07.01.2013 - The new year could be particularly beneficial for tuberculosis patients. Two new drugs are expected to be approved by the EMA.
After almost 50 years without new treatments against tuberculosis, 2013 might give patients better options. Both Otsuka Pharma from Japan, as well as Johnson & Johnson's German affiliate Janssen-Cilag GmbH, have ongoing approval procedures for the drugs Delamanid and Bedaquilin, respectively. Bedaquilin was approved by the US regulatory authority FDA at the beginning of the new year. The expected European approvals of both medicines by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are based on Phase II clinical data with Phase III trials continuing in parallel.
Also in Phase II, are another two drugs against TB developed by Bayer from Germany and Sanofi from France. However, both substances – Moxifloxacin (yet approved for other indications) and Rifapentin (also already approved by the FDA) – have not entered European approval procedures yet.
Tuberculosis is mainly spread in Eastern Europe and developing countries but it is also considered an recurring threat for Western Europe. The German Association for Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, VFA, estimates that about one third of the earth's population carries the pathogen. Disease outbreaks normally only occur in vulnerable patients following infections by, for example, HIV. Although in general curable, TB has its caveats when compared with other infections of the respiratory tract. Killing mycobacteria without any resistances takes about half a year and comes with nasty side effects. Additionally, many strains have acquired multiple resistances which makes new and better treatment options desirable. That's why the Innovative Medicines Initiative has launched a R&D programme aimed to find better treatments last summer. According to the VFA, some of the upcoming drugs have new modes of actions which makes them especially valuable when mixing different substances for combination therapies. Bedaquilin is the first substance to interfere with energy production of the mycobacteria, while Moxifloxacin is the first to inhibit DNA replication.
24.05.2016 One of the pioneering companies developing pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, Enterome Bioscience, has raised €14.5m in a Series C financing round. Among the investors were Seventure and Lundbeckfond as well as Nestlé.
20.05.2016 The long awaited global review on antimicrobial resistance by economist Lord Jim O’Neill has been published. It sets out an action plan to defeat superbugs with a huge awareness campaign and rapid diagnostics to be used before antibiotics are prescribed.
18.05.2016 Bayer is deepening its involvement in CRISPR with a licensing agreement for genome editing patents. Irish partner ERS Genomics holds the rights to the CRISPR/Cas9 tech from Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the inventors.
11.05.2016 Newly spun out company OxStem has raised £16.9m (€21.5m) to develop regenerative meds for the treatment of age-related disease. It is the largest financing for an Oxford spin-out – or any UK academic spin-out – to date.
09.05.2016 Swiss Genentech partner AC Immune has raised CHF42.7m (€38.6m) in order to advance its therapeutic and diagnostic product pipeline in Alzheimer’s disease. The news follows a recently announced R&D collaboration with Biogen.
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).