Fourth carcinogen discovered in heart pills used by millions

Indiatimes | June 19, 2019

An online pharmacy told U.S. regulators it found another cancer-causing chemical in widely prescribed blood-pressure pills, raising new questions about a complex global web of companies that produces medicine for millions of people. A solvent called dimethylformamide was discovered in the drug valsartan made by several companies, including Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG, according to a filing last week to the Food and Drug Administration by New Haven, Connecticut-based Valisure. Dozens of forms of generic valsartan have been recalled since July 2018, when the carcinogenic chemical N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, was detected in a version of the drug made by a Chinese company. Valsartan is a decades-old treatment for hypertension that is frequently combined with other medicines into a single pill. Valisure found DMF in valsartan that is still on the market in the U.S., including in medicines the FDA had highlighted as alternatives to recalled drugs.

Spotlight

In this paper we envisage future opportunities for value creation by the global biopharma industry. We set these opportunities in the context of an evolving healthcare ecosystem which continually creates new business opportunities and challenges for the industry. We illustrate our ideas with some examples and reflect on the actions which the industry needs to consider.

Spotlight

In this paper we envisage future opportunities for value creation by the global biopharma industry. We set these opportunities in the context of an evolving healthcare ecosystem which continually creates new business opportunities and challenges for the industry. We illustrate our ideas with some examples and reflect on the actions which the industry needs to consider.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Merck Enters Collaboration and Option to License Agreement with Nerviano Medical Sciences to Develop Next-Generation PARP1 Selective Inhibitor

Merck | September 22, 2022

Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced a collaboration agreement with licensing option with Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. for the next-generation highly selective and brain-penetrant PARP1 inhibitor, NMS-293. NMS-293 has strong potential in combination with a wide variety of DNA-damaging agents, including systemic or targeted chemotherapy or with DNA damage response inhibitors, in numerous tumor types. NMS-293 is in early clinical development for the treatment of patients with BRCA-mutated tumors as a single agent and in combination with temozolomide in recurrent glioblastoma. “Building on the therapeutic impact that PARP inhibitors have had over the last several years, we believe this new PARP1 program, if successful, could fill a significant unmet need for patients unresponsive to existing PARP inhibitors with an improved hematological adverse event profile. The work of NMS to discover and advance this next generation PARP1 selective inhibitor coupled with our deep expertise in developing therapies which modify DNA damage response mechanisms, creates a strong foundation to further develop this investigational therapy for patients.” Victoria Zazulina, M.D., Head of Development Unit Oncology for the Healthcare business of Merck PARP is key in the repair of DNA damage, and PARP inhibitors have been shown to be highly efficacious in the treatment of patients with tumors deficient in homologous recombination repair, such as breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers with BRCA-mutations. Under the current agreement, Merck will make early payments (up-front and option exercise fees) of up to $65 million to NMS. Furthermore, NMS will receive payments for the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones and tiered royalties on net sales by Merck. Upon exercise of the option, NMS will grant to Merck the exclusive rights to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize NMS-293. During the option period, NMS and Merck will collaborate on the clinical development of NMS-293, with NMS designing, sponsoring, conducting, and funding global clinical trials. About NMS-293 NMS-293 is an orally available small molecule inhibitor of PARP1 and is currently in early clinical development for the treatment of patients with BRCA mutated tumors as single agent and with recurrent Glioblastoma (GBM), a brain tumor with very high medical need, in combination with temozolomide (TMZ). About Merck Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. More than 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck generated sales of € 19.7 billion in 66 countries.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Labcorp Plans Laboratory Expansion in Japan Through BML Collaboration

Labcorp | July 04, 2022

Labcorp a leading global life sciences company, announced that it is enhancing its central laboratory presence and drug development capabilities in Japan through an expansion of CB Trial Laboratory, the central laboratory co-managed by Labcorp Drug Development and BML, a leading Japanese provider of clinical laboratory testing services. Extending their strategic relationship that dates back more than a decade, Labcorp Drug Development and BML will begin work on a new laboratory facility in the city of Kawagoe, Saitama, expanding capacity and services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. This will bolster Labcorp Drug Development’s central laboratory services offerings in Japan and sets the stage for a continued acceleration of companion diagnostic capabilities. “Labcorp Drug Development remains committed to growing its Japanese operations and services through continued expansion and partnerships. Broadening our work with BML and increasing our laboratory footprint means we will be able to offer shorter turnaround times, superior in-country sample management and full lab testing services for global clinical trials in Japan. This will benefit patients, clients and health care providers by providing them with the information needed to make key decisions.” Honggang Bi, senior vice president and head of Asia-Pacific for Labcorp Drug Development The new facility will be located near BML’s General Laboratory in Kawagoe where the current CB Trial Laboratory is located, providing over 4,000 square meters of dedicated space for global clinical trials managed by Labcorp Drug Development. The new space will be greater than five times the size of the current facility, with additional capabilities such as genomics, microbiology and companion diagnostics in addition to expanded offerings in current lab capabilities including flow cytometry, immunology, and anatomical pathology and histology. Completion of the expanded laboratory is expected by early 2025. Through the planned laboratory expansion, Labcorp will advance biomarker and esoteric testing services, expand its companion diagnostics portfolio and deepen the integration with its clinical development services. In addition, the company will be able to intensify its focus on cell and gene therapy research and development, part of a broader commitment to precision medicine and fortifying the company’s position as an oncology leader. “In collaborating with Labcorp, we are able to offer our pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients access to both comprehensive clinical laboratory testing and drug development opportunities,” said Dr. Kensuke Kondo, president of BML. “The laboratory expansion provides additional capabilities and capacity and opens the door to enriched services, more resources and better outcomes for our clients and patients.” Labcorp and BML have successfully provided central laboratory services for global clinical trials in Japan since 2010 through kit production, sample logistics and laboratory operations at CB Trial Laboratory. Their partnership agreement was renewed in 2020. About Labcorp Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company that provides vital information to help doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and patients make clear and confident decisions. Through our unparalleled diagnostics and drug development capabilities, we provide insights and accelerate innovations to improve health and improve lives. With over 75,000 employees, we serve clients in more than 100 countries. Labcorp reported revenue of $16 billion in FY2021.

