B6 Linked With Lowered Anxiety; FDA Approves Opzelura For

Read about the biggest pharmaceutical developments and pricing stories from the past week in KHN’s Prescription Drug Watch roundup.

Vitamin B6 Supplements Could Reduce Anxiety And Depression 

Trial participants reported feeling less anxious or depressed after taking high doses of Vitamin B6 for a month. The trial provides evidence that the calming effect B6 has on the brain could make it effective in preventing or treating mood disorders. (University of Reading, 7/19)

Incyte’s Opzelura Has Clinched A Second Nod In Vitiligo

After a three-month delay this spring, Incyte has clinched its second dermatology nod for Opzelura. And this time, it’s a historic one. (Kansteiner, 7/19)

International Travel Linked To Spread Of Multidrug-Resistant STIs

International travel may play a critical role in the spread of multidrug-resistant (MDR) sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to a study published late last week in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease. (Marburg, 7/18)

New England Journal of Medicine:
Overall Survival With Brentuximab Vedotin In Stage III Or IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

For decades, first-line treatment with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) has been the standard of care for the treatment of advanced-stage classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma.1 However, a substantial proportion of patients with stage III or IV disease have a relapse or disease that is refractory to ABVD.1-3 (Ansell, M.D., Ph.D., et al, 7/13)

Fierce Biotech:
CytomX Slashes Headcount By 40% After Breast Cancer Setback

First the setback, then the cuts. CytomX Therapeutics became the latest biotech to follow the rhythm of the industry late Wednesday, when it set out plans to reduce its headcount by 40% to extend its cash runway after its lead candidate failed to meet the bar for moving into phase 3.Staffers at CytomX got wind it may be time to start polishing their résumés last week, when the failure of CD166-directed antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) praluzatamab ravtansine in triple-negative breast cancer prompted the biotech to seek a partner for the candidate. Lacking another in-house clinical-phase asset, CytomX has decided to slim down to reserve cash as it works to rebuild its pipeline. (Taylor, 7/14)

UCSC IGEM Developing Yeast-Based Type 2 Diabetes Medication For 2022 International Competition

With just three months remaining until the International Genetically Engineering Machine (iGEM) Jamboree in Paris, France, the 2022 UC Santa Cruz iGEM team is making steady progress on their project: an alternative treatment for Type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and the 7th leading cause of death globally. Their project addresses the high costs and limited availability of diabetes medication with a yeast-based treatment, which would allow underserved populations around the world to grow and access the medicine locally. (Weckerle, 7/18)

Lynparza Phase 3 Flops, Leading Merck, AZ To End Trial

Sometimes you swing and miss. As AstraZeneca and Merck try to prove Lynparza across tumor types, the companies stopped a phase 3 trial investigating the drug in colorectal cancer after the study was found unlikely to succeed. (Becker, 7/19)

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