Ditch the opioid 'negotiating class' proposal, experts say. State attorneys general are better suited to reach a deal

Cities and counties around the U.S. have sued opioid drugmakers and distributors over their alleged role in a nationwide crisis, and plaintiffs recently proposed a “negotiating class” to help the sides reach a settlement. But that idea isn't helping, two experts say. Instead, it's an idea the parties shouldn't sink time into, former Connecticut Deputy Attorney General Perry Zinn Rowthorn told FiercePharma. Rowthorn, along with Connecticut's former Attorney General George Jepsen, this week wrote an op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer picking apart the proposal. The upshot of their argument: State attorneys general, which are running their own investigations and lawsuits, are better equipped to negotiate a settlement favorable to all the plaintiffs involved.

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PHARMA TECH

CGI and Körber announce global partnership to enable pharmaceutical and life sciences clients to improve production operations

PR Newswire | January 23, 2024

CGI, one of the largest business and IT consulting companies in the world, today announced a partnership with Körber aimed at enabling pharmaceutical and life sciences companies to improve their production processes by combining CGI's end-to-end services with Körber's Werum PAS-X Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Suite. The global partnership is designed to help clients increase efficiency, accuracy, and safety in pharma products and enhance decision-making through access to real-time data. "CGI works side-by-side with clients to transform data into actionable insights to drive smart, sustainable and resilient operations," said Tim Hurlebaus President, U.S. Commercial & State Government operations and global executive sponsor for CGI's health and life sciences business. "This includes combining the benefits of MES and Industry 5.0 to gather rich insights to enable operational excellence. Our partnership with Körber complements our offerings portfolio, enabling us to deliver innovative new services and solutions to support the needs of our pharma and life sciences clients." Körber's platform serves as a digital, real-time process controller to shorten time-to-market, lower production costs and enable a more patient-centric approach, improving outcomes and leading to improved health. Compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices, PAS-X MES presents a comprehensive view of data from diverse integrated systems, enabling faster and more informed decisions, which can be a critical advantage in an industry where timing and accuracy are paramount. "Our PAS-X Products and Service Suites facilitate seamless digital transformation projects at our customers globally. By combining forces with CGI's global presence, expertise and complementary service portfolio in pharma and life sciences, we can offer a unique and compelling value proposition. CGI is one of the key partners to continue to expand our offering to our global customers" says Jan-Henrik Dieckert, COO Software, Körber Business Area Pharma. Embedding robust IT and operational technology (OT) security, CGI's business consulting and MES services expertise enables faster, more seamless, and operationally integrated implementation of the platform, including transformation through technical integration, data migration, and organizational change management and adoption. "In our global client insights research, pharma and life sciences executives said optimizing operations is their top business priority. CGI serves as a trusted advisor to help them achieve this priority through ROI-led digitization investments," said Maiken Lykke, Senior Vice-President, CGI Denmark. "We work collaboratively with clients to build solutions that tailor the right mix of services and technologies for their needs. We are pleased to partner with Körber to address the unique client challenges in this industry." CGI delivers clinical and IT solutions for 11 of the top 20 global biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including helping these organizations optimize their processes; launch new therapies for cancer and rare diseases; and drive digital transformation across their research & development, manufacturing and commercial functions globally. About CGI Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world. With 91,500 consultants and professionals across the globe, CGI delivers an end-to-end portfolio of capabilities, from strategic IT and business consulting to systems integration, managed IT and business process services and intellectual property solutions. CGI works with clients through a local relationship model complemented by a global delivery network that helps clients digitally transform their organizations and accelerate results. CGI Fiscal 2023 reported revenue is C$14.30 billion. About Körber We are Körber – an international technology group with more than 12,000 employees at over 100 locations worldwide and a common goal: We turn entrepreneurial thinking into customer success and shape the technological change. In the Business Areas Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, and Technologies, we offer products, solutions and services that inspire. We act fast to customer needs, we execute ideas seamlessly, and with our innovations we create added value for our customers. In doing so, we are increasingly building on ecosystems that solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Körber AG is the holding company of the Körber Group.

