Sorry, pharma: White House pulls industry's favored rebate proposal

fiercepharma | July 11, 2019

When the Trump administration rolled out its proposal to dramatically reshape drug rebates last year, the pharma industry cheered. Analysts figured the move would spread to private plans, too. But that rejoicing was premature. In a major setback for drugmakers, the White House is backing off—and payers are likely to cheer instead. Early Thursday, reports surfaced that President Donald Trump was killing the plan. Spokesman Judd Deere told numerous publications that “based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the president has decided to withdraw the rebate rule.” "The Trump administration is encouraged by continuing bipartisan conversations about legislation to reduce outrageous drug costs imposed on the American people, and President Trump will consider using any and all tools to ensure that prescription drug costs will continue to decline,” he added, as quoted by Politico. Despite enthusiasm from pharma companies, the idea faced intense pusback from pharmacy benefit managers, who said it let drugmakers off the hook on lowering their own prices. Pharma companies argued the plan would help patients by cutting out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter. The Congressional Budget Office’s findings may have been what sank the idea. In May, the agency said revamping rebates would boost federal spending by nearly $180 billion over 10 years and lead to higher premiums for seniors.

Spotlight

2012 will be regarded by many commentators as one of the most challenging years in the pharmaceutical industry’s history, due in no small part to numerous products facing patent expirations and increased global competition. It is now considered a sound strategic move by pharmaceutical companies, from big pharma to smaller players, to increasingly rely on outsourcing service providers to fulfill specific tasks, solve problems and improve efficiency and productivity

Spotlight

2012 will be regarded by many commentators as one of the most challenging years in the pharmaceutical industry’s history, due in no small part to numerous products facing patent expirations and increased global competition. It is now considered a sound strategic move by pharmaceutical companies, from big pharma to smaller players, to increasingly rely on outsourcing service providers to fulfill specific tasks, solve problems and improve efficiency and productivity

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Aqemia Announces an Extension of Its First Collaboration With Sanofi About AI and Quantum Physics-driven Drug Discovery in Oncology

Aqemia | June 16, 2022

Aqemia, the next-gen pharmatech company leveraging artificial intelligence and quantum physics announced, today that it has entered a new research collaboration with Sanofi. This new agreement is a follow-up to a Research Collaboration initiated at the end 2020 by Sanofi to bring the unique technologies of Aqemia to the design and discovery of novel molecules in several projects in oncology, a priority therapeutic area for Sanofi. This initial collaboration resulted in promising molecules for an oncology program, for which Sanofi and Aqemia decided to pursue joint efforts. Aqemia will take responsibility for the AI-based design of optimized molecules that fulfill several small molecule design goals among which potency and selectivity in a priority project in oncology. Unlike most AI-based technologies that need experimental data to train their algorithms prior to starting the design, Aqemia will tackle the drug discovery project by generating its own data with quantum and statistical physics-based calculations. “We are really proud of the results obtained in the first Sanofi-Aqemia oncology collaboration and are very excited to continue working together to accelerate important projects in oncology.” He added, “This follow-up of our first collaboration project with Sanofi, a global leader in the Pharmaceutical industry, demonstrates our ability to quickly generate novel potent and selective compounds for a given target, and we can’t wait to scale it up to dozens of drug discovery projects.” Maximilien Levesque, CEO and co-founder of Aqemia “We are also extremely excited by the promising results obtained by Aqemia using their proprietary and disruptive technology to design potent inhibitors on given targets. We are eager to prolong our collaboration to speed up our candidate finding process for the sake of patients suffering from cancer,” said Laurent Schio, head of Integrated Drug Discovery of Sanofi France, About Aqemia Aqemia is a next-gen pharmatech company generating one of the world's fastest-growing drug discovery pipeline. Our mission is to design fast innovative drug candidates for dozens of critical diseases. Our differentiation lies in our unique quantum and statistical mechanics algorithms fueling a generative artificial intelligence to design novel drug candidates. The disruptive speed and accuracy of our technological platform enables us to scale drug discovery projects just like tech projects.

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PHARMA TECH

BlackRock and QLS Advisors Partner Through BlackRock Systematic to Invest in Biomedical Innovation

