AZ Calquence granted US Breakthrough Therapy Designation

PharmaTimes | August 14, 2019

AstraZeneca has announced that Calquence acalabrutinib has been granted US Breakthrough Therapy Designation BTD for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The US Food and Drug Administration FDA granted the designation as a monotherapy treatment for adult patients with the disease, based on positive results from the interim analyses of the ELEVATE-TN and ASCEND Phase III clinical trials, which will serve as the foundation for regulatory submissions later this year. Together the trials showed that Calquence alone or in combination significantly increased the time patients lived without disease progression or death, with safety and tolerability that was consistent with its established profile. An FDA BTD is designed to accelerate the development and regulatory review of new medicines that are intended to treat a serious condition and that have shown encouraging early clinical results which may demonstrate substantial improvement on a clinically-significant endpoint over currently-available medicines. The drug is currently approved for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) in the US, Brazil, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Argentina and recently Singapore and is being developed for the treatment of CLL and other blood cancers.

Spotlight

Global progress in addressing people’s health needs over the past century has been nothing short of spectacular. Many factors have contributed to this improvement, but one has been particularly critical: advances in medical technologies from the private sector. New medicines, vaccines and medical tools have revolutionized medical practice, making many fatal ailments curable or treatable, and significantly improving the quality of life among patients suffering from chronic diseases. Pharmaceutical innovation is at the heart of this progress. ‘Pharmaceutical Innovation Platform: Sustaining Better Health Worldwide’ is a new report from IFPMA that offers an in-depth investigation of the complex nature of the process of medical innovation. Critical resources, know-how and skills must be mobilized and managed efficiently in a high-risk environment, over a long period of time, to yield a new, innovative medicine. New medicines are needed dramatically to address the increasing health needs and expectations of patients in every country of the world. This report helps identify various important challenges facing pharmaceutical innovation today.


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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Bruker Acquires Optimal Companies for Pharma PAT Software and Biopharma Manufacturing Automation Expertise and Technologies

Bruker Corporation | April 06, 2022

Bruker Corporation announced the acquisition of Optimal Industrial Automation and Technologies, a leader in pharma and biopharma process analytical technology pharma manufacturing automation and Quality Assurance (QA) software and systems integration, based in the United Kingdom. The Optimal biopharma tools acquisition strengthens Bruker as a key software and solutions provider for small molecule, biologics and new drug modalities pharma companies. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Optimal’s 2022 revenue is expected to be approximately $10 million, and Optimal’s revenue growth rate and operating margins are projected to be accretive to Bruker in 2023 and beyond. The Optimal biopharma tools and automation capabilities complement Bruker’s innovative and differentiated high-value NMR, mass spectrometry, SPR, molecular spectroscopy and X-ray scientific instruments, and life-science solutions for biopharma drug discovery and development, as well as for PAT analytical and QA solutions. Together these biopharma tools enable Bruker’s global biopharma customers to bring efficacious and safe medicines to market more quickly. Optimal has a focus on the automation and optimization of batch and continuous processes in the biopharma industry – from R&D to manufacturing. As an integrated PAT solutions provider, Optimal offers development, testing, deployment and support of quality-centric pharmaceutical production systems. Optimal has more than 30 years of experience in successfully delivering regulatory-compliant biopharma solutions, ranging from the development of automated control systems for process control to the market-leading, vendor-agnostic PAT knowledge management software synTQ®. The synTQ PAT software can interface between multiple analytical instruments (spectral and univariate), multi-variate analysis (MVA) packages, manufacturing control systems and a range of adjacent software solutions to ensure quality in real-time. As a 2021 Pharma Innovation Award winner, synTQ is a proven enabler of quality-by-design (QbD) via PAT. For users of synTQ, this can significantly increase productivity and quality, while reducing waste, time-to-manufacture and time-to-market, with proven Optimal use cases tripling biopharma productivity. While remaining a vendor-agnostic biopharma solutions provider, Optimal can integrate bioanalytical technologies such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry (MS) and FTIR/NIR/Raman systems into innovative drug discovery, development, PAT and quality control workflows. Combining next-generation, high-performance technologies with Optimal solutions eases the transition from development to biopharma manufacturing, while remaining in regulatory compliance. “The acquisition of Optimal is a very exciting step for Bruker as it supports more comprehensive solutions for the biopharmaceutical industry, now adding the capabilities to integrate cutting-edge systems into biopharma manufacturing processes and workflows. We welcome the Optimal team with their strong PAT and automation expertise and, together, are eager to support biotech and pharmaceutical companies in increasing their manufacturing efficiency and flexibility – a global need highlighted by the response to the pandemic crisis.” Dr. Falko Busse, President of the Bruker BioSpin Group Mr. Martin Gadsby, the CEO and Co-Founder of Optimal Industrial Automation and Technologies, added: “We are delighted to become part of the Bruker family. Optimal and Bruker together are a perfect fit – we share the common ethos of innovation with integrity, together with our industry recognition as a high-quality solutions provider delivering tangible benefits to our customers. The whole Optimal team is excited by this new chapter in our history and looks forward to delivering benefits to even more biopharma customers and ultimately to patients around the world.” About Optimal Industrial Technologies and Automation A well-established system integrator with more than 30 years of experience, at Optimal we specialize in automating a client’s R&D or manufacturing system to ensure that their processes remain at the highest level of efficiency. The demands being placed on manufacturers in relation to production costs, product quality and business sustainability are ever increasing, and our primary aim within Optimal is to assist you in being the most competitive supplier of your product to the highest level of quality in the worldwide marketplace, and to ensure that you continue to maintain your lead in the years ahead. We have a rare and wide-ranging skill set covering a multitude of automation technologies, manufacturing processes and industry types, with very specific knowledge in highly regulated environments. In addition, we manufacture the world leading PAT Data Management software package - synTQ® and the widely used integrated Print and Inspect system - synTI®. The combination of our PAT implementation knowledge and synTQ® product together with our automation experience positions us with unique skills that can be leveraged to great advantage by our customers. About Bruker Corporation Bruker is enabling scientists to make breakthrough discoveries and develop new applications that improve the quality of human life. Bruker’s high-performance scientific instruments and high-value analytical and diagnostic solutions enable scientists to explore life and materials at molecular, cellular and microscopic levels. In close cooperation with our customers, Bruker is enabling innovation, improved productivity and customer success in life science molecular research, in applied and pharma applications, in microscopy and nanoanalysis, and in industrial applications, as well as in cell biology, preclinical imaging, clinical phenomics and proteomics research and clinical microbiology.