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PHARMA TECH

Porton Advanced and Royaltech Announce Strategic Collaboration to Accelerate the Development of Bacterial Drugs and mRNA Drugs

Porton Advanced Solutions | August 29, 2022

Porton Advanced Solutions.announced a strategic cooperation with Suzhou Royaltech Med Co., Ltd. This strategic collaboration will further integrate the resources and capabilities of both parties, jointly promote the establishment of microbial vectors used for gene therapy and mRNA drug platform technology, and accelerate the R&D process of bioinnovative drugs. Porton Advanced provides an end-to-end gene and cell therapy CDMO service platform covering plasmids, cell therapy, gene therapy, oncolytic virus, nucleic acid therapy and viable bacteria therapy. Suzhou Royaltech focuses on the development of vaccines for tumor immunotherapy with its proprietary technologies, and fast transition from clinical to market . Its R&D pipeline covers the attenuated non-integrated Listeria platform, mRNA platform, and cell therapy platform. All these platforms are in the leading position not only in China but also abroad, and have a complete layout of invention patents. "We are very pleased to enter into this strategic collaboration with Royaltech. The core management team of Royaltech is from the top pharmaceutical companies, with an average of 15 years of R&D and management experience and is advancing an internationally competitive R&D pipeline. Porton Advanced's end-to-end gene and cell therapy CDMO platform with rich project experience and comprehensive quality system will help Royaltech the development of Listeria and mRNA drugs, push its R&D pipeline in a quick, efficient manner, and accelerate the development and implementation of innovative drugs, so that good medicines can benefit the public earlier." Dr. Yangzhou Wang, CEO of Porton Advanced Dr. Chun Xu, Chairman of Royaltech, said: "As a Biotech company, we are grateful to work with Porton Advanced, a very professional CDMO company, to jointly build a unique Listeria and mRNA tumor vaccine platform technology, and constantly develop leading tumor immunotherapeutic biological drugs in China and abroad." About Porton Advanced Solutions Established in Suzhou Industrial Park in December 2018, by its parent company Porton Pharma Solutions Ltd. Porton Advanced has built a CDMO platform integrating plasmid, cell therapy, gene therapy, oncolytic virus, nucleic acid therapy and microbial vectors used for gene therapy providing end-to-end services from cell banking, process development and analytical development, cGMP production to final Fill and Finish , investigator-initiated clinical trials (IIT), investigational new drugs (IND), clinical trials to commercial production. Porton Advanced is dedicated to support sponsors advance their GCT drug development and market launches. Porton Advanced focuses solely on gene and cell therapy services. Built on the professional experience of its cohort of world-class professionals, as well as on the successes of its parent company, Porton Advanced insists on "Customer First" and the tenet of "Compliance, Expertise, Focus, Open Collaboration". With its key focus on protecting IP for its sponsors, through its comprehensive project management and quality systems, Porton Advanced strives to bring gene and cell therapy products to the clinic and the market through its quality CDMO services, and help bring the best medicine to the public sooner. About Royaltech Headquartered in Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou Royaltech Med Co., Ltd. was founded in July 2016. In July 2017, a wholly-owned subsidiary, Shanghai Royaltech Co., Ltd. was set up in Shanghai International Medical Zone. As a high-standard innovation center of biological drugs, Shanghai Royaltech focuses on CMC development of innovative tumor vaccine, and fast clinical application of up-to-date cell immunotherapy. Since establishment, Royaltech has submitted several patents for invention to the State Intellectual Property Office. It focuses on the development of innovative tumor vaccine, and fast clinical application of up-to-date cell immunotherapy. Its R&D pipeline covers mRNA, oncolytic virus, bacteria, AAV, cell therapy platform and so on. Its core management team is from top universities in US and top 10 big pharma, with an average of 15 years of R&D and management experience. Our scientists have excellent capability on molecular biological engineering, target discovery and verification, pre-clinical R&D, quality control and assurance, and clinical trials of cell immunotherapy. On the strength of our rich experience on target biomarker, target discovery and verification, and global multicenter clinical trials, we are advancing an internationally competitive R&D pipeline.

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