IBM is ending sales of Watson for Drug Discovery

Medcitynews | April 19, 2019

IBM is stopping development and sales of its tool that utilizes Watson AI to help pharmaceutical companies find new drugs, according to a STAT report. A source told STAT that the product, Watson for Drug Discovery, wasn’t yielding large enough financial returns. The source noted that some IBM employees were recently informed of the decision, and it prompted a process to revaluate IBM’s work in the pharma industry and look at other opportunities. IBM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, IBM spokesman Edward Barbini told STAT that the company will continue serving customers already using the tool to analyse data for R&D. “We are focusing our resources within Watson Health to double down on the adjacent field of clinical development where we see an even greater market need for our data and AI capabilities,” Barbini told STAT.

Spotlight

The WHO estimates the average medication adherence rate is 50% in developed nations. Compared to the top 15 most adherent countries on Medisafe, the U.S. healthcare system ranks among the lowest. How do cardiology drug adherence rates vary by day and time? Type of heart treatment? Number of meds taken simultaneously? Which pharma companies manufacture drugs with the highest adherence rates on Medisafe? Download this infographic for comparative data and valuable insider insights on cardiology drug adherence that pharma companies should consider for their products and marketing strategies.

Spotlight

The WHO estimates the average medication adherence rate is 50% in developed nations. Compared to the top 15 most adherent countries on Medisafe, the U.S. healthcare system ranks among the lowest. How do cardiology drug adherence rates vary by day and time? Type of heart treatment? Number of meds taken simultaneously? Which pharma companies manufacture drugs with the highest adherence rates on Medisafe? Download this infographic for comparative data and valuable insider insights on cardiology drug adherence that pharma companies should consider for their products and marketing strategies.

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RESEARCH

Ora, Inc. Launches the Ora EyecupTM, a Revolutionary Ophthalmic Research Technology at Eyecelerator 2022

Ora, Inc. | September 29, 2022

Ora, Inc., the world's leading ophthalmology clinical research firm, has formally launched a revolutionary mobile research platform, Ora EyeCupTM, which promises to transform patient data capture through high-resolution imaging, artificial intelligence (AI) analysis, and real-time patient feedback. The Ora EyeCupTM, a finalist in the Most Valuable Clinical Technology Award category at the Reuters Events Pharma Awards USA 2022, will be presented by Dr. Gustavo De Moraes, Chief Medical Officer at Ora, at this year’s Eyecelerator Conference in Chicago, IL, September 29th. The Ora EyeCupTM platform is a powerful combination of hardware and software — a smartphone attachment and software application which allows patients to take high-resolution images of their eyes and track disease signs and symptoms remotely. With over 138,000 images captured to date, 98% are considered gradable by researchers and AI. Post-capture processing utilizes AI-powered image analysis for precise clinical assessments of ocular redness, tear film stability, and corneal health. Along with this, the Ora EyeCupTM ensures protocol adherence through compliance assurance diaries for both symptom tracking and therapy dosing. “At Ora, our technologists have spent the past two years developing this revolutionary system to capture patient data and provide a deeper understanding of therapeutic effect. The result is a trailblazing technology that captures high quality therapeutic data and improves the likelihood of study success.” Dr. De Moraes About Ora, Inc. Ora is the world's leading full-service ophthalmic drug and device development firm with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Asia. For over 40 years, we have proudly helped our clients earn more than 55 product approvals and create vision beyond what they see. We support a wide array of organizations, from start-ups to global pharmaceutical and device companies, to efficiently bring their new products from concept to market. Ora's pre-clinical and clinical models, unique methodologies, and global regulatory strategies have been refined and proven across thousands of global projects. We bring together the world's most extensive and experienced team of ophthalmic experts, R&D professionals, and operations management to maximize the value of new product initiatives. Think ophthalmology, think Ora.