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PHARMA TECH

Aquavit Further Prevails Against Counterfeiters in U S Following its Recent Victory in Europe

Aquavit Pharmaceuticals, Inc | March 22, 2022

Aquavit Pharmaceuticals, Inc continues to succeed in its intellectual property cases against counterfeiters both domestically and abroad. Following a recent win against counterfeiter U-BioMed, Inc. across the European Union, the U.S. Southern District Court of New York adopted Judge Lehrburger's recommendations that any sanctions related to U-BioMed's deletion of its Instagram account, which blatantly exploited Aquavit's AQUAGOLD product illegally, be folded into the pre-existing sanctions requiring U-BioMed to pay Aquavit's reasonable legal fees and costs associated with the sanctions-related motions. The Court further reinforced Lehrburger's preview award ordering U-BioMed to pay attorney fees and costs to Aquavit in compensatory damages. U-BioMed's continuous violation of the court's order in 2019 has to date accumulated the court's coercive sanction to millions of dollars. "The depths to which counterfeiters have gone to exploit Aquavit's patented technology, confuse customers, and attempt to trick the legal system(s) is criminal, especially with FDA regulated medical devices. It is of the utmost importance that we protect our physicians from liability and misinformation and continue to keep our patients safe." Sobin Chang, CEO of Aquavit Aquavit's victorious claim against U-BioMed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has set a significant milestone. The court acknowledged that U-BioMed knowingly and intentionally filed an infringing trademark application with the EUIPO for the mark "AQUAGOLD Fine Touch". "The counterfeits appear almost identical to the naked eye; however, they do not contain the microchannels as they claim and are often made of regular steel that are not biocompatible under the FDA's medical device material guidelines. Furthemore, they infringe on our 'repeated motion' drug delivery utility patent (U.S. Patent No . 10,980,865) for any drugs, components or biologics." says Dr. David Shafer, Aquavit's Chief Medical Technology Officer. The EUIPO has declared U-BioMed's actions to be willful and done purposefully in an effort to confuse consumers with Aquavit's already existing AQUAGOLD products being sold globally. The EUIPO issued a cancellation of U-BioMed's infringing mark, upheld Aquavit's application for a declaration of invalidity, and held U-Biomed accountable for the legal costs in the European Union. About Aquavit Aquavit is a high-tech pharmaceutical company that provides a comprehensive range of innovative pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device technologies. Aquavit focuses on personalized medicine to improv.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Avidien Technologies Receives $4M Investment from BroadOak Capital Partners

