In lat­est blow to Te­va, CGRP mi­graine med could be de­layed while ri­vals race to­wards the fin­ish line

It’s start­ing to feel like Te­va $TE­VA can’t catch a break. Af­ter an in­cred­i­bly rough se­ries of events that led to mas­sive lay­offs, re­struc­tur­ing, and po­lit­i­cal up­heaval, now Te­va has qui­et­ly sig­naled to in­vestors that the launch of its CGRP mi­graine med could be de­layed.

Te­va’s stock has tum­bled near­ly 10% in pre-mar­ket trad­ing on the news.

Te­va’s drug, called fre­manezum­ab (TEV-48125), came up with some im­pres­sive Phase III da­ta last fall, with 41% of pa­tients on their CGRP drug see­ing their mi­graine days cut in half, com­pared to 18% on the place­bo. The dou­ble blast of da­ta un­der­scores the late-stage race to reg­u­la­tors as some big and small play­ers an­gle for a slice of the new CGRP mi­graine mar­ket.

But now, fre­manezum­ab may hit a stum­bling block. Te­va’s part­ner Cell­tri­on, which man­u­fac­tures an ac­tive in­gre­di­ent in fre­manezum­ab, re­ceived a warn­ing let­ter from the FDA rais­ing is­sues over a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in In­cheon, South Ko­rea.

The slow­down couldn’t come at a worse time for the com­pa­ny, as ri­vals Am­gen $AMGN and its part­ner No­var­tis $NVS were al­ready in the lead to com­mer­cial­ize their own CGRP mi­graine drug, Aimovig. The FDA has al­ready ac­cept­ed Am­gen’s ap­pli­ca­tion for Aimovig — hand­ing the com­pa­ny a PDU­FA date of May 17.

The CGRP field is grow­ing hot, with a line­up of de­vel­op­ers po­si­tion­ing their own late-stage prod­ucts for the last leg of the race.

Ear­li­er this year, Eli Lil­ly $LLY cel­e­brat­ed its Phase III re­sults for gal­canezum­ab, with a con­sis­tent 2-day re­duc­tion in month­ly mi­graines. And Al­ler­gan $AGN has a late-stage pro­gram un­der­way for an oral CGRP ther­a­py it in-li­censed from Mer­ck in 2015 with a $250 mil­lion up­front. Lit­tle Alder $AL­DR is plan­ning to join the com­mer­cial fight with their drug, as well. Then there’s Bio­haven $BHVN, which re­cent­ly in-li­censed a sim­i­lar drug from Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb and scored a very suc­cess­ful IPO ear­li­er this year.

Te­va not­ed the warn­ing let­ter on a slide for in­vestors, and said the com­pa­ny was “in ac­tive di­a­logue with the FDA in an ef­fort to main­tain our pri­or­i­ty date for the ap­proval.”

At the In­flec­tion Point for the Next Gen­er­a­tion of Can­cer Im­munother­a­py

While oncology researchers have long pursued the potential of cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, it was unclear whether these therapies would ever reach patients due to the complexity of manufacturing and costs of development. Fortunately, the recent successful development and regulatory approval of chimeric antigen receptor-engineered T (CAR-T) cells have demonstrated the significant benefit of these therapies to patients.

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna CEO

'This is not go­ing to be good': Mod­er­na CEO Ban­cel warns of a 'ma­te­r­i­al drop' in vac­cine ef­fi­ca­cy as Omi­cron spreads

Even as public health officials remain guarded about their comments on the likelihood Omicron will escape the reach of the currently approved Covid-19 vaccines, there’s growing scientific consensus that we’re facing a variant that threatens to overwhelm the vaccine barricades that have been erected.

Stéphane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, one of the leading mRNA players whose quick vault into the markets with a highly effective vaccine created an instant multibillion-dollar market, added his voice to the rising chorus early Tuesday. According to Bancel, there will be a significant drop in efficacy when the average immune system is confronted by Omicron. The only question now is: How much?

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Ap­peals court puts the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin for Tec­fidera patent, adding to Bio­gen's bur­geon­ing set­backs

In another setback for Biogen, the big biotech lost its appeal to revive a patent for the once-blockbuster drug Tecfidera, marking a likely conclusion to the case.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued the ruling Tuesday morning, saying Biogen failed to satisfy the “written description” requirement for patent law. As a result, Mylan-turned-Viatris will be able to sell its multiple sclerosis generic without fear of infringement and Biogen will have to find a new revenue driver elsewhere.

