Astellas

The Access to Medicine (AtM) Foundation last week published a pediatric analysis of additional results from its 2021 AtM Index, finding just 7% of pharmaceutical companies’ R&D is for children under 12, despite significant gaps in treatment options for children.

The report praised GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi for being “the most active” in developing pediatric versions of products, and also named examples of drugs that “could each make a big difference” for LMICs: Eli…

The Pediatric Praziquantel Consortium announced new funding last month from Japan’s Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership.

The separate awards—worth a combined $9.3 million—will fund the ADOPT program, dedicated to “wide acceptance and equitable access” for a child-friendly dispersible tablet formulation of schistosomiasis drug praziquantel.

With backers including Astellas, Farmanguinhos and Merck…

The state of the hunt:

Serum Institute of India is reportedly pursuing up to $1 billion in private equity funding for its Covid-19 vaccine projects.
  J&J plans 60,000-participant Phase 3 trials of its Janssen subsidiary’s vaccine candidate.
  Roche will help develop and manufacture Regeneron’s REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail, more than tripling production capacity of the drug.

 

Vaccines

Phase 3 trials:
 
Brazil approved Phase 3 trials of…

Six leading pharma companies released first-quarter 2020 financial results in May, while two Japanese firms reported full-year 2019 results for fiscal years ending in March. Covid-19 dominated the reports, spurring short-term sales gains for many companies while generating longer-term uncertainty, given the unknown duration and impact of the pandemic. Ahead of the results, some analysts had drastically lowered estimates in anticipation of a slowdown in routine medical procedures.

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The Astellas Global Health Foundation announced this week that it has awarded $750,000 to the END Fund to deliver neglected tropical disease treatments in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is the foundation’s first grant since opening in November 2018.

Mentions:

Japan’s Astellas announced plans yesterday to purchase San Francisco-based genetics specialist Audentes Therapeutics—a $3 billion deal that gives it gene therapy manufacturing capacity and makes “genetic regulation” the newest of the company’s five primary focus areas. Audentes’ pipeline features an X-linked myotubular myopathy treatment fast-tracked by the U.S. FDA.

The buyout comes on the heels of a Reuters report last week tallying some $2 billion in investments in gene therapy…

Research firm Clarivate Analytics released its annual Drugs to Watch report last week, identifying seven products predicted to reach blockbuster status by 2023. Rare diseases dominated the list, with six of the seven targeting immune-related and genetic disorders.

AbbVie’s Upadacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis snagged the top spot (with $2.20 billion in predicted sales in 2023), followed by Zolgensma for spinal muscular atrophy from Novartis ($2.09 billion) and Roxadustat from Astellas…

Massachusetts-based Affinivax announced today that its novel pneumococcal vaccine ASP3772—based on its proprietary Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS)—has entered Phase 1/2 trials.

In its press release, the company said that MAPS can present both the protein and the polysaccharide antigen to induce a more “broad and potent immune response.” In stage 1 of the study, the vaccine will go head-to-head against Pfizer’s 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Prevnar, in adults 18 to…

A round of leading pharma companies released fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 financial results in January. (Figures exclude exchange rate and portfolio changes where applicable.)

Leading the pack, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) reported a 10 percent year-over-year revenue jump to $6.0 billion in the fourth quarter—slightly below consensus estimates. Cancer immunotherapy Opdivo sales increased 33 percent to $1.8 billion in the quarter. However, the company disappointed investors by…

Astellas announced yesterday that it is combining its Asia-Oceania, European and U.S. philanthropic entities into one Astellas Global Health Foundation (AGHF).

According to a press release, in its first year, AGHF will focus on “strengthening health infrastructure and enhancing the availability and accessibility of quality healthcare” in the areas of children’s health, mental health and neglected tropical diseases.

Astellas announced its new foundation on the same day as the 2018…