China turns Roche arthritis drug Actemra against COVID-19 in new treatment guidelines

FiercePharma | March 04, 2020

Some patients infected with the novel coronavirus can develop uncontrolled immune response, leading to potentially life-threatening damage to lung tissue. After seeing promising results in clinical practice, Chinese authorities now recommend a Roche arthritis drug to tackle that rampage. Roche’s blockbuster Actemra, first approved by the U.S. FDA in 2010 for rheumatoid arthritis, can now be used to treat serious coronavirus patients with lung damage, China’s National Health Commission said in its updated treatment guidelines (Chinese) for COVID-19 released Wednesday. The Swiss drugmaker has donated CNY 14 million ($2 million) worth of Actemra to China, its local operations said in a blog post (Chinese) Monday, as the country continues to seek out older drugs that may help battle the disease at its epicenter.


The FDA has approved a whole new class of antidepressant, and ultrasounds might be far more useful than we thought.

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Protect Pharmaceutical Corporation has acquired top notch software development company.


Protect Pharmaceutical Corporation has acquired the 100% of the shares of CJSC “Inaiapp”, a Belarusian developer of corporate software for business digitalization. With 8 years of blockchain development experience and list of long term clients, Inaiapp will bring its qualification and management processes to a new level. “Robotic process automation, AI systems and machine learning systems, blockchain-based solutions, Data Science tools for business growth - we closely follow global trends in IT technology and are now ready to create the most profitable solution for your business.” Nick Greb, President of PRTT PRTT offers range of services and software products, to solve painful problems. The company is using time-tested practices in the field of robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain, creating first-class solutions that meet current business needs. “Now we will combine the US market presence with extensive technical expertise that enable us to develop products that accelerate and streamline business processes through autonomy, transparency and security.” - Nick adds. About PRTT Protect Pharmaceutical Corporation is a full-cycle software development and delivery company that produces, releases, and supports digital products for the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. The company’s expertise lies in custom software development and consulting services in Business automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, Big Data, Image recognition, Blockchain development, and cloud services. Its domain focus includes Supply chain, Logistics, Healthcare, Finance, Real estate, Legal, Insurance, Advertising, and more.

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Tasly Pharmaceuticals and Mauna Kea Technologies Announce Joint Venture and Licensing Agreements

Mauna Kea Technologies | July 12, 2022

Mauna Kea Technologies inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary probe and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy platform, and Tasly Pharmaceuticals announced the execution of an agreement to form a Joint Venture. Under terms of the agreement, Tasly and Mauna Kea will form a Joint Venture that will (i) commercialize selected Cellvizio indications in China, (ii) develop and commercialize Cellvizio globally in the fields of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and (iii) manufacture Cellvizio units for the Chinese market. The JV will utilize both existing distribution partners and its own network of China-based marketing professionals to accelerate market adoption. In exchange for contributing licenses and other intellectual property to the JV, Mauna Kea will receive cash payments totaling $10 million, a 44.1% equity interest in the JV, and a 5-year commitment to purchase minimum quantities of Cellvizio systems and probes. Mauna Kea’s equity holdings are net of shares issued to Cenponts Tech Limited in consideration for strategic advisory services provided in connection to the transaction. The Joint Venture will be majority owned and funded by Tasly and jointly managed by Tasly and Mauna Kea. The Joint Venture will be in an immediate position to leverage Mauna Kea’s position as global leader in probe and needle-based confocal laser endomicroscopy, with its FDA clearance for neurosurgery applications, its broad regulatory clearances in the Chinese market as well as its significant installed based in leading hospitals in China. “We are delighted to partner with Tasly Pharmaceuticals, a life sciences leader in Asia-Pacific with a global presence. This transaction both expands the addressable market for Cellvizio and increases Mauna Kea’s capacity to invest further in product and clinical development, including molecular imaging and artificial intelligence. This announcement builds on the strategic repositioning we announced in December 2021 and our emphasis on forming capital-efficient partnerships that leverage the commercial reach of global biopharma and medtech firms while increasing patient access to Cellvizio.” Sacha Loiseau, Ph.D., founder and Chairman of Mauna Kea Technologies Kaijing Yan, Chairman of Tasly Pharmaceuticals Group, commented: “The field of biomedical engineering is an important part of Tasly Pharmaceuticals’ second growth curve strategy. The cooperation with Mauna Kea Technologies will enable us to quickly access large markets in China addressed by the multiple clinical applications of Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy. The recent advances in molecular imaging with Cellvizio are also of great interest to us since Tasly Pharmaceuticals could assist the Joint Venture in developing new combinations of Cellvizio with novel molecular markers, aligned with our vision of providing integrated solutions from diagnosis to treatment. We very much look forward to a fruitful and rich collaboration with Mauna Kea Technologies.” About Tasly Pharmaceuticals Group Adhering to the business mission of "To share the joy of health with all", Tasly has always been promoting the integrative development of traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine. Tasly continuously focuses on the three disease fields of cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases, digestive and metabolic diseases and tumors, which have the largest market share and the fastest development in China. It is committed to providing drug R&D that is urgently needed for clinical use and even addresses the unmet needs in China's clinical market. By leveraging the coordinated development advantages of modern TCM, biological medicine and chemical medicine, it carries out the strategic layout of innovative drugs and continues to maintain its leading position in the industry and the development momentum of R&D and innovation. About Mauna Kea Technologies Mauna Kea Technologies is a global medical device company that manufactures and sells Cellvizio®, the real-time in vivo cellular imaging platform. This technology uniquely delivers in vivo cellular visualization which enables physicians to monitor the progression of disease over time, assess point-in-time reactions as they happen in real time, classify indeterminate areas of concern, and guide surgical interventions.

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Medison Pharma Announces Extension of Multi-territorial Agreement with Immunocore and Expansion into Australia and New Zealand

Medison Pharma | May 30, 2022

Medison Pharma a global pharma company focused on providing access to highly innovative therapies to patients in international markets, announced the addition of new markets to its multi-territorial agreement with Immunocore Holdings plc a commercial-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of a novel class of T cell receptor bispecific immunotherapies designed to treat a broad range of diseases, including cancer, infection and autoimmune disease. The multi-territorial agreement to help seek regulatory authorization and commercialize Immunocore's KIMMTRAK® for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma, a rare