Oct 17 Pharma News

EicOsis receives USD 15M to fuel its non-opioid pain therapy; Alexion Pharmaceuticals buys Achillion Pharmaceuticals; Ipsen adds another drug to its rare disease pipeline

EicOsis has received USD 15Million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to fund the clinical trials of non-opioid pain therapy.

NIDA, with an aim to supplement NIH’s initiative Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL Initiative), has awarded the grant to the company.

Deaths due to drug overdose have skyrocketed in past years. In America, more than 115 people die of an opioid overdose every day. According to the CDC, in the year 2017, more than 70,000 people died from a drug overdose, out of which around 68 per cent were involved in prescription or illicit opioid.

In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Of those deaths, about 68 per cent involved a prescription or illicit opioid. Adults between the ages of 25 and 54 years old have the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths.

Abuse of prescription drugs, CNS depressants, and other drugs has been taking a toll on the US population. According to a survey conducted in 2017 by NIH, an estimated 18 million people have misused medications at least once in the past year.

The company recently has got approval from the FDA for its oral non-narcotic analgesic, EC5026, as Investigational New Drug. The trials are funded as a part of the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN) of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. The drug has shown efficacy in reducing inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents, with no such apparent and serious side effects.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals has recently agreed to buy Achillion Pharmaceuticals for USD 930 Million.

The motive behind the acquisition is to acquire Achillion’s two experimental therapies for rare blood disorder, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). Furthermore, the company’s drug Soliris which has been dominating the rare blood disorder market, is now facing patent challenges.

The transaction was made in all-cash worth USD 930 Million, representing 72% premium of Alexion over Achillion.

According to DelveInsight’s estimates, the total PNH diagnosed prevalent population in 7 major markets was calculated to be around 14,963 cases in 2018. Moreover, a higher PNH prevalence is expected to be observed by 2028, due to better diagnostic procedures and increased awareness about the disease.

Pharma companies besides Achillion Pharmaceuticals like Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (APL-2), Akari Therapeutics (Coversin), RA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (RA101495) and many others are working towards the development of new Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria treatment therapies.

Ipsen has announced the addition of another treatment to its rare disease pipeline by striking a deal with Blueprint Medicines.

Ipsen will pay USD 535 Million upfront to Blueprint, along with milestone and other payment, in addition to tiered royalties of licensed products.

The deal will enhance the Ipsen’s rare disease portfolio by introducing Blueprint’s BLU-782 to an already an equipped with RARγ agonist palovarotene and help the latter to speed up the process of development of its BLU-782 as a potential treatment for patients with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).

BLU-782 is an investigational ALK2 inhibitor which is administered orally and the duo plans to develop and commercialize the drug for treating fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive.

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva is rare with a worldwide prevalence of approximately 1 case in 2 million individuals, as per a study by Robert J Pignolo in 2018.

Currently, there is no cure or FDA approved a definitive treatment that can slow or stop Fibrodysplasia

Ossificans progressive. However, as per DelveInisght, off label supportive therapies, such as high dose corticosteroids and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are being provided to the Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva patients with the ultimate aim to provide relief by controlling symptoms to some extent.

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