Novo Nordisk to launch PhIII obesity trial for oral semaglutide; EdiGene extends Series B with additional $62M
On the heels of a highly successful trial for its blockbuster diabetes drug semaglutide in obesity, Novo Nordisk is prepping a Phase IIIa study for an oral formulation.
The company will launch the trial in the second half of 2021, planning to measure a 50 mg semaglutide pill compared to placebo, Novo announced Wednesday. The study will recruit about 1,000 patients and last for 68 weeks.
“With oral semaglutide we aim to introduce a convenient and effective treatment option for people with obesity and healthcare providers enabling broader use of anti-obesity medication,” said R&D chief Martin Holst Lange in a statement.
Previously, Novo had reported success for semaglutide to treat obesity, which entailed receiving 2.4 mg of the drug through subcutaneous injection once a week. In nearly a 2,000-person trial, participants injected themselves with either semaglutide or placebo over the same time period. Patients in the drug arm saw an average 15% weight loss, compared with just 2.4% on placebo.
EdiGene extends Series B with additional $62 million
Looking to push forward after a Series B last October, China’s EdiGene has secured even more funds for that round.
In a Series B Plus announced Wednesday morning, the company said it took in about $62 million in new cash to advance its efforts to pioneer gene editing in China. The proceeds will be used to advance pipeline programs into the clinic, EdiGene said.
“The company is speeding up portfolio advancement and scaling up business footprints,” EdiGene CEO Dong Wei said in a statement. “Adding to our existing Beijing R&D center and Guangzhou Clinical Application Center, we have opened our Clinical Development Office in Beijing, Business Development Office in Shanghai and launched a R&D center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”
EdiGene boasts of four different platforms revolving around CRISPR gene editing tech: ex vivo editing for hematopoietic stem cells, ex vivo editing to create CAR-T cells, in vivo RNA-based editing, as well as high-throughput genome editing screening for drug discovery. Right now, the key priorities are ET-01 for severe β-thalassemia and U CAR-T ET-02 for cancer.