29.05.2012 - A positive recommendation by EMA's CHMP committee raises hope for patients with cystic fibrosis in Europe.
London – The EU agency recommended Kalydeco (ivacaftor) from the US-biotech Vertex for approval. The treatment targets patients from the age of six years on who have a G551D mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene.
Kalydeco was already approved by the FDA at the end of January this year. According to the European agency, Kalydeco offers an innovative therapeutic approach for patients with cystic fibrosis: it is the first treatment that targets the underlying mechanism of the disease, by restoring the function of the mutated CFTR protein.
Currently available therapies for patients with cystic fibrosis only address the consequences of the disease, not the underlying defect. Clinical studies showed that Kalydeco improved pulmonary function in cystic fibrosis patients with the specific G551D-CFTR mutation. About half of the world's CF patients reside in Europe, where about 35,000 people have the disease. The European Commission will consider the CHMP's recommendation in its final decision on Kalydeco. According to PM live, the European recommendation comes almost four months after Kalydeco was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the US agency taking just three months to review Vertex' marketing application. This backs outcomes from a recent report that described how the FDA had a faster approval process than the EMA.
Update: After releasing this news, Vertex corrected trial data of Kalydeco.
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.