The U.S. FDA has granted Janssen Pharmaceutical’s drug JNJ-6372, a Breakthrough Therapy designation for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

 The drug has been recommended for its use in NSCLC patients with epidermal growth factor (EGFR) Exon 20 insertion mutations, categorized with the cases in which the disease has progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy.

The drug – JNJ-6372 – targets activating and resistant EGFR and MET (mesenchymal epithelial transition factor) mutations and amplifications, is an EGFR-MET bispecific antibody. At present, there exists no therapy that targets the EGFR Exon 20 insertion mutations in NSCLC patients. The company is expected to present more trail data from Phase II in 2022.

Seattle-based Silver Therapeutics has raised USD 78.5 Million in an oversubscribed Series B financing to fuel the development of therapies to treat solid tumors

The financing round was led by U.S. Venture Partners. It also received participation from new investors including Nextech Invest, Hunt Investment Group, Pontifax Venture Capital, Colt Ventures and NS Investment. Existing investors participating included OrbiMed Advisors, Bristol Myers Squibb and Alexandria Venture Investments.

The funds would be used to develop SBT6050, which is an anti-HER 2 antibody conjugate that gets attached to TLR8 agonist treating HER2– tumor. The company also plans to kick forward the pipeline of ImmunoTAC programs. 

The company would be filing an Investigational New Drug application (IND) and start a clinical trial for SBT6050 this year.

Drugmakers Sanofi and Regeneron are planning to evaluate their arthritis drug Kevzara against the symptoms of COVID-19

Researchers at Sanofi and Regeneron are intending to find out if their drug Kevzara – approved for rheumatoid arthritis would be effective in treating symptoms of COVID-19

The drug has the potential to ease the damage done to the lungs due to rheumatoid arthritis, the reason which attracted the attention of drug makers. However, the drug would not be able to treat the underlying cause of the disease. 

Roche’s drug Actemra- approved for rheumatoid arthritis – is already being used in China to ease the symptoms due to COVID-19 in a small group of patients. 

Several other pharma and biotech companies are running the trials for multiple molecules to treat novel coronavirus infection.