German biotech industry grows - Record in financing

Handelsblatt | April 09, 2019

The growing market for biotechnologically produced drugs in Germany attracts investors. The turnover of the biotech industry rose in the year 2018 measured against the previous year strongly by 9 per cent on 4.4 billion euro, how the consulting company EY on Monday in Frankfurt reported. There was a record in terms of capital raised: biotech companies, including listed companies such as Qiagen and Morphosys, as well as young companies, doubled their assets to over 1.2 billion euros. Biotech companies are tinkering about with the help of cell cultures on complicated active substances. This is considered expensive and expensive. As global patents for high-selling biotech drugs expire, companies are improving their counterfeit medicines (biosimilars). Since they are offered cheaper than the originals, can be supplied with the same budget more patients. Pharmaceutical companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim and Freseniushave entered the market because of their great potential. However, there were also setbacks. Although spending on research and development rose by 4 percent to 1.2 billion euros in 2018 after years of decline, EY said. That was less than expected. In addition, the number of foundations halved from 27 to 15 almost.

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Patritumab Deruxtecan Granted U.S. FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation in Patients with Metastatic EGFR-Mutated Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Daiichi Sankyo | December 24, 2021

Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to patritumab deruxtecan, a potential first-in-class HER3 directed antibody drug conjugate, for the treatment of patients with metastatic or locally advanced EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer with disease progression on or after treatment with a third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor and platinum-based therapies. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, with 80% to 85% classified as NSCLC.1,2,3 While the efficacy of targeted therapy with EGFR TKIs is well-established in the treatment of advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC, which comprises approximately 30% of patients, the development of a broad range of resistance mechanisms commonly leads to disease progression.4,5,6 After failure of an EGFR TKI, platinum-based chemotherapy has limited efficacy with progression-free survival (PFS) of approximately 4.4 to 6.4 months.7 Subsequent salvage therapies after EGFR TKI and platinum-based chemotherapy have PFS of 2.8 to 3.2 months.8 The U.S. FDA’s BTD is designed to accelerate the development and regulatory review of potential new medicines that are intended to treat a serious condition and address a significant unmet medical need. The new medicine needs to have shown encouraging preliminary clinical results that demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically significant endpoint over available medicines. The FDA granted the BTD based on data from the dose escalation portion and two expansion cohorts of a three-cohort phase 1 study of patritumab deruxtecan. Extended follow-up data from the dose escalation portion and dose expansion cohort 1 of the study were recently presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting and published in Cancer Discovery. This is the first BTD for patritumab deruxtecan and the seventh BTD across Daiichi Sankyo’s oncology portfolio. “The Breakthrough Therapy Designation for patritumab deruxtecan acknowledges the need for new treatment approaches to overcome resistance and improve survival in patients with metastatic TKI-resistant, EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer. We are proud that the FDA has once again recognized our innovative science and technology and we look forward to bringing this potential first-in-class HER3 directed antibody drug conjugate to patients with this specific type of lung cancer as quickly as possible.” Ken Takeshita, MD, Global Head, R&D, Daiichi Sankyo About Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, with 80% to 85% classified as NSCLC.1,2,3 There were an estimated 2.2 million new cases of lung cancer and 1.8 million deaths in 2020.9 NSCLC is diagnosed at an advanced stage in more than 50% of patients and often has a poor prognosis with worsening outcomes after each line of subsequent therapy.10,11,12 The introduction of targeted therapies and checkpoint inhibitors in the past decade has improved the treatment landscape for patients with advanced or metastatic NSCLC. For patients with advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC, targeted therapy with EGFR TKIs offer higher response rates and PFS compared to chemotherapy.13 However, most patients eventually develop resistance to these therapies and subsequent therapy after EGFR TKI with platinum-based chemotherapy have limited efficacy with PFS of approximately 4.4 to 6.4 months.7,14 Subsequent salvage therapies after EGFR TKI and platinum-based chemotherapy have PFS of 2.8 to 