DB­V's peanut al­ler­gy patch is fi­nal­ly un­der FDA re­view; Rit­ter swal­lows bit­ter pill to ex­plore strate­gic al­ter­na­tives

→ DBV Tech­nolo­gies $DB­VT, which with­drew its ap­pli­ca­tion to mar­ket its peanut al­ler­gy patch late last year, es­sen­tial­ly en­abling ri­val Aim­mune $AIMT to leapfrog it, on Fri­day an­nounced that the FDA has ac­cept­ed its lat­est BLA fil­ing. The agency is ex­pect­ed to make its de­ci­sion by Au­gust 5 — but will host an ad­vi­so­ry pan­el meet­ing to dis­cuss the im­munother­a­py.

Rit­ter Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals $RT­TR did its best to make lemon­ade with the lemons it was dealt — by vault­ing its lac­tose in­tol­er­ance ther­a­py to­ward a con­fir­ma­to­ry tri­al, de­spite miss­ing the main goal in the pre­ced­ing Phase II/III study. Last month, the com­pa­ny re­port­ed its ther­a­py, RP-G28, failed not on­ly to se­cure a sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment ver­sus place­bo in re­duc­ing lac­tose in­tol­er­ance symp­toms, but pa­tients in the place­bo group ac­tu­al­ly did bet­ter than the drug arm. Now, the LA-based com­pa­ny has ap­point­ed a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor to ex­plore strate­gic al­ter­na­tives.

As­traZeneca-part­nered French biotech, In­nate Phar­ma, which an­nounced plans for a US IPO worth up to $100 mil­lion a few weeks ago, said to­day that it plans to is­sue and sell about 10.7 mil­lion in an of­fer­ing, to de­vel­op their lead prod­uct, mon­al­izum­ab; fund their mid-stage tri­al of IPH4102 for pa­tients with Sézary syn­drome, MF and PT­CL; and the phase I/II de­vel­op­ment of IPH5401 for sol­id tu­mors, in­clud­ing NSCLC and HCC.

→ The FDA has green­light­ed Pfenex’s ap­pli­ca­tion to mar­ket PF708 to treat os­teo­poro­sis in cer­tain pa­tients at high risk of frac­ture. The ther­a­peu­tic is sim­i­lar to Am­gen’s $AMGN block­buster For­teo, which is made us­ing a type of parathy­roid hor­mone called teri­paratide.

Al­though the FDA plans to des­ig­nate cer­tain prod­ucts like in­sulins and hor­mones from drugs to bi­o­log­ics next year, teri­paratide is not on that list. There­fore, Pfenex sub­mit­ted a 505(b)(2) New Drug Ap­pli­ca­tion for PF708 rather than an ab­bre­vi­at­ed Bi­o­log­ics Li­cense Ap­pli­ca­tion. “We be­lieve PF708 has the po­ten­tial to sig­nif­i­cant­ly en­hance pa­tient ac­cess to an im­por­tant ther­a­py as a cost-ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive to For­teo, which had $1.6 bil­lion in glob­al sales in 2018,” said Eef Schim­melpen­nink, CEO of Pfenex. Pfenex is al­so con­duct­ing a sep­a­rate study with the goal of get­ting PF708 des­ig­nat­ed as ther­a­peu­ti­cal­ly equiv­a­lent to For­teo.

Adap­tive Phage Ther­a­peu­tics (APT), a com­pa­ny fo­cused on the de­vel­op­ment of ther­a­pies to com­bat the rise of mul­ti-drug re­sis­tant (MDR) path­o­gen­ic bac­te­ria, has closed its over­sub­scribed, non-bro­kered fi­nanc­ing — rais­ing about $7 mil­lion in pro­ceeds. In­vestors in­clud­ed Alexan­dria Ven­ture In­vest­ments. The com­pa­ny said that pro­ceeds will be used to­wards the sup­port of Phase II clin­i­cal stud­ies for its Phage­Bank ther­a­py for an­tibi­ot­ic-re­sis­tant bac­te­r­i­al in­fec­tions.

A new chap­ter in the de­cen­tral­ized clin­i­cal tri­al ap­proach

Despite the promised decentralized trial revolution, we haven’t yet moved the needle in a significant way, although we are seeing far bolder commitments to this as we continue to experience the pandemic restrictions for some time to come. The vision of grandeur is one thing, but operationalizing and execution are another and recognising that change, particularly mid-flight on studies, is worthy of thorough evaluation and consideration in order to achieve success. Here we will discuss one of the critical building blocks of a Decentralized and Remote Trial strategy: TeleConsent; more than paper under glass, it is a paradigm change and key digital enabler.

Su­per-se­cre­tive an­ti-ag­ing biotech Cal­i­co tees up the first vis­i­ble clin­i­cal tri­al of an ex­per­i­men­tal drug. And it’s for can­cer?

