Big pharma might cut R&D, delay new drugs if pharmacare means more generics: memo

cloverdalereporter | April 14, 2019

Big pharma might cut R&D, delay new drugs if pharmacare means more generics: memo
Brand-name drug companies could put off introducing new medicine in Canada and scale back research here if the country makes a major shift to cheaper generic alternatives under a national pharmacare plan, according to an internal federal analysis. The concerns were included last year in a briefing document for federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau that explored the feasibility and costs of a pharmacare program. Pharmacare is shaping up as a key campaign issue in the October election, particularly for the Liberals. The Finance Department’s analysis was created a few days before Morneau’s 2018 budget officially launched an advisory group on Canada-wide pharmacare, which the Liberals say will cut costs and improve Canadians’ access to prescription drugs. The document said more information is needed to fully understand how national pharmacare would affect drug spending in Canada — and what it would mean for revenues and business operations for the domestic pharmaceutical industry.

Spotlight

In 2015–2016, 7,195 pharmacies in England administered influenza vaccinations to almost 600,000 individuals as part of the first year of the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service, with some pharmacies delivering over 1,000 vaccinations.

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PHARMA TECH

Iktos Announces Deployment of Their AI for Drug Design Software Makya™ by Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.

Iktos | December 09, 2021

Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design today announced recent collaboration agreement in AI for new drug design with Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., a leading global pharmaceutical company based in China with a focus on research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative and high-quality healthcare products. Under the agreement, Iktos’ de novo generative design software Makya™ will be used by Hengrui scientists to facilitate rapid and cost-effective design of novel compounds and accelerate hit-to-lead/lead optimisation for undisclosed Hengrui Pharma’s drug discovery programmes. Iktos has released Makya™, a generative AI-driven de novo design software for Multi-Parametric Optimization (MPO), available either as a SaaS platform or for implementation on customer premises or in the customer’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Makya’s user-friendly interface enables it to be used by medicinal or computational chemists. Makya™ can also be operated as a Python package through a Jupyter notebook interface. Iktos’ AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps bring speed and efficiency to the drug discovery process, by automatically designing virtual novel molecules that have desired activities for treating a given disease. This tackles one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules which simultaneously satisfy multiple bioactivity and drug-like criteria for drug discovery and development. “Innovation is the core development strategy. Hengrui has a strong interest in exploring and utilizing enabling technologies, such as AI, to transform and accelerate the discovery of innovative medicines. We are excited about the opportunity to use Iktos’ proprietary AI platform to beef up our drug design and discovery capability to better address unmet clinical needs”. Dr. Weikang Tao, Vice President of Hengrui Pharma and CEO of R&D Centers "We are very pleased to collaborate with Hengrui Pharma, a leading global pharmaceutical company based in China. We are excited and proud to announce our first collaboration deal in China pharma sector and to have Hengrui Pharma scientists use our software in their early discovery programs", said Yann Gaston-Mathé, Co-founder and CEO of Iktos. "It is our ultimate goal to facilitate our technology usage by expert drug discovery scientists, who have deep knowledge and understanding of their discovery programs. This way, the promise of AI to dramatically improve drug discovery will have a better chance to be realized and impact therapeutic development. At Iktos, we strive to build an innovative technology platform capable of improving the efficiency of drug discovery by combining our powerful algorithmic technology, our know-how derived from the experience of the many collaborations we have established to date, and an intuitive and user-friendly user interface which is essential to an optimal user experience.” About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a start-up company specializing in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, the design of molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project. The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya™. Iktos is also developing Spaya™, a synthesis planning software based upon Iktos’s proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis. About Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. is a leading global pharmaceutical company based in China with a focus on research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative and high-quality healthcare products. Innovation is the core development strategy. Hengrui Pharma has 8 innovative products marketed and more than 50 clinical-stage innovative candidates, of which 20 are currently under global clinical development. Hengrui Pharma ranked 21st among the top 1,000 global pharma companies announced by Torreya in 2020. Hengrui has been on the Pharma Exec’s annual listing of the top global pharmaceutical companies for the third consecutive year, rising from the 47th in 2019 to the 38th in 2021.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Fosun Pharma and Insilico Medicine Announce a Strategic, AI-driven Drug Discovery and Development Collaboration to Jointly Advance Multiple Targets

