Novartis names Bulto new U.S. pharma chief as exec reshuffle continues

FiercePharma | August 13, 2019

Novartis leadership shakeup under CEO Vas Narasimhan has led to a new U.S. pharmaceutical chief. Fabrice Chouraqui, who took on the U.S. job in 2016 from now-Gilead exec Christi Shaw, will step down at the end of August, Novartis said. He will be replaced by Victor Bulto, who currently serves as the head of Novartis U.S. immunology, hepatology and dermatology franchise. The Swiss drugmaker didn’t offer a reason for Chouraqui’s departure but praised his “strong leadership, ethics and integrity.” Bulto, a 14-year Novartis exec, was key in driving the U.S. success of psoriasis drug Cosentyx, which enjoyed 31% second-quarter sales growth in the U.S., to $534 million. He has also worked across every therapeutic area at Novartis, the company said. He will report to Marie France Tschudin, president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals globally, who just herself came onto that role after Paul Hudson left to take the helm at Sanofi from retiring Olivier Brandicourt. Tschudin and Bulto are just the latest examples of senior leadership changes at Novartis. Richard Saynor, a former GlaxoSmithKline exec, just took over the Sandoz CEO title from Richard Francis, who left amid a multiyear transformation Narasimhan initiated that's aiming to turn the generics business into a standalone unit within Novartis.

Spotlight

Empty hard capsules are widely used as a dosage delivery system in the pharmaceutical industry. Gelatin or Hypromellose (HPMC) are used as the shell raw material in the majority of pharmaceutical applications for various reasons including their unique thermo-reversibility characteristics, recognised safety profiles and consistent availability of supply.

Spotlight

Empty hard capsules are widely used as a dosage delivery system in the pharmaceutical industry. Gelatin or Hypromellose (HPMC) are used as the shell raw material in the majority of pharmaceutical applications for various reasons including their unique thermo-reversibility characteristics, recognised safety profiles and consistent availability of supply.

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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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PHARMACY MARKET

Walgreens Boots Alliance Completes Majority Share Acquisition of CareCentrix

Walgreens Boots Alliance and CareCentrix | September 01, 2022

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. announced it has completed its previously announced majority share acquisition of CareCentrix, Inc.—the leading independent home-centered platform that coordinates care to the home for health plans, patients and providers. The majority investment in CareCentrix accelerates Walgreens Health’s capabilities in delivering quality healthcare across a spectrum of settings including primary care, specialty pharmacy care, post-acute care and home care. By bringing together Walgreens trusted health services and community presence with CareCentrix’s technology-enabled, care-at-home solutions, the partnership better addresses the needs of people with complex or chronic conditions as they transition out of the hospital. CareCentrix’s advanced data analytics capabilities enable highly personalized care plans to help people transition to the right site of care, prioritizing care in the home when appropriate. This approach supports both care quality and value by reducing hospital readmissions and improving patient satisfaction and outcomes. “We created Walgreens Health to reimagine local healthcare and wellbeing for all. This partnership advances our ability to address the needs of people across care settings immediately following hospital discharge. Our collaboration with CareCentrix is one of the many ways we are expanding on our pharmacy and patient expertise to surround individuals with care when and how they need it.” Roz Brewer, CEO, WBA Healthcare services delivered after discharge, including care delivered in the home, are one of the fastest growing segments in healthcare today. Caring for patients from the hospital to the home represents more than $75 billion in annual healthcare costs for payers, providers and patients. “The most challenging part of the healthcare journey is the last mile – extending healthcare delivery into people’s homes,” said John Driscoll, CEO, CareCentrix. “Together with Walgreens Health, CareCentrix is able to combine Walgreens trusted community presence with our powerful technology-enabled care to better address patients’ unique health needs in their homes.” In addition to home-based care, CareCentrix connects patients to appropriate providers and sites of care post-discharge, utilizing a predictive analytics platform, HomeFirst Analytics. This level of customization also includes pairing patients with care transition teams that support patient engagement for 90 days post-discharge to improve quality metrics. Walgreens Health will continue to advance capabilities that integrate CareCentrix data analytics and home care expertise with WBA’s portfolio of health solutions to identify and close care gaps, as well as coordinate patient care across conditions, settings and provider networks. These capabilities will enable Walgreens to support medication reconciliation for CareCentrix patients transitioning from hospital to home and provide primary care options to patients when needed, including Village Medical physicians and advanced practice providers. CareCentrix will also play a critical role in Walgreens Health integrated offerings to manage population level risk for benefits management and post-acute spend and outcomes. CareCentrix manages care for 19 million members through approximately 7,400 provider locations, and empowers more people to live, heal and age at home. By partnering with health plans and health systems, CareCentrix has reduced total cost of care for members by 20 percent, including a greater than 11 percent reduction in emergency department usage and a 23 percent reduction in skilled nursing costs. This investment gives WBA majority ownership of CareCentrix, investing approximately $330 million for 55 percent of the company at an $800 million valuation, net of debt, with the option to acquire the remaining equity interests in the future. In WBA’s fiscal year 2021, CareCentrix delivered pro forma sales of $1.5 billion. Following the completion of the investment, CareCentrix will continue to operate as an independent company under its current executive leadership. Sidley Austin LLP acted as lead legal advisor for WBA, along with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Citi acted as financial advisor for CareCentrix, Inc., and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as lead legal advisor. About Walgreens Boots Alliance Walgreens Boots Alliance is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities. A trusted, global innovator in retail pharmacy with approximately 13,000 locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, WBA plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem. The company is reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all as part of its purpose – to create more joyful lives through better health. Through dispensing medicines, improving access to a wide range of health services, providing high quality health and beauty products and offering anytime, anywhere convenience across its digital platforms, WBA is shaping the future of healthcare. WBA has more than 315,000 team members and a presence in nine countries through its portfolio of consumer brands: Walgreens, Boots, Duane Reade, the No7 Beauty Company, Benavides in Mexico and Ahumada in Chile. Additionally, WBA has a portfolio of healthcare-focused investments located in several countries, including China and the U.S. About CareCentrix CareCentrix offers value-based home solutions to payors and health systems to help more of their members access the home care they need, when they need it. Through a single platform, CareCentrix coordinates multiple, complex home care needs for over 19 million members through a national network of approximately 7,400 provider locations, resulting in a simplified patient and physician experience. For over 25 years, CareCentrix’s focus on the whole person has improved continuity of care, reduced unnecessary readmissions and unnecessary emergency department utilization, and has delivered positive financial results for health plans. With proprietary HomeFirst Analytics to stratify risk and optimize care delivery, CareCentrix takes on the complexities of care coordination and management of care in the home to provide our clients with essential insights into care at home. CareCentrix has been named one of Fierce Healthcare’s 2022 “Fierce 15” companies and FORTUNE’s Best Workplaces for Aging Services.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Pharma Tech Holdings SA Obtains a Capital Commitment Agreement of CHF 30 million from Global Investor LDA Capital

