Nov 19 Pharma news

Nordisk ties up with Dicerna; Pfizer’s drug gets FDA nod; Alkermes buys Rodin

Novo Nordisk has announced to enter into a collaboration with Dicerna’s RNAi platform to focus on metabolic and liver-related diseases.

The companies will be focusing to advance the treatment landscape of the diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Nordisk will be investing an amount of USD 225 Million upfront along with hundreds of millions up to USD 357.5 million upon achieving the regulatory and commercialization milestones and targets. However, Dicerna will be funding the initial pre-clinical development phases of the products. Furthermore, Nordisk will be investing USD 50 million in Dicerna’s equity.  

After the announcement of the deal, Dicerna observed an 18% rise in its stocks.

The companies are planning to use Dicerna’s GalXC technology for discovering and developing new treatments for liver diseases. Moreover, the collaboration will work on more than 30 liver cell targets.

Dicerna will fund and carry out discovery and preclinical work through candidate selection for each target, after which Novo will take over development, the duo said in a statement.

Pfizer has received the green light from the US FDA for its drug, Abrilada (adalimumab-afzb), a biosimilar for AbbVie’s Humira.

Abrilada has received the recommendations from the FDA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, adult Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and plaque psoriasis.

Abrilada, the fifth biosimilar to Humira, is a tumour necrosis factor (TNF).

The approval from the FDA came after results of trials REFLECTIONS B538-02. The drug was evaluated on the basis of its efficacy, safety, or immunogenicity and compared with the reference product Humira in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The biosimilar was given in combination therapy with the methotrexate.

At present, there is no standard cure for the disease. The rheumatoid arthritis therapy goals are mainly to alleviate pain, control inflammation, preserve the ability of the patient to function in activities of daily living and work and avert joint destruction.

However, rheumatoid arthritis treatment landscape has advanced markedly over the last two decade.

Alkermes, an Irish biopharma company, has announced the purchase of Rodin Therapeutics, in a deal worth USD 950 Million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alkermes will be paying a total of USD 100 Million upfront cash and around USD 850 Million upon achieving clinical and regulatory milestones.

Rodin Therapeutics is a neuroscience firm that develops treatments for synaptopathies. The company manufactures first-in-class, orally-administered molecules that easily permeates through the brain. These target specific histone deacetylase (HDAC) complexes.

Synaptic dysfunction in the brain is a result of disturbances in the physiological synapse structure affecting its normal functioning.

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