Pixuvri approved for use in EU

pharmatimes | June 13, 2019

Servier has announced that its non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma drug, Pixuvri (pixantrone), has been granted the conversion of the conditional approval into standard marketing authorisation as a single agent. The indication noted is for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma. The company also announced that to satisfy requirements of the conditional authorisation, a further Phase III clinical study, PIX306, was completed to provide additional efficacy data to confirm the benefit of the treatment in patients that had received prior treatment regimens containing rituximab. While the superiority of the drug with rituximab compared to gemcitabine with rituximab was not met, both progression-free survival and overall survival results in patients with ≥ 2 prior treatment lines were similar, when indirectly compared to the Pixuvri treated population in the pivotal study PIX301. There are currently “limited treatment options for multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma,” said Professor Pier Luigi Zinzani from the University of Bologna Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology in Bologna, Italy.

Spotlight

Once deemed an “experts-only” approach to chemical synthesis, flow chemistry is a cost-efficient technique growing in popularity that can increase safety and flexibility and improve product quality. However, not all chemical profiles perform better under flow conditions. Thus, you must know how to evaluate whether your API will perform better with batch versus flow chemistry, as this dictates not only the process you will use for scale-up but also the facility and expertise needed to do it successfully.

Spotlight

Once deemed an “experts-only” approach to chemical synthesis, flow chemistry is a cost-efficient technique growing in popularity that can increase safety and flexibility and improve product quality. However, not all chemical profiles perform better under flow conditions. Thus, you must know how to evaluate whether your API will perform better with batch versus flow chemistry, as this dictates not only the process you will use for scale-up but also the facility and expertise needed to do it successfully.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

WuXi STA Breaks Ground for New Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facility in Middletown, Delaware

