Syncona Ltd has set out an ambition to organically grow its net assets to £5 billion by 2032, while resolving to continue a strategy of evergreen investing in promising life science companies. On 30 September, the end of the company’s first half year, net assets were valued £1,366 million, up from £1,309 million on 31 March, giving a net asset value return of 4.3%.
Researchers from nine academic centres, together with PACT Pharma Inc of the US, have reported data from a Phase 1 study of a novel cell therapy which produced initial signs of clinical activity in patients with a variety of solid tumours. The treatment is an allogeneic T cell receptor (TCR) T cell therapy which has been edited to recognise the patient’s specific cancer. This was done by equipping the TCR with a neoantigen specific to the cancer.
Genmab A/S of Denmark has revised upward its guidance for revenue and operating profit for 2022 following a strong performance of Darzalex (daratumumab), a monoclonal antibody therapy for multiple myeloma that is licensed to Janssen Biotech Inc. Genmab receives royalties on Darzalex sales which represent a significant proportion of group revenue. The company also receives royalties from Horizon Therapeutics Plc for Tepezza, a medicine for thyroid eye disease, and for Kesimpta (ofatumumab) for multiple sclerosis from Novartis.
Denmark-based H. Lundbeck A/S has raised its financial guidance for 2022 to show projected revenue in a range of DKK 17.9 billion to DKK 18.2 billion. This compares with revenue of DKK 16.299 billion (€2.19 billion) in 2021. The upgrade follows the strong performance of its four core products, which showed double-digit increases in sales for the first nine months of the year. The products are Rexulti and Brintellix for major depressive disorder; Abilify Maintena for schizophrenia; and Vyepti, a new product for migraine prevention.
The first gene therapy for adults with haemophilia B has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration after showing that a single dose of the treatment was able to significantly reduce abnormal bleeding.
The use of antibiotic medicines in animals has dropped sharply in Europe following multiple public policy initiatives and national campaigns, according to the European Medicines Agency. In a report issued on 18 November, the agency said that sales of veterinary antibiotics in animals decreased by 47% in the ten years to 2021 – the lowest level ever reported. The report is based on data from 25 European countries.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for Type 1 diabetes that can delay the onset of stage 3 of the disease. It is the first therapy for people with the disease who are at risk of having their condition worsen. The drug, Tzield (teplizumab), is an anti-CD3-directed antibody for intravenous use that has been approved for adult and paediatric patients aged eight years and older with stage 2 Type 1 diabetes. The developer is Provention Bio Inc of the US.
Facing stiff competition for its lead cancer product, MorphoSys AG is turning its attention to two Phase 3 trials that, if successful, could give it significant added momentum on the US market. This comes as the German company adjusts its US sales forecast for the product, Monjuvi (tafasitamab), a second-line treatment for diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Sales for 2022 are now expected to be $90 million instead of the previously forecast $90 million to $110 million.
Gantenerumab, a candidate monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, has failed to slow progression of the disease in a large Phase 3 clinical programme involving 1,965 people across 30 countries, the developer Roche announced on 14 November. The company said it would share its learnings with the scientific community, while continuing to develop and test new diagnostics and prospective medicines for the disease.
A safety review of the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor group of medicines for chronic inflammatory disorders has concluded that the drugs should only be used in patients with certain risk factors if no suitable alternatives exist. The review was conducted by the pharmacovigilance risk assessment committee of European Medicine Agency and its conclusions were endorsed on 11 November by the agency’s main scientific committee, the CHMP. The recommendations now go to the European Commission for formal approval.