How AI is helping pharma cope with supply chain disruption

EPM Magazine | June 25, 2020

As the Covid-19 crisis continues to unsettle global economies and business sectors worldwide, pharma companies are facing huge disruption to their supply chains and clinical research.

And while research into potential Covid-19 vaccines and treatments is speeding along, the pandemic has slowed or brought to a halt clinical trials for other diseases, with organisations like Eli Lilly and other big name pharma’s’ putting the brakes on non Covid-19 trial activity. In fact, 50% of respondents in a recent BSI survey said they will be making changes to their supply chain moving forward.

In this climate, with pharmaceutical supply chains under so much pressure, businesses are understandably focused on protecting supplier relationships as different parties are forced to cancel agreements, delay their contractual obligations or renegotiate key terms.

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Spotlight

From drug development services to delivery technologies and supply solutions, we are the catalyst for your success. Catalent has the deepest expertise and the most innovative drug delivery technologies to enhance your product performance, including OptiDose™ optimized dosing, Zydis® fast-dissolve formulations and OptiMelt™ hot melt extrusion.

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PHARMA TECH

European Medicines Agency Accepts Astellas' Marketing Authorization Application for Fezolinetant

Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 30, 2022

Astellas Pharma Inc. announced the European Medicines Agency has accepted for regulatory review the company's marketing authorization application for fezolinetant, an investigational oral, nonhormonal compound seeking approval for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause.1,2 "More than half of women 40 to 64 years of age experience hot flashes during menopause, with limited nonhormonal treatment options. The EMA's acceptance of our MAA for fezolinetant brings us one step closer to advancing a potential first-in-class nonhormonal treatment option for women in Europe who experience VMS associated with menopause, similar to the FDA acceptance of our NDA for women in the U.S." Ahsan Arozullah, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President and Head of Development Therapeutic Areas, Astellas The MAA is supported by results from the BRIGHT SKY™ program, which included three Phase 3 clinical trials that collectively enrolled over 2,800 women with VMS across Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Results from the SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™ pivotal trials characterize the efficacy and safety of fezolinetant for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause. Data from the SKYLIGHT 4™ safety study further characterizes the long-term safety profile of fezolinetant. Within the MAA, Astellas proposes a 45 mg daily dose, which is subject to the EMA's review. Fezolinetant is an investigational nonhormonal selective neurokinin 3 receptor antagonist. The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established. This acceptance will have no impact on Astellas' financial forecasts of the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. About the BRIGHT SKY™ Phase 3 Program The BRIGHT SKY pivotal trials, SKYLIGHT 1™ and SKYLIGHT 2™ enrolled over 1,000 women with moderate to severe VMS. The trials are double-blinded, placebo-controlled for the first 12 weeks followed by a 40-week treatment extension period. Women were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe. SKYLIGHT 4™ (NCT04003389) is a 52-week double-blinded, placebo-controlled study designed to investigate the long-term safety of fezolinetant. For SKYLIGHT 4, over 1,800 women with VMS were enrolled at over 180 sites within the U.S., Canada and Europe. About VMS Associated with Menopause VMS, characterized by hot flashes and/or night sweats, are common symptoms of menopause.1,2 Worldwide, more than half of women 40 to 64 years of age experience VMS with rates in Europe ranging from 56% to 97%.3,4,5 The prevalence of moderate to severe VMS in postmenopausal women in Europe has been reported at 40%.6 VMS can have a disruptive impact on women's daily activities and overall quality of life.1 About Fezolinetant Fezolinetant is an investigational oral, nonhormonal therapy in clinical development for the treatment of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause. Fezolinetant works by blocking neurokinin B (NKB) binding on the kisspeptin/neurokinin/dynorphin (KNDy) neuron to moderate neuronal activity in the thermoregulatory center of the brain (the hypothalamus) to reduce the frequency and severity of moderate to severe VMS associated with menopause.7,8,9 The safety and efficacy of fezolinetant are under investigation and have not been established. There is no guarantee the agent will receive regulatory approval or become commercially available for the uses being investigated. About Astellas Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Accord BioPharma Partners with StoryMD to Deliver Advanced Prostate Cancer Educational Content to Clinicians and Patients