WuXi AppTec | August 17, 2022

WuXi STA, a leading Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization is pleased to announce the groundbreaking for its new 190-acre pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in Middletown, Delaware. First announced in June 2021, this site will be WuXi STA's second facility in the United States, offering expanded capacity and greater flexibility to meet the needs of customers in the U.S. and around the world. The WuXi STA Middletown site is located in the Middletown Business Center at 1091 Industrial Drive, and the new state-of-the-art facility will create approximately 500 full-time jobs by 2026. Phase I of the new campus will provide formulation development, clinical and commercial drug product manufacturing services for a variety of oral and injectable dosage forms, as well as packaging, labeling, storage and distribution services for clinical trial materials and commercial drug products. WuXi STA has 12 sites across the U.S., Europe and Asia that offer a range of services and meet or exceed all regulatory standards. Together with three other drug product manufacturing sites in Couvet Wuxi City (China) and Shanghai this new facility will further enhance the company's global drug production capacity and capabilities. "The biopharmaceutical industry is part of Delaware's DNA. Over the next five years, WuXi STA plans to build a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in one of Delaware's fastest-growing communities, bringing with it good jobs and economic growth. This campus is only possible because of Delaware's world-class, innovative workforce. Thank you to WuXi STA, Middletown Mayor Kenny Branner and everyone who made this project possible." Delaware Governor John Carney "The First State continues to be a first-rate destination for businesses looking to innovate and grow," said Senator Tom Carper. "This investment by WuXi STA helps position Delaware as a continued global leader in biopharmaceuticals, further cementing the manufacturing might of one of our fastest growing communities. Delaware's workforce is ready to help build the future of our life-saving pharmaceuticals. This state-of-the-art campus will create good jobs and help fortify our supply chains here at home." "This biopharmaceutical facility is one most significant private sector investment ever in the Middletown region," said Senator Chris Coons. "I am excited about WuXi STA's decision to choose Middletown for one of their new manufacturing facilities. This isn't just the largest private-sector investment in Middletown's history – it's a defining moment that will bring many more good-paying jobs to Delaware and will further cement the First State as a world leader in biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing. Thanks are due to everyone from Middletown to Dover to Washington who helped us get to this point, whether by making continued investments in NIIMBL, improving our education system from kindergarten to our universities, or ensuring that Delaware workers have the skills manufacturers like WuXi AppTec are looking for." "As the First State, Delaware has always had a spirit of innovation – constantly seeking new opportunities and ventures that will strengthen our economy and our state as a whole," said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. "Today's groundbreaking of the WuXi STA pharmaceutical manufacturing plant represents another step in that spirit of innovation – bringing good-paying jobs to Middletown and strengthening communities throughout Delaware. The state-of-the-art facility will bring 500 full-time jobs over the next several years, growing our state's workforce and allowing us to manufacture more goods domestically - enhancing our economic competitiveness on the global stage." "We are truly looking forward to our partnership with WuXi STA, as the groundbreaking today marks the kick-off to them making their new home in Middletown, Delaware. WuXi STA will be joining our bustling industrial area, just steps away from Clarios, Datwyler, Amazon and Breakthru Beverage, just some of the companies that have invested in Middletown. When asked by WuXi STA about our business-friendly attitude, these businesses expressed their wholehearted support for how we do business and we couldn't be more excited about WuXi STA wanting to join them, and the Town of Middletown, in our journey together," said Middletown Mayor Ken Branner. Branner added he was thankful for the support of Gov. John Carney and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. "I would like to thank our federal, state and local partners in Delaware for their continued support in the establishment of this site," said Dr. Minzhang Chen, co-CEO of WuXi AppTec and CEO of WuXi STA. "WuXi STA continues to increase our capabilities and capacities to better serve our customers through a more robust and reliable supply chain. With our integrated Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization platform and proven quality system, we look forward to working with our customers to swiftly deliver their innovative therapies to market in order to save lives and improve healthcare for patients." About WuXi STA WuXi STA a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec is a leading pharmaceutical development and manufacturing capability and technology platform company serving the life sciences industry, with global operations. As a premier Contract Research, Development, and Manufacturing Organization WuXi STA offers its worldwide partners efficient, flexible and high-quality solutions for integrated chemical, manufacturing and controls from preclinical to commercial uses, including the development and manufacturing of small molecule, oligonucleotide, peptide and various complex chemical conjugate. About WuXi AppTec As a global company with operations across Asia, Europe, and North America, WuXi AppTec provides a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services that enable the global pharmaceutical and healthcare industry to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients. Through its unique business models, WuXi AppTec's integrated, end-to-end services include chemistry drug CRDMO biology discovery, preclinical testing and clinical research services, cell and gene therapies CTDMO helping customers improve the productivity of advancing healthcare products through cost-effective and efficient solutions. WuXi AppTec received AA ESG rating from MSCI in 2021 and its open-access platform is enabling more than 5,850 collaborators from over 30 countries to improve the health of those in need – and to realize the vision that "every drug can be made and every disease can be treated."

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Biocytogen Expands Partnership with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Biocytogen and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany | August 26, 2022

Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. entered into a global licensing agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, for the use of Biocytogen’s RenMiceTM platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will have full access to Biocytogen’s RenMiceTM platform to discover and develop fully human antibody therapeutics for an unlimited number of drug targets. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will be responsible for all clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization, and will provide Biocytogen with development and regulatory milestone payments. The official agreement was reached after an initial evaluation period. Dr. Yuelei Shen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Biocytogen, said, “This agreement provides Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany with one of the most advanced fully human antibody discovery platforms. We are pleased that Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany recognized the potential of our RenMiceTM platform to accelerate antibody development for novel and challenging targets.” About Biocytogen Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals (Beijing) Co., Ltd. is a global biotechnology company that drives the research and development of novel antibody-based therapeutics. The company has streamlined the drug development process through the use of RenMiceTM for fully human antibody discovery, in vivo drug efficacy screening platforms and strong clinical development expertise. Biocytogen’s RenMiceTM HiTS Platform aims to develop novel antibody drugs with first-in-class and/or best-in-class potential for more than 1000 targets, and has resulted in collaborations with dozens of partners worldwide. The company's pipeline includes 12 core products; two products are in phase II MRCTs and two products are in phase I. Headquartered in Beijing, Biocytogen has branches in Haimen Jiangsu, Shanghai, Boston, USA and Heidelberg, Germany. About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 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 KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany generated sales of €19.7 billion in 66 countries. Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics.

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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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