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RESEARCH

DotLab announces top-tier, global pharmaceutical research clients for its DotEndo platform

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

DotLab, a medical diagnostics company, announced top-tier pharmaceutical research clients for its DotEndo platform. The customers include global companies with interests in diagnosing or monitoring endometriosis on a Research Use Only basis in clinical trial subjects to support the development of new medicines. "We're proud to share the news of our global pharmaceutical partners, which are complementary to our planned, large clinical offering for commercial endometriosis tests based on our technologies," said DotLab's founder, Heather Bowerman. "Our pharma partners conducted rigorous diligence of our science and intellectual property prior to the execution of our contracts, and they view our platform as the first of its kind and the leader in this space." The DotEndo™ platform's AI/ML technology was developed via DotLab's EMPOWER clinical trial, a prospective, observational, multi-center study run at endometriosis centers of excellence across the United States. EMPOWER is the most robust clinical study of its type ever performed for diagnosing and monitoring endometriosis, making it an excellent foundation for the platform. Based on these successes, DotLab announced Morgan Stanley as a new investor in late 2023. "We intend to continue to offer our pharma clients – and, ultimately, clinicians – a comprehensive endometriosis menu of tests and tools. Endometriosis is notorious for its complex biology, and there has long been a need for tests and tools to diagnose and monitor endometriosis – and ultimately, to improve endpoints for the disease in therapeutic trials," said Bowerman. About DotLab Dot Laboratories, Inc. ("DotLab") is solving some of the world's most significant diagnostic challenges via the latest advancements in multiomics and computational biology. The company delivers clinical innovations to areas of significant unmet need via novel, cutting-edge biomarkers and the power of machine learning to deliver non-invasive tests. The company has driven a paradigm shift in the identification and management of endometriosis. DotLab is female-founded and female-led.

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RESEARCH

ISOMORPHIC LABS ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC MULTI-TARGET RESEARCH COLLABORATION WITH LILLY

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Isomorphic Labs, a digital biology company with a mission to redefine drug discovery using the power of artificial intelligence, today announced that it has entered into a strategic research collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company. This marks Isomorphic Labs' first pharmaceutical partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, Isomorphic Labs will partner with Lilly to discover small molecule therapeutics against multiple targets and will receive an upfront cash payment of $45 million. Isomorphic Labs is eligible to receive up to $1.7 billion in performance-based milestone payments, excluding the upfront payment and any subsequent tiered royalties of up to low double digits on net sales. "We're thrilled to embark on this partnership and apply our proprietary technology platform, the next generation of AlphaFold, and access to massive computing power to Lilly's development programs," said Demis Hassabis, CEO and founder of Isomorphic Labs. "The focus we share on advancing groundbreaking drug design approaches and appreciation of state-of-the-art science makes this partnership particularly compelling." Isomorphic Labs operates autonomously within Alphabet, with its own dedicated resources and exclusive focus on the application of AI to drug discovery. The company is reimagining the entire drug discovery process from first principles with an AI-first approach, working to build powerful new predictive and generative models of biological phenomena to anticipate how drugs will perform and design novel molecules. Building on the success of AlphaFold and working in collaboration with Google DeepMind, Isomorphic Labs has made remarkable progress in developing the Next Generation of AlphaFold. This new iteration of AlphaFold expands beyond proteins to include small molecules and nucleic acids. Through deep integration of this next generation AlphaFold with other breakthrough AI models developed at Isomorphic Labs, the company is able to better understand the underlying biological mechanisms of drug targets, and rationally design novel therapeutics. ABOUT ISOMORPHIC LABS Isomorphic Labs is an autonomous subsidiary of Alphabet that was launched from Alphabet's DeepMind in 2021 to build on the success of AlphaFold, the company's groundbreaking work in protein folding. That work was heralded as the 'Breakthrough of the Year' by Science and 'Method of the Year' by Nature in 2021. Based in London and now with a second location in Lausanne, Switzerland, Isomorphic Labs was founded and is led by AI pioneer Demis Hassabis, who also co-founded and leads Google DeepMind. As pioneers in digital biology, the company's mission is to use AI to accelerate drug discovery and ultimately find cures for some of humanity's most devastating diseases. Using its AI-first approach to drug discovery and biology, the company's ambition is to advance a new era of medical breakthroughs.

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