BlackRock and QLS Advisors | July 19, 2022

BlackRock and QLS Advisors LLC, a life sciences technology and advisory firm, have announced a partnership through BlackRock Systematic to develop data-driven investment solutions to help accelerate biomedical innovation. The partnership will leverage the firms’ combined Research and Development and investment experience, directing funding toward public and private companies that have the potential to create transformative therapies while seeking to earn attractive investment returns for clients. Biomedicine is at an inflection point: breakthrough therapies—with the potential to extend longevity and improve quality of life—are emerging at an ever-increasing pace. Funding these therapeutic development programs has the potential to deliver attractive investment returns, but as biomedicine has grown more complex, so have the risks to investors. QLS has developed proprietary technology for estimating the probability of success of clinical trials, a key driver of financial performance, and systematically incorporating these forecasts into fundamental valuation models and portfolio construction algorithms. Their approach applies machine learning techniques to a multitude of predictive factors including therapeutic characteristics, clinical trial design features, disease-specific characteristics, and drug company track records. This methodology, coupled with BlackRock Systematic’s global platform, proprietary analytics, and more than 35 years1 of data-driven investment experience, presents a differentiated approach to investing in life sciences companies. “BlackRock’s partnership with QLS applies sophisticated quantitative investment technologies to the intersection of finance, academia, and life sciences. QLS brings an industry-leading approach to investing in life sciences that complements the work that BlackRock Systematic is doing in our actively managed portfolios. We expect this will create compelling, differentiated solutions that can deliver attractive returns for our clients while providing funding for life-changing therapies.” Rich Kushel, Head of the Portfolio Management Group BlackRock Andrew Lo, QLS Co-founder and Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management commented: “We founded QLS to improve the way financial resources are allocated to emerging therapies, with the goal of lowering the cost of capital in this important sector. With BlackRock, we gain a partner who is a recognized leader in data-driven investing and shares our passion for delivering investment returns with positive outcomes for society. We’re thrilled and honored to join forces with a firm that has such a strong and trusted global brand, broad network, and access to world-class investment resources.” BlackRock and QLS have also assembled a Scientific Advisory Council comprising renowned academics, medical doctors, and inventors. The Council will support sourcing, due diligence, and value creation through the members’ vast networks and decades of experience as industry leaders in their respective fields. The Council is expected to include Dr. Robert Langer, Institute Professor, MIT Department of Chemical Engineering, and founder of over 40 biotechnology companies including Moderna. Ms. Lita Nelsen, retired director of the MIT Technology Licensing Office; now consultant in technology licensing. Dr. Larry Norton, Senior Vice President, Norna S. Sarofim Chair in Clinical Oncology and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASCO David Karnofsky Awardee, FASCO, FAACR. Dr. Richard H. Scheller, Chairman of Research and Development BridgeBio. Board of Directors BridgeBio, Alector, 23andMe, DICE and others. Former Executive Vice President Research and Early Development Genentech and former HHMI Investigator and Professor Stanford University Medical School. Dr. Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor, MIT Department of Biology, geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered RNA splicing, co-founded Biogen and Alnylam, and the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. About BlackRock Systematic BlackRock’s systematic investment platform brings together BlackRock’s community of systematic investors across equity, fixed income, and factor-based strategies. Systematic portfolios combine cutting-edge technology, scientific research, and human insight in the relentless pursuit of investment performance. With over 35 years of experience and nearly 200 professionals across the globe managing over US$200 bn in client assets as of March 31, 2022, BlackRock Systematic partners with clients to deliver quantitative alpha-seeking and factor-based investment solutions for the whole portfolio. About QLS Advisors LLC QLS Advisors LLC is a life sciences technology and advisory company based in Cambridge, MA, dedicated to fostering biomedical innovation. QLS employs a unique blend of fundamental and quantitative tools to help clients manage risk, assess reward, and develop investment and financing strategies for portfolios of healthcare-related assets.

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PHARMACY MARKET

WuXi Biologics Launches First Commercial Drug Product Facility for Pre-Filled Syringes

WuXi Biologics | June 06, 2022

WuXi Biologics a global CRDMO service company, announced it has successfully launched the GMP operation of its new drug product facility DP5 located in Wuxi, China. The DP5 is the ninth operational drug product facility in the global network of WuXi Biologics. The DP5 facility features an advanced isolator filling line for continuous and steady filling services, which offers multiple volume delivery options for pre-filled syringes including 1 mL Long, 1 mL, 2.25 mL and 3 mL. The maximum filling speed can reach 400 PFS/min to support 17 million syringes of drug products manufacturing every year. The increased manufacturing capacity at DP5 allows WuXi Biologics to provide global partners with faster and more robust end-to-end drug product services for their innovative products at different scales and stages. Compared to a traditional drug product filling line, DP5's state-of-the-art design and layout, single-use technology and automated equipment, significantly decrease the risk of contamination and maintain aseptic control required in the filling process. This process supports clients' products scale up to commercial capability and reliably delivers to patients under the highest quality standards which WuXi Biologics represents. "Pre-filled syringes have emerged as one of the fastest-growing choices for biologics dosage form as our partners seek new and more convenient biologics delivery methods. The GMP operation of DP5, our first commercial drug product facility for pre-filled syringes, not only demonstrates our commitment to global partners, but also marks an important milestone for WuXi Biologics to become one of the global leaders in drug product CDMO services. We'll continue to enable our clients to advance innovative biologics towards clinical trials, regulatory approvals, and commercialization to benefit patients worldwide." Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics About WuXi Biologics WuXi Biologics is a global Contract Research, Development and Manufacturing Organization offering end-to-end solutions that enable partners to discover, develop, and manufacture biologics – from concept to commercialization – for the benefit of patients worldwide. With over 10,000 skilled employees in China, the United States, Ireland, Germany, and Singapore, WuXi Biologics leverages its technologies and expertise to provide customers with efficient and cost-effective biologics discovery, development, and manufacturing solutions. As of the end of 2021, WuXi Biologics is supporting over 480 integrated client projects, including nine in commercial manufacturing.

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