The 71st annual American College of Cardiology’s Scientific Session saw several wins – and some “mehs” led by some of biopharma’s largest companies, according to BioSpace.

Maybe Spider-Man was on to something. Although spider silk and synthetic forms have been used for a wide range of applications – including bullet-proof clothing, biodegradable bottles, and bandages and surgical thread – new research suggests it may have a use for cancer therapies.

Pfizer and Ionis Pharmaceuticals announced that the former is abandoning the vupanorsen program for cardiovascular (CV) risk reduction and severe hypertriglyceridemia (SHTG), or high triglycerides. Pfizer was leading the program.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Novartis’ Leqvio (inclisiran), the first small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapy to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol or LDL-C) with two doses a year, after an initial dose and one at three months.

As a class of drugs to treat high cholesterol, PCSK9 inhibitors have had trouble gaining tracking in the marketplace.

Michigan-based Esperion on Oct. 18 announced a plan to reduce the company’s overall workforce by 40 percent and significantly decrease operational expenses in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to optimize long-term growth.

Novartis AG said on Sept. 1 the company agreed on a deal with Britain’s healthcare service provider for use of the drugmaker’s new anti-cholesterol product Leqvio, after the country’s healthcare cost agency NICE approved the medicine.

Novartis will manufacture the anti-cholesterol medicine Leqvio at the company’s own plant in Austria to supply the United States as the Swiss drugmaker seeks U.S. approval that has been delayed by regulatory concerns over a contractor’s Italian facility.

Speculation regarding poorer outcomes for those with high cholesterol and/or heart disease infected with SARS-CoV-2 are well known. A real-world study published by the FH Foundation confirms Covid-19 increased heart attack rates significantly in patients with these conditions. 

Amryt inked an all-stock acquisition deal with Chiasma. The combined company will focus on rare and orphan diseases with three marketed products and a strong development pipeline.