Avidien Technologies | February 02, 2022

Avidien announced a new financing round of $4M from BroadOak Capital Partners. The investment will help Avidien expand its product roadmap, scale commercial production, and better serve research and pharmaceutical clients. "The partnership with BroadOak is exciting and ushers in the next phase for Avidien by creating the opportunity to quickly scale up the business with investments in new products, sales, marketing, and manufacturing." Avidien CEO and Founder Rich Cote Avidien's flagship product, the microPro 300, provides precision semi-automated 96 and 384 channel pipetting to hundreds of biotech, medical testing, and research laboratories worldwide. The compact and portable liquid handling platform has built a loyal customer base thanks to its innovative design, intuitive interface, and industry-leading capabilities. The microPro 300 fills gaps in automation workflows by streamlining repetitive pipetting tasks and ensuring accurate, repeatable liquid transfers. BroadOak Capital Partners is a life sciences focused financial institution with a track record of supporting companies at the forefront of major industry trends. "Aviden's affordable pipette automation platform sets a new standard for common research methods and is at the cutting edge of laboratory automation technology. We're proud to partner with the Avidien team to help them achieve even greater growth," said Bryan Poltilove, Operating Partner at BroadOak Capital Partners. Mr. Poltilove is also joining Avidien's Board of Directors to guide the company's next phase of business expansion. About Avidien Technologies Avidien Technologies is a Massachusetts based company that manufactures innovative and precision liquid handling solutions that are deployed in life science labs around the world. About BroadOak Capital Partners BroadOak Capital Partners, with headquarters in Washington, DC and San Francisco, is a life sciences focused financial institution that provides direct investment and investment banking services to companies in the research tools and consumables, diagnostics, biopharma services, and adjacent markets. BroadOak has led or participated in investments in more than 50 companies across multiple funds and investment vehicles.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

OPTEL ACQUIRES PHARMA TRACK-AND-TRACE UNIT OF KÖRBER

OPTEL Group | January 12, 2022

OPTEL GROUP, already a world leader in supply chain traceability, is expanding its expertise and global reach with the recent acquisition of the track-and-trace unit of the Körber Business Area Pharma, formerly known as Traxeed, based in Germany. Körber is a leading international technology group. The acquisition, announced today, will allow OPTEL to leverage the unit's expertise in pharmaceutical and agrochemical track-and-trace technologies, provide the company with a second foothold in the European marketplace and contribute to its diversification plans. "Creating a strong presence in the German market is key to the success of our strategic objectives because Germany is a well-established manufacturing hub, with a strong history of developing innovative manufacturing efficiency solutions and Industry 4.0 technologies," Louis Roy, founder and president of OPTEL "We are pleased that we have found a solid and future-oriented new owner with a broad international market access, from whose global network and years of experience in the highly specialized track-and-trace sector customers will clearly benefit. We are furthermore convinced that the new strategic owner can open up attractive development opportunities for the team," said Dr. Jürgen Krebs, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer in the Körber Business Area Pharma. The acquisition allows OPTEL to welcome highly skilled pharma track-and-trace experts from Körber, complementing OPTEL's existing strengths in traceability, vision technologies, software and hardware. Furthermore, it will solidify and expand the company's presence in the European market by providing a second base of operations after Limerick, Ireland. In addition to the acquisition, a close collaboration between OPTEL and Körber's Business Area Pharma is planned in the future. The two companies plan to sign a partnership agreement whereby OPTEL becomes Körber's preferred partner for track-and-trace solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Since its founding in 1989, OPTEL has become the world's foremost provider of track-and-trace solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. Its acquisitions in recent years have positioned it as the only company with the ability to provide complete, full-stack supply chain traceability. The Canadian multinational has since diversified into other industries, including consumer-packaged goods, metals and minerals, and agrochemicals. The acquisition of the track-and-trace unit of the Körber Business Area Pharma is expected to accelerate further expansion. ABOUT OPTEL OPTEL is a leading global provider of traceability systems whose goal is to use its innovative technologies to build a sustainable world through the Intelligent Supply Chain. OPTEL is the only company with the ability to offer complete end-to-end traceability, providing granular data at every step of the supply chain – from raw materials to the consumer and beyond. Founded in 1989, OPTEL is a Certified B Corporation headquartered in Canada, with facilities in Ireland, India and Brazil, as well as employees worldwide. ABOUT KÖRBER We are Körber – an international technology group with about 10,000 employees, more than 100 locations worldwide and a common goal: We turn entrepreneurial thinking into customer success and shape the technological change. In the Business Areas Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, Tissue and Tobacco, we offer products, solutions and services that inspire. We act fast to customer needs, we execute ideas seamlessly, and with our innovations we create added value for our customers. In doing so, we are increasingly building on ecosystems that solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Körber AG is the holding company of the Körber Group.

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Spotlight

Global progress in addressing people’s health needs over the past century has been nothing short of spectacular. Many factors have contributed to this improvement, but one has been particularly critical: advances in medical technologies from the private sector. New medicines, vaccines and medical tools have revolutionized medical practice, making many fatal ailments curable or treatable, and significantly improving the quality of life among patients suffering from chronic diseases. Pharmaceutical innovation is at the heart of this progress. ‘Pharmaceutical Innovation Platform: Sustaining Better Health Worldwide’ is a new report from IFPMA that offers an in-depth investigation of the complex nature of the process of medical innovation. Critical resources, know-how and skills must be mobilized and managed efficiently in a high-risk environment, over a long period of time, to yield a new, innovative medicine. New medicines are needed dramatically to address the increasing health needs and expectations of patients in every country of the world. This report helps identify various important challenges facing pharmaceutical innovation today.

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