Astellas taps TikTok influencers to talk menopause symptoms in a first pharma move – Endpoints News

Astellas is breaking new ground with TikTok as the first pharma company involved in the social media channel’s TikTok Pulse program.
TikTok Pulse places ads next to the most popular content — the top 4% — instead of the typical contextual placements in viewers’ personal feeds. In Astellas’ case, the ads are menopause symptom awareness videos created by two women influencers. Astellas gave the influencers a general brief to create a TikTok video about menopause with a focus on vasomotor symptoms — also known as night sweats or hot flashes.
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APAC is the fastest growing region globally for cell & gene therapy trials representing more than a third of all cell & gene studies globally, with China leading in the region. 
APAC is the leading location globally for CAR-T trials with China attracting ~60% of all CAR-T trials globally between 2015-2022. The number of CAR-T trials initiated by Western companies has rapidly increased in recent years (current CAGR of about 60%), with multiple targets being explored including CD19, CD20, CD22, BCMA, CD30, CD123, CD33, CD38, and CD138.
Relative to the protracted journey of developing a gene therapy delivered by a lentiviral vector, the speed at which bluebird bio moved from having one approved product to two was extremely fast.
Exactly a month after the FDA gave its green light to bluebird’s Zynteglo — to treat beta thalassemia — the agency came through with an approval for a second gene therapy for early, active cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD). The drug, previously known as eli-cel and now branded Skysona, will have a wholesale acquisition price of $3 million and should become available by the end of this year.
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The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

John Carroll:

I’m joined by Jean-Charles Soria, the senior vice president oncology therapeutic area head for Amgen, Priti Hegde, the chief scientific officer for Foundation Medicine, Antoine Yver, the chairman of development for Centessa, Jeff Legos, executive vice president, global head of oncology for Novartis, and Jack West, associate professor, vice president of Network Strategy for City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. I would like to thank all of you for turning out here today. I know you’ve all been very busy, and you’ve all been watching what’s been going on at ESMO, whether you’re here or watching it remotely.
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Vanda Pharmaceuticals took the FDA to court three separate times this year as it struggles to win over regulators with its sleep and chronic digestive disorder drugs. Now, the company has agreed to drop $11.5 million to settle claims that it illegally promoted the sleep drug and one other off-label.
A suite of investors filed a class action suit against Vanda back in 2019, alleging that the company promoted unapproved uses for its two commercial drugs Fanapt and Hetlioz, the former of which treats schizophrenia in adults and the latter of which is cleared for sleep disruptions in those with Smith-Magenis syndrome and Non-24, a circadian rhythm disorder common in blind patients.
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The FDA just gave Heron Therapeutics a win for its post-surgery nausea and vomiting drug — and its fourth approval so far.
The San Diego biotech put out word Friday that the FDA approved its drug, NK1 inhibitor aprepitant, as an IV infusion to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in adults. The condition is a common side effect of anesthesia and surgery, with close to a third of patients receiving anesthesia before surgery and up to 80% of those patients experiencing PONV.
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After rumors of stalled buyout talks between Merck and Seagen, perhaps a new Tukysa indication could reignite interest.
The FDA has granted Tukysa a priority review in combination with Genentech’s Herceptin for second-line HER2-positive metastatic colorectal cancer, the company revealed on Monday. The decision comes just a couple of months after Seagen uncorked the full Phase II results at ESMO, boasting a notable improvement in overall survival from the last readout.
About five weeks after Pfizer said its 20-valent vaccine follow-up to Prevnar 13 was effective in infants in a US study, the Big Pharma now has the data from an EU late-stage trial that will send the jab to the continent’s regulators by year’s end.
Both the US and European Medicines Agency are expected to have the filings in hand for 20vPnC for infants before the first babies of 2023 are born. The US greenlit the vaccine, known as Prevnar 20, for adults in June 2021, and for the same population in the EU, where it’s known as Apexxnar, on Valentine’s Day of this year.
Almost exactly five years ago, Teva captured the industry’s attention with its high-profile recruitment of Kåre Schultz at Lundbeck for the top job at the troubled generics giant. And now the CEO has his last year in view as he promises to finish the turnaround he had promised in 2017.
Schultz jumped to Teva for an initial pay package worth more than $44 million — including a whopping $20 million bonus right off the bat. Plagued by thinning margins and falling prices, he initially focused on making deep cuts to the organization in an effort to fix what ailed it while paying down a heavy debt load.
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Longtime Endpoints readers would know that every year, editor-in-chief John Carroll handpicks a group of up-and-coming private biotech upstarts that are promising to shake up the field — or fail loudly. This year’s Endpoints 11 will be announced against a dramatic backdrop, and we’ll be presenting the awards in person. Join us for the celebration — featuring a fireside chat with Nobel Prize laureate Phillip Sharp — in Boston.
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