New GSK flu vaccine deal, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ ALS approval and Chimerix and Bavarian Nordic smallpox contracts


Some of the top stories coming out of Canadian healthcare and life sciences, including a new GSK flu vaccine deal, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ first approval for an ALS drug, and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recent smallpox contracts with Chimerix and Bavarian Nordic.


GSK flu vaccine deal renewal (Reuters)

The Canadian government has renewed a deal for an annual supply of at least of 4 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines with GSK which includes the option to procure up to 80 million more doses.

“This contract renews our longstanding relationship with GlaxoSmithKline to ensure that we are prepared to protect everyone in Canada in the case of pandemic influenza,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said.


Ultragenyx selling royalty interest on rare disease drug to Canadian pension plan OMERS (Endpoints)

Ultragenyx announced the sale of 30 percent of its royalty interest from Kyowa Kirin on future sales of the rare disease drug Crysvita in the US and Canada to OMERS, one of the largest pension plans in Canada, for USD 500 million

Approved in the US and Canada for X-linked hypophosphatemia, or abnormally low levels of phosphate in the blood, and FGF23-related hypophosphatemia in tumor-induced osteomalacia, the drug has already registered USD 1.2 billion in net sales in North America since it was launched four years ago.


Amylyx’s first approval for ALS drug from Canada (Reuters)

Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has been approved by Health Canada. The approval came with certain conditions, which included data from its global late-stage study expected in 2024 and came after the review period was extended by three months. The drug will be sold in Canada under the brand Albrioza.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to make a decision on the drug by September.


Canadian Biotech Zymeworks to move to tax-friendly Delaware (FiercePharma)

Zymeworks, established in Vancouver for some 20 years, announced that it will be setting up shop in the US tax-lenient state of Delaware. The company is calling the move a “redomicile” because Delaware does not require companies to physically locate their headquarters in the state in order to take advantage of its tax laws. The company said that it would maintain its Vancouver site for early R&D.

For the move to come through Zymeworks still needs two-thirds of security holders to approve it and for the New York Stock Exchange and the Supreme Court of British Columbia to give the green light. The new Delaware corporation, targeted for the fourth quarter of 2022, will be deemed “New Zymeworks,” but the company will retain its current branding and stock exchange ticker.


Chimerix lands USD 25.3 million contract for smallpox drug (Reuters)

Public Health Agency of Canada recently awarded Chimerix Inc a contract of up to USD 25.3 million for its smallpox drug, Tembexa, which many be used to treat monkeypox. This is the second large procurement contract the company has closed as of late, with the first order worth USD 9.3 million.

“This second international procurement contract highlights Tembexa’s important role as a medical countermeasure and the need to have these types of medicines in strategic stockpiles for all age groups,” said Chief Executive Officer Mike Sherman.


Another smallpox deal with Bavarian Nordic (Reuters)

Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic has also signed a deal with Canada for its smallpox vaccine, which has been approved there for use against monkeypox. The deal was worth USD 56 million and will see deliveries for the vaccine beginning next year.

“In parallel, Bavarian Nordic continues to secure contracts with other countries, including Denmark, but also countries outside Europe, to supply the vaccine to mitigate the current monkeypox outbreak”, the company announced.

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