Samsung Biologics strikes a USD 330.8 Mn supply deal with AstraZeneca 

Samsung Biologics announced the conclusion of a long-term supply deal with AstraZeneca worth USD 330.8 Million

AZ has made several headlines the past few months, forming a slew of deals to manufacture and supply its products. Here, the company plans to leverage Samsung’s expertise in developing effective, novel biopharmaceuticals to expand its foothold in biologics manufacturing in the Asia Pacific region. 

The deal struck shall help Asia Pacific countries to get better access to innovative healthcare services and augment Korea’s bio-health innovation. Samsung looks cheerful about the deal inked to support AZ’s dream to expand through its large-scale commercial manufacturing capabilities to develop drug substances as well as products. 

Gyroscope’s gene therapy for Dry AMD, GT005, receives USFDA Fast Track Designation 

Gyroscope Therapeutics, a company committed to developing gene therapies for retinal disorders, has launched the first-ever gene therapy clinical trial for GT005 in patients with dry-form of age-related macular degeneration (Dry AMD)

The company announced the clearance of the Fast Track Designation by the USFDA of GT005, an investigational one-time AAV-based gene therapy, for geographic atrophy for patients with specific mutations in the Complement Factor I (CFI) gene and lower levels of the CFI protein in the blood- secondary to Dry AMD. Last month, the company announced the initiation of Phase II clinical trial EXPLORE for geographic atrophy (GA). 

AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in the elderly, and the present AMD treatment market holds limited treatment options, and this is why several of the patients suffering from Dry AMD progresses to develop a wet form of the age-related macular degeneration. Thus, the company believes in exploring the options gene therapy has to offer as well as early preventive interventions to stop or even slow down the progression of the disease. 

With soaring interest in inflammation, Roche acquires Inflazome for €380 M

Roche, in a bid to get its hands on Inzomelid, and other treatments for inflammatory diseases, has shelled out €380 Million or about USD 451 Million upfront and has acquired  Dublin-based Inflazome

The Swiss-giant had also acquired US biotech, Jecure Therapeutics, last year, who deals in drug development and discovery for severe inflammatory diseases, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis.

With the recent decision to nab Inflazome, it appears Roche’s interest to expand in the inflammatory disease market has piqued. The clearance of Orphan Drug Designation for Inzomelid by the USFDA two months back for Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndrome (CAPS) might have also influenced the company’s decision to go forward with the acquisition. 

The present deal adds small molecule drugs designed to target inflammasomes, specifically NLRP3 inflammasome, to Roche’s existing vast and diverse portfolio. 

Abbott’s next-gen MitraClip4 heart valve repair device nabs EU approval

Abbott announced a European approval for its fourth-generation MitraClip device, known as MitraClip G4, for mitral regurgitation. Last year, the company had received the US FDA approval for its device.

The latest version of the device proffers additional enhancements to MitraClip’s first-of-its-kind clip-based technology.  The device commercially debuted from the European market in 2008 and entered the US market in 2013. 

The company has an edge in the market for its device has been available for more than 15 years, and is the first and only effective and safe transcatheter mitral valve therapy.

This marks the fourth consecutive approval since its inception after the introduction of G2, and G3 to support patient care. The G4 device comes with additional sizes and two wider clip options along with the four clip sizes to offer a variety of treatment options that can suit patients’ unique mitral valve anatomy.

Illumina to pay a total of USD 8 Bn to reacquire its former spinout Grail

Illumina, a leading manufacturer of devices for DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, announced the acquisition of GRAIL, a healthcare firm developing innovative technologies for early cancer detection, for USD 8 Billion. 

Grail was put onto the map in 2016 in the spin-out with Illumina investing a hefty sum of USD 100 Million. Over the years, Grail has developed technologies that can detect several forms of cancers early, shifting the power into the patient’s side, with the latest being a simple blood test that can expose 50 different types of cancers at the earlier stages. 

Biotech has become a hot topic now, and several companies are trying their best to have a share of the booming market size. A result of spin-out, Grail is now being spun-back, also shows the unpredictable nature of the biotech industry. 

Nevertheless, the acquisition will surely give Illumina, the access to Grail’s best-in-class, proprietary tests in each of the major oncology testing application areas that, undisputedly, open the doors to a myriad of opportunities for the company.