Lilly Declares Fourth-Quarter 2021 Dividend

On October 18, 2021 The board of directors of Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) reported that it has declared a dividend for the fourth quarter of 2021 of $0.85 per share on outstanding common stock (Press release, Eli Lilly, OCT 18, 2021, View Source [SID1234591452]).

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The dividend is payable on December 10, 2021 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 15, 2021.

Cullinan Oncology Appoints Nadim Ahmed as Chief Executive Officer

On October 18, 2021 Cullinan Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: CGEM) ("Cullinan" or "the Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a diversified pipeline of targeted and immuno-oncology therapies, reported the appointment of Nadim Ahmed as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective today (Press release, Cullinan Oncology, OCT 18, 2021, View Source [SID1234591451]). Mr. Ahmed will also join the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Ahmed succeeds Owen Hughes, who resigned as CEO and as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Hughes will take on the role of Strategic Advisor to the company to support the transition.

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"Owen has successfully built-out Cullinan’s organization and pipeline since its inception, while also leading the Company through multiple capital raises, including its IPO earlier this year," said Anthony Rosenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Cullinan. "Cullinan, via both internal discovery and external collaboration, has constructed a diverse portfolio of novel oncology programs that are advancing to later stages of development. Nadim brings to Cullinan a proven track record in oncology drug development and commercialization success. His experience at Celgene during a period of tremendous growth will be invaluable to Cullinan as we advance Pearl into later-stage clinical development, while also moving our first two immuno-oncology programs, MICA and Florentine, into clinical trials by year-end 2021. We will provide an update for Pearl in Q4 2021 as originally planned. On behalf of Cullinan, I want to welcome Nadim to Cullinan and thank Owen for his contributions. We look forward to him supporting the transition."

"I am excited to be leading the incredibly talented team at Cullinan to advance our deep, multi-modality pipeline as we strive to bring important medicines to cancer patients," said Mr. Ahmed. "With a world-class leadership team in place and a robust cash position, Cullinan is well-poised to execute on its evolution into a company with multiple clinical-stage novel oncology programs."

Mr. Ahmed has more than twenty-five years of leadership experience in oncology across a range of development and commercialization roles, including recently at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), where he served as President, Hematology and at Celgene Corporation (Celgene) where he served as President, Global Hematology & Oncology through its acquisition by BMS. As President, Hematology at BMS, Mr. Ahmed oversaw multiple product launches and participated as a member of the company’s Leadership Team. Prior to BMS, Mr. Ahmed served in leadership roles at Celgene across both development and commercialization functions. During this time at Celgene, he successfully launched multiple cancer medicines, including Pomalyst, Abraxane and several key indications for Revlimid. Mr. Ahmed has worked with various treatment modalities, including small molecules, biologics and cell therapy in hematology and solid tumors. Mr. Ahmed holds a Master of Science degree from Loughborough University, UK and a Bachelor of Science degree from University College London, UK.

Calithera Expands Oncology Pipeline with Acquisition of Two Clinical-Stage Assets from Takeda Pharmaceuticals

On October 18, 2021 Calithera Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: CALA), a clinical-stage, precision oncology biopharmaceutical company, reported an agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited ("Takeda") to acquire two clinical-stage compounds, both of which have demonstrated single-agent clinical activity with the greatest potential in biomarker-defined cancer-patient populations (Press release, Calithera Biosciences, OCT 18, 2021, View Source [SID1234591450]). The compounds, sapanisertib (CB-228, formerly TAK-228) and mivavotinib (CB-659, formerly TAK-659), further strengthen Calithera’s pipeline of clinical-stage targeted therapies.

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"We believe that these clinical-stage compounds are an excellent complement to our internally-developed pipeline programs, and fit well with our current strategic focus on biomarker-driven therapeutic approaches. We are encouraged by the promising single-agent clinical data that suggest these investigational therapies could help transform treatment for multiple cancer patient populations with high unmet need," said Susan Molineaux, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Calithera. "Specifically, sapanisertib has the potential to be the first targeted treatment for patients with NRF2-mutated squamous non-small cell lung cancer. We have learned a great deal about the unmet medical need of patients with KEAP1/NRF2 mutations, as well as how to identify and recruit these patients, during the conduct of our KEAPSAKE trial evaluating telaglenastat. This complementary approach in KEAP1/NRF2-mutant squamous NSCLC demonstrates our commitment to these patients and the pathway.

"Additionally, mivavotinib has the potential to be a best-in-class SYK inhibitor in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as a first-to-market approach for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma whose tumors harbor MyD88 and/or CD79 mutations.

"We plan to start a clinical trial in squamous NSCLC with sapanisertib and a clinical trial in DLBCL with mivavotinib, both in biomarker specific populations, and generate data in the next 12 to 18 months that will define the clinical development and potential regulatory approval paths for both of these compounds."

