H. Lundbeck A/S secured sales of DKK 7.95 billion (€1.07 billion) for its five core products in the first nine months of 2020, for a year-on-year gain of 19%. Altogether these products accounted for 59% of the company’s total revenue of DKK 13.4 billion for the period. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were DKK 1.78 billion, down from DKK 3.3 billion a year earlier, largely due to higher amortisations of product rights and impairments.
Novo Nordisk A/S held its operating margin steady at 45.3% in the first nine months of the year as sales of non-insulin medicines increased and administrative costs remained flat. Group sales for the period were DKK 94.8 billion (€12.73 billion), up by 6% from a year-earlier on a reported basis, and by 7% at constant exchange rates.
Sanofi SA is to make a public offer valued at €308 million to acquire Kiadis Pharma NV of the Netherlands, a cell therapy company with a pipeline of therapies based on natural kill (NK) cells of the innate immune system. The two companies have been collaborating since July on a combination therapy for multiple myeloma.
Abivax SA has raised €28 million from US and European investors to advance development of its lead small molecule drug, ABX464, in several inflammatory indications and Covid-19. ABX464 recently reported positive data in a Phase 2a study of patients with ulcerative colitis including a high remission rate at the end of a second year of treatment.
Addex Therapeutics Ltd is to receive $2.8 million in new research funding as part of an extended agreement with Indivior Plc, a specialty pharma company developing treatments for addiction disorders. The two companies have been working together since early 2018 and the amended agreement will now run until 30 June 2021.
From the personal computer to the iPhone, digital technologies have long been a feature of global communications. More recently, they have also begun to alter the landscape in healthcare. This was one of the themes addressed by Zaïde Frias of the European Medicines Agency to attendees of the Medtech & Pharma Platform virtual conference on 22 October. Ms Frias is head of the digital business transformation task force at the EMA, one of four groups set up by the agency in early March to prepare for new medical technologies.
Bimekuzumab, a monoclonal antibody developed by UCB SA, has achieved superior skin clearance in a Phase 3 trial of patients with plaque psoriasis compared adalimumab (Humira), a standard of care for the disease. Data from the study were presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress on 31 October.
Sanofi SA moved several new oncology and immunology programmes into Phase 3 in the third quarter while simultaneously completing enrolment of a Phase 1/2 trial of a candidate vaccine for Covid-19. The company also paid $3.36 billion to acquire Principia Biopharma Inc of the US, giving it a pipeline of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Novartis has expanded its presence in the gene therapy field with the acquisition of Vedere Bio Inc, a US gene therapy company launched in 2019 by Atlas Venture, an early-stage venture capital fund. Vedere has technology for potentially restoring vision in patients whose sight has been impaired by the loss of photoreceptor cells. The technology is based on optogenetics which describes a biological technique for using light to control neurons related to sight.
A Phase 2 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of bamlanivimab, an experimental antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly and Co, has shown potential for treating Covid-19 patients outside a hospital setting. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine on 28 October 2020.