• Antisense commences first dose in ATL1102 study
  • Shine delivers historic settlement from Johnson & Johnson
  • Amplia in search of new CEO

Antisense Therapeutics (ASX:ANP) has commenced dosing in the combination therapy trial of ATL1102 to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

The company will be investigating the mouse model of DMD to assess the clinical utility of ATL1102 when used in combination with dystrophin restoration drugs (those that are approved in the US for the treatment of DMD).

Under the agreement with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), the mice will be dosed with an antisense oligonucleotide designed to target CD49d (mouse equivalent of ATL1102) in combination with a dystrophin restoration drug.

The study will look closely into the markers of drug activity in the DMD mdx (muscular dystrophy) model in the combination therapy.

Antisense says the market potential for this medical need could be large. Sales of the dystrophin restoration drugs in the US for Q2 2022 alone were in excess of US$233 million.

This study is on track to be completed with results due in the Q4 of this year.


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Johnson & Johnson to pay historic $300m settlement

Not quite biotech news, but lawyers Shine Justice (ASX:SHJ) has just announced an historic settlement in the class action brought against global giant Johnson & Johnson.

The law suit against J&J claimed that the plaintiffs were surgically implanted with, and suffered significant and sometimes severe and life-altering complications from, defective J&J medical devices.

In April 2021, Shine filed a second class action on behalf of women with complications arising on or after 4 July 2017, with allegations substantially the same in both class actions.

All parties have now agreed to settle the actions for $300 million, subject to approval by the Court.

“No amount of compensation can ever replace what our clients have lost, but this outcome will provide vindication and closure for their claims,” said Shine CEO, Simon Morrison.


Starpharma shares data in Conference

Starpharma (ASX:SPL) has presented promising anti-tumour activity data in late stage prostate cancer at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress on Sunday.

The new data presented shows Starpharma’s DEP cabazitaxel had a number of key advantages when compared with published data for conventional cabazitaxel.

This includes its superior efficacy measured by longer progression-free survival (PFS), and lower incidence of key side effects – both in a heavily pre-treated patient cohort.

Median PFS using DEP cabazitaxel was 3.9 months, more than 30% longer than the 2.9 months reported for standard cabazitaxel.

There were also lower incidence of severe treatment-related adverse events for DEP cabazitaxel of 7.5%, compared to published data for standard cabazitaxel of 39.7%.

“These latest results show DEP cabazitaxel achieved both a longer duration of progression-free survival, and fewer severe side effects compared to published data on Jevtana,” said Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley.

“It illustrates the potential for DEP cabazitaxel to provide better outcomes for mCRPC patients.”


Amplia in search of new CEO

Amplia Therapeutics (ASX:ATX) meanwhile has lost its CEO, Dr John Lamber, after he gave notice of his resignation to the board today.

It is expected that Dr Lambert will leave the company in November, and will be available to assist with an orderly transition of the role.

The search for a new CEO will commence immediately.

Thanking Dr Lambert for his contributions over the last four years, Amplia’s chair, Dr Warwick Tong, added:

“Our lead asset, AMP945, recently started a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with pancreatic cancer and a second Phase 2 trial in pulmonary fibrosis is in advanced preparation.

“We will be seeking to identify a new CEO with the ability to build on the established clinical development capability and to take the ompany to its next stage.”


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