UPS gets clearance to expand medical drone delivery service across US

pharmaphorum | October 11, 2019

A subsidiary of UPS has gained regulatory clearance allowing it to expand a medical drone delivery service to support hospitals across the US. UPS Flight Forward said earlier this month it has received the US government certification to operate a drone airline. Immediately after the US Federal Aviation Administration awarded the company a ‘Part 135 Standard’ certification the UPS subsidiary immediately launched the first drone delivery flight. The flight used a Matternet M2 quadcopter to visit the WakeMed hospital campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. This was flown under a government exemption allowing for a “beyond visual line of sight” operations, another US first for a commercial operation. UPS hopes to improve delivery of medical supplies using its drones, where the shortest time in transit can improve efficiency and quality of healthcare services. UPS partnered with drone firm Matternet earlier this year to launch the healthcare delivery service on the WakeMed campus, which can carry supplies for up to 12.5 miles. According to UPS the first commercial flight has made the business case for a medical delivery service using drones and now has plans to expand the service to a variety of critical care or lifesaving applications.

Spotlight

A solution to the current funding crisis for budget-busting breakthrough treatments has been proposed by Soeren Mattke, senior scientist at the RAND Corporation think tank, involving payers and governments borrowing from pharma. However, multiple obstacles would need to be overcome for such innovative funding schemes to work in practice, and it can only be expected that they will be used in a handful of cases.

Spotlight

A solution to the current funding crisis for budget-busting breakthrough treatments has been proposed by Soeren Mattke, senior scientist at the RAND Corporation think tank, involving payers and governments borrowing from pharma. However, multiple obstacles would need to be overcome for such innovative funding schemes to work in practice, and it can only be expected that they will be used in a handful of cases.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Tris Pharma Announces Development of a Very Low Sodium and Once-Nightly Oxybate Formulation

Tris Pharma, Inc. | July 28, 2022

Tris Pharma, Inc. a fully integrated pharmaceutical company with a robust portfolio of CNS products announced that it has successfully developed an oxybate formulation for the treatment of cataplexy or excessive daytime sleepiness n patients 7 years of age and older with narcolepsy that has the potential to be significantly advantageous to existing approved therapies, such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals' blockbuster XYWAV® and XYREM® franchise. The Tris oxybate formulation is believed to provide an advantage over approved therapies by utilizing Tris's proprietary LiquiXR technology platform and our newly developed RaftWorks design to provide a unique oxybate formulation offering both once-nightly dosing, and very low sodium content. The Tris oxybate formulation is investigational and not yet approved by any regulatory agency. Both XYWAV® and XYREM® require twice a night dosing – once at bedtime and again 2.5 to 4 hours later for the second dose. Further, XYREM contains an express warning based on its high sodium content and associated risk to patients with heart failure, hypertension or impaired renal function. The Tris oxybate formulation seeks to improve on existing therapies by providing convenient once per night dosing, and significantly reduced sodium content such that it will contain less than 100 mg of sodium per 9.0 gm of maximum sodium oxybate equivalent dose. Based on the significant potential advantage the Tris oxybate formulation could provide over existing available therapies, Tris is pursuing an Orphan Drug Designation for its unique oxybate formulation. In a human clinical study, Tris established about 100% bioavailability for one dose of its formulation against two doses of XYREM at 4.5 gm each, equivalent to the 9.0 gm maximum dose of sodium oxybate. If approved, the Tris product will provide significant advantages in that patients will not have to wake up in the middle of the night to take a second dose and will have all the benefits of a very low sodium product. The Tris oxybate product achieved its clinical objectives by combining two distinct proprietary Tris technologies: the LiquiXR platform, and the newly developed RaftWorks design. Working together, these unique formulation platforms provide an interpenetrating network raft in-situ, in which sodium-free drug particles are entrapped in a raft that allows for extended release of the active ingredient. Many drugs, such as oxybate, are poorly absorbed because they have a narrow window of absorption within the human gastro-intestinal tract. The RaftWorks approach permits a slow and extended release of oxybate from a floating raft in-situ, thereby facilitating absorption of the active ingredient within the targeted area in the gastro-intestinal tract. Further, the raft disintegrates at a predetermined time due to the trigger mechanism that is built into the formulation. "This unique formulation design by Tris scientists potentially achieves drug delivery capabilities that have never previously been achieved within our industry. We are looking to build on this approach and develop extended-release formulations for other drugs that are limited by their narrow window of absorption." Ketan Mehta, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tris About Narcolepsy Narcolepsy, a chronic and disabling neurological disorder that affects the stability of sleep and wakefulness, is characterized primarily by excessive daytime sleepiness, with or without episodic loss of muscle tone usually triggered by strong emotions during wakefulness (cataplexy) 1-4. Additional symptoms can vary by person and may include disrupted nighttime sleep, and REM-sleep phenomena (sleep paralysis, hallucinations). The exact number of individuals with narcolepsy in the United States is unknown. Several studies have estimated the prevalence of narcolepsy in the United States to be approximately 1 (range: 0.6 to 1.6) in 2,000 people 2,4-6. There is currently no cure for narcolepsy; treatment of symptoms includes medications and lifestyle modifications 1. About Tris Pharma Tris is a fully integrated, innovation-driven CNS company that provides a differentiated approach to target unmet medical needs, including the application of novel technologies designed to enhance patient benefits across therapeutic categories. Tris's CNS portfolio includes treatments for pain; addiction; spasticity in multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy; narcolepsy; and ADHD.

