J&J and Sanofi's mul­ti­ple myelo­ma tit-for-tat con­tin­ues, as sub­cu­ta­neous Darza­lex wins com­bo ap­proval

J&J and Sanofi have gone back and forth in their mul­ti­ple myelo­ma tug-of-war. Ear­li­er this year, Sanofi notched an ap­proval of Sar­clisa in com­bi­na­tion with Am­gen’s Kypro­lis to try to out­flank the big con­glom­er­ate, but J&J is clap­ping back.

Wednes­day af­ter­noon, Am­gen an­nounced that the sub­cu­ta­neous ver­sion of J&J’s block­buster Darza­lex is al­so now ap­proved as a com­bo with Kypro­lis and dex­am­etha­sone. The green light came through for adults with re­lapsed or re­frac­to­ry mul­ti­ple myelo­ma who had pro­gressed on one to three ear­li­er lines of ther­a­py.

Am­gen ex­ecs praised the de­ci­sion, with R&D chief David Reese say­ing in a state­ment the al­ter­na­tive Darza­lex ad­min­is­tra­tion “will of­fer in­creased flex­i­bil­i­ty and con­ve­nience for pa­tients.”

The FDA de­ci­sion comes af­ter the IV for­mu­la­tion of Darza­lex ini­tial­ly clinched ap­proval with Kypro­lis back in Au­gust 2020. That OK came as Sar­clisa had just won an ap­proval the pre­ced­ing March in third-line mul­ti­ple myelo­ma pa­tients.

Though Sar­clisa has a long way to go to eclipse Darza­lex on the mar­ket, it man­aged to se­cure the same Kypro­lis com­bo green light in April 2021 — Sar­clisa plus Kypro­lis plus dex­am­etha­sone in pa­tients who pro­gressed on one to three treat­ments. The back-and-forth be­tween the two drugs will like­ly con­tin­ue as Sanofi looks to carve out more of the mar­ket.

Should it prove suc­cess­ful, there’s quite a slice of pie to be had. The IV form of Darza­lex ini­tial­ly launched in 2015 and quick­ly be­came one of J&J’s top sell­ers with $1.4 bil­lion in sales its first year. And in 2020, the drug tal­lied its best sales year yet with $4.2 bil­lion.

J&J re­ports sales to­geth­er for both forms of the drug — the IV form and the sub­cu­ta­neous ver­sion dubbed Darza­lex Faspro.

Sar­clisa has not seen as sharp an up­take, as the drug was first ap­proved about a week and a half be­fore the WHO de­clared a glob­al pan­dem­ic last year, lim­it­ing pa­tient ac­cess. Nonethe­less, it marked a mile­stone for Sanofi, be­com­ing the com­pa­ny’s first in-house can­cer ap­proval since 2010.

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.

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.

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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Robert Califf, FDA commissioner (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Hop­ing to ex­pand mon­key­pox vac­cine sup­ply, US paves the way for new route of ad­min­is­tra­tion

After making it clear that the US’ current monkeypox vaccine supply is insufficient, the FDA on Tuesday authorized a new route of administration that should increase the number of available doses by five-fold.

Regulators cleared Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos vaccine for intradermal injection in adults older than 18. Unlike subcutaneous injection — the current method by which vaccine is delivered under the skin — an intradermal jab goes directly into the skin. It’s believed that this method requires less vaccine, since the dermis is rich in dendritic cells which specialize in taking up foreign antigens and presenting them to the immune system, according to Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO (Isaac Brekken/AP Images for NFL, File)

Up­dat­ed: FDA slaps Ama­zon with a warn­ing let­ter for sell­ing OTC mole re­moval prod­ucts

The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research on Tuesday released a warning letter sent last week to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in Seattle for selling mole removal products over-the-counter, or, as the FDA explains, “introducing, delivering, or causing the introduction or delivery into interstate commerce of products that are unapproved new drugs.”

“There are no over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can be legally sold for mole or skin tag removal, and FDA has safety concerns about drugs marketed OTC directly to consumers for these uses,” the agency said in its Aug. 4 warning.

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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Alessandro Maselli, Catalent CEO

Catal­ent ac­quires North Car­oli­na CD­MO for $475M, boost­ing oral solids work

As Catalent has been expanding its reach in the US this year, as well as recently completing a C-suite shuffle, the company announced last night that it has acquired the CDMO Metrics Contract Services for $475 million from Mayne Pharma Group.

The acquisition will increase Catalent’s capabilities in oral solid formulation development, manufacturing and packaging as well as expand its capacity to handle more highly potent compounds.

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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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