Over the past 7 years, Calico has been so much more than your average, run-of-the-mill secretive biotech players. It’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, to repurpose an old Winston Churchill line dating from the time he confronted the Iron Curtain surrounding Stalin’s thoughts.

Launched by industry legend Art Levinson of Genentech fame, with the infinitely deep pockets of Google for support, one of the few big headlines the anti-aging biotech has sparked focused on a major alliance with AbbVie — a giant outfit that conversely likes to show off its drug prospects whenever it can. Together, they’ve been focused on diseases that limit life span — quite an arc of ailments.

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RBC's Bri­an Abra­hams holds a mock ad­comm on Bio­gen's iffy ad­u­canum­ab da­ta — and most of these ex­perts don't see a path to an ap­proval

As catalysts go, few loom larger than the aducanumab adcomm slated for Nov. 6.

With its big franchise under assault, Biogen is betting the ranch that its mixed late-stage Alzheimer’s data can squeak past the experts and regulators and get onto the market. And the topic — after a decade of Alzheimer’s R&D disasters in what still represents the El Dorado of drug markets — remains in the center ring of discussions around late-stage pipeline prospects.

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Af­ter near­ly a year of de­bate, the Covid-19 vac­cine chal­lenge tri­als are of­fi­cial­ly com­ing

After nearly a year of public advocacy and often rancorous ethical debate, human challenge trials for Covid-19 vaccines are getting off the ground in London.

The UK government’s Covid-19 Vaccine Taskforce and the contract research firm Open Orphan announced today £10 million ($13 million) plan to test experimental Covid-19 vaccines in volunteers whintentionally exposed to the novel coronavirus. The studies, which won’t launch until early 2021, come after 9 months of debate over whether such studies were safe and would actually hasten vaccine development, and they follow a long history of researchers using challenge models to study other respiratory viruses, including flu and the coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

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Derek Chalmers, Cara Ther

Cara lines up a $440M deal for US rights to its late-stage drug for se­vere itch, with $150M cash on the ta­ble

With plans afoot to file an NDA for what could be its first approved drug, Cara Therapeutics is pivoting its focus to commercialization. And Swiss company Vifor Pharma is willing to surrender up to $440 million to market the candidate in the US.

Cara $CARA CEO Derek Chalmers said an NDA submission is coming this quarter for their intravenous drug Korsuva in chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP), a severe itching condition. The Stamford, CT-based biotech read out positive topline data from a Phase III pivotal study back in April, and announced plans to approach EMA regulators shortly after filing with the FDA.

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News brief­ing: Ab­b­Vie and Roche's Ven­clex­ta scores an­oth­er FDA OK; Im­muno­Gen nabs Chi­na deal with $40M cash

AbbVie and Roche’s Venclexta has gotten a new FDA thumbs up.

The pair announced Monday that regulators have approved the drug in combination with azacitidine or low-dose cytarabine for newly-diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia in adults who are 75 or older or those who can’t undergo intensive chemotherapy. This follows the drug’s accelerated approval in 2018 and positive data from two Phase III confirmatory trials.

Covid-19 roundup: Pars­ing Bourla, a top an­a­lyst sees im­proved chances for Pfiz­er vac­cine; Fau­ci: No sur­prise that Trump was hit by Covid-19

With a medley of adverse events hobbling the late-stage development of vaccines and drugs, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla’s latest — extended — timeline for the mRNA approach they’re working on with BioNTech is giving some top analysts added confidence that the pharma giant can come up with the regulatory goods next month.

Parsing Bourla’s language in his comments last week, SVB Leerink’s Geoffrey Porges notes that Bourla’s decision to say they “may” be able to nail down the positive efficacy of their vaccine in a matter of days — a big change from his earlier certainty — may also indicate a delay on that to early November.

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Daniel O'Day, Gilead CEO (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Gilead feels the heat as close al­ly Gala­pa­gos re­ports a big set­back on one of their top ex­per­i­men­tal drugs

The bad news keeps stacking up at Galapagos — which quite likely just lost control of a billion-dollar deal — and by extension their close partners at Gilead.

The biotech $GLPG reported after the bell Thursday that GLPG1972, one of their top development programs, flat failed a mid-stage study for osteoarthritis, flunking the primary and all secondary endpoints.

Testing 3 different doses of their drug, which relies on ADAMTS-5 inhibition, investigators concluded that none of them triggered a statistically significant response — as measured by cartilage thickness.

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IN8bio CEO William Ho (IN8bio)

Bring­ing their ge­net­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied gam­ma delta T cells to Nas­daq, IN8bio files for $86M IPO

The biotech IPO parade continues marching forward as 2020 turns toward the fourth quarter.

IN8bio, a New York-based company focused on genetically modified gamma delta T cell therapies, filed to go public Friday seeking an $86 million raise. The company has two clinical-stage candidates being studied in glioblastoma and leukemia, respectively.

By any stretch of the imagination, 2020 has already been a huge year for biotech, and nowhere does it appear more obvious than the vast amounts of companies hitting the public market.