08.04.2013 - AstraZeneca's arthritis pill fostamatinib is proven inferior to competitor drugs in a late-stage clinical trial.
While the first-in-class oral rheumatoid (RA) arthritis drug proved to be efficient as measured by ACR20 reponse it failed to halt the progression of joint damage as compared with placebo in the OSKIRA-1 Phase III study. In December, fastamatinib was shown to be inferior in efficacy compared to Abbvie’s injectible RA blockbuster antibody Humira (adalimumab),reducing its ability to compete in the US$20bn-plus RA market. AstraZeneca’ RA pill also increased blood pressure and led to diarrhea.
"Our misgiving is that fostamatinib appears to be inferior to Humira on efficacy and now the adverse events seem to pitch it below Pfizer's Xeljanz, (– another RA pill in late-stage development –) so it is hard to see where the product will fit," said Panmure Gordon analyst Savvas Neophytou.
AstraZeneca, which currently announced the restructuring of its R&D, licensed fostamatinib in 2010 from Rigel Pharmaceuticals. However, after the current study results, analysts forecasted only low fostamatinib sales, averaging just US$171m in 2016. Humira, by contrast, has annual worldwide sales of more than $9 billion but has become under pressure by new RA drugs such as Roche’s RoActemra.
With last year's loss of exclusivity on schizophrenia drug Seroquel, and Nexium for stomach acid and cholesterol fighter Crestor set for U.S. patent expiries in 2014 and 2016, AstraZeneca faces one of the industry's steepest "cliffs" of patent expiries.
23.08.2016 Cambridge University-allied investor Cambridge Innovation Capital has raised £75m (€87m) to reinvest in technology and healthcare companies. Among the backers were Woodford Investment and Winton Ventures.
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17.08.2016 Philip Hammond, the UK’S chancellor has announced the government will guarantee funding for EU-backed "structural and investment fund" projects whose timelines extend beyond the UK’s departure from the EU, provided the projects are signed prior to this year's Autumn Statement on the UK budget. The decision ensures continued funding for farmers, companies and institutions involved in the EU’s Horizon 2020 project. The move could cost the UK government up to £6bn (€6.9bn).
15.08.2016 Back in April, the American FDA gave the green light for the colorectal cancer-screening test Epi procolon. Now Berlin-based diagnostics specialist Epigenomics is considering a secondary listing in the US. A draft of the required registration document was confidentially submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
09.08.2016 Hungarian Gedeon Richter and Irish Allergan are staying on course in the face of dissappointing Phase III results for depression drug cariprazine. The partners will now begin another Phase III study needed for approval.
08.08.2016 Araclon Biotech’s Alzheimer’s vaccine ABvac40 is going forward into Phase II after showing a good safety profile in Phase I. The promising trial results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
01.08.2016 Life science venture capital group Epidarex has launched Nodthera Ltd, a biotech based on research by Poland-based drug discovery company Selvita. The start-up aims to develop novel inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
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