Pharma Tech | August 09, 2022

Pharma Tech Holding SA announced it has secured a CHF 30 million investment to support its portfolio investments from LDA Capital Ltd, a global investment group with expertise in cross border transactions including the agriculture, Agri-tech, and CBD industries. Established in 2019, PTH is a Swiss based holding company, which invests into innovative businesses with high technological value and scalability potential, mainly in Switzerland and Europe, with a focus on the health-tech, Agri-tech, and functional food. This investment will allow PTH to mainly invest and support its portfolio company Blue Sky Swisse SA a JV between PTH and listed company IGEA PHARMA NV IGPH - ISIN NL0012768675. BSS focuses on the extraction of natural active principles from vegetable matrices, vegetable waste, and renewable sources to deliver B2B products under the form of CBD oil, Terpenes and Waxes. The factory located in Biasca, will be built to the state of art of extraction technology by super critical CO2 and will be energy self-sufficient through the use of solar photovoltaic panels and district heating. BSS will grant for highest CBD quality also due to a proprietary extraction process, starting from the farming performed under strict control and culminating with the immediate freezing of the flowers after harvest, with the target to also sell “all natural” formulations to increase bioavailability thus enhancing the possible applications. Last, but not least, BSS will invest in the agricultural raw material chain and will create an aeroponic green house in Ticino, to deliver a high quality GMP Pharmaceutical CBD oil. LDA Capital agreed to commit an amount of up to CHF 30 million in cash within a maximum of three years. This Capital Commitment will be released based on drawdowns by PTH, that PTH has the right to exercise at its sole discretion. “We’re thrilled with this partnership and are so glad that LDA Capital recognizes the value of PTH and its portfolio company, with the aim of creating one of the most innovative hub for health-tech, agri-tech and functional food,” Sabina Del Nigro, CEO at PTH About Pharma Tech Holding Pharma Tech Holding SA is a holding company based in Lugano, Switzerland, which invests into innovative businesses with high technological value and scalability potential, mainly in Switzerland and Europe, with a focus on the health-tech, Agri-tech, and functional food. About LDA Capital LDA Capital is a global alternative investment group with expertise in cross border transactions worldwide. Our team has dedicated their careers to international & cross border opportunities having collectively executed over 250 transactions in both the public and private middle markets across 43 countries with aggregate transaction values of over US$11 billion.

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