Drug Maker Novartis in Advanced Talks To Acquire Cytokinetics

India Pharma Outlook Team | Wednesday, 10 January 2024

 India Pharma Outlook Team

Novartis, a Swiss drugmaker, is in advanced talks to acquire Cytokinetics, an American biotechnology business. Novartis is anticipated to win the Cytokinetics auction, beating out competitors such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

The deal is also expected to grant Novartis access to Cytokinetics’ experimental treatment, Aficamten, for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) treatment.In December 2023, Aficamten met the primary endpoint of improvement in patients’ exercise capacity in a late-stage trial, as per healthcare.

In a Phase 3 trial, Novartis reported that Scemblix (asciminib) with the investigator's preferred tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) outperformed standard-of-care TKIs in terms of MMR rates. Scemblix is intended to target the ABL myristoyl pocket while minimizing off-target kinase-mediated impact.

The ASC4FIRST research looked at Scemblix in newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The research reached both primary objectives of MMR rate for Scemblix as compared to investigator-selected TKIs and imatinib, with clinically relevant and statistically significant results for both.

Furthermore, the medicine showed a favorable safety and tolerability profile, with fewer adverse events (AEs) and treatment discontinuations when compared to investigator-selected standard-of-care TKIs. Shreeram Aradhye, President of Novartis Development and Chief Medical Officer, stated, "We are excited that Scemblix may help people newly diagnosed with CML achieve their treatment goals while continuing to live their lives."

“Given the chronic nature of their condition, patients often need to be on TKI therapy for many years, so treatment options that are well tolerated and highly efficacious are crucial to support adherence.

“This study outcome builds on our 20-year legacy in CML innovation as we strive to continue to address the remaining unmet needs for people living with this blood cancer."

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