Amicus Therapeutics Gets EU Approval for Pompe Disease Drug

July 4th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

Amicus Therapeutics has received approval from the European Commission (EC) for Opfolda (miglustat), its treatment for Pompe disease, a rare disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness. The approval specifically covers the drug in combination with Pombiliti (cipaglucosidase alfa). Results from a recent phase 3 study showing positive changes in mobility and breathing, both affected by the disorder, supported the EC’s decision.

Using Patient Registries to Accelerate Rare Disease Research

July 4th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

In a recent interview with Clinical Leader, Harsha Rajasimha, PhD, of the Indo US Organization for Rare Diseases (IndoUSrare) talks about the challenges facing rare disease research and how the use of patient registries can accelerate research and clinical development. Patient registries allow the collection of real-world data (RWD) that can be used in research, but doing so requires collaboration between all stakeholders.

Pfizer and OPKO Get FDA Approval for Childhood Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment

June 29th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

OPKO Health and Pfizer’s Ngenla, a treatment for childhood growth hormone deficiency, has received approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The treatment for the rare disease, which causes short stature and delayed puberty, had been rejected once by the agency with a request for more information.

UCB Gets FDA Approval for Generalized Myasthenia Gravis

June 27th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

UCB’s Rystiggo (rozanolixizumab-noli), a treatment for two subtypes of generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG), has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Muscle weakness episodes in the rare autoimmune disease is caused by antibodies that cling to proteins at the connection site between nerves and muscles. Rystiggo, an antibody-based treatment, reduces circulating antibodies and reduces symptoms.

Ipsen’s Drug for Itching in Rare Liver Disease Gets Second Approval

June 14th, 2023|Categories: Industry News|Tags: , , , |

Ipsen’s drug Bvlay has gotten its second approval for itching (pruritis) in a rare liver disease, this time in Alagille syndrome. The drug had previously been approved for progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis. Another indication may be on the way in the near future, as Ipsen is currently in late-stage testing for the drug in a childhood liver disorder.

Advisory Committee Changes May Be on the Horizon for Orphan Drug Approval

May 5th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , |

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relies on recommendations from its several advisory committees when weighing whether to approve a drug. However, Congress is placing extra scrutiny on the composition of these committees when debating orphan drugs, as laid out in an explanatory statement in the 2023 FY Consolidated Appropriations Act. Currently, they are expected to be populated with experts in the general field, but there is no provision to make sure rare disease experts are on the panel.

NHS England Reveals Plan to Accelerate Diagnosis and Care for Rare Brain Disorders

March 27th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , |

NHS England has announced it is developing a new service to help fast-track diagnoses and care for people with a set of rare genetic brain diseases called inherited white matter disorders (IWMDs). Patients will be reviewed by a group of specialists and undergo genetic testing, getting referred to neurologists if an IWMD is expected.

NICE Recommends Novel Gene Therapy for Rare Genetic Brain Disorder

March 24th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a draft guidance recommending the approval of Upstaza, PTC Therapeutic’s gene therapy for aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency. The gene therapy, if approved, would cost £3 million and would be the only treatment for the ultra-rare disorder.

Rare Skin Cancer Drug by Incyte Receives Accelerated Approval

March 23rd, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

Incyte notched a win today, March 23rd, with accelerated approval for retifanlimab, its treatment for a rare, aggressive skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma. The approval comes after patients single-arm study achieved a 52% response rate, with 18% seeing a complete response. These responses were durable out to almost 25 months in some patients.

FDA Allows Dose Increase in Dravet Syndrome Clinical Trial

March 15th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a hold blocking a Phase I/IIa clinical trial testing an increased dose of STK-001, Stoke Therapeutics’ drug candidate for Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a rare form of severe childhood epilepsy that comes with a short life expectancy and developmental delays.

Sanofi Launches “This is Rare” Campaign on Rare Disease Day

February 28th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

Sanofi is marking this year’s Rare Disease Day, February 28th, with its new “This is Rare” campaign, which will feature the voices of patients living with rare diseases. The campaign is part of a large push by the company and others to develop therapeutics for the rare disease community, which accounts for one in seventeen people in the UK.

Avidity Biosciences’ Treatment for Rare Form of Muscular Dystrophy Deemed Orphan Drug

February 20th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

Avidity Biosciences’ treatment for a rare muscular dystrophy called facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) has been given orphan drug status by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug, if approved, would be the first for the disease, which results in deterioration of muscle function beginning in the upper extremities.

Kite’s Rare Blood Cancer CAR T-Cell Therapy Improves Survival in Three-Year Followup Data

February 13th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , |

Kite has announced that its CAR T-cell therapy for relapsed/refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (R/R B-ALL), a rare blood cancer with low survival rates, helped improve overall survival in 3-year follow-up data. Patients given the treatment had a median survival of 26 months, with 47% of patients alive at 36 months.

FDA Grants Orphan Drug Status to GSK’s Systemic Sclerosis Therapeutic

February 3rd, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

The US Food and Drug Administration has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) to GSK’s Benlysta (belimumab). The designation applies to the use of Benylsta in treating the interstitial lung disease (ILD) associated with  systemic sclerosis (SSc), a rare autoimmune connective tissue disorder. The drug is currently approved for treating active lupus and lupus nephritis.

Boehringer Ingelheim Reveals Positive Trial Results for Rare Psoriasis Therapeutic

January 31st, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

Boehringer Ingelheim revealed new results from its Phase IIb EFFIOSAYIL 2 trial that shows its new antibody-based therapeutic Spevigo can prevent flare-ups in a rare and severe form of psoriasis, generalized postular psoriasis (GPP). The drug is the first treatment to be approved for the disabling and sometimes life-threatening condition.

EMA Committee Announces Orphan Drug Application Changes to Improve Access to Rare Eye Disease Medications

January 26th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

Policies regarding orphan drug designations for a group of rare genetic eye diseases called inherited retinal dystrophies are changing, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The changes would target terminology regarding the categories of disorders that are covered under the orphan drug designation, allowing drugs to be submitted into one or more of four subgroups.

Ipsen Will Acquire Albireo to Expand Rare Disease Drug Pipeline

January 13th, 2023|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , |

The French biopharma company Ipsen has announced the future acquisition of Albireo, a company specializing in drugs for rare diseases. A key drug Ipsen will gain from the deal is Bylvay, a drug used to treat rare pediatric liver diseases, including children with pruritus in progressive familiar intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC).

Enzyvant Merges with Altavant to Advance Treatments for Rare Diseases

December 8th, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , , |

Enzyvant and Altavant have announced plans for a merger, which will take on the name of the former. The new company will have a facilities to manufacture regenerative medicines for rare diseases, particularly in immunology and cardiopulmonology. The combined Envyzant intends to build on its track record in the rare disease therapeutics space.

AMCP Nexus 2022 Panel Explores Utilization Management of High-Price Treatments for Payers

October 18th, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , |

New therapies for rare and orphan diseases have greatly improved in recent years, greatly improving outcomes for millions of patients. However, these treatments are often expensive, with 20% of drug spending going towards orphan drugs. In a panel at last week’s Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Nexus 2022, speakers talked about how improved utilization management strategies could help optimize treatment prioritization for expensive therapies.

Pfizer’s Oncology Chief Schmeltz Moves to Rare Disease Role

September 2nd, 2022|Categories: Featured, Industry News|Tags: , , , |

Pfizer is having another executive shakeup. Andy Schmeltz will leave his role as global president of oncology at Pfizer to take on a new role of managing the pharma juggernaut’s investment strategies. Suneet Varma will leave his position as the head of Pfizer’s rare disease division to fill in Schmeltz’s former role.

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