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FDA ad­comm nar­row­ly votes in fa­vor of Mer­ck­'s an­tivi­ral for out­pa­tient Covid-19

With little explanation for why Merck’s potential Covid-19 antiviral was less effective in reducing Covid hospitalizations and deaths in a full analysis of a Phase 3 trial versus an interim look, the FDA’s antimicrobial drugs advisory committee on Tuesday voted 13-10 in favor of the pill’s benefits outweighing the risks for adults within 5 days of developing Covid symptoms.

Molnupiravir will likely be authorized by FDA in the coming days for adults with mild or moderate Covid-19. While Pfizer’s antiviral may prove to be more effective, Merck’s pill will be another weapon in the armamentarium of Covid-19 treatments for countries around the world, adding to the mAb treatments already in use in the outpatient space from Regeneron, Eli Lilly and Vir/GlaxoSmithKline.

Philip Dormitzer, new GSK global head of vaccines R&D

Glax­o­SmithK­line poach­es Pfiz­er's vi­ral vac­cines lead in rush to cap­i­tal­ize on fu­ture of mR­NA

GlaxoSmithKline has appointed Philip Dormitzer, formerly chief scientific officer of Pfizer’s viral vaccines unit, as its newest global head of vaccines R&D, looking to leverage one of the leading minds behind Pfizer and BioNTech’s RNA collaboration that led to Covid-19 jab Comirnaty, the British drug giant said Tuesday.

Dormitzer had been with Pfizer for a little more than six years, joining up after a seven-year stint with Novartis, where he reached the role of US head of research and head of global virology for the company’s vaccines and diagnostics unit.

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In­tro­duc­ing End­points Stu­dio, a new way to ad­ver­tise with End­points-craft­ed brand­ing cam­paigns

Since our start in 2016, Endpoints has grown fast while executing our mission to cover biopharma’s most critical developments for industry pros worldwide. As readership has grown, our advertising business has too. Endpoints advertising partners support the mission and engage their desired audiences through announcements on our email and web platforms, brand recognition in our event coverage and sponsorships of Endpoints daily and weekly reports.

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: Ab­b­Vie’s Hu­mi­ra TV turns fo­cus to HS skin con­di­tion; Sanofi amps par­ent­ing pol­i­cy

After years as the top spending pharma TV advertiser, AbbVie’s Humira brand finally downshifted earlier this year, ceding much of its marketing budget to up-and-coming sibling meds Skyrizi and Rinvoq. However, now Humira is back on TV with ads for another condition — Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).

The chronic and painful skin condition results in lumps and abscesses caused by inflammation or infection of sweat glands, most often in the armpits or groin. Humira was first approved to treat HS in 2015 and remains the only FDA-approved drug for the condition. Two TV ads both note more than 30,000 people with HS have been prescribed Humira.

Viatris employees rang the Nasdaq bell on Nov. 16, marking the one-year anniversary of the merged Mylan and Pfizer Upjohn company

Start­ing from scratch: Vi­a­tris’ new brand, cul­ture set­tle in 1 year af­ter My­lan, Up­john merg­er

When Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn unit merged last year, headlines touted the $12 billion deal and newly named Viatris as the largest generic drugmaker in the world. But that’s not exactly how the company wanted to be known.

So Viatris — which rhymes with Beatrice — began working to create a new brand and culture from scratch around its distinct mix of old pharma blockbusters while layering in a massive portfolio of generic and OTC meds and building up a fresh pipeline of biosimilars.

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Jeff Dachis, founder and CEO, One Drop

Q&A: One Drop founder Jeff Dachis, from dig­i­tal agency to healthtech en­tre­pre­neur, catch­es the wave again

Jeff Dachis knows how to pick a business wave — although it may be more accurate to say he knows how to create them. The founder and CEO of digital health platform One Drop is working to transform the industry with predictive analytics and sophisticated tools. Alongside partner Bayer, which has now invested enough to own a third of the company, Dachis and One Drop are advancing data-driven personalized self-care for chronic disease management.

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