouging on an old drug. The Senator from Vermont has sent a letter to Catalyst Pharmaceuticals asking why its newly approved drug Firdapse costs $375,000 a year, according to report in Reuters. The drug had long been distributed for free to patients with rare cases of Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome, until Catalyst pushed it through a small program to come up with the data needed for an OK. Lawmakers in the US have been increasingly focused on drug prices, though there are no rules or laws preventing Catalyst from choosing the price it wants to charge for the drug.
→ Hoping to expand the franchise for its trouble drug baricitinib, Eli Lilly today touted positive Phase III data for the drug in treating severe atopic dermatitis. The pharma giant stuck with topline data for the drug, which was approved for rheumatoid arthritis at a lower dose than Eli Lilly thought was viable. The drug is marketed as Olumiant.
→ Eisai and their partners at Purdue are posting positive Phase III data on lemborexant, their orexin therapy for insomnia. The trial is highlighted with patient reported outcomes on sleep onset and duration.