Cannabis trade body will also focus on clinical trials

The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis | April 12, 2019

The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) has announced plans to extend its remit to focus on clinical trials. The CMC, which describes itself as an industry advocacy group and think tank, said its plans to “actively engage industry players” in clinical trials focusing on childhood epilepsy and “all other non-paediatric potential deployments of cannabis, would help boost learning and accelerate patient access to medicines, as well as market authorisation for cannabis-based medical products.
The announcement comes after Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, told MPs that clinical trials were the only way to get medical cannabis products licenced; she called on industry to take the lead and also to fund them. The CMC said it wanted to expand its original remit — which focused on policy, research and advocacy  to now include accelerating clinical trials, shaping future regulation of products and to promote clinical education. Making the announcement, Steve Moore, its strategic counsel, said: “This immediately strengthens the CMC’s capacity to shape the future of medicinal cannabis in the UK.


Dr. Mark Fishman, president of Novartis Institutes of BioMedical Research (NIBR), talks about the Novartis commitment to science-based innovation and the search for new medicines for unmet patient needs.

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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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Iktos and Teijin Pharma to Co-Develop New Technology for Small Molecule Drug Discovery

Iktos | April 07, 2022

Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, and Teijin Pharma Limited, the core company of the Teijin Group’s healthcare business that provides comprehensive healthcare services to improve the quality of life, today announced a strategic collaboration agreement in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design. Under the agreement, Iktos generative modelling technology will be implemented and applied to several Teijin Pharma’s small molecule drug discovery projects to expedite the identification of potential pre-clinical candidates. Iktos and Teijin Pharma will collaborate in developing new AI technology aiming to bring further improvement and speed to the drug design process, leveraging Iktos’ proprietary know-how in AI for Computer Aided Drug Design (CADD) and complementing Teijin’s research and development capabilities. In the recent years, Iktos has emerged as one of the world leaders in AI for drug design, establishing multiple collaborations with renowned pharmaceutical companies and successfully developing the AI software platforms Makya™ for new drug design and Spaya™ for synthesis planning. Iktos’ generative AI technology, based on deep generative models, automatically designs virtual novel molecules presenting the desirable characteristics specified by the researchers. This approach brings unprecedented efficiency in the exploration of chemical space and produces innovative molecule designs with greater freedom to operate. It is a novel solution, validated through many collaborations, to one of the key challenges in drug design: the rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. Based on the recent drastic demographic change and increased health consciousness, Teijin Pharma is committed to providing healthcare solutions in the priority fields of bone, joint, rehabilitation, neurology, respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Creating innovative drugs is one of the company’s core business strategies and Teijin Pharma is now focusing on strengthening technological foundation for small molecule drugs that play major roles among the drug modalities for innovative drug discovery. "We are thrilled and proud to announce a strategic collaboration with Teijin Pharma, a leading company that contributes to society by providing advanced healthcare solutions. It is a major recognition for Iktos to be selected by Teijin Pharma as a strategic partner for implementation, development, and application of generative modeling technology for new drug design. Iktos has been a pioneer in the application of generative models for drug discovery and is recognized as a world leader in the technology space that has the potential to disrupt the way new therapeutics are designed.’’ “Our ultimate objective is to expedite drug discovery and achieve time and cost efficiencies for our global collaborators by using Iktos’s proprietary AI platform and know-how. We are confident that together with our Teijin collaborators, we will be able to develop new technology to bring further speed and efficiency to drug discovery.” Yann Gaston-Mathé, Co-founder and CEO of Iktos “We are delighted to create innovative new small molecule drugs together with Iktos,” said Ichiro Watanabe, President of Teijin Pharma. “We provide solutions in the field of demographic change and increased health consciousness and are focusing on the launch of new drugs. Iktos’ proprietary AI technology will dramatically accelerate our small molecule drug discovery. We continue to enhance patients' quality of life by providing new treatment options for diseases with high unmet needs.” About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a start-up company specializing in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, the design of molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project. The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya™. Iktos is also developing Spaya™, a synthesis planning software based upon Iktos’s proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis. About the Teijin Group Teijin is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the fields of environmental value; safety, security and disaster mitigation; and demographic change and increased health consciousness. Originally established as Japan's first rayon manufacturer in 1918, Teijin has evolved into a unique enterprise encompassing three core business domains: high-performance materials including aramid, carbon fibers and composites, and also resin and plastic processing, films, polyester fibers and products converting; healthcare including pharmaceuticals and home healthcare equipment for bone/joint, respiratory and cardiovascular/metabolic diseases, nursing care and pre-symptomatic healthcare; and IT including B2B solutions for medical, corporate and public systems as well as packaged software and B2C online services for digital entertainment. Deeply committed to its stakeholders, as expressed in the brand statement “Human Chemistry, Human Solutions,” Teijin aims to be a company that supports the society of the future. The group comprises more than 170 companies and employs some 20,000 people across 20 countries worldwide. Teijin posted consolidated sales of JPY 836.5 billion and total assets of JPY 1,036.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2021.