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PHARMA TECH

Salarius Pharmaceuticals and VolitionRx Enter into R&D Collaboration Agreement

Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | August 03, 2022

Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for patients with cancer in need of new treatment options, and VolitionRx Limited a multinational epigenetics company, today announced the signing of a research and development collaboration to advance rapid epigenetic profiling using Volition’s Nu.Q® technology to support further development of Salarius’ clinical stage drug, seclidemstat. Seclidemstat, a novel oral, reversible, targeted LSD1 inhibitor that affects gene expression, is currently in Phase 1/2 clinical studies for solid and hematologic cancers where LSD1 is implicated in disease progression. Nu.Q® has been developed as simple, easy-to-use, cost-effective blood tests to diagnose and monitor a range of life-altering diseases including cancer in humans and animals. “We are delighted to collaborate with Volition and believe its Nu.Q® technology may provide valuable biomarker information as we seek to advance the development of seclidemstat in multiple clinical indications. Biomarkers allow for a noninvasive method for determining target engagement and potential drug activity in patients. So, this exciting research collaboration with Volition Rx Limited provides another tool to aid in the development of seclidemstat in clinic.” David Arthur, Chief Executive Officer of Salarius Gael Forterre, Chief Commercial Officer of Volition, added, “We are excited to be collaborating with Salarius as part of our Nu.Q® Discover program which offers biopharma companies and academia access to our state-of-the-art assays for rapid epigenetic profiling. We are looking forward to supporting Salarius in the development and release of their groundbreaking seclidemstat therapy, to directly benefit patients with cancer.” About VolitionRx VolitionRx Limited is a multinational epigenetics company that applies its Nucleosomics™ platform through its subsidiaries to develop simple, easy-to-use, cost-effective blood tests to help diagnose and monitor a range of life-altering diseases including some cancers and diseases associated with NETosis such as sepsis and COVID-19. Early diagnosis and monitoring have the potential not only to prolong the life of patients but also to improve their quality of life. The tests are based on the science of Nucleosomics, which is the practice of identifying and measuring nucleosomes in the bloodstream or other bodily fluid to indicate that disease is present. Volition is primarily focused on human diagnostics and monitoring but also has a subsidiary focused on animal diagnostics and monitoring. Volition's research and development activities are centered in Belgium, with an innovation laboratory and office in the U.S. and additional offices in London and Singapore. For more information, please visit the Volition Rx Limited website. About Salarius Pharmaceuticals Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for patients with cancer in need of new treatment options. Salarius’ product portfolio includes seclidemstat, Salarius’ lead candidate, which is being studied as a potential treatment for pediatric cancers, sarcomas and other cancers with limited treatment options, and SP-3164, an oral small molecule protein degrader. Seclidemstat is currently in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for relapsed/refractory Ewing’s sarcoma and certain additional sarcomas that share a similar biology, also referred to as Ewing’s-related or FET-rearranged sarcomas. Seclidemstat has received fast track, orphan drug and rare pediatric disease designations for Ewing’s sarcoma from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Salarius is also exploring seclidemstat’s potential in several cancers with high unmet medical need, with an investigator-initiated Phase 1/2 clinical study in hematologic cancers underway at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Salarius has received financial support from the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to advance the Ewing’s sarcoma clinical program and was a recipient of a Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

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PHARMA TECH

Gerresheimer and Zollner enter into a strategic partnership for electronically controlled medtech systems from a single source

Gerresheimer AG | August 18, 2022

Gerresheimer AG and Zollner Elektronik AG are pooling their market-leading pharmaceutical and medical technology expertise under a strategic partnership. Starting immediately, they will offer pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotech companies their conceptual design, development and manufacturing capacities for drug delivery and medical technology systems, including complete electronics, from one single source. Gerresheimer serves as the central point of contact for customers. The market-leading partners combine the expertise of Gerresheimer in innovative devices for the administration of medicines and medical technology systems with the globally established electronics expertise of Zollner. Together they want to further develop their expertise in the healthcare sector and open up new markets. With this strategic partnership, Gerresheimer and Zollner are counting on the global trend toward electronic, digitally controllable and connected drug delivery and diagnostic systems. These include insulin pens, inhalators, like for people suffering with asthma, Point-of-Care systems and medicine pumps. The demand for medical and pharmaceutical devices with electronic components mostly for the treatment of chronic illnesses will significantly increase in coming years. According to studies, the market for digital and connected solutions for the treatment of diabetes alone is expected to grow to around EUR 11bn by 2025. Zollner Elektronik AG is one of the world's largest manufacturing service providers for electronic and mechatronic components (Electronic Manufacturing Services or EMS). It generated revenues of around 1.9 billion Euros with just over 12,000 employees at 23 locations in Germany and abroad, 18.3% of that in the area of Healthcare & Life Sciences. "The future belongs to digital treatment support with electronic systems and connected platforms. The partnership with Zollner helps us provide our pharma customers with innovative one-stop medtech solutions. For patients, using these solutions means better treatment and enhanced quality of life. At the same time, the healthcare system also benefits by way of permanently reduced treatment costs." Dietmar Siemssen, CEO of Gerresheimer AG "Digitalization of medical devices is advancing at a very fast tempo. At Zollner, we are happy to have found an ideal partner in Gerresheimer for the expansion of our successful Healthcare & Life Sciences efforts," says Markus Aschenbrenner, Managing Board Member at Zollner. "Together we will expand access to existing markets, exploit new growth markets and support our mutual customers along the entire life cycle of the products." Zollner and Gerresheimer have collected much cooperation experience in numerous projects. The electronics specialist in Zandt already supplies Duesseldorf-based Gerresheimer with components and assemblies for medicine pumps in Parkinson's therapy. Gerresheimer and Zollner are now further developing this cooperation and will act as equal partners for the healthcare system of the future. Through the integration of concept design, development and manufacturing, the products of both sides can be brought to market faster and more efficiently. Also gained is permanent, secure access to electronic components. The cooperation initially covers the development of inhalers for chronic lung disease sufferers, autoinjectors, ophthalmology systems and drug pumps, as well as contract manufacturing for these and similar devices.

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