// Biotech and Pharma Therapeutics

Boehringer Ingelheim to surf with Melbourne-based biotech in $181M neuropsychiatric therapy deal
May 5, 2023 / Boehringer Ingelheim / Australia / Psychiatric Drugs / Development deals – The German pharma will work with the small Melbourne-based biotech to develop small molecule oxytocin-targeting precision psychiatry treatments, according to a Friday press release. The goal of these treatments is to target the brain oxytocin system to treat disrupted social behavior. Read Full Article on Fierce Biotech >>
Alzheimer’s doctors see promise, limits in Lilly’s latest drug data
May 10, 2023 / Alzhemier’s / Eli Lilly – One of the company’s most closely watched drugs, an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, had hit every major goal of a large clinical trial evaluating whether it could slow the neurodegenerative disease. Analysts now expect these results to get the drug, named donanemab, approved, handing Lilly what could be another blockbuster product. Read Full Article on Biopharma Dive >>
NYBC Ventures launches with $50M for blood and cell therapies
May 11, 2023 / Cell & Gene Therapy / Venture Capital / Biotech Venture Capital – NYBC Ventures has unveiled as one of the first venture funds to focus solely on advancing new blood and cell-based therapies, with $50 million in hand from the New York Blood Center. Read Full Article on Fierce Biotech >>
Pfizer, AstraZeneca run it back in IDEA Pharma’s annual innovation rankings
May 8, 2023 / IDEA / Pfizer / Johnson & Johnson / AstraZeneca – On IDEA’s annual Innovation and Invention Index, Pfizer and AZ commanded the top spots for the second straight year. IDEA, a consulting firm that helps companies strategize their drug discovery and marketing, has conducted the rankings for 12 years, with one index weighing innovation and another for invention. Read Full Article on Fierce Pharma >>
WHO ends global health emergency over mpox
May 11, 2023 / WHO / Covid-19 / mpox – Tedros ended the mpox Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or PHEIC, on the advice of a panel of independent experts, which met Wednesday. He said that although he was declaring the PHEIC over, mpox continues to pose significant challenges that require a long-term, sustainable response. Read Full Article on STAT News >>

// 4th Industrial Revolution

FirstHealth offers a powerful look at hybrid telemedicine in action
May 8, 2023 / FirstHealth / Telemedicine – “While a traditional hospital at home program looks to care for the sometimes sicker patients who would traditionally meet inpatient status and be admitted to the hospital, Observation at Home looks to enroll patients who don’t quite meet inpatient admission criteria, but also aren’t well enough to go home,” he continued. Read Full Article on Healthcare IT News >>
AI Can Make Precision Medicine More Accessible to Patients Who Might Not Have Been Able to Benefit in the Past
May 10, 2023 / AI / New Tech / Precision Medicine – “Precision medicine” is a term we have heard a lot over the last two decades, promising to improve health outcomes by pairing the patient with the right treatment. In cancer, we do this primarily with biomarkers. Our understanding of biomarkers – signatures of key features of a tumor – and their role in disease has grown considerably. Currently, testing for biomarkers in the clinic is often time consuming and costly. Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) may reshape how we detect existing biomarkers and identify new biomarkers entirely. AI-assisted, digital biomarker assays may help make precision medicine available for more patients than ever. Read Full Article on Med City News >>
Empowering Healthcare: The Transformative Role of Technology in Improving Patient Care
May 9, 2023 / Healthcare / Patient Care – Healthcare has undergone massive changes over the past few years. In response, healthcare providers and organizations have accelerated their efforts to leverage technology to keep up with new customer demands and provide high-quality care to patients. Read Full Article on Healthcare IT Today >>
New AI tool predicts hospital discharge
May 9, 2023 / AI / South Australia – A new AI-based tool in South Australia can accurately predict when a general surgery patient is about to be discharged from the hospital. Called the Adelaide Score, it was developed by a team of researchers from the University of Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and the Health and Information Collaborative. Read Full Article on Healthcare IT News>>
Generative AI could augment 40% of healthcare working hours
May 11, 2023 / AI / Healthcare / ChatGPT – A new report on generative artificial intelligence from research and consulting firm Accenture shows how advances in large language AI models – the technology that powers applications like ChatGPT – can transform the future of healthcare. Read Full Article on Healthcare IT News >>

