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

cloverdalereporter | April 14, 2019

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

For the 14th year in a row, AHRQ is reporting on health care quality and disparities. The annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) is mandated by Congress to provide a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial and socioeconomic groups.

Spotlight

For the 14th year in a row, AHRQ is reporting on health care quality and disparities. The annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) is mandated by Congress to provide a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial and socioeconomic groups.

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PHARMA TECH

AstraZeneca, Daiichi Sankyo push Enhertu closer to the blockbuster frontier with stomach cancer

Daiichi | January 20, 2021

Daiichi Sankyo and partner AstraZeneca have taken their HER2-targeted cancer drug Enhertu another step toward blockbusterland. The FDA cleared Enhertu for HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer patients who previously received Roche’s standard-of-care Herceptin, the companies said Monday. An antibody-drug conjugate, Enhertu is the first HER2-directed therapy approved in gastric cancer in a decade, the companies said. And it earned the green light after showing—for the first time in this patient population—that an HER2 drug could top chemotherapy at helping patients live significantly longer. In the pivotal Destiny-Gastric01 trial in Japan and South Korea, Enhertu cut the risk of death by 41% versus chemotherapy in patients who had progressed on at least two previous treatments, including Herceptin. At an interim analysis, patients on Enhertu had lived a median 12.5 months, versus 8.4 months with chemotherapy, according to data presented at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. On the study’s primary endpoint of overall response rate, Enhertu shrank tumors in 40.5% of patients, compared with a response rate of 11.3% in the chemo arm. Previously treated HER2-positive stomach cancer now becomes Enhertu’s second U.S. approval, on top of its original nod in third-line HER2-positive breast cancer. Both Daiichi and AZ are banking their oncology revenue growth on Enhertu. Daiichi’s in the middle of a transformation that puts oncology front and center as the Japanese pharma pivots away from the cardiovascular and metabolic fields. As part of the overhaul, the company’s targeting JPY500 billion ($5 billion) in peak oncology drug sales. Enhertu could take about half of that load: It now bears a 2024 sales estimate of around $2.5 billion, with some bullish industry watchers projecting peak sales above $4 billion.

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PHARMA TECH

Iktos Announces Deployment of their AI for Drug Design Software Makya™ by Chiesi Group

Iktos and Chiesi Group | December 03, 2021

ktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design today announced collaboration agreement in AI for new drug design with Chiesi Group, the international research-focused pharmaceutical and healthcare. Under the agreement, Iktos’s de novo generative design software Makya™ will be used by Chiesi scientists to facilitate rapid and cost-effective design of novel compounds and accelerate hit-to-lead/lead optimisation for undisclosed Chiesi’s drug discovery programmes. Iktos has released Makya™, a generative AI-driven de novo design software for Multi-Parametric Optimization available either as a SaaS platform or for implementation on customer premises or in the customer’s Virtual Private Cloud. 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. “Licensing Makya is another step Chiesi wanted to complete in digitalization of R&D and in particular in drug discovery. The possibility of applying cutting edge AI technology relying on our internal expertise and historical data to drug design is very appealing. We think this emerging technology will become soon part of the compound design toolkit for all medicinal chemists, to facilitate their work aimed at identifying the right molecule”. Maurizio Civelli, Head of Global Research and Pre-Clinical Development Area of Chiesi Group “We are proud to work with Chiesi Farmaceutici, one of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies in the world, and to have their 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 put our technology in the hands of drug discovery scientists, who have deep knowledge and understanding of their discovery programs. By combining their drug discovery expertise with our algorithmic and data science know-how and experience derived from the many collaborations we have established to date, we believe that the promise of AI to dramatically improve drug discovery will have a better chance to be realized and impact therapeutic development”. 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 Chiesi Group Based in Parma, Italy, Chiesi is an international research-focused pharmaceutical and healthcare group with over 85 years’ experience, operating in 30 countries with more than 6,000 employees. To achieve its mission of improving people’s quality of life by acting responsibly towards society and the environment, the Group researches, develops and markets innovative therapeutic solutions in its three focus areas: AIR (products and services that promote respiration, from new-born to adult populations), RARE and CARE. The Group’s Research and Development centre is based in Parma and works alongside six other important research and development hubs in France, the U.S., Canada, China, the UK and Sweden to pursue its pre-clinical, clinical and regulatory programmes. In 2018 Chiesi changed its legal status to Benefit Corporation, according to the law in Italy, the USA and, more recently, in France, by incorporating common benefit objectives into its bylaws, to generate value for its business, for the society and the environment. Since 2019, Chiesi has been the world’s largest B Corp certified pharmaceutical group. B Corps are global leaders committed to using business as a force for good. Moreover, as a Benefit Corporation, Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. is required by law to report annually in a transparent way about its progress in achieving the common benefits objectives it has incorporated. The Group is committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2035.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Lubrizol Life Science Launches Advanced, Natural Nutraceutical Solution to Support Mental Agility

Lubrizol Life Science | October 28, 2020

Lubrizol Life Science Health (LLS Health) launches ASTAGILE™ microcapsules, its new sustainable, organic-certified, astaxanthin (Haematococcus pluvialis), microencapsulated with spirulina. The two ingredients have been uniquely combined in a patent-pending product designed to promote mental agility and support healthy ageing for young and senior adults. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid found in freshwater microalgae, and spirulina is a type of algae. Both have numerous health promoting effects. To create the synergistic algae blend, LLS Health teamed with Neoalgae Micro Seaweeds Products, SL, a research and development company in Spain dedicated to microalgae biotechnology.

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