Weekly Quick Hits (Greater Philly) – Week of March 13, 2023

Funding and Collaborations

Sanofi to Buy Provention Bio

Paris-based Sanofi is buying Red Bank, NJ-headquartered Provention Bio for $25 per share, or about $2.9 billion. The acquisition picks up Tzield, the first disease-modifying treatment for delay of Stage 3 type 1 diabetes.

UroGen Pharma Reported 2022 Full Year and Q4 Results

Princeton, NJ-based UroGen Pharma reported its full-year and Q4 2022 results. One of the business highlights was full enrollment in the Phase III ENVISION trial of UGN-102 for LG-IR-NMIBC and topline data expected from the ATLAS trial, the predecessor to ENVISION, expected mid-year 2023. The company reported full-year revenue of $64.347 million and $99.963 million in cash.

New Products

Copperhead Earns Northrop Grumman’s 2022 Strategic Excellence Award

Mount Laurel, NJ-based Copperhead Chemical Company, a subsidiary of PMC Group International, received the Northrop Grumman’s 2022 Strategic Excellence Award as part of their Supplier Excellence Awards. The award identifies Copperhead as a top supplier within Northrop Grumman’s global network of more than 10,000 suppliers.


Neuronetics’ NeuroStar Receives Patient Impact Award

Neuronetics, headquartered in Malvern, Pa., announced its NeuroStar advanced therapy received a Life Sciences Pennsylvania’s annual Patient Impact Award for 2022. NeuroStar is an FDA-cleared and non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment for depression in adults.

Research Roundup

Penn Research: Immune System Battles Bacteria in the Intestines

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania published research into how the immune system in the intestines battles a bacterial infection caused by Yersinia tuberculosis, which causes gastrointestinal disease. In their research, they found the host immune system forms small, walled-off lesions in the intestines called granulomas in response to Yersinia infections. The granulomas are sustained by monocytes, a type of immune cell.

Drexel Research: The Role of Tip60 in Alzheimer’s Disease

Drexel University researchers identified a novel regulatory mechanism in the brain that is required for manufacturing the appropriate proteins that promote healthy brain function. The research focused on the role of the Tip60 enzyme in binding to specific RNA in the brain to control how they are spliced. The splicing generates protein diversity required for learning and memory. Most of the RNA that Tip60 binds to are encoded by genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease progression.

Immunocore Presents 4 Posters at AACR Annual Meeting

Immunocore, with offices in the UK, Conshohocken, Pa. and Rockville, Md. will present four posters at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2023. Three of the posters revolve around tebentafusp in metastatic uveal melanoma, with the forth being, “Melanoma patients with high and low target-expression can benefit from TCR-CD3 bispecifics through direct and indirect mechanisms of tumor control.” 

Penn Research: Possible Strategy to Improve Cell Therapy in Solid Tumors

Although cell therapies are very effective in hematological cancers, solid tumors have proved to be a more difficult nut to crack. Penn researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine published research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggesting that disrupting T-cell inflammatory regulators Regnase-1 and Roquin-1 improved antitumor activity of engineered human T-cells.

People on the Move

Emily Whitehead, 1st Pediatric Patient to Receive CAR-T, Celebrates 10-Year Cure

The first pediatric patient to receive CAR-T therapy, Emily Whitehead, celebrates her cure 10 years later. Emily Whitehead, then six years old, was treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Clario Announces Rod MacKenzie New Chairman of the Board

Philadelphia-based Clario announced Rod MacKenzie, PhD, as the company’s hew board chairman. Most recently, MacKenzie was CEO and EVP at Pfizer. He was previously chairman of the board of TransCelerate.