// Business & Markets

Gilead acquires San Diego startup for early-stage cancer, immune drugs
May 9, 2023 / Gilead / San Diego / Cancer / Startup – After two large, public company acquisitions in 2020, Gilead has taken a quieter approach to dealmaking, inking deals for privately held biotechs like Myr Pharmaceuticals, MiroBio and Tmunity Therapeutics. Read Full Article on Biopharma Dive >>
Lucem Health Secures $7.7M for Agnostic AI-Powered Platform
May 10, 2023 / Lucem Health / AI – The Lucem Health Platform takes data from any source, normalizes and connects it to any AI model or algorithm, and delivers the resulting predictive insights seamlessly into existing clinical workflows. By embedding seamlessly into PACS, EHRs, and other data-driven workflows, the Lucem Health Platform makes it easier for hospitals, clinics, and physician practices to build, train, and scale AI models using their own data. Read Full Article on HIT Consultant >>
AI Biotech Recursion Commits $88M to a Pair of Drug Discovery Acquisitions
May 8, 2023 / AI / Drug Discovery / Acquisitions – Salt Lake City-based Recursion announced on Monday a $40 million agreement to acquire Cyclica and a $47.5 million deal for Valence—both of them stock transactions. The acquisitions are expected to close by the end of June. Read Full Article on Med City News >>
FibroGen grabs an option to buy cancer drug startup Fortis
May 9, 2023 / FibroGen / Cancer Drug / Startup / Fortis – While the IPO window cracked open last week with lucrative offerings from Acelyrin and Kenvue, Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health unit, the biotech sector is still on its slowest pace for new stock offerings in at least five years, according to BioPharma Dive data. Read Full Article on Biopharma Dive >>
Eisai Strikes Cancer Alliance to Line Up Potential Challenger to AstraZeneca Drug
May 8, 2023 / Eisai / Cancer / AstraZeneca – Eisai is expanding the scope of its cancer drug pipeline through a partnership with Bliss Biopharmaceutical, whose lead program addresses a hot oncology target that makes it a potential competitor to a blockbuster AstraZeneca product. Read Full Article on Med City News >>

// Legal & Regulatory

FDA Rejects ImmunityBio’s Bladder Cancer Therapy, Sends Stock Tumbling
May 11, 2023 / FDA / Cancer / Bladder Cancer Therapy / ImmunityBio – ImmunityBio took a hit on Thursday as the FDA rejected its bladder cancer treatment due to deficiencies with the company’s third-party contract manufacturer. The company’s stock was down nearly 60% in premarket trading. Read Full Article on Biospace >>
NextGen sued in federal court after data breach
May 3, 2023 / GSK / FDA / Arexvy / Respiratory Syncytial Virus – The complaint alleges the EHR provider failed to follow guidelines for protecting data after the company said compromised credentials enabled unauthorized access to the confidential information of more than 1 million people. Read Full Article on Healthcare IT News >>
FDA Advisory Panel Strongly Backs Perrigo’s OTC Birth Control Pill
May 11, 2023 / FDA / Birth Control Pill – Making the drug available without prescription will also reduce unintended pregnancies and its associated health risks, as well as improve “reproductive autonomy,” especially for women, Curtis said. Read on Biospace >>
FDA Approves First Drug for Treating Agitation in Alzheimer’s Patients
May 11, 2023 / FDA / Alzheimer’s / New Drug – Rexulti, a drug for schizophrenia and depression, now has an additional approval for treating agitation in Alzheimer’s disease patients. The FDA decision makes the Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Lundbeck product the first drug approved for this indication. Read on Med City News >>
With FDA nod, AstraZeneca’s Farxiga gains ground in heart failure race with Jardiance
May 9, 2023 / AstraZeneca / Farxiga / U.S. FDA –AstraZeneca’s heart, kidney and diabetes drug Farxiga lagged its Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim counterpart last year after Jardiance bagged an approval to treat a wider spectrum of heart failure (HF) patients. But a fresh green light for AstraZeneca’s med could put the SGLT2 rivals neck and neck once again. Read on Fierce Pharma >>