Accord BioPharma | September 21, 2022

Accord BioPharma, the U.S. specialty division of Intas Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., focused on development of oncology, immunology, and critical care therapies, announced today a partnership with StoryMD. The StoryMD platform is a single, unified, personalized digital health information portfolio that curates the most relevant, visually rich content based on a patient's condition. Accord BioPharma has signed on as StoryMD's very first corporate partner, to support StoryMD's advanced prostate cancer content, allowing Accord BioPharma to provide a comprehensive, user-friendly tool to help patients and their caregivers navigate advanced prostate cancer, just in time for prostate cancer awareness month this September. "At Accord BioPharma, we recognize the need to go beyond biology – and beyond our responsibility of drug development – to help change the clinician and patient experience at all touchpoints in the care continuum where we can," said Chrys Kokino, President of U.S. BioPharma at Accord BioPharma. "StoryMD exemplifies that mission by providing clinicians with clear, easy-to-understand visuals, videos, and health information that help their patients understand their disease journey. Partnering with StoryMD on their advanced prostate cancer content felt like a natural fit given our recent drug launch." In March of this year, Accord BioPharma announced the U.S. launch of CAMCEVI® (leuprolide) 42mg injection emulsion for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer in adults. CAMCEVI should not be used in patients with hypersensitivity to GnRN, GnRH agonist analogs as anaphylactic reactions to these drugs have been reported in the medical literature. Accord BioPharma is heading all commercial initiatives in the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the New Drug Application (NDA) of CAMCEVI from Foresee Pharmaceuticals on May 25, 2021. Through a vast library of curated, clinically accurate disease-state information, graphics, and videos, StoryMD enables physicians to share an easy-to-understand disease journey with patients at the point of care, which can help increase patient retention of information and engagement, improve physician efficiency, and reduce the amount of misinformation patients may seek out on their own. "Accord BioPharma is making efforts to provide important patient and provider education in pursuit of our aim to offer latest treatment options to patients of advanced prostate cancer and we look forward to our collaboration with StoryMD to provide comprehensive and user-friendly tools for patients and care givers" said Binish Chudgar, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, which is the parent company of Accord BioPharma. "Every once in a while, you meet a person and a partner who has a vision. Chrys Kokino has that vision to go beyond drug development and sees the value in advancing technology rather than being afraid of it. And that's exactly what we want – partners who recognize the gap in communication between physicians and patients and who want to work together to close that gap and fill an unmet need." Alexander Tsiaras, CEO and Founder at StoryMD On the importance of prostate cancer awareness, Tsiaras said, "I have a family member who works in the medical field, and when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it was amazing how little he knew. Cancer is such a confusing and overwhelming disease – 'Do I wait and watch? Should I be aggressive in treatment?' So, even for the most educated among us, it is a scary moment. Accord BioPharma and StoryMD are working together to go beyond offering patients drug options to impart knowledge and serve as a trusted resource." About Accord BioPharma Accord BioPharma, the U.S. specialty division of Intas Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., seeks to provide affordable, accessible, patient-centric therapies in oncology, immunology, and critical care. With a focus on improving the patient's experience, Accord BioPharma goes beyond the biology of medicine to see disease from the patient's perspective and develop high-quality therapies that impact patient's lives. The founders of Accord BioPharma have dedicated their time, passion, and resources to focusing on specialty care and treatments, proactively developing better ways of working, and delivering enhanced therapies. About CAMCEVI® CAMCEVI® injection emulsion is the first-ever ready-to-inject sterile formulation of leuprolide mesylate for subcutaneous injection that comes in a pre-filled syringe with no mixing required. In an open-label, single-arm study of 137 adults who received 42mg of CAMCEVI on Day 0 and Week 24, CAMCEVI offered consistent testosterone suppression to castrate levels (less than or equal to 50ng/dL) after the initial injection, from Week 4 to Week 48.1 CAMCEVI should not be used in patients with hypersensitivity to GnRH or GnRH analogs due to possible anaphylactic reactions.

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PHARMA TECH

Cambrex Completes First Phase of $30 Million Capacity Expansion Project in High Point, North Carolina

Cambrex | September 05, 2022

Cambrex today announced the completion of the first phase of its $30 million investment in its small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility in High Point, North Carolina. The newly constructed space adds analytical and chemical development laboratories totaling 30,000 square feet and provides future workspace for 85 analytical and chemical development scientists. These laboratories will support the development of APIs to be manufactured in the facility's current clinical manufacturing area, as well as the future expanded clinical manufacturing and commercial manufacturing suites. "With the growing number of therapies in clinical development and trend toward more targeted therapeutics, including orphan drugs, this expansion is preparing Cambrex to support the growing demand for small-scale API manufacturing. Our expansion goes beyond providing capacity – it provides state-of-the-art technology and laboratory equipment, an energy efficient infrastructure, and an ideal space for our scientific experts to work side-by-side with our clients." Tom Loewald, CEO, Cambrex Phase 2 of the project is ongoing and will approximately double the facility's manufacturing capacity with the addition of clinical and commercial manufacturing suites with reactors up to 2,000 liters. The new commercial area will provide an ideal scale for the manufacturing of orphan drugs and niche therapies, while larger volume products developed at the facility can be manufactured commercially at one of Cambrex's larger scale facilities in Iowa and Sweden. This expansion follows Cambrex's 2021 investment in the Cambrex High Point continuous flow R&D center of excellence, including expanded capabilities for continuous flow process development, manufacturing, and scale up. Cambrex continues to expand its capabilities and capacity across its North American and European network to meet the growing demand for outsourced product development and manufacturing services. About Cambrex Cambrex is a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization that provides drug substance, drug product, and analytical services across the entire drug lifecycle. With over 40 years of experience and a growing team of over 2,300 experts servicing global clients from North America and Europe, Cambrex is a trusted partner in branded and generic markets for API and finished dosage form development and manufacturing. Cambrex offers a range of specialized drug substance technologies and capabilities, including biocatalysis, continuous flow, controlled substances, solid-state science, material characterization, stability storage, and highly potent APIs. In addition, Cambrex can support conventional dosage forms, including oral solids, semi-solids, and liquids, and has the expertise to manufacture specialty dosage forms such as modified-release, fixed-dose combination, pediatric, bi-layer tablets, stick packs, topicals, controlled substances, sterile, and non-sterile ointments.

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