Idorsia rolls out insomnia med Quviviq with sales team, digital marketing and DTC in the works – Endpoints News


Idorsia hit the marketing ground running with its insomnia launch, debuting an awareness campaign starring popular “Friends” actress Jennifer Aniston just days after its Quviviq approval in January. Now the insomnia brand hit shelves this week with a sales force rollout to physicians, digital and social media ads and plans for a direct-to-consumer campaign coming soon.
A field team of about 500 sales reps plus another 100 customer-facing medical affairs, market access and others are reaching out to physicians in the first wave of Quviviq marketing, said Patricia Torr, president and general manager of Idorsia US. About 75% of the target group of doctors are primary care, with psychiatry and a few other specialties making up the rest.
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As the biotech financial markets shift from a peak 12 months ago, even well-funded biotechs are watching pipeline burn rates as uncertainty surrounds the next investment rounds.
There is however positive news from the investment sector on future demand.  According to Fred Cohen, co-founder, and chairman of Monograph Capital Partners in San Francisco “pharma has a tremendous need for new products and it will only accelerate over the next eight years”. But he said what investors want is real innovation, “not slightly better because the payers are not going to pay you for just slightly better.”
The two top executives at Blade Therapeutics appear to no longer be with the biotech after the startup failed to merge with its SPAC partner earlier this year.
The biotech’s CEO and CFO no longer list the San Francisco-based drug developer as their employer on their LinkedIn pages, and other employee profiles list themselves as “open to work.” When reached via LinkedIn on Thursday, former CEO Wendye Robbins said the company is “in the middle of a transition.”
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Third Harmonic Bio is calling it quits on its lead trial just three months after being one of the few biotech IPOs this year, and BioCryst is axing a rare blood disease candidate after Novartis presented blockbuster-besting data at the American Society of Hematology this week.
Natalie Holles’ Third Harmonic is discontinuing a Phase Ib of its KIT inhibitor THB001 “after observing asymptomatic liver transaminitis in two subjects enrolled in the first dose cohort of 200mg BID,” the biotech said Thursday morning. The biotech is looking at finding a new oral wild-type KIT inhibitor, with “multiple candidate molecules” undergoing toxicology studies, so a new investigational candidate can be selected next year.
An experimental, mRNA-based cancer vaccine significantly reduced the risk that melanoma patients’ cancers would return and be fatal, Moderna and Merck said, in what the companies are calling the first-ever results from an mRNA therapy in a randomized trial of cancer patients.
In the Phase II trial, patients with Stage 3 or Stage 4 melanoma got Merck’s drug Keytruda, plus doses of a personalized cancer vaccine called mRNA-4157/V940 that the two developed jointly. Nine months later, the treatment had reduced the risk of recurrence or death by 44%, compared with Keytruda alone, the companies said Tuesday.
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And just like other companies, Avidity is going for a raise after a positive data readout.
The biotech announced just one day after revealing some positive preliminary data that it was asking investors for $150 million via a public raise. It kept its statement short, saying that it plans to offer the $150 million worth of shares in common stock and give underwriters 30 days to grab an additional 15% on top of what’s in the public offering.
AbbVie has signed a multi-year deal with Vancouver-based antibody biotech AbCellera, it announced Thursday morning.
However, outside of that, the duo gave few details about their collaboration. They did say the deal is good for up to five targets but didn’t say what areas or indications those targets would be in. They also did not disclose any financial details on the deal. Endpoints News has reached out for comment.
Anticipation is building as the US prepares for an onslaught of biosimilars competing with AbbVie’s megablockbuster Humira in the coming months.
Fresenius Kabi said this morning that the FDA approved its citrate-free biosimilar to Humira (adalimumab), known as Idacio. This is the eighth FDA approval for an adalimumab biosimilar (first approved in 2016), but none will launch until next year. Fresenius previously settled with AbbVie and plans to launch Idacio in July 2023.
FDA granted accelerated approval to Mirati’s KRAS drug adagrasib, which will be marketed as Krazati. The green light comes two days ahead of the expected decision and cements the biotech as the second in the KRAS field behind leader Amgen, maker of the May 2021-approved Lumakras.
The nod is for second-line treatment for adult patients with KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
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Sio Gene Therapies said on Thursday that after more than half a year of looking for a buyer, it has failed to find one and will sell off its remaining assets and close down.
The company, formerly known as Axovant, started as one of the darlings of Vivek Ramaswamy’s Roivant empire, raising $315 million in a 2015 IPO, and a market value at one point of around $2 billion. But after the 2018 failure of its lead drug for Alzheimer’s disease, including a botched statistical analysis, it pivoted to Parkinson’s — where it faced manufacturing issues — and eventually to gene therapy.
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The University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
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