→ Takeda $TAK says their drug Entyvio has beat out AbbVie’s $ABBV Humira in a head-to-head study for ulcerative colitis. Researchers pointed to a 31.3% remission rate for their drug, compared to 22.5% for the Humira arm at week 52. The company added that this is the first head-to-head study of 2 biologics for UC.
→ An oral CGRP for migraine is now under FDA review. The drug — ubrogepant — from Allergan $AGN is set to help the millions of migraine sufferers who now have a menu of injectable preventative CGRP treatments at their disposal, but are looking for that as-needed medicine to deal with the odd migraine that sneaks up. The FDA is expected to make its decision on the drug — that Allergan got from Merck $MRK in 2015 — by the fourth quarter. If approved, ubrogepant could potentially be used in combination with its anti-CGRP injectable rivals and/or Allergan’s own versatile Botox injection.
→ Singapore-based Aslan Pharmaceuticals has struck its second deal with South Korea’s BioGenetics. The Korean company has gained commercialization rights to ASLAN003 in exchange for a $1 million upfront and up to $8 million more in milestones.
→ Scientists from Technion, Stanford and machine learning firm CytoReason have constructed a way to determine an individual’s immune age — a predictor of the status of a person’s immune system and immunological health, in a study published in Nature. The concept was created after the researchers followed 135 healthy volunteers for nine years, recording their individual-level changes to the immune system over time. This dataset was then analyzed using machine learning analytical technologies to enable the identification of patterns of cell-subset changes, and eventually validated against a cohort of more than 2,000 patients from the Framingham Heart Study. “It’s been sixty years since the last immunological benchmarks (Complete Blood Counts) were introduced into general medical practice. This much more sophisticated method reflects the tremendous explosion of knowledge generated in the field,” said Mark Davis, head of the Stanford Institute for immunity, transplantation and infection in a statement.
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