FiercePharmaAsia—Daiichi cancer test result, Samsung’s profit, Astellas’ corporate ad

Daiichi Sankyo, Samsung BioLogics, Astellas and Biocon made the news this week.

Welcome to this week's FiercePharmaAsia report, which includes stories about preliminary results from Daiichi Sankyo's safety issue-haunted cancer trial and an antibody-drug conjugate deal it formed with Glycotope, Samsung's third-quarter earnings report and more.

1. Daiichi Sankyo posts rare cancer data from suspended ENLIVEN test

Daiichi Sankyo and partner Plexxikon just revealed top-line results from a phase 3 study testing pexidartinib in a rare type of cancer, saying that the medication met its primary endpoint, and that benefit/risk evaluation is underway. Patient enrollment was cut short last fall after two serious liver toxicity cases, but the trial was allowed to carry on with existing subjects.

2. Samsung reports operating profit, extends collaboration with Merck KGaA

Samsung BioLogics reported KRW 20.5 billion operating profit ($18.2 million) on KRW 127.5 billion ($113.4 million) in revenues for the third quarter, the first time it showed an operating profit. Its first plant is running at full pace, its second facility continues to draw new contracts and the third one is slated to complete by the end of the year.

3. Despite phase 2 miss, Daiichi Sankyo wants Glycotope lead antibody for cancer ADC

Glycotope’s antibody gatipotuzumab failed to show an improvement in cancer progression-free survival on its own in a phase 2b trial. Now the German biotech is hoping Daiichi Sankyo’s antibody-drug conjugate technology could breathe new life into the drug. If the approach proves successful, the Japanese drugmaker can claim exclusive worldwide rights to the drug.

4. 'What is the meaning of science?' Astellas asks with latest corporate branding effort

Astellas unveiled a new corporate branding campaign with TV ad running exclusively on CNBC. Employees appear in the ad to symbolize the company’s approach to innovative collaboration. The campaign asks, “What is the meaning of science?” and answers, “Helping make a difference in patients’ lives” as a voiceover note in the ad.

5. Biocon's profit halved by regulatory 'headwinds' that hit its biosimilar plant

Regulatory concerns have taken a toll on Biocon’s bottom line. The Indian drugmaker’s last-quarter profit fell 53% to 69 crore ($10.7 million) compared to same time last year, though total revenues were up 3%. Biocon partner Mylan’s filing for a Lantus competitor was hit with a patent lawsuit from Sanofi, while the partners’ Herceptin and Neulasta biosimilars after run into FDA delays.