The terms of the transaction include a total upfront cash payment to Takeda of $10 million and $35 million issued to Takeda in Calithera Series A preferred stock. Additionally, Takeda will be eligible to receive from Calithera clinical development, regulatory and sales milestone payments across both programs. Calithera will pay tiered royalties of high single-digits to low teens on future net sales should these candidates achieve regulatory approvals and subsequent commercial availability.

"Collaboration is an important aspect of our R&D strategy and at the center of our efforts to deliver new treatment options to patients. We are confident that Calithera, with their highly capable and experienced team, is the ideal partner to resume the development of sapanisertib and mivavotinib, and to maximize their potential to address underserved patient populations," said Christopher Arendt, Ph.D., head of Oncology Cell Therapy and Therapeutic Area Unit of Takeda. "We look forward to seeing how these programs advance under Calithera’s leadership."

Sapanisertib is a dual TORC 1/2 inhibitor that targets a key survival mechanism in KEAP1/NRF2-mutated tumor cells. These mutations are found in a considerable sub-population of patients across multiple solid tumor types. Sapanisertib has demonstrated promising single-agent activity in patients with relapsed/refractory NRF2-mutated squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and exhibits differential anti-tumor activity compared to rapalog inhibitors of TORC1 in NRF2-mutant squamous NSCLC in vivo models. A Phase 2 study planned to begin in the first quarter of 2022 will further evaluate sapanisertib as a monotherapy in patients with squamous NSCLC harboring a NRF2 mutation.

Mivavotinib is a SYK inhibitor that targets the constitutively active BCR pathway in many non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) cases as well as the constitutively active inflammatory signaling pathway in MyD88-mutated NHL. In early phase studies, mivavotinib showed promising single-agent responses in relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). In addition, recent preclinical studies have shown enhanced SYK activity and sensitivity to SYK inhibition in DLBCL and other NHLs harboring mutations in MyD88 and/or CD79, which comprise a distinct genetic subset of DLBCL known to have poor outcomes with standard-of-care therapy. Accordingly, Calithera plans to initiate a Phase 2 study of mivavotinib in 2022 for the treatment of patients with DLBCL with and without mutations in MyD88 and CD79. Beyond DLBCL, both preclinical and clinical data support expansion across additional NHL subtypes and other hematologic malignancies as part of long-term plans.

More information about sapanisertib and mivavotinib can be found at calithera.com/pipeline.

Webcast and Conference Call Information

Calithera will hold a webcast today, Monday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time. To access the link to the webcast, which will be broadcast live in listen-only mode, or the subsequent archived recording, visit the Investors section of the Calithera website at www.calithera.com. Alternatively, the call may be accessed by dialing (855) 783-2599 (domestic) or (631) 485-4877 (international) and referring to conference ID 6946687. The webcast will be recorded and available for replay on Calithera’s website for 30 days.

AB Science granted authorization from the French Health Authority (ANSM) to initiate a study of AB8939 in the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

On October 18, 2021 B Science SA(Euronext -FR0010557264 -AB) reported that it has been authorized by theFrench Medicine Agency, ANSM, to initiate aPhase I/II study(AB18001)evaluating AB8939 in patients with refractory and relapsed AML and refractory myelodysplastic syndrome(MDS) (Press release, AB Science, OCT 18, 2021, View Source [SID1234591449]).This approval comes just a few weeks after receiving similar authorization from the Canadian Health Authority [1].

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ProfessorNobert Vey, MD, principal investigator of the study and Director of Clinical Research at Institut Paoli-Calmettescommented,"We are very excitedto start the clinical developmentofAB8939. This drugis based on a well-known therapeutic class of compounds which are useful for the treatment of various cancers, however,AB8939 has a superior potential becauseit was designedto overcome common mechanisms of drug resistance.Numerous non-clinical data generated at Institut Paoli-Calmettes are already available suggesting that AB8939 is particularly well-suited for treatment of relapsed/refractory AML".As previously communicated [1], AB8939 is a new generationsyntheticmicrotubule destabilizer with the ability to overcome multidrug resistance and the potential for broad applicability as a potent anticancer drug.

Microtubules play a crucial role in multiple cellular functionswhich makes theman important target for cancer therapy. Indeed, chemotherapies that targetmicrotubules, such as taxanes and vinca alkaloids,are among the most successfulanticancer therapeutics available. Unfortunately, the development of drug resistance(for example, via Pgp efflux pumps that transport the drugs out of the cancer cells)oftenrestrict their clinical efficacy. Key characteristicsof AB8939 arethat it circumventsdifficulties associated with Pgp-dependent multidrug resistanceand is not deactivated by an enzymenamed myeloperoxidase, which is an advantage over existing chemotherapies.Another advantage and distinguishing characteristic of AB8939 is that it is a synthetic drug. The therapeutic potential of AB8939 has beendemonstrated through a series of preclinicalexperiments [2–4].

