→ The Telegraph reported that J&J is planning to pull the plug on its plans to open a JLabs facility in the UK, citing the political and economic uncertainty around Brexit. But a company spokesperson tells me it’s all tosh: “This story is completely unfounded and we have actually asked for a retraction.”
→ Takeda has pushed its Zika virus vaccine candidate (TAK-426) into a Phase I clinical trial 15 months after the biopharma company received a contract to develop a Zika vaccine from the Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
→ After demonstrating ZX008’s impressive effects on Dravet syndrome, Zogenix $ZGNX is moving on to the second study of the lead drug’s Phase III trial, this time targeting Lennox-Gastaut syndrome — another form of rare but severe epilepsy that affects both children and adults. The Emeryville, CA-based biotech announced the enrollment of the first child patient today. The global study, for which Zognix plans to treat 225 patients across three arms, will consist of a 18-week double-blind first part and 12-month open-label second part. Despite the number of existing therapeutic options, says US principal investigator Kelly Knupp, “(t)there is a significant need for new medicines that can substantially reduce seizure activity in LGS, and I am hopeful that this Phase III trial of ZX008 may offer hope to the children and adults living with this debilitating condition.”
→ PhaseBio has secured a total of $15.6 million to fund its expanded orphan disease pipeline, which features a lead drug, PB1046, that treats pulmonary arterial hypertension. The money comes through two channels: the biotech is taking out a $7.5 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank, to be withdrawn in three tranches; it is also drawing $8.1 million from the second tranche of a previous financing agreement. AstraZeneca, J&J Innovation and Hatteras Venture Partners are among the investors in that financing deal.
The best place to read Endpoints News? In your inbox.
Comprehensive daily news report for those who discover, develop, and market drugs. Join 47,200+ biopharma pros who read Endpoints News by email every day.Free Subscription