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Breckenridge Signs New-Product Agreement with PTS Pharma

Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. | April 23, 2022

Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. announces today that it has signed a new-product agreement with PTS Pharma, LLC. under which PTS will support a technology transfer to Towa Pharmaceutical Europe, S.L. of a complex "For Suspension" product developed by PTS. The remainder of development and commercialization will be performed at the Towa facility. According to industry sales data, the product and its generics had annual sales of approximately $75 million during the twelve months ending February 2022. The companies are actively negotiating and look forward to collaborating on additional complex formulations under the same business model. About Breckenridge Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc., a subsidiary of Towa Pharmaceutical, partners with manufacturers nationwide and around the world to bring quality, cost-effective generic pharmaceuticals to U.S. patients. With our dedication to customer service, on-time delivery, reliable supply and quality manufacturing, we improve the health and quality of life of the patients we and our customers serve. About PTS Pharma, LLC PTS Consulting, LLC and PTS Pharma LLC., is a formulation development, clinical trial production, regulatory services and analytical control laboratory based in Kansas. PTS Consulting is actively involved in regulatory consulting services. PTS Pharma operations include the capability and expertise to develop complex formulations of tablets, capsules, granules, modified dosage forms, topical dosage forms, suppositories, film products, solution, and suspension formulations and sterile injectables, with involvement in multiple aNDA and NDA filings over the years. The activities are housed in dedicated GMP suites in the facility in Kansas City, USA. PTS Pharma is also involved in active raw material clinical production by fermentation technology processes. The firm was founded in 2003 by Paul Sudhakar, an industry veteran who is the Owner, President, and CEO of the firm.

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Clinical research and drug development accelerated via analytics

SAS | June 22, 2022

Bringing life-changing therapies to market requires pharmaceutical companies to efficiently design and run clinical trials, gather and analyze massive amounts of data, and manage a complicated regulatory review process. SAS, a leader in clinical research analytics, delivers powerful technologies to support the life sciences industry – including machine learning, AI and analytics for IoT – through the SAS® Life Science Analytics Framework on Azure. The advanced analytics platform – a single, open, cloud-native statistical computing environment for clinical trial analysis and submission – helps pharmaceutical companies navigate the heavily regulated world of clinical research analytics and bring new therapies to the world faster. Delivering the power of analytics in the cloud From drug discovery to regulatory approval, developing a new medicine can take over a decade with a price tag in the billions. The clinical research required to achieve approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and other regulatory authorities involves massive amounts of data that can be difficult to manage, share and analyze, creating delays that affect patients' well-being. The cloud-based SAS Life Science Analytics Framework on Azure features an integrated and collaborative environment to manage and analyze clinical trial information as well as deliver trial results for the FDA and other global regulatory agencies' review. With the analytic solution, life sciences organizations can extract valuable insights from clinical data, mitigate risk, increase efficiency, and speed time to market for lifesaving pharmaceuticals. "The primary goal is to get drugs approved so that they can reach patients. The faster you can do that, the greater benefit for the patient and to help save lives." Bhawna Goel, CEO of Gunvatta Gunvatta USA, Inc, a contract research organization (CRO) headquartered in Washington, DC, helps clients collect, manage, analyze and visualize the terabytes of clinical and healthcare data produced by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals, and provider groups. With the SAS Life Science Analytics Framework, Gunvatta has modernized the way it approaches clinical trials. The CRO helps life sciences organizations reduce risk with secure data access, ensure data and results are validated, maintain an audit trail, and report their data to health authorities like the FDA. "The biggest advantage of the SAS Life Science Analytics Framework is that the analytics platform is cloud-based," said Goel. "I feel like SAS has jumped 15 to 20 steps ahead of where the market is." For more about Gunvatta's experience, see the customer story Helping pharmaceutical companies bring new therapies to the world faster using analytics for life sciences. Developing cutting-edge clinical research tools SAS life science experts will attend the DIA Global Annual Meeting this week in Chicago to share next generation approaches for driving excellence and innovation in clinical trial operations. At DIA, SAS will preview SAS Clinical Enrollment Simulation Cloud – a cloud-native, solution based in SAS® Viya® 4 – that enables life sciences and contract research organizations to simulate the outcome of the complex clinical trial enrollment process in a virtual world, resulting in faster, more strategic clinical trial enrollment plans. The new SaaS offering – available later this year on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace – uses a powerful discrete event simulation analytical engine to model the clinical trial enrollment process as it evolves over time, facilitating improved insights to guide enrollment strategy and meet contracted patient targets. "SAS Clinical Enrollment Simulation Cloud is highly differentiated from traditional methodologies for predicting trial enrollment," said Jim Box, Life Sciences Principal Data Scientist at SAS. "The technology helps life sciences organizations reduce timelines, minimize costs, and gain greater insight to inform clinical enrollment planning and rescue." Modernizing clinical trials for the future While the current clinical development research model can be an obstacle to the creation of safe, cost-effective therapies, the COVID-19 pandemic and other events set the stage for disruption in clinical trials. "The silver lining of the pandemic for the life sciences industry is the acceleration of digital transformation and modernization of clinical research," said Simon Tilley, Health and Life Sciences Product Director at SAS. "We experienced widespread adoption of innovative approaches, such as decentralized clinical trials for the development of new vaccines." "While the business benefits of modernizing clinical research include significant cost savings, efficiency improvements, accelerated time to regulatory approval and faster time to market, it is patients who stand to gain the most from clinical trial innovation." About SAS SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®. SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2022 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.

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