Lucid Diagnostics | March 25, 2022
Lucid Diagnostics Inc., a commercial-stage cancer prevention diagnostics company and a majority-owned subsidiary of PAVmed Inc, announced that investigators at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center had enrolled their first patient in a Department of Defense ("DoD")- Katarina B. Greer, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, is the lead investigator of the research. Lucid supplies the study with EsoCheck® Esophageal Cell Collection Devices and will conduct EsoGuard testing on the obtained samples.
We are proud to be partnering with Dr. Greer and the Cleveland VA on this important investigator-initiated clinical study, The study will add important clinical evidence on the impact of EsoGuard in enhancing early detection of esophageal precancer to prevent esophageal cancer deaths by reserving endoscopy for those with a positive EsoGuard test.”
Lishan Aklog, M.D., Lucid’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Despite strong clinical practice guideline recommendations, endoscopy has had limited success as a widespread screening tool for Barrett’s Esophagus (BE), a precursor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, a highly lethal form of esophageal cancer, We hope to demonstrate that a strategy that incorporates initial office-based non-endoscopic testing of at-risk patients with EsoGuard improves endoscopy yield and overall cost-effectiveness.”
Only around 10% of at-risk GERD patients advised for esophageal precancer (BE) screening undergo traditional, invasive upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (EGD). Over 80% of people who undergo EGD screening have a negative result, subjecting the overwhelming majority of these patients to a complicated, invasive, expensive, and inconvenient surgery requiring anesthesia in a specialist procedure center or hospital. EsoGuard has been demonstrated to be 90% sensitive and specific for identifying esophageal precancer and cancer when done on EsoCheck samples, potentially removing the bulk of these negative EGDs, benefiting patients, providers, and the healthcare system.
The trial will include up to 100 Cleveland VA patients who meet the American College of Gastroenterology's criteria for esophageal pre-cancer screening. The research compares two screening strategies: (1) regular EGD screening; and (2) EsoGuard testing followed by EGD exclusively in individuals with a positive EsoGuard result. The trial will determine if utilizing EsoGuard to triage patients to EGD improves overall BE screening rates and decreases the number of EGDs with negative screening results. Additionally, the research will analyze the economic implications for the VA system of these two options.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Taysha | December 30, 2020
Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-driven gene therapy organization focused in on creating and commercializing AAV-based quality treatments for the treatment of monogenic infections of the focal sensory system in both uncommon and huge patient populaces, today reported new increases to its authority group with the arrangements of Greg Gara as Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Kimberly Lee, D.O., as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.
Taysha Gene Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-centric gene therapy organization zeroed in on creating and commercializing AAV-based qgene therapies for the treatment of monogenic infections of the focal sensory system in both uncommon and huge patient populaces, today declared new increases to its authority group with the arrangements of Greg Gara as Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Kimberly Lee, D.O., as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.
Pfizer Inc | August 24, 2021
Pfizer Inc. and Trillium Therapeutics Inc. today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Pfizer will acquire Trillium, a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will acquire all outstanding shares of Trillium not already owned by Pfizer for an implied equity value of $2.26 billion, or $18.50 per share, in cash. This represents a 118% premium to the 60-day weighted average price for Trillium.
Trillium’s portfolio includes biologics that are designed to enhance the ability of patients’ innate immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. Its two lead molecules, TTI-622 and TTI-621, block the signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα)–CD47 axis, which is emerging as a key immune checkpoint in hematological malignancies. TTI-622 and TTI-621 are novel, potentially best-in-class SIRPα-Fc fusion proteins that are currently in Phase 1b/2 development across several indications, with a focus on hematological malignancies.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to pursue scientific breakthroughs with the addition of potentially best-in-class molecules to our innovative pipeline,” said Andy Schmeltz, Global President & General Manager, Pfizer Oncology. “The proposed acquisition of Trillium builds on our strong track record of leadership in Oncology, enhancing our hematology portfolio as we strive to improve outcomes for people living with blood cancers around the globe. Our deep experience in understanding the science of blood cancers, along with the diverse knowledge base we have developed across our growing hematology portfolio of eight approved and investigational therapies, provide us with a foundation to advance these important potential medicines to patients who need them.”
Hematological malignancies are cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. This classification includes various types of leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. More than 1 million people worldwide were diagnosed with a blood cancer in 2020, representing almost 6% of all cancer diagnoses globally. In 2020, more than 700,000 people worldwide died from a form of blood cancer.
