Pfizer to acquire InnoPharma for $360m
Pfizer entered into an agreement to acquire the US-based pharmaceutical development company InnoPharma for $360m.
Under the agreement’s terms, Pfizer will make an upfront payment of $225m to InnoPharma and up to $135m of contingent milestone payments.
Subject to the US regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close during the third quarter.
Burnet and ARTES partner to develop new vaccine for malaria
Australia’s largest virology and communicable disease research centre Burnet Institute partnered with ARTES Biotechnology to develop a new vaccine to treat malaria.
Funded by the PATH malaria vaccine initiative (MVI), Burnet will use its new technology and ARTES’s patented Metavax platform to create the new type of malaria vaccine.
Under the project, researchers will aim to produce purified vaccine antigens including Pfs25 and Pfs230 as virus-like particles (VLPs) to prevent the transmission of malaria infection from mosquitoes to humans.
FDA approves Gilead Sciences’ Zydelig for three types of blood cancers
Gilead Sciences obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Zydelig (idelalisib) 150mg tablets for the treatment of three B-cell blood cancers.
Zydelig is an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) delta and can be used to treat patients whose chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has relapsed.
Zydelig will be used in combination with rituximab by patients for whom rituximab alone would be considered an inappropriate therapy due to other existing medical conditions.
AstraZeneca to obtain rights to Almirall’s respiratory franchise
Spain-based Almirall and AstraZeneca entered into an agreement in which Almirall will transfer the rights to its respiratory franchise to Astrazeneca for an initial consideration of $875m on completion and up to $1.22bn in development, launch and sales-related milestones.
Following the completion of the transaction, AstraZeneca will have the right to develop and commercialise Almirall’s existing proprietary respiratory business, including rights to revenues from its existing partnerships and its pipeline of experimental therapies.
AstraZeneca will also have the right to develop and commercialise Almirall’s existing drugs, including Eklira (aclidinium), Phase II long-acting beta2 agonist LAS100977 (abediterol), an M3 antagonist beta2-agonist platform in pre-clinical development (LAS191351, LAS194871) and Phase I (LAS190792).
Boehringer Ingelheim launches anti-DVT drug Pradaxa in UK
Boehringer Ingelheim’s anti-deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) drug Pradaxa is now available in the UK following the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) approval.
The EMA approved Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) in June for the treatment and prevention of the recurrence of DVT and PE. Approval is supported by data from three Phase III clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy of Pradaxa compared with Warfarin.
Data from a fourth clinical trial demonstrated a reduction of the risk of recurrent DVT and PE in patients treated with Pradaxa, compared to a placebo.
Baxter announces acquisition of AesRx
Baxter International announced the acquisition of the US biopharmaceutical company AesRx, including the development and commercialisation of AesRx’s investigational sickle cell disease treatment Aes-103.
AesRx has received an initial payment from Baxter for the acquisition and the company may receive additional future payments based on specified development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
The oral, small molecule compound (5-hydroxymethylfurfural) Aes-103 was developed by the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery. This compound is originally patented by VCU.
Medical Research Council to lead initiative to tackle antimicrobial resistance
The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) announced it would lead a cross-council initiative to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in all areas.
The initiative will work to identify common characteristics of AMR in humans, as well as in farm and wild animals, to find new treatments. Scientists will also investigate how to track the extent of AMR in different environments.
Backed by eight government bodies and the Wellcome Trust, the initiative will coordinate the work of medical researchers, biologists, engineers, vets, economists, social scientists, mathematicians and designers in a multi-pronged approach to address all aspects of the problem.
Bayer receives Canadian approval for Nexavar to treat differentiated thyroid cancer
Health Canada approved Bayer’s Nexavar (sorafenib tablets) for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic, progressive, differentiated (papillary/follicular/Hurthle cell) thyroid carcinoma, refractory to radioactive iodine.
Nexavar’s approval in Canada is supported by a positive outcome from the Phase III DECISION (study of sorafenib in locally advanced or metastatIc patients with radioactive Iodine refractory thyroid cancer) trial.
The Phase III study has met the primary endpoint of progression-free survival. Sorafenib has significantly extended the progression-free survival when compared to the placebo.