Syneos up for sale — report; Takeda's Ninlaro fails PhIII in multiple myeloma; EMA braces for drug shortage
→ Amid industry-wide consolidation, the CRO Syneos is considering putting itself up for sale, Reuters reports, and has hired Centerview Partners to solicit offers. The company was itself formed by a merger between INC Research and inVentiv Health. It focuses on helping biotechs and pharmaceutical companies complete late-stage trials.
→ Just a day after Bristol Myers Squibb conceded failure in a trial combining its Empliciti with Celgene’s long-running blockbuster Revlimid and a steroid for frontline multiple myeloma, Takeda said it didn’t have any luck with Ninlaro, either. Focusing on transplant ineligible patients, investigators found that adding Ninlaro to Revlimid and dexamethasone improved progression-free survival by around 13.5 months but the result was not statistically significant.
→ The EMA announced it has not yet received reports of shortages or supply disruptions for medicines as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, but they said they couldn’t rule it out. They have organized the first meeting of the “EU Executive Steering Group on shortages of medicines caused by major events.”
→ Cell therapy biotech Century Therapeutics is opening an innovation hub in Seattle. Century focuses on building induced pluripotent stem cells for cancer therapies, and the new biotech will use machine learning, synthetic biology and other techniques to help get those treatments to work in solid tumors, a much-discussed goal in biotech.