“We’re delighted to announce Pfizer’s proposed acquisition of Trillium. Today’s announcement reflects Trillium’s potentially best in class SIRPα–CD47 status and contribution to immuno-oncology,” said Dr. Jan Skvarka, Chief Executive Officer of Trillium. “Trillium has the only known SIRPα–CD47 targeting molecules with clinically meaningful monotherapy responses as well as a strong basis for combination therapies, which is supported by preclinical evidence with a diverse set of therapeutic agents. With Pfizer’s global reach and deep capabilities, we believe our programs will advance more quickly to the patients we’ve always aspired to serve. We believe this is a good outcome for patients and our shareholders.”
In clinical studies to-date, TTI-622 and TTI-621 have demonstrated activity as monotherapy in relapsed or refractory lymphoid malignancies, including Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), Follicular Lymphoma (FL), and other lymphoid malignancies. As of July 26, 2021, Phase 1 data for TTI-622 in 30 response-evaluable patients have shown deep and durable responses in heavily pretreated patients, including two complete responses (CRs), one lasting over 114 weeks, with responses ongoing. TTI-622 and TTI-621 are currently the only known CD47-targeted molecules that have demonstrated meaningful single agent activity and CRs in multiple hematological malignancies. Thus far, adverse events (AEs) reported with TTI-622 and TTI-621 have been manageable. Related Grade 3 and 4 AEs with TTI-622 were rare and limited to transient cytopenias. In particular, the molecules demonstrate minimal red blood cell binding and few reported cases of anemia, an observed risk with other CD47-targeted approaches. Further data are expected to be shared at a forthcoming medical conference.
“We are encouraged by the early clinical data for TTI-622 and TTI-621 monotherapy for patients with heavily pretreated lymphoid malignancies and early encouraging activity for TTI-622 in patients with multiple myeloma. Just as PD-1 and PD-L1 blockers have proven to be effective immuno-therapeutics for many solid tumors, the SIRPα-CD47 interaction defines a second key immune checkpoint for which disrupting agents are expected to become another important backbone immunotherapy for multiple types of cancer, especially hematological cancers,” said Chris Boshoff, MD, PhD, Chief Development Officer, Oncology, Pfizer Global Product Development. “Utilizing Pfizer’s leading research and global development capabilities, we plan to accelerate the clinical development of SIRPα fusion proteins as a potential new scientific breakthrough and explore combinations within our own portfolio and with innovative next-generation medicines for hematological malignancies.”
In September 2020, as part of the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative (PBGI), Pfizer invested $25 million in Trillium and Jeff Settleman, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Oncology Research & Development Group, was named to Trillium’s Scientific Advisory Board. Established in June 2020, PBGI’s goal is to provide funding for scientific research as well as access to Pfizer’s experts to ensure the continuity of clinical programs that could be of potential strategic interest for Pfizer. Pfizer has committed to providing up to $500 million in total funding to the PBGI.
Additional Transaction Details
The proposed acquisition of Trillium is to be completed by way of a statutory plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) and subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of 66⅔% of the votes cast by Trillium shareholders, voting together as one class, at a special meeting of Trillium and approval of 66⅔% of the votes cast by Trillium shareholders and warrant holders, voting together as one class, at a special meeting of Trillium. Completion of the acquisition is also subject to court and regulatory approval, as well as certain other closing conditions customary for transactions of this nature.
Pfizer’s financial advisors for the transaction are BofA Securities, Inc., with Ropes & Gray LLP and Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP acting as its legal advisors. Centerview Partners LLC served as Trillium’s financial advisor, while Goodwin Procter LLP and Baker McKenzie LLP (Canada) served as its legal advisors.
Accumulating data suggest that the SIRPα–CD47 axis is a key immune checkpoint in hematologic malignancies, similar to the PD-L1 / PD-1 checkpoint for solid tumors. CD47 is a protein that is overexpressed in numerous cancer cells, and in general, high CD47 expression correlates with more aggressive disease and poorer clinical outcomes. SIRPα is an inhibitory receptor expressed on myeloid cells that binds to CD47, preventing the immune system from destroying cancer cells. Disruption of the CD47-SIRPα interaction has been proven to elicit tumor destruction through triggering of an innate immune response.
About Pfizer Oncology
At Pfizer Oncology, we are committed to advancing medicines wherever we believe we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of people living with cancer. Today, we have an industry-leading portfolio of 24 approved innovative cancer medicines and biosimilars across more than 30 indications, including breast, genitourinary, colorectal, blood and lung cancers, as well as melanoma.
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.
About Trillium Therapeutics
Trillium is an immuno-oncology company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer. The company’s two clinical programs, TTI-622 and TTI-621, target CD47, a “don’t eat me” signal that cancer cells frequently use to evade the immune system.