3.2 months.8 New treatment approaches are needed to overcome resistance and improve survival in this subtype of NSCLC. About HER3 HER3 is a member of the EGFR family of receptor tyrosine kinases, which are associated with aberrant cell proliferation and survival.15 Approximately 25% to 30% of lung cancers have an EGFR-activating mutation, and it is estimated that about 83% of all NSCLC tumors express the HER3 protein, which can be associated with an increased incidence of metastases, reduced survival and resistance to standard of care treatment.16,17,18 Currently, no HER3 directed medicines are approved for the treatment of cancer. About the Phase 1 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Study The global, multicenter, open label, two-part phase 1 study is evaluating patritumab deruxtecan in previously treated patients with metastatic or unresectable NSCLC. The dose escalation part of the study evaluated patients with EGFR-mutated disease either with progression on osimertinib or T790M-negative after progression on erlotinib, gefitinib or afatinib. The primary objective of this part of the study was to assess the safety and tolerability of patritumab deruxtecan and determine the recommended dose for expansion. The dose expansion part of the study is evaluating patritumab deruxtecan at the RD in three cohorts. Cohort 1 includes patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR-mutated NSCLC who experienced disease progression after taking one or more EGFR TKIs and one or more platinum-based chemotherapy regimens. Cohort 2 includes patients with squamous or non-squamous NSCLC without EGFR-activating mutations following platinum-based chemotherapy and following an anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 antibody regimen. Cohort 3 includes patients with NSCLC with EGFR-activating mutations including any histology other than combined small cell and non-small cell lung cancer; patients in Cohort 3 are randomized 1:1 to receive the 5.6 mg/kg RDE regimen or an escalating up-titration regimen of patritumab deruxtecan. The primary objective of the dose expansion part of the study is to assess efficacy of patritumab deruxtecan as measured by confirmed objective response rate assessed by blinded independent central review. Secondary study endpoints include investigator-assessed ORR, safety and pharmacokinetics. The study enrolled patients at multiple sites in Asia, Europe and North America. For more information, visit ClinicalTrials.gov. About Patritumab Deruxtecan Patritumab deruxtecan is one of three lead DXd ADCs in the oncology pipeline of Daiichi Sankyo. Designed using Daiichi Sankyo’s proprietary DXd ADC technology, patritumab deruxtecan is comprised of a fully human anti-HER3 IgG1 monoclonal antibody attached to a topoisomerase I inhibitor payload via a stable tetrapeptide-based cleavable linker. Patritumab deruxtecan is currently being evaluated in a comprehensive development program across multiple cancers as both a monotherapy and in combination with other anticancer treatments. The development program includes HERTHENA-Lung01, a pivotal phase 2 study in patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR-mutated NSCLC previously treated with a TKI and platinum-based chemotherapy; a phase 1/2 study in HER3 expressing metastatic breast cancer; a phase 1 study in combination with osimertinib in locally advanced/metastatic EGFR-mutated NSCLC; and, a phase 1 study in previously treated patients with metastatic or unresectable NSCLC. Patritumab deruxtecan is an investigational medicine that has not been approved for any indication in any country. Safety and efficacy have not been established. About Daiichi Sankyo in Oncology The oncology portfolio of Daiichi Sankyo is powered by our team of world-class scientists that push beyond traditional thinking to create transformative medicines for people with cancer. Anchored by our DXd antibody drug conjugate technology, our research engines include biologics, medicinal chemistry, modality and other research laboratories in Japan, and Plexxikon, our small molecule structure-guided R&D center in the U.S. We also work alongside leading academic and business collaborators to further advance the understanding of cancer as Daiichi Sankyo builds towards our ambitious goal of becoming a global leader in oncology by 2025. About Daiichi Sankyo Daiichi Sankyo is dedicated to creating new modalities and innovative medicines by leveraging our world-class science and technology for our purpose “to contribute to the enrichment of quality of life around the world.” In addition to our current portfolio of medicines for cancer and cardiovascular disease, Daiichi Sankyo is primarily focused on developing novel therapies for people with cancer as well as other diseases with high unmet medical needs. With more than 100 years of scientific expertise and a presence in more than 20 countries, Daiichi Sankyo and its 16,000 employees around the world draw upon a rich legacy of innovation to realize our 2030 Vision to become an “Innovative Global Healthcare Company Contributing to the Sustainable Development of Society.”

