Healthcare & Life Sciences News & Trends Recap: June Week 4

Healthcare & Life Sciences News & Trends Recap: June Week 4

Healthcare & Life Sciences News & Trends Recap: June Week 4


1. Trials

i. Alnylam’s Amvuttra Celebrates Major Success in Highly Anticipated Heart Disease Trial 

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals’s RNA interference drug, Amvuttra (vutrisiran), was found to significantly reduce the risk of death or recurrent cardiovascular events in patients with transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM). The findings potentially position Amvuttra as a new standard of care in ATTR-CM. The drug, currently approved for hereditary ATTR-polyneuropathy, could see its label expanded. The trial results have led to a significant rise in Alnylam’s stock and renewed investor confidence. Analysts are optimistic about Amvuttra’s potential, though they await further details, particularly regarding its combination use with tafamidis. Alnylam plans to seek regulatory approvals later this year and has submitted the trial results for presentation at the European Society of Cardiology. 

Read the full article about Alynylam’s Amvuttra. 


ii. Lilly Targets FDA Approval for Sleep Apnea with Zepbound 

Following Novo Nordisk’s recent FDA approval for Wegovy to reduce heart risks in obese adults, Eli Lilly is advancing its competing weight-loss drug, Zepbound, towards a new application. Detailed phase 3 results from the SURMOUNT-OSA study revealed that Zepbound showed a significant reduction in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and disease resolution in a substantial percentage of patients. Eli Lilly has submitted an application to the US FDA for Zepbound’s use in sleep apnea, with a regulatory decision expected by year-end. The drug currently has a fast-track designation for moderate-to-severe OSA in obese patients. The results mark a second win to Lilly’s recent success with tirzepatide, which was found to aid with metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH). 

Read the full article about Lilly’s Zepbound. 


iii. Fractyl’s Rejuva Shows Potential to Become a One-Time Weight Loss Solution 

Fractyl Health’s gene therapy, Rejuva, showed the potential to become a one-time treatment that continues to promote weight loss and metabolic health even after discontinuation of GLP-1 agonists. This offers a breakthrough from existing therapies, which require continuous administration to maintain efficacy. The therapy integrates a GLP-1-secreting transgene into pancreatic beta cells and uses an AAV9 vector, which is expected to minimise toxicity and offer long-term efficacy. In trials on mice, Rejuva maintained significant, sustained weight loss post-GLP-1 treatment. Clinical trials are planned for 2025, with hopes of providing a more sustainable and cost-effective obesity treatment. 

Read the full article about Fractyl’s Rejuva. 


2. Business Moves  

i. Fosun Expresses Interest in Acquiring Henlius

Major Chinese conglomerate Fosun International announced plans to buy the remaining stake in Shanghai Henlius Biotech, which it does not already own. This acquisition values Henlius at HK$13.37 billion ($1.71 billion). The move marks a shift in Fosun’s strategy of acquiring new assets and diversifying further. The offer of HK$24.60 per Henlius share represents a 30.6% premium over its last trading price. This buyout is likely welcomed by shareholders, given that Henlius shares have been trading significantly below their IPO price. Henlius specialises in research and development of monoclonal antibody drugs. 

Read the full article about Fosun’s acquisition of Henlius.

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Image Sources:

  • Pharmaphorum
  • Fosun Pharma