Evotec, Takeda Deal; AZ COVID Vaccine US Trials; Promega’s Recognition; Roche’s Tecentriq Results in NSCLC

Posted on Mar 23, 2021 by Delveinsight

Evotec, Takeda Deal; AZ COVID Vaccine US Trials; Promega’s Recognition; Roche's Tecentriq Results in NSCLC

Promega Biotech Ibérica Gains Recognition for COVID-19 Response in Spain

Promega Biotech Ibérica has been heralded as the business leader in Spain for its COVID-19 response. The company’s innovative approach to deal with COVID-19 and pandemic has led La Razón, a daily newspaper based in Madrid, to felicitate the biotech company with a Madrid Community SME (small- and medium-sized business) Award for demonstrating adaptation and innovation to lead the pandemic recovery in Spain. 

Promega Biotech Ibérica is a branch of Promega Corporation, which is an American multinational biotechnology manufacturer of  reagents, assays and benchtop instruments used to assist the scientists in their COVID-19 response. 

The company had scaled up the manufacturing process in order to support and provide the products in hospitals, clinical diagnostic laboratories and molecular diagnostic manufacturers to facilitate SARS-CoV-2 testing globally. Promega Biotech Ibérica was recognized specifically for Best Research and Development in Diagnostic Trials for Health Care in 2020.

US data shows AstraZeneca COVID vaccine 79% effective

The deal between AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for the development and marketing of the COVID-19 vaccine has been looked upon as the most successful and promising one in the market. 

AZ reported that AZD1222 demonstrated an efficacy of 79% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% efficacy at preventing severe disease and hospitalization in the US phase III trials. The trial investigated 32,449 participants and the efficacy was observed to be consistent across all ethnicities and ages. While in participants of the age 65 years or older, efficacy was reported 80%.

However, the journey of the vaccine was not smooth at all. During the initial days of the phase III trial itself, the trials had to be halted owing to the reports of the patient developing symptoms similar to a serious spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis. Not a long time ago, the company faced a setback as several companies suspended the prescription of the vaccine because of the report of the development of blood clots due to the vaccine dosage. 

Nevertheless, as the saying goes all’s well that ends well, for AZ it seems to be a happy ending now as its vaccine is being deployed in several parts of the world.

Evotec, Takeda collaborates for RNA targeting drug discovery 

Evotec has announced a multi-RNA target alliance with Takeda in its quest to discover and develop RNA targeting small molecule therapeutics. The FDA approval of Roche’s Evrysdi, the very first entrant as a small molecule modulator for RNA in the market, has now spiked the interest of biopharma players to test the waters.   

The duo plans to jointly identify and develop small molecules that will target a spectrum of RNA  sequences that can be developed into potentially first-in-class therapeutics. In return, Evotec will be eligible to receive research funding, along with discovery, pre-clinical, clinical, commercial and sales milestone payments of up to USD 160 million per program.  Evotec will also obtain tiered royalties on net sales of the products.

Roche’s Tecentriq Yields Positive Results in NSCLC 

Roche has announced that its checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq (atezolizumab) has produced promising results in the phase III IMpower010 trial of the drug compared to best supportive care (BSC) in people with resectable early-stage lung cancer. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival (DFS) at the interim analysis.

Tecentriq showed a statistically significant improvement in DFS as adjuvant therapy after surgery and chemotherapy in all randomized Stage II-IIIA populations with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). There was a pronounced benefit in the PD-L1-positive population.

With such promising results, Tecentriq has now been heralded as the first cancer immunotherapy that has helped diverse patient pool with resectable early lung cancer t=by improving their survival rate and preventing relapse.

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