Christopher Anzalone, Arrowhead president and CEO

Wis­con­sin giv­ing Ar­row­head Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals some ched­dar as their new man­u­fac­tur­ing site re­ceives sev­er­al mil­lion in state and lo­cal tax ben­e­fits

Ar­row­head Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals is get­ting a leg up from Wis­con­sin of­fi­cials on a new build­ing project.

The com­pa­ny has out­lined a set of in­cen­tives that have be­come quite com­mon as states look to com­pete for new man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties and the jobs they can cre­ate.

Ar­row­head is build­ing a new drug man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in Verona, WI, rough­ly 10 miles from Madi­son, that will have 125,000 square foot lab­o­ra­to­ry and of­fice fa­cil­i­ties to sup­port process de­vel­op­ment and an­a­lyt­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. It will al­so con­tain 160,000 square feet of man­u­fac­tur­ing space. Ar­row­head is no stranger to the Madi­son area as it cur­rent­ly has op­er­a­tions around in the state’s cap­i­tal.

Ar­row­head was award­ed up to $16 mil­lion in tax in­cre­ment fi­nanc­ing from the city. It will al­so re­ceive up to $2.5 mil­lion in re­fund­able Wis­con­sin state in­come tax cred­its of­fered by the Wis­con­sin Eco­nom­ic De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (WEDC). These tax ben­e­fits are be­ing of­fered as in­cen­tives for Ar­row­head to in­vest in the lo­cal area and po­ten­tial­ly cre­ate new jobs.

The com­ple­tion of the lab and of­fice space is an­tic­i­pat­ed in Q1 2023 with the man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty ex­pect­ed to be com­plet­ed in Q4 2024.

The ball start­ed rolling on the project in 2021 when Ar­row­head Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals pur­chased 13 acres of land in Wis­con­sin’s Verona Tech­nol­o­gy Park. Ar­row­head is ex­pect­ed to spend be­tween $200 mil­lion and $250 mil­lion to build the fa­cil­i­ties and cre­ate an es­ti­mat­ed 250 jobs for the area.

“We have had a pro­duc­tive and mu­tu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal biotech com­mu­ni­ty and broad­er busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty in the greater Madi­son, WI area for many years,” said Christo­pher An­za­lone, Ar­row­head pres­i­dent and CEO.

On the back of the ground­break­ing, Ar­row­head’s stock $AR­WR man­aged to slight­ly in­crease, but its price is still down around 50% year to date as the biotech mar­ket con­tin­ues to face a pow­er­ful bear mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to Anaza­lone, the new fa­cil­i­ties will help sup­port the de­vel­op­ment and the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of new med­i­cines that lever­age the nat­ur­al RNAi path­way to tar­get genes in­volved in var­i­ous dis­eases.

For Ar­row­head, RNAi is a ma­jor fo­cus for the com­pa­ny as, in 2020, The com­pa­ny es­tab­lished a part­ner­ship with Take­da tar­get­ing al­pha-1 liv­er dis­ease, dubbed ARO-AAT. The com­pa­ny has al­so li­censed out sev­er­al drugs in its pipeline to ma­jor phar­ma com­pa­nies in­clud­ing he­pati­tis B to J&J and a drug for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease to Am­gen, among oth­ers.

In 2021, Glax­o­SmithK­line paid $120 mil­lion in up­front cash a to de­vel­op and sell ARO-HSD, Ar­row­head Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals’ RNA in­ter­fer­ence drug tar­get­ing fat­ty liv­er NASH.

The com­pa­ny was forced to scrap its en­tire clin­i­cal pipeline in 2016 fol­low­ing deaths in a non-hu­man pri­mate tox­i­col­o­gy study. The com­pa­ny faced a sim­i­lar is­sue in Ju­ly of 2021 when it paused the Phase I/II tri­al of RNAi cys­tic fi­bro­sis drug ARO-ENaC af­ter a study in rats showed lung in­flam­ma­tion sig­nals.

The Big Phar­ma dis­card pile; Lay­offs all around while some biotechs bid farewell; New Roche CEO as­sem­bles top team; and more

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With earnings seasons in full swing, we’ve listened in on all the calls so you don’t have to. But news is popping up from all corners, so make sure you check out our other updates, too.

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Uğur Şahin, BioNTech CEO (Andreas Arnold/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

BioN­Tech opens new plas­mid DNA man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in Ger­many

German mRNA player BioNTech opened the doors to a new manufacturing facility on Thursday, this one just about 75 miles north of its headquarters in Mainz, Germany.

