Strategic Immunology Alliance partners Nimbus Therapeutics and Celgene to develop therapies for Autoimmune Disorders

A biotechnology company involved in the development of drugs and therapies through computational expertise announced on October 3 that they are entering into a long-term strategic alliance with Celgene Corporation in the therapy area of immunology. The terms of the agreement will help Celgene use the option to acquire each program in the alliance up through a clinical inflection point. In turn, Nimbus will receive an upfront payment and potential downstream milestone payments for each program Celgene chooses to acquire. As for the R&D activities, Nimbus will retain full control of each program until the option is exercised by Celgene. The financial terms of each program are said to remain undisclosed until Celgene acquires one.

Takeda is expanding its EU presence while AZ is thinking to pull out from the UK

Brexit has impacted many developmental and investment activities in the country, but this has not deterred Takeda in wanting to invest in the area of production operation in the EU. The company is in talks to invest around €100 million in developing a manufacturing plant near Dublin, Ireland. This move might eventually lead to adding up to 100 jobs in that territory. On the other hand, however, UK based AstraZeneca might be on the verge of pulling out some manufacturing and research operations from the U.K. if there is not a viable deal for its exit from the European Union.

J&J hopes to limit Invokana damage through FDA cardio label

The diabetes drug of Johnson & Johnson, Invokana, has been seen to increase the risk of lower limb amputations, which steeply declined the 2nd quarters’ sales of the drug, leading the company to move ahead to limit the damage with some good news for the drug. The CANVAS trial results, which came out in June 2017, show that Invokana (canagliflozin) is able to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (CVAEs) in high-risk adults compared with placebo. Due to the amputation risk, J&J had to include a very serious “black box” safety alert on Invokana’s label, but the company hopes to salvage some sales by updating the label with the good results related to CVAEs.

Tech Prize for a company that includes genome sequencing for prescribing antibiotics

Day Zero Diagnostics, a Massachusetts-based AI company, grabbed the top spot in 2017 MedTech Innovator Global Competition, by beating almost 600 other companies to win a handsome grand prize of $350,000. The prize was awarded to this company based on their AI platform that analyzes individual patient genomic data to help doctors prescribe antibiotics, and thus bypass the broad spectrum antibiotic treatment plan to treat infections, and restrict the chances of formation of superbugs. The technology also combines the individual patient results with insights from big data sources, so that more targeted regimens of antibiotics can emerge to treat infections and help decrease recovery time and lower treatment costs.

Endocyte gets back on track with a late-stage prostate cancer deal

Endocyte received an exclusive worldwide license for German biotech ABX’s phase 3-ready prostate cancer candidate 177Lu-PSMA-617, leading to a great surge in its stock price. The stock price rose by almost 150%, as the deal foresees a drug approval in a few years. The drug candidate is a radioligand therapeutic (RLT), which is a potent target to the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), Ths PSMA is an antigen that has been observed to be present in around 80% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). This deal is being viewed as a fortune turner for Endocyte, whose own PSMA drug had failed efficacy studied, as seen in negative trial results in June.