Sequel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Please contact Sales at: (212) 520-2765 or email PharmaNewsSales@informa.com
Latest From Sequel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Sophiris Bio will use a transrectal route of administration, rather than the transperineal route, for its lead drug PRX302 for the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH or enlarged prostate). This follows a three-month 40-patient study which showed that a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided injection directly into the prostate was well tolerated. The selection of the route of administration is another step in a substantial refocusing of the company which saw the appointment of a new CEO, Randall Woods, in mid-August, and a halt to other development projects to allow more resources to be put into the PRX302/BPH program. With its singular focus on the BPH drug, Sophiris hopes to take PRX302 into a Phase III trial later in 2012.
Privately-held biopharmaceutical company Sorbent Therapeutics has appointed Dr Howard Dittrich its first chief medical officer and Randall Woods chair of the board of directors. Dr Dittrich has over 20 years' experience having led clinical research and regulatory affairs at biotech companies such as NovaCardia, Alliance Pharmaceuticals and Molecular Biosystems. He was most recently CMO at Sequel Pharmaceuticals, a spin-out from the acquisition of NovaCardia (the company he co-founded) by Merck & Co. Mr Woods, a serial entrepreneur, has over 39 years' experience in the industry and previously served as president and CEO of Sequel Pharmaceuticals and NovaCardia.
New company creation slipped significantly in 2009 as venture capitalists conserved capital and supported existing portfolio companies. In biopharmaceuticals, corporate venture got in at the ground floor while device start-ups continued to see stronger support from smaller, regional investors than traditional VCs.
Despite continuing pharmacological and physiological advances, ongoing public health campaigns, and well established guidelines defining challenging treatment targets, cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills more people globally than any other disease. Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical industry seems divided over whether CVD still holds the prospect of realising a reasonable return on investment. On the one hand, several companies are pulling out of CVD R&D, despite having a rich cardiovascular heritage. For example, Pfizer and Wyeth, currently mid-merger, individually announced a shift in focus away from cardiology towards areas such as oncology and neurology.