Produced by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, which is part of Takeda, Entyvio is available in more than 60 countries. Sales of the monoclonal antibody exceeded $3 billion last year, a 30% increase over 2018.
By acquiring existing royalty interests from original innovators, Royalty Pharma indirectly funds scientific innovation. The company’s portfolio now includes royalty interests in more than 50 approved products.
“Because of the discoveries of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Entyvio has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients with IBD,” Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma, said in a press release.
“Through transactions such as this, we are furthering our goal of accelerating innovation and making the life sciences research and development ecosystem more efficient and productive,” Legorreta said.
Robert Colvin, an MGH physician and researcher, made the foundational discovery that led to the development of Entyvio, an every-eight-weeks intravenous treatment for adults with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease who fail to respond to other therapies.
“I find it incredibly exciting that a basic scientific discovery made decades ago in a different field has translated into a treatment that is directly helping so many patients today,” Colvin said. “I feel privileged to have been part of the extraordinary pathology team that moved this work forward.”
Approved in 2014 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the gut-selective maintenance therapy Entyvio works by preventing pro-inflammatory immune cells from accessing the gastrointestinal tract.
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently recommended approval of subcutaneous (under the skin) Entyvio injections for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Results from a Phase 3 trial (NCT02611817) showed that, after a year, the treatment’s new formulation as an under-the-skin injection led to more patients entering clinical remission compared to those given a placebo. If approved, this new formulation will allow patients to self-medicate at home instead of going to the hospital to receive the injection.
“The work and dedication of the MGH inventor team of Harvard-appointed pathologists led by Robert Colvin, MD, along with Atul Bhan, MD, James Kurnick, MD, Andrew Lazarovitz, MD, PhD, and Richard Moscicki, MD, is reflective of a system-wide commitment to improving care for patients dealing with challenging conditions,” said Chris Coburn, chief innovation officer at Partners HealthCare.
“Through this transaction with Royalty Pharma, we’ll be able to accelerate our investment in discovery and science for the benefit of patients worldwide. Our congratulations to the remarkable team of pathologists who realized this vision for improving patient care,” Coburn said.
Approximately 1.6 million U.S. residents have IBD, and as many as 70,000 new cases are diagnosed in the country every year, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s are the main forms of IBD.
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