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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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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Mission Bio Announces Pharma Assay Development Services for Solid Tumor Research

Mission Bio | July 13, 2022

Mission Bio, Inc., the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced the launch of solid tumor assays through its Pharma Assay Development services. The availability of this new service offering will help to accelerate the development of cancer therapeutics by reducing the time and cost associated with the characterization of solid tumor cells. Precision therapeutics for solid tumors have been historically bottlenecked due to technical challenges associated with the ability to deeply profile thousands of individual cells for a rich characterization of tumor evolution and heterogeneity. This must be done at a much higher resolution compared to bulk next-generation sequencing to enable detection of rare events, at a much earlier stage before progression. Utilizing Mission Bio's Tapestri™ platform, the company's PAD services for solid tumors partner with researchers to provide high-resolution data to unmask the underlying genetic diversity across cell populations. Insights into the clonal landscape and co-occurrence of mutations enable improved patient stratification for clinical trials and the identification of druggable targets for precision therapeutics. Researchers can also monitor treatment resistance by analyzing the acquisition of rare mutations driving tumor progression over the course of treatment. The expansion of Mission Bio's PAD services to solid tumor research comes just three months after the launch of the Solid Tumor Solution on the Tapestri™ Platform, demonstrating Mission Bio's commitment to continuously developing innovative single-cell technologies for its pharma customers. "We have seen tremendous uptake and interest from top-tier pharma companies for our blood cancer Pharma Assay Development program, and we expect the same momentum for our solid tumor services. With our solid tumor services, Mission Bio partners with pharma customers to elucidate the mechanisms of drug resistance through mutation acquisition, determine how cells transform from benign to malignant states, and reveal the genomic changes enabling cancer cells to metastasize – without having to bring single-cell technology or resources in-house. From a customer's perspective, it is as easy as shipping out samples and getting a fully analyzed report back." Todd Druley, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Mission Bio Mission Bio's PAD services deliver comprehensive support across the therapeutic development process. The company has a dedicated team that works with researchers to develop assays, identify high-impact samples, and analyze the data. As part of the service, pharma partners have access to Mission Bio's innovative technology, assay development team, R&D organization, and bioinformatics support. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others. The company's Tapestri™ platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri™ is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution. The Tapestri™ Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.

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