Top Biopharma News for 05/30/2024

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Here are the latest stories being discussed in biopharma today:



Novo Nordisk Foundation Plans Major Reinvestment into Regenerative Medicine

The Novo Nordisk Foundation, the financial backbone of Novo Nordisk, announced plans to channel some of its substantial profits from GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy into the promising field of regenerative medicine. This move, revealed Thursday, underscores the foundation’s commitment to groundbreaking areas such as stem cells and cell therapies aimed at treating various diseases. Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, the CEO, highlighted that the foundation’s unique position allows it to undertake higher-risk ventures without the pressure of immediate returns, setting it apart from traditional venture capital or public market-driven endeavors.

Key Biopharma Stories at This Year’s ASCO Conference

Chicago is bustling this week with over 40,000 attendees flocking to the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). A staggering 5,800 abstracts from drug companies and oncologists will be presented, offering a deep dive into the latest advancements in cancer research and treatment. Despite the absence of Taylor Swift, who coincided with the conference last year, the event promises to deliver pivotal insights and breakthroughs.

Novartis Discontinues KRAS Drug Development

Novartis has decided to halt the development of its Phase 3 KRAS lung cancer drug, JDQ443 (opnurasib). A spokesperson confirmed that the decision was not influenced by clinical data or new safety concerns but rather by the increasing number of treatment options available for patients with KRAS G12C-driven cancers. The drug was previously on track for a market approval submission no earlier than 2027, yet has now been scrapped in favor of other emerging therapies.

Compugen and Nxera Announce Milestone Payments; Insmed Increases Offering to $650M

Compugen has received a $5 million milestone payment from AstraZeneca following the dosing of the first lung cancer patient in a Phase 3 trial of AstraZeneca’s rilvegostomig, which includes Compugen’s TIGIT component COM902. Meanwhile, Nxera Pharma secured a $4.6 million milestone payment from Centessa Pharmaceuticals for their narcolepsy type 1 treatment ORX750 moving into Phase 1. In addition, Insmed aims to raise $650 million in a public offering, increasing their funding goal to support further R&D and commercialization efforts, specifically for brensocatib, which recently demonstrated positive Phase 3 results.

Immunovant Delays Trial Readouts for FcRn Drug to Prioritize Another

In a strategic reshuffling, Immunovant has postponed trial readouts for its late-stage FcRn inhibitor, batoclimab, following a Type B meeting with the FDA. The company will focus on advancing another FcRn candidate, IMVT-1402, deemed to have a better risk-benefit profile. Immunovant plans to initiate multiple potentially registrational programs for IMVT-1402 across various indications, aiming to commence these efforts by March next year.

BridgeBio Revels in New Data from ATTR-CM Drug Trial

BridgeBio has unveiled additional analyses from its Phase 3 study of acoramidis in ATTR-CM, highlighting a significant connection between serum transthyretin (TTR) levels and the drug’s long-term efficacy. The data demonstrated a clear link between rising serum TTR levels and reduced risks of death and cardiovascular-related hospitalizations over a 30-month period. Each 1 mg increase in serum TTR on day 28 corresponded to a 5.5% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death by month 30, marking a pivotal prospective demonstration of serum TTR’s impact on patient outcomes.