Invivodata from a highly resistant Ara-C patient derived xenograft (PDX)mouse modelshowed that AB8939,administered alone or in combination with Ara-C, increasedsurvivalrelative tosingle agent Ara-C, with an accompanying significant reduction of blasts in blood and decrease intumor growth [2].Ara-C is considered the clinically most relevant cytotoxic drugfor AML treatment.In another example, cancerous tumors from patients suffering from resistant acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (an AML subtype)were transplanted into mice. Data showed a complete response in mice treated with AB8939, as compared with rapid disease progression in controlanimals [3]. No apparent toxicity was observed during the time course of the treatment.Based on these results, AB8939 was granted orphan drug designation for AML from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)[5].

Page 2/3The first indication AB8939 is being developedfor is acute myeloid leukemia (AML),a rapid proliferating hematological cancerthat originates in the bone marrow and quickly moves into the blood.Cytarabine (Ara-C) isthe current standard chemotherapy for AML treatment, however, drug resistance is a major limitation to successful therapy.

AB8939 therefore has strong potential as asecond or third-line treatment in AML patients who are unfit to receive intensive chemotherapy.The advantageous mechanistic characteristics of AB8939 mean that it is potentially applicable to a large number of other oncology indications currently treated by microtubule-inhibitor drugs (such astaxanes and vinca alkaloids)and in particular hematological cancers. The envisioned strategy is to position AB8939 in patients with abnormal cytogenetics that make these patients unresponsive to first-line therapy.AB8939 was entirely discovered by the laboratories of AB Science, which retains full ownership of intellectual rights, and is anexample of AB Science’s focus on innovative drug development focused on improving patients’ lives. About Study AB18001Study AB18001, titled‘A Phase 1/2 Study to Assess the Safety, Pharmacokinetics, and Efficacy of Daily Intravenous of AB8939 in patients with Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia’, has a multi-stage design.

Thefirst part is a dose escalation study thataims to determine the safety and tolerability of intravenous AB8939 in patients with refractory or relapsed AML or patients with refractory MDS,and to determine the recommended dose for the second-stage dose expansion study. This dose expansion study aims to determine the schedule for aPhase 2 trial in patients with relapsed/refractory AML and to also provide an early efficacy (response rate) assessment of AB8939.

About acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a serious, life-threating condition and the most common cause of leukemia-related mortality, with a majority of patients facing a highly unsatisfactory prognosis. As such, AML represents an unmet medical need, with limited therapeutic options for patients who are refractory or too frail to benefit from potentially curative but highly toxic treatment, or for those patients that have relapsedfollowing a first complete response. The prevalence of AML in western countries is around 1 per 5,000 persons [6], corresponding to around 100,000 cases in Europe and 60,000 in the USA. Among AML patients, it is estimated that approximately 50% of the patients will not have stem cell transplantation and will relapse. Therefore, the estimated targeted population of AB8938 in AML is around 80,000 people in Europe and the US.

References
[1] Press release dated September 22, 2021
[2] Goubard A, Humbert M, Mansfield C, Hermine O, Dubreuil P, et al. In Vivo Assessment of the Next Generation Microtubule-Destabilizing Agent AB8939 in Patient-derived Xenograft Models of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.Blood (2019) 134 (Supplement_1): 5142.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2019-127143[3]Goubard A, Humbert M, Mansfield C, Hermine O, Dubreuil P, et al. AB8939, a Microtubule-DestabilizingAgent with Potential to Overcome Multidrug Resistance, is Active Across the Range (M0–M7) of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Subtypes. Blood (2019) 134 (Supplement_1): 5154.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2019-127021[4]Humbert M, Goubard A, Mansfield C, Hermine O, Dubreuil P, et al. Anticancer Activity of a Highly Potent Small Molecule Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitor, AB8939. Blood (2019) 134 (Supplement_1): 2075. doi.org/10.1182/blood-2019-122540[5] Press release dated November 7, 2019
Page 3/3[6] National Cancer Institute (View Source)

Phio Pharmaceuticals Announces Upcoming Presentation at the SITC 36th Annual Meeting

On October 18, 2021 Phio Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Nasdaq: PHIO), a biotechnology company developing the next generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics based on its proprietary self-delivering RNAi (INTASYL) therapeutic platform, reported that new data suggesting a systemic immune response can be generated with its lead clinical product candidate, PH-762, after local administration (Press release, Phio Pharmaceuticals, OCT 18, 2021, View Source [SID1234591448]). These data will be presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) (Free SITC Whitepaper) 36th Annual Meeting, being held in Washington, D.C. on November 10-14, 2021.

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Presentation Details are as follows:

Title:

Locally administered immunotherapy self-delivering RNAi PH-762 results in abscopal clearance of untreated distal tumors, suggesting systemic immune response, in a murine hepatocarcinoma model

Abstract Number:

869

Author:

Benjamin Cuiffo, et al.

Time and Date:

7:00 am – 8:30 pm ET on 11/12/2021

Location:

Poster Hall – Hall E

Poster presentations will be accessible in person and virtually. Posters will released on the SITC (Free SITC Whitepaper) website at 7:00 am ET on November 12, 2021 and will also be made available on the "Investors – Events and Presentations" section of the Company’s website (click here).