Insilico Medicine | January 18, 2022

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, a leading innovation-driven international healthcare group in China and Insilico Medicine, an end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery and development company, entered into a collaboration agreement to advance the discovery and development of drugs targeting a number of different targets globally through the use of AI technology. This strategic collaboration includes an AI-driven drug discovery research and development (R&D) collaboration on four biological targets, as well as the co-development of Insilico's QPCTL program. Insilico will receive a total upfront payment of $13 million for the R&D collaboration projects and the co-development of the QPCTL program, potential milestone-based payments, and share commercialization profits from the QPCTL program. In addition, Fosun Pharma will make an equity investment in Insilico. "We are pleased to enter into strategic collaboration with Insilico. Fosun Pharma is committed to promoting innovative R&D, and is oriented towards fulfilling unmet clinical needs and improving products' accessibility. We look forward to working with Insilico to leverage the technological and clinical development strengths of both companies, jointly improving the efficiency of innovative drug R&D, and benefiting more patients worldwide," Yifang Wu, Chairman and CEO of Fosun Pharma The collaboration aims to combine Insilico's end-to-end AI-driven drug discovery platforms and Fosun Pharma's clinical development and commercial expertise to discover and develop a portfolio of novel therapeutics. Pursuant to the collaboration agreement, Insilico will take responsibility for delivering a preclinical candidate for the QPCTL program and advancing it to IND stage, after which, Fosun Pharma will then conduct human clinical studies and co-develop the candidate globally. In parallel, Fosun Pharma's R&D team will nominate four therapeutic targets to be assessed by Insilico's AI platform and R&D team, who are responsible of advancing drug candidates to IND stage. As part of the collaboration, Fosun Pharma will secure access to Insilico's PandaOmics and Chemistry42 platforms in order to advance Fosun Pharma's internal AI-powered discovery and development efforts. "In partnering with Fosun Pharma, a leading pharmaceutical company, we begin a new era of AI-powered end-to-end drug discovery and development as human-machine collaboration becoming the new normal in precision drug discovery and development. We previously demonstrated that AI can be used to discover novel targets and generate novel molecules that can be tested in humans in record time. Now, we are partnering with one of the leading scientific teams in the pharmaceutical industry to take this technology to the next level for the benefit of patients worldwide", said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, Founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine. About Fosun Pharma Founded in 1994, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a leading innovation-driven international healthcare group in China. Fosun Pharma strategically operates businesses in the pharmaceutical and health industry, including pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical devices and medical diagnosis, and healthcare services. Through equity participation in Sinopharm Co., Ltd., Fosun Pharma's business extends to pharmaceutical distribution and retail. About Insilico Medicine Insilico Medicine, an end-to-end AI-driven drug discovery and development company, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. Insilico Medicine has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques to discover novel targets and to design novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is delivering breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases and aging-related diseases.

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InDex Pharmaceuticals to present the successful results of the CONDUCT study at two leading medical conferences

Prnewswire | August 24, 2020

We are very pleased that the abstract with the CONDUCT study results has been selected for oral presentation at both the UEGW and the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting", says Peter Zerhouni, CEO of InDex Pharmaceuticals. "These events are great opportunities for us to further reach the international scientific community with the successful results." UEGW is the largest scientific meeting for gastroenterologists in Europe and is this year held virtually October 11-13. The CONDUCT study will be presented on October 12 during the session "IBD: Clinical trials III" which starts at 16:30 CET. The abstract (OP117) is titled "COBITOLIMOD FOR MODERATE-TO-SEVERE LEFT-SIDED ULCERATIVE COLITIS (CONDUCT): A PHASE IIB, RANDOMISED, DOUBLE-BLIND, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED, DOSE-RANGING TRIAL".

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Spotlight

In 2015–2016, 7,195 pharmacies in England administered influenza vaccinations to almost 600,000 individuals as part of the first year of the national NHS Flu Vaccination Service, with some pharmacies delivering over 1,000 vaccinations.