Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Ablynx, a biopharma company headquartered in Belguim, has entered into an exclusive research collaboration with Genzyme, a Sanofi company, to investigate nanobodies against a multiple sclerosis (MS) target specifically aligning with Genzyme’s early-stage MS research programs involving neuroprotection and CNS repair.
CRISPR Therapeutics, a Switzerland-based biopharmaceutical company focused on translating CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology into transformative medicines for serious human diseases, has appointed Bill Lundberg, M.D., to chief scientific officer to lead the company’s development programs and to spearhead the creation of its R&D operations in Cambridge, Mass.
Pharming Group has appointed Dr. Perry Calias chief scientific officer. Calias will have overall responsibility for the company’s new enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) programs, achieving the scientific milestones set in the business plan, enhancing the IP portfolio, overseeing new product development and contributing to the overall strategic direction of the company.
Voyager Therapeutics, a gene therapy company headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. developing treatments for diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), and Genzyme, a Sanofi company and gene therapy pioneer, have announced a major strategic collaboration to discover, develop and commercialize novel gene therapies for severe CNS disorders. The collaboration will leverage Genzyme’s long-standing commitment and experience in adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy and Voyager’s AAV product engine to develop breakthrough therapies for patients suffering from severe CNS disorders.
Genzyme, a Sanofi company, has announced that the first U.S. patients have initiated treatment with Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) in the commercial setting following its Nov. 14 FDA approval for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its safety profile, the use of Lemtrada should generally be reserved for patients who have had an inadequate response to two or more drugs indicated for the treatment of MS.
Fidelity Biosciences and Atlas Venture, with participation from Sanofi–Genzyme BioVentures, have launched Unum Therapeutics, a company developing cellular immunotherapy to treat cancer. Fidelity Biosciences invests venture capital in biopharmaceutical, medical technology, healthcare information technology and healthcare service companies, while Atlas Venture is an early-stage investor. All three are based in Cambridge, Mass.
The FDA has approved Lumizyme (alglucosidase alfa) for treatment of patients with infantile-onset Pompe disease, including patients who are less than eight years of age. In addition, the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) known as the Lumizyme ACE (Alglucosidase Alfa Control and Education) Program is being eliminated.