The week in industry: US FDA approves first thyroid eye disease treatment

This week: Pharmaceutical industry to give NHS Scotland GB£1 million a week and Multi-drug collaboration initiated, with an initial focus in gene therapy.

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This week's industry news:  

US FDA approves first thyroid eye disease treatment
Pharmaceutical industry to give NHS Scotland GB£1 million a week
Multi-drug collaboration initiated, with an initial focus in gene therapy


US FDA approves first thyroid eye disease treatment

TEPEZZA™ (teprotumumab-trbw) has been approved by the US FDA, making it the first any only approved drug to treat thyroid eye disease (TED). The drug, developed by Horizon Therapeutics (Dublin, Ireland) is a fully human monoclonal antibody and works by inhibiting the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor. This approval is a breakthrough for those with this progressive and vision-threatening rare autoimmune disease.

“Today is a great day for people living with thyroid eye disease, a rare, vision-threatening disease that previously had no FDA-approved treatment options,” commented Timothy Walbert, Chairman, President and CEO, Horizon. “The TED community has gone far too long without an FDA-approved therapy, and we are grateful to the people living with TED and physicians who partnered with us on the clinical development program that led to today’s approval of Tepezza. This also marks the early approval of Horizon’s first Biologics License Application – a key step in our evolution to an innovation-focused biopharma company, developing new medicines for debilitating diseases with few or no treatment options.”

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Pharmaceutical industry to give NHS Scotland GB£1 million a week

Over the course of this financial year, NHS Scotland will receive up to GB£70 million from pharmaceutical companies, as part of a scheme that aims to keep medicine costs under control. This total is valued at approximately GB£1 million a week.

“This unique agreement offers the NHS predictability when it comes to purchasing branded medicine and I can’t think of another industry doing more to keep NHS finances in check. Thanks to the industry payment, which returns £1 million a week to NHS Scotland, hundreds of patients are able to access life-saving treatments through the New Medicines Fun,” commented Alison Culpan, ABPI Scotland Director. “This is a great deal for both the NHS and patients across Scotland.”

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Multi-drug collaboration initiated, with an initial focus in gene therapy

PhoreMost (Cambridge, UK) has announced it will be entering into a collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical (Tokyo, Japan), employing their phenotypic screening platform SITESEEKER, to identify novel targets in disease relevant pathways nominated by Otsuka. The initial focus of the partnership will be on gene therapy applications of identified targets.

“This collaboration with Otsuka is further recognition of the power of the SITESEEKER approach to drive the identification of novel, druggable targets. We are particularly excited to be exploring not only small molecule therapeutics but also gene therapy applications of our platform,” Chris Torrance, CEO of Phoremost.

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