BioNTech announced on Thursday that it has completed the construction of its first plasmid DNA manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany. The facility will produce materials for mRNA-based vaccines and therapies along with cell therapies.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Francis Chung/E&E News/Politico via AP Images)

In­fla­tion re­bates in­com­ing: Wyden calls on CMS to move quick­ly as No­var­tis CEO pledges re­ver­sal

Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) this week sent a letter to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeking an update on how and when new inflation-linked rebates will take effect for drugs that see major price spikes.

The newly signed Inflation Reduction Act requires manufacturers to pay a rebate to Medicare when they increase drug prices faster than the rate of inflation.

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Giovanni Caforio, Bristol Myers Squibb CEO (Nicolas Messyasz/Sipa via AP Images)

Bris­tol My­ers turns at­ten­tion to new prod­ucts in wake of Revlim­id patent loss

Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio is shifting his focus to newer products as generic sales continue to gnaw at the company’s blockbuster myeloma drug Revlimid.

Both Revlimid and Abraxane sales took a dive last year thanks to generic rivals, BMS reported in its Q4 and full-year results on Thursday. As a result, Q4 sales dipped 5% and full-year sales remained flat. However, Caforio sees a silver lining — or rather, two of them.

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Rob Davis, Merck CEO

Mer­ck’s Keytru­da nears $21B in sales, dou­bles down on com­bo tri­als

Merck’s cancer immunotherapy Keytruda notched sales of $20.9 billion in 2022, cementing its status as one of the world’s top-selling drugs. However, it’s far from resting on that accomplishment.

Merck executives touted nine ongoing trials in its annual earnings call on Thursday, including five studies in Phase III, for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with other immuno-oncology drugs. The trials include combinations with Merck’s own developments as well as other pharma companies’ candidates, including its melanoma collaboration with Moderna and its mRNA technology plus Keytruda, aimed at creating a personalized vaccine treatment to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence or death.

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FDA ap­proves GSK's ane­mia drug with safe­ty warn­ing — af­ter bat­ting back sim­i­lar drugs

GSK has secured the first of four US approvals it’s hoping for this year, as the FDA greenlit daprodustat as a treatment for anemia due to chronic kidney disease.

But the FDA limited the use of the drug, to be marketed as Jesduvroq, to patients who have been receiving dialysis for at least four months and stopped short of approving it for patients not dependent on dialysis — in line with the recommendations of the advisory committee it consulted.

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Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, Novo Nordisk CEO (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

No­vo Nordisk notch­es big GLP-1 sales amid re­bound­ing sup­plies, but cau­tions on fu­ture 'pe­ri­od­ic con­straints'

With Novo Nordisk’s obesity treatment Wegovy fully back in stock in December, sales are beginning to soar, the Danish pharma reported during its annual earnings call on Wednesday. Total scripts of the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) Wegovy topped 37,000 weekly in mid-January, a hockey stick uptick from end-of-year levels below 15,000 per week.

The new prescriptions come on top of the overall momentum of Novo obesity drug sales in 2022, although the then supply-constrained Wegovy was only part of that. Sibling obesity med Saxenda accounted for DKK 10.7 billion ($1.58 billion) of the total DKK 16.9 billion ($2.49 billion), or about 63%, in Novo Nordisk’s reported obesity segment sales.

Vas Narasimhan, Novartis CEO (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Go­ing block­buster hunt­ing, Vas Narasimhan out­lines vi­sion for ‘pure-play’ No­var­tis

By the time 2023 is over, Novartis expects to be moving much lighter: It will have spun out its generics subsidiary Sandoz, completed layoffs of thousands of staffers worldwide and put in new internal structures for running the company.

And it will be ready to hunt for blockbusters.

CEO Vas Narasimhan underscored Novartis’ upcoming transformation into a “pure-play” company, reiterating across a series of calls — one with reporters, two with investors and analysts — that the new structure would boost its R&D productivity and sharpen its focus on big, new medicines.

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Te­va drops out of in­dus­try trade group PhRMA

Following in AbbVie’s footsteps, Teva confirmed on Friday that it’s dropping out of the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Teva didn’t give a reason for its decision to leave, saying only in a statement to Endpoints News that it annually reviews “effectiveness and value of engagements, consultants and memberships to ensure our investments are properly seated.”

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