// Research & Development

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Appoints Pharmaceutical Industry Executive, Mark A. Glickman, to its Board of Directors
May 12, 2023 / NeuroBo – NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a clinical-stage biotechnology company on a quest to transform cardiometabolic diseases, today announced the appointment of Mark A. Glickman to its Board of Directors, effective as of May 11, 2023. Read Full Article on BioSpace >>
Upstream Bio to Present New Clinical Data from Phase 1 Study of UPB-101 at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference
May 12, 2023 / American Thoracic Society / Clinical Data – Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a cytokine that is a key driver of the inflammatory response in major allergic and inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, where disruption of TSLP signaling has been clinically validated as an effective therapeutic strategy. Read Full Article on Biospace >>
Cancer vaccine from BioNTech, Roche shows potential in small study
May 3, 2023 / Moderna / mRNA Therapy / Propionic Acidemia – An experimental vaccine developed by German drug developer BioNTech showed early promise in a small study of people with pancreatic cancer, suggesting that personalized immunotherapy could offer a way to treat one of the deadliest types of tumors. Read Full Article on Biopharma Dive >>
Boehringer posts slim slice of phase 2 obesity data on Lilly, Novo rival, reporting 15% weight loss
May 10, 2023 / Boehringer Ingelheim / Zealand Pharma / Obesity Drugs / GLP-1 – Boehringer Ingelheim has teased the obesity data that emboldened it to start gearing up for phase 3. Recipients of the Zealand Pharma-partnered prospect lost up to 14.9% of their weight after 46 weeks, but the data released so far make it hard to say how Boehringer compares to Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk. Read Full Article on Fierce Biotech >>
Next-gen Lilly obesity drug slashes weight in Innovent study—but is it enough to rival Mounjaro?
May 11, 2023 / Innovent / Eli Lilly / Obesity Drugs / GLP-1 – Innovent has strengthened its pitch for the Chinese obesity market with fresh phase 2 data. The update shows giving mazdutide, a molecule from Eli Lilly’s deep bench of obesity assets, at a higher dose dialed up the placebo-adjusted weight loss to 15.4% after 24 weeks. Read Full Article on Fierce Biotech >>

// Politics

Key House Democrat demands NIH answer for pace of long Covid research
May 11, 2023 / House Democrat / NIH / Covid-19 – Rep. Anna Eshoo, the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee’s top Democrat, sent a letter to NIH acting Director Lawrence Tabak on Tuesday highlighting the agency’s delays in enrolling clinical trials, the lack of relief for patients, and the exclusion of long Covid from the White House’s Next Gen program to accelerate development of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. The Energy and Commerce Committee is responsible for overseeing the NIH. Read Full Article on STAT News >>
Bernie Sanders-led Senate committee takes pharma and PBMs to task—even after insulin price cuts
May 11, 2023 / Bernie Sanders / Sanofi / Novo Nordisk / Eli Lilly – After years of public pressure, the industry’s leading diabetes players recently made the landmark decision to slash insulin prices by around 70%. But the companies, along with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), aren’t off the hook just yet. Read Full Article on Fierce Pharma >>
California Lawmakers Approve Emergency Loan Program for Struggling Hospitals
May 7, 2023 / California Lawmakers / New Bill – California lawmakers recently passed a bill that would provide interest-free cash loans to nonprofit and public hospitals undergoing significant financial distress. The loan program would provide up to $150 million in funds over the next couple years. Read Full Article on Med City News >>
Insulin makers, PBMs echo old finger-pointing in Senate hearing
May 10, 2023 / Insulin / PBMs / Senate Hearing – A Senate hearing on high insulin costs billed as a blockbuster showdown with drugmakers and middlemen turned out to be a familiar case of political theater that appeared to satisfy no one. Read Full Article on STAT News >>
Gilead notches trial win in high-stakes HIV patent case against US government
May 9, 2023 / Gilead Sciences / Truvada / Descovy- It’s extremely unusual for the U.S. government to go after a pharmaceutical company for alleged patent infringement, much less take the case to trial. But in the government’s case against Gilead Sciences, the California drugmaker has come out on top. Read Full Article on Fierce Pharma >>