Company News: Curetis Initiates Next Phase of Unyvero U.S. FDA Trial in Lower Respiratory Tract Infections
– First patient enrolled in prospective arm of IVD trial
– Study to include a total of at least 2,500 patient samples
– Milestone triggers payment of EUR 6.8 million financing tranche
Curetis AG, a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, today announced the enrollment of the first patient in the prospective phase of its Unyvero U.S. FDA trial.
The primary endpoint of the multicenter U.S. study will be the performance of Curetis’ second generation Unyvero Lower Respiratory Tract (LRT) cartridge, LRT55, in detecting lower respiratory tract infections as compared to microbiology culture – which is currently considered the diagnostic standard of care. In addition, Unyvero results will be compared to an independent molecular composite comparator based on pathogen DNA analysis by PCR and sequencing. At least eight trial sites across the U.S. will participate in the at least 2,500-patient study.
The new trial phase is based on an augmented study design and an enhanced product. This phase of the U.S. trial incorporates two new elements: the latest FDA guidelines for diagnostic trials, and modifications resulting from outcomes of the first phase of this trial. Enrollment completion is anticipated in mid-2016 with FDA submission targeted for the second half of 2016. The Company aims for FDA clearance for Unyvero and subsequent commercialization in early 2017.
The continuation of the trial triggers a EUR 6.8 million financing tranche supported by current Curetis investors.
LRT55 is a second-generation cartridge based on the design of the CE-IVD marked P55 cartridge marketed outside the U.S. It features 40 markers and a novel control concept with live bacteria in the control material and improved representation of pathogens in the panels. As a result, it provides the most comprehensive molecular marker panel for LRT infections marketed today. P55 has demonstrated superior performance in the CE performance evaluation study and additional investigator-initiated clinical studies.
In the U.S. FDA trial, tracheal aspirates and bronchial lavages will be pre-processed by the Unyvero Lysator and transferred to the Unyvero LRT55 cartridge, which is subsequently analyzed by the Unyvero Analyzer. Results are available within four-to-five hours.
The prospective arm of this trial includes at least 1,500 hospitalized patients with suspected lower respiratory tract infections to determine the clinical specificity of the Unyvero LRT55 cartridge.
In another arm of the study, at least 1,000 retrospective blinded patient samples will be analyzed for clinical sensitivity endpoints. All pathogens and resistance markers featured on the Unyvero LRT55 Cartridge will be included in the study. Already, Curetis has collected more than 500 retrospective patient samples across its clinical trial network. All retrospective samples have been tested positive for pathogens on the LRT55 panel by standard microbiology culture.
Company News: Merus reaches pivotal milestone in bispecific antibody collaboration with ONO PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD.
– Successful product lead identification underscores the strength of Merus’ platform in delivering human, full-length IgG bispecific antibodies –
Merus B.V., a leader in developing best-in-class bispecific antibody therapeutics, announced today that it has reached a preclinical milestone in a bispecific antibody research and license collaboration with ONO PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. (Osaka, Japan, ”ONO”) triggering a payment. The milestone is for achieving preclinical proof-of-mechanism with a lead bispecific antibody directed against a target combination relevant in the treatment of autoimmune disease.
Anergis, a company developing breakthrough allergy vaccines for fast and safe allergen-specific immunotherapy, reported today that it has reached several preclinical development milestones with AllerR, a novel allergy vaccine candidate for the treatment of patients with allergies to ragweed pollen. In addition, the company received positive feedback from the FDA on its AllerR development program.
In the development of AllerR, its second allergy vaccine candidate, Anergis reached essential preclinical milestones and held its first meeting with the US FDA in preparation for the first clinical trial of AllerR in patients allergic to ragweed pollen.
In preclinical experiments carried out by Anergis, binding of the AllerR peptides to IgE antibodies of allergic patients remained consistently undetectable in all conditions tested. In mice pre-sensitized to ragweed pollen, AllerR, unlike natural ragweed allergens, did not elicit an anaphylaxis-like response. And, importantly, AllerR was found to elicit antibody responses in mice, in which the antibodies recognized the natural ragweed allergens. Following collection of these data, Anergis held a pre-IND meeting with the U.S. FDA during which the regulatory path was clearly established until and including the clinical Phase I trial protocol.
Company News: Micromet Achieves Milestone under BiTE Antibody Collaboration with Bayer Schering Pharma
Micromet, Inc. (NASDAQ: MITI) a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of next-generation antibodies for the treatment of cancer, announced today that it has achieved a milestone under its collaboration agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma AG. The milestone was triggered by Micromet’s achievement of pre-clinical proof of concept for a BiTE antibody for the treatment of solid tumors. For more information, please read the complete press release