18.04.2012 - UCBs Cimzia has succeeded in a phase III. That raises hope that the TNF-α inhibitor could gain additional sales in the highly competitive anti-inflammation market.
Brussels – The TNF alpha inhibitor has met the primary endpoint in a phase III trial to treat adult onset of active axial spondoyloarthritis (AXSA). The study enrolled 325 patients with AXSA who were assigned to treatment with one of two doses of Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) or placebo over a 24-week period. The trial has shown a 20 per cent improvement in the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society (ASAS20) response at week 12 compared to placebo. UCB expects to file for approval in this indication later this year. The pegylated humanised antibody fragment Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) is already approved in Europe and the US for rheumatoid arthritis and in the US for Crohn's disease, although the EU rejected UCB's application to market the drug in the latter indication in 2008. It is UCB's second-biggest product with sales of €312m last year, up more than 50 per cent compared to 2010. Axial spondyloarthritis is a collective name for a series of inflammatory rheumatic diseases of the spine, joints, ligaments and tendons, and includes a spinal condition known as ankylosing spondylitis. Expanding the labelling for Cimzia in this indication is important for UCB to make headway against the drug's rivals in the competitive anti-TNF alpha sectorlike Enbrel (Amgen, Pfizer and others), Humira (Abbott, Eisai ) and Johnson & Johnson's Remicade. The competitors fear the appearance of biosimilar rivals entering the market after the drug's patent expiry in 2014. In addition to the axial spondyloarthritis indications, UCB is also planning to submit Cimzia for psoriatic arthritis by the end of the year, and is also awaiting approval of the drug for rheumatoid arthritis in Japan, where it has been co-developed by Astellas Pharma.
04.05.2016 Barcelona-based epigenetics expert Oryzon Genomics has closed a debt funding round of €10.5m, bringing the total money raised since last year to €27m. The funds will serve to advance the company’s two LSD1 inhibitors in cancer and neurodegeneration.
03.05.2016 Ipsen is strengthening its ties to long-time development partner Oncodesign, a Dijon-based cancer treatment biotech. The French pharma is handing over the pre-clinical pharmacology for its oncology research programmes to Oncodesign.
29.04.2016 Swiss bank Group UBS has raised US$471m (€412m) for the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, which was set up to invest in early-stage cancer treatments. The money raised by the fund, nearly half of which comes from investors in Asia, is the largest amount ever raised for such a cancer investment fund.
27.04.2016 More revenue, more jobs, more financing, more R&D expenditure – all signs point towards sustainable growth in the German biotech sector. These are the results of the most recent company survey 2016, published by biotechnologie.de. The report was once again conducted alongside the biotech standards defined by the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD).
21.04.2016 An expert panel’s final report on the fatal drug trial earlier this year in France states that the death of one of the participants was most likely caused by the drug’s toxicity and not by any violation of the rules.
21.04.2016 For up to US$685m (€606m), Dutch ArgenX has outlicensed its human antibody programme ARGX-115 to AbbVie. The pre-clinical immuno-oncology candidate targets a protein believed to contribute to immunosuppressive effects of T-cells.
19.04.2016 British drug developer Heptares Therapeutics and mAb maker Kymab Ltd have partnered up in yet another immuno-oncology collaboration. The companies plan to discover antibody meds targeting a superfamily of receptors.
15.04.2016 Not every company is put off by the current stock market climate. Swiss biopharma company GeNeuro has gone public at Euronext Paris, raising €33m in the process. Others, meanwhile, have to find different ways to raise money.
13.04.2016 Despite political disturbances, 2015 was a good year for the biotech scene in Switzerland. Net sales increased by 5.1% to CHF5,133m and 400 additional people found jobs in the sector. As usual, the new numbers were presented at the annual Swiss Biotech Day – which set new records as well.