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.
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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.