WuXi AppTec recruits new CMO; Embattled Alkermes makes case for expanded use of schizophrenia drug Aristada
→ China’s WuXi AppTec has recruited Frederick Hausheer as its chief medical officer. That gives him a global operational role with their clinical operations in the US, China and around the globe. The 30-year vet founded BioNumerik Pharmaceuticals, worked at the NCI and has been on faculty at Johns Hopkins.
→ A troubled Alkermes $ALKS is touting new trial data this morning demonstrating that its schizophrenia drug Aristada given once every 2 months was equal to Invega Sustenna on a once-monthly dose in controlling symptoms of the disease. The 6-month study started treatment after an acute incidence followed by their transition back to the community. The biotech is hoping to expand its revenue against the leader in the field. Alkermes recently was batted back by the FDA after trying to gain an approval for their new depression drug, which inflicted severe damage on their stock price.
→ UniQure has obtained fast track status at the FDA for its gene therapy for Huntington’s disease. AMT-130 uses a recombinant AAV5 vector to carry a “DNA cassette encoding a microRNA that non-selectively lowers or knocks-down human huntingtin protein in Huntington’s disease patients.”
→ Prolific partner Medigene, which has pivoted entirely to its immuno-oncology TCR platform, is shedding its last non-immunotherapy asset. On Monday, German drug developer said it was selling the remaining rights to the skin drug Veregen, along with the the corresponding active pharmaceutical ingredient, to Munich-based Aresus Pharma in a deal worth up to €7.75 million ($8.74 million).
→ The UK’s ReNeuron is taking its stem cell therapy programs to China with a new partnership. Fosun Pharma has paid $7.9 million to get things started, plus another $7.9 million in near-term milestones and $10.5 million more for regulatory wins. If all goes well, ReNeuron stands to earn $104 million (£80 million) in addition to having Fosun foot the bill for the the development, manufacture and commercialization in China.
→ Leaving the stage at Endocyte after the curtains are drawn Novartis’ $2.1 billion buyout for the radiopharmaceuticals company, Michael Sherman has landed his next CEO job at Chimerix $CMRX. And he’s bringing a friend with him: Michael Andriole, Endocyte’s CFO, will be scouting deals for the Chimerix’s antivirals as its chief business officer.
→ Ascentage Pharma is collaborating with Shanghai’s Junshi Biosciences on its inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) inhibitor APG-1387, and Junshi Biosciences’ anti-PD-1 therapy toripalimab in clinical trials in solid and hematological tumors in China.