15 SEP 2023 | US | Novartis Shareholders Approve Sandoz Spin-Off

On 15 September 2023, Novartis shareholders approved the proposed Sandoz spin-off, Novartis’ generics and biosimilars business at its Extraordinary General Meeting. The proposed spin-off was first announced by Novartis on 25 August 2022, a proposal which was unanimously endorsed by the Novartis board on 18 July 2023 with a target date of Q4/23.

15 SEP 2023 | EU | CHMP Adopts Positive Opinion Of Sandoz’s Herwenda® (Trastuzumab) Biosimilar To Genentech’s Herceptin®

The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion for Sandoz’s Herwenda® (trastuzumab, biosimilar to Genentech’s Herceptin®), to treat metastatic and early breast cancer and metastatic gastric cancer.

On the same day, Novartis’s shareholders approved the Sandoz spin-off which is scheduled for 4 October 2023.

15 SEP 2023 | EU | CHMP Adopts Positive Opinion For Two Biosimilars, Three Innovator Biologics, Extends Indications for Six Other Biologics

On 15 September 2023, EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended Sandoz’s Herwenda® (trastuzumab, biosimilar to Genentech’s Herceptin®) for approval for the treatment of metastatic and early breast cancer and metastatic gastric cancer.

CHMP also recommended an extension of indication for AstraZeneca/Daiichi Sankyo’s Enhertu® (trastuzumab deruxtecan) as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumours have an activating HER2 (ERBB2) mutation and who require systemic therapy following platinum-based chemotherapy with or without immunotherapy.

CHMP also adopted a positive opinion for three new biologics:

  • Eli Lily’s Ebglyss® (lebrikizumab) to treat moderate and severe forms of atopic dermatitis in adults and adolescents;
  • Novartis’ Finlee® (dabrafenib) to treat glioma; and
  • Daiichi Sankyo’s Vanflyta® (quizartinib) to treat patients with diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia (ACL).

The CHMP recommended indication extensions for the following biologics:

  • Seagen’s Adcetris® (brentuximab vedotin) to treat patients with previously untreated CD30+ Stage III or IV Hodgkin lymphoma;
  • Vertex’s Kaftrio® (ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor) two new presentations of (60mg/40mg/80mg and 75mg/50mg/100mg granules in sachet) for use in children aged 2 to 5 years of age;
  • Vertex’s Kalydeco® (ivacaftor) to include treatment of cystic fibrosis in children aged between 2 and 6 years in a combination regimen with ivacaftor/tezacaftor/elexacaftor;
  • Merck’s Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) as monotherapy is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of adults with non-small cell lung carcinoma who are at high risk of recurrence following complete resection and platinum‑based chemotherapy;
  • Eli Lilly’s Olumiant® (baricitinib) to treat moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in paediatric patients 2 years and older who are candidates for systemic therapy; and
  • Takeda’s Takhzyro® (lanadelumab) to prevent recurrent attacks of hereditary angioedema in patients aged 2 years and older.

14 SEP 2023 | AU | Biopharma Dominates November 2023 PBAC Agenda

According to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Assessment Committee (PBAC) November 2023 agenda published last week, the meeting will be jammed with biopharma applications for reimbursement. PBAC will consider the following applications for PBS listing additions or amendments at its November 2023 meeting:

In addition, a number of PBAC recommendations not accepted by applicants are set for review, including relating to Alphapharm’s Hulio® (adalimumab, biosimilar to AbbVie’s Humira®), Pfizer’s Zirabev® (bevacizumab, biosimilar to Genentech’s Avastin®) and Alphapharm’s Rymti® (etanercept) biosimilar to Amgen’s Enbrel®.

On 1 March 2023, the November 2022 PBAC outcomes were announced, with three biologics listed, including Sanofi-Aventis’ dupilumab (Dupixent®) autoinjectors in two new forms, Merck’s pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) and AbbVie’s risankizumab (Skyrizi®).

13 SEP 2023 | US | Takeda’s BLA For New Formulation Of Entyvio® SC (Vedolizumab) Accepted By FDA

Takeda announced that the FDA accepted its Biologics License Application (BLA) for its subcutaneous formulation of vedolizumab (Entyvio®) for maintenance therapy in patients with moderate to severe active Crohn’s disease after induction therapy with IV Entyvio®. Currently Takeda’s Entyvio® is formulated and approved in the US for IV use only.

On 30 March 2023, Takeda published a study demonstrating that Entyvio® was more effective than a placebo inducing remission of chronic pouchitis after undergoing ileal pouch–anal anastomosis (IPAA) for ulcerative colitis. Shortly prior on 27 March 2023 Takeda secured approval in Japan for Entyvio® SC as maintenance therapy for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in patients with inadequate response to conventional treatment.

11 SEP 2023 | Sandoz & Samsung Bioepis Enter Exclusive Commercialisation Agreement For SB17 (Ustekinumab) In Europe and North America

Sandoz and Samsung Bioepis announced they have entered an exclusive agreement to develop and commercialise SB17 (ustekinumab, biosimilar to Janssen’s Stelara®) in the US, Canada, EEA, Switzerland and the UK. Others details of the deal are confidential.

This follows a confidential settlement in August 2023 between Samsung Bioepis and Janssen which resolved all pending disputes between the parties. In that same month, Samsung Bioepis and Janssen filed a joint motion to terminate Samsung Bioepis’ IPR against Janssen’s US patent 10,961,307 filed 2 months earlier.

11 SEP 2023 | US | FDA Approves Pfizer & BioNTech’s 2023-2024 COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech announced that the FDA approved their sBLA for their 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine for patients over 12 years of age, and granted emergency use authorisation for patients from 6 months to 11 years old. The vaccine is an omicron XBB.1.5-adapted monovalent vaccine indicated as a single dose for most patients over 5.

On 26 May 2023, Alnylam sued both Moderna and Pfizer for a third time claiming patent infringement regarding COVID-19 vaccines.