PharmStars digital health matchmaker adds Roche to pharma sponsor team as it preps a new challenge – Endpoints News


Roche is the newest pharma to join digital health startup accelerator PharmStars, rounding up its sponsor list to seven. Roche joins AstraZeneca’s Alexion, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Sumitovant Biopharma and Takeda as the pharma companies looking for digital health matches.
They’ll be looking next among the hopefuls already signing up for the just-announced fall challenge to source ideas and solutions around real-world evidence. Naomi Fried, PharmStars’ founder and CEO, said the latest digital health program is intentionally broad and could include everything from new biomarkers and endpoints to remote patient monitoring and new ways to analyze data.
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The amyloid beta theory that has driven billions of dollars in failed Alzheimer’s research has taken yet another body blow.
Roche — and specifically its big sub Genentech — conceded defeat overnight for its closely watched Phase II API-ADAD trial of crenezumab in Alzheimer’s prevention. This follows twin Phase III failures — CREAD 1 and CREAD 2 in 2019 — and may well effectively mark the end of the line for a drug in-licensed from Switzerland’s AC Immune 16 years ago.
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A lot has changed in the four years since Biogen paid $10 million cash to buy Karyopharm’s neuro-directed XPO1 inhibitor.
Karyopharm steered its other XPO1 drug, selinexor, to an FDA approval. Biogen, having renamed KPT-350 to BIIB100, chose to position the candidate as a potential treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (out of a number of neurodegenerative conditions) and completed a Phase I trial — even as the Alzheimer’s drug that became Aduhelm hawked the spotlight.
Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral may end up hauling in more than $20 billion this year, and help keep many vulnerable people out of the hospital. But new data show the pill doesn’t hold up as well in vaccinated people as the unvaccinated.
Updated data from the company’s Phase II/III trial show the antiviral whiffed on its primary endpoint and offered a non-significant 51% relative risk reduction for hospitalization or death, with five of 576 on the pill in the trial ending up in the hospital or dying, compared to 10 out of 569 on placebo. Meanwhile, a sub-group analysis of 721 vaccinated adults with at least one risk factor for progression to severe Covid-19 and who were taking the course of Pfizer pills also failed to reach statistical significance.
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The US Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously decided that the almost 30% in cuts to Medicare outpatient drug payments for hospitals participating in the 340B drug pricing program were unlawful.
Essentially, the court ruled that HHS did not have the right to change reimbursement rates for 340B hospitals, which took effect in 2018, without conducting a survey on the hospital’s costs. From the ruling written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh:
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From first-timers to long-timers, marketing creatives and executives can’t wait to get back to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity for advertising that begins next week in the south of France. For pharma marketers though, it’s a return to Cannes Lion health with a small “h” this time.
That’s because while Cannes Lions 2022 marks the welcome return to in-person programming and award shows, it’s a new dynamic for health and pharma marketers with no separate Cannes Lions Health conference for the first time.
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Pfizer debuted its first TV commercial for Cibinqo, its next-gen oral JAK inhibitor to treat eczema, with a splashy special effects spot about the “new innovation from Pfizer.” Cibinqo, or abrocitinib, was approved in January for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis that’s not responsive to other systemic drugs.
The new “innovation” TV ad reflects Pfizer’s confidence in the steroid-free drug it expects to take in peak sales of $3 billion. Still, Cibinqo’s approval came with serious safety warnings which are also reflected in the ads.
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The Biogen Foundation is launching the next generation of its student science Community Lab as it marks 20 years of philanthropy this week. Dubbed Community Lab 2.0, the new effort will include an upgraded neuroscience educational curriculum, a first-ever alumni support network and a broader global reach for STEM students.
The foundation is also increasing its student reach goal. While the foundation and lab served more than 60,000 students in the first 20 years, Biogen plans to reach 30,000 more STEM students in the next three years for a total of 90,000 by 2025. Its focus is on populations that have been historically underrepresented in science which ties to Biogen’s broader commitment to health equity and inclusion.
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Pfizer, Concert Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly were all gunning to be the first company to bring an alopecia areata drug to market. But Lilly crossed the finish line first Monday.
The Indianapolis-based pharma announced that FDA had approved JAK inhibitor baricitinib, aka Olumiant, for patients with severe forms of the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata (AA), which results in hair loss. The drug, which was approved as a once-daily pill in three dose levels of 1 mg, 2 mg and 4 mg for the indication, had been originally discovered by Incyte before Lilly in-licensed it back in 2009.
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Roughly 24 hours after Canadian regulators gave Amylyx Pharmaceuticals the thumbs-up for its new ALS drug, ICER is out with a new analysis trying to determine whether the drug would be cost effective. And the short answer is no — for now.
Though Amylyx has not disclosed how much it intends to charge for the drug, branded as Albrioza, ICER pegged its estimated cost to an older ALS medicine, edaravone. If Albrioza costs $169,000 per year, as edaravone currently does, the drug would not be cost effective to the US healthcare system, and far from it, ICER says.
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