PD-1 drugs approved: MRK’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab), BMY’s Opdivo (nivolumab), ROG VX’s Tecentriq (atezolizumab), PFE/MRK DE’s Bavencio (avelumab), AZN’s Imfinzi (durvalumab). I think I got all those right (off the dome).
PD-1 drugs on the way: SNY/REGN, TSRO/ANAB, INCY, WALVAX, CELG/BGNE, CSTONE, NVS, JNJ,
MGNX? INNOVENT? Walvax?, MRK DE bispecific, etc.
So, my guess is BGNE’s valuation is mostly a function of zanubrutinib, their potentially best-in-class BTK inhibitor. It would still make it a very expensive drug company. Further, my cursory glance at their data vs ibrutinib reveals no significant difference, at least in WM. Will have to keep looking.
Papers I’ve Read
Regulation of the neuropathy-associated Pmp22 gene by a distal super-enhancer. Pantera, et al. Hum Mol Genet 2018.
CMT1A is a big disease!
Acetylcholine Receptor Stimulation for Cognitive Enhancement: Better the Devil You Know? Baxter & Crimins. Neuron 98, 2018.
Quick preview of Vijayraghavan’s paper (to appear in next blog) showing muscarinic 1 agonists don’t aid cognition, at least in this weird animal saccade model.
Single-Dose PK Study of Benapenem in Healthy Patients. Sihuan Pharmaceutical.
Sihuan stock has dropped a bunch in the last 12 months or so. I always thought it was a little overvalued. Interesting to see a seemingly new carbapenem, however. Too bad antibiotics are no longer a viable business. It is humorous to see ‘reporters’ opine about how we’re facing a superbug crisis, when the facts are very different.
Neoadjuvant study of pyrotinib in combination with trastuzumab in patients with HER2 positive breast cancer. Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co.
JH is the largest mainland China listed drug company (about $30B USD market cap). The financials are not in English. I am slowly learning Mandarin.
Study of the Safety and Efficacy of APR-246 in Combination with Azacitidine. Aprea Therapeutics AB.
This is why it pays to read random clinical trials all day. Aprea apparently developed a mutant p53 chaperone. The response rates are fairly good. I wonder if there are any papers or patents some friends are willing to mail to me on this mysterious new drug. p53 has been this important tumor suppressor for so long, but largely undruggable for somewhat obvious reasons. Given the revolution in tumor genotyping, it makes sense that restoring abberant p53 function (akin to the Vertex approach with misfolded CFTR) would be useful.
Treating paroxysmal noctural haemoglobinuria patients with rVA576. Akari Therapeutics.
This drug has been through a lot. I almost bought it 4 or 5 years ago as a competitor to Alexion’s Soliris. Recent studies have shown it appears to be not quite as effective as the real McCoy. Eculizumab is, of course, being replaced by an even better antibody. There are other anti-complement drugs out there. Still, at a $30m market cap or so, Akari is tantalizing (that does not mean attractive).
Virtual Reality for External Cephalic Version. Columbia University.
External Cephalic Version is when the baby is coming out upside down. Usually you have to C-section that, but you can try and flip the kid around. I guess the VR would help momma through that presumably traumatic process? Or train the doc?
Factor VIII Gene Therapy Study in Patients With Hemophilia A. Drug: BAY2599023 (DTX201). Bayer, Dimension Therapeutics.
Ultragenyx owns Dimension now. So many players in curing Hemophilia. Looks like BioMarin may be a year ahead of most.
Sorry I’ve been very busy lately! I was somewhat ill the last few days. I’ve been working hard on some math problems, some of which I may have solved. I’m reviewing lots of medical literature and data I’d rather not share, and I reviewed the appeal of my criminal case, which will be filed in short order.
Our building won the first series of our softball tournament, so I’m also pleased by that.