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MEDTECH

Versantis to Present Positive Phase 1b Data at AASLD for VS-01 in Patients with Decompensated Cirrhosis

Versantis | November 15, 2021

Versantis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel therapies for orphan liver and pediatric diseases, announced that positive Phase 1b clinical data from a study of its lead investigational, orphan-designated product, VS-01, in 12 hospitalized patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis will be presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) annual meeting. The data show that VS-01 was safe and well tolerated in these patients, and demonstrated promising early indications of efficacy in this clinical study. VS-01 is a potentially lifesaving, multi-organ support therapy that aims to timely reverse Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF) by enhancing the clearance of ammonia and other toxins following paracentesis. The Abstract selected for oral presentation is as follows Oral Presentation Title: Safety and Preliminary Efficacy and Pharmacokinetics of Intraperitoneal VS-01 Infustions in Patients with Decompensated Liver Cirrhosis: A First-in-Human, Open-label, Phase 1b Clinical Trial Presenter: Dr. Frank Erhard Uschner, Section for Translational Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine I, Goethe University Clinic Frankfurt, Session Date/Time: Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:30 p.m. EST The annual Liver Meeting, held by AASLD, brings together attendees from around the world to exchange the latest research, discuss new developments in treatments, and network with others in the field. The primary objective of this single-center first-in-human study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of i.p.-administered VS-01 on top of standard of care in cirrhotic patients with ascites and mild hepatic encephalopathy following single and multiple intraperitoneal administrations. The secondary objectives were to gather preliminary PK, PD, and clinical efficacy data. In total, all 12 patients completed treatment in the Department of Internal Medicine I, Goethe University Frankfurt and were assigned to receive either a single dose of VS-01 (Part A; n=9) or four consecutive doses (Part B; n=3). Following the drainage of ascites in these patients, VS-01 was then infused into the peritoneal cavity via the existing paracentesis catheter and removed after a dwell time of 2-3 hours. No treatment-related serious adverse events were reported and no patient discontinued treatment due to an adverse event. VS-01 also demonstrated promising clinical efficacy results, including a high and dose-dependent ammonia clearance, promising improvement in hepatic encephalopathy based on psychometric tests, and increased peritoneal clearance of ACLF-related metabolites. “The data show that VS-01 is safe and well tolerated in cirrhotic patients with ascites and covert (mild) hepatic encephalopathy, so very promising. We were able to administer VS-01 using standard hospital equipment via the therapeutic paracentesis catheter, which we believe can easily be incorporated into standard of care for patients There are very few treatments available for these patients and VS-01 is complementary to those, so we are excited to continue advancing it’s development and hopefully generate the data supporting this ground-breaking clinical approach.” Prof. Dr. Trebicka, the principal investigator and head of the Section of Translational Hepatology in Goethe University Frankfurt “VS-01 represents a promising new therapeutic for the potential treatment of patients with ascites and acute complications of cirrhosis. The data from this early study were very promising and importantly show that VS-01 appears to be safe and well tolerated in these patients. The amomonia and ACLF metabolites clearance data is particularly encouraging,” added Vincent Forster, CEO and co-Founder of Versantis. “The successful completion of this study supports future development of VS-01. We are now preparing to initiate a multi-center Phase 2a study in patients with ACLF, a seriously underserved and under-resourced indication. Together with our pipeline of innovative products, we are committed to developing and commercializing new treatment options for patients suffering from acute liver diseases.” About Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF) ACLF is an underserved medical condition, which, despite best possible available care, is associated with high short-term mortality. It is characterized by an abrupt life-threatening worsening of a pre-existing chronic liver disease (e.g., cirrhosis) resulting in liver and extrahepatic organ failure rapidly progressing into coma and death. Every year at least 150’000 patients are hospitalized with ACLF in the US and EU. The incidence is growing due to a higher prevalence of diabetes, obesity, fatty liver diseases, and alcohol consumption. By timely reversing ACLF and the multi-organ complications arising from cirrhosis, VS-01 aims to improve outcomes in these patients and relieve the growing health and economic burden of this advanced liver disease. About Versantis Versantis is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on addressing the growing, un-met medical need in liver diseases. With a pipeline of drug and diagnostic products covering chronic and acute indications, Versantis believes it can revolutionize current standard of care for patients suffering from acquired and genetic hepatic deficiencies. Versantis’ lead program, VS-01, is in clinical development as a first-line therapy for the timely reversal of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). It harnesses Versantis’ proprietary scavenging liposomes to extract toxins from the body and, if approved, will be the first drug to take advantage of the intraperitoneal route to potentially support the liver, kidneys and brain, the organs that most often fail in cirrhotic patients. VS-01 has received orphan drug designation (ODD) from the EMA and U.S. FDA, as well as a Rare Pediatric Diseases Designation from the U.S. FDA for Urea Cycle Disorders. Founded by scientists from ETH Zurich with entrepreneurial drive, Versantis has built a team and Board of seasoned industry executives with a proven ability to advance novel therapies from the idea stage into clinical development. The company is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Clover Selected for Inclusion on the Hang Seng Composite Index

Clover Biopharmaceuticals | February 25, 2022

Clover Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd. a global clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel vaccines and biologic therapeutic candidates, today announced that it has been selected for inclusion in the Hang Seng Composite Index as a constituent stock, effective March 7, 2022. Hang Seng Composite Index Hang Seng Small Cap (Investable) Index Hang Seng Healthcare Index Hang Seng Hong Kong-Listed Biotech Index Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong Index Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong MidCap & SmallCap Index Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong SmallCap Index Hang Seng SCHK Mainland China Companies Index Hang Seng SCHK ex-AH Companies Index The Hang Seng Composite Index (“HSCI”) offers a comprehensive Hong Kong market benchmark that covers about 95% of the total market capitalization of companies listed on the Main Board. Inclusion on the HSCI will allow the company’s stock to be eligible for trading on the Hong Kong Stock Connect, a channel for stock trading between investors in Hong Kong and those in Mainland China. “We are pleased to be added as a constituent stock on the Hang Seng Composite Index. Inclusion on the HSCI, a highly regarded index, will help facilitate the broadening of Clover’s shareholder base, increase trading liquidity and raise global awareness, which will be integral as we complete global regulatory filings for our COVID-19 vaccine candidate and advance our portfolio of innovative vaccine and oncology therapies,” Joshua Liang, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Clover Biopharmaceuticals About SCB-2019 (CpG 1018/Alum) SCB-2019 (CpG 1018/Alum), our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, is anticipated to potentially be one of the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccines commercialized globally through the COVAX Facility. Employing the Trimer-Tag™ technology platform, Clover developed the SCB-2019 antigen, a stabilized trimeric form of the S-protein (referred to as S-Trimer™) based on the original strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Clover created its COVID-19 vaccine candidate by combining SCB-2019 with Dynavax’s (Nasdaq: DVAX) CpG 1018 advanced adjuvant and aluminum hydroxide (alum). About Clover Biopharmaceuticals Clover Biopharmaceuticals is a global clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to developing novel vaccines and biologic therapeutic candidates. The Trimer-Tag™ technology platform is a product development platform for the creation of novel vaccines and biologic therapies. Clover leveraged the Trimer-Tag™ technology platform to become a COVID-19 vaccine developer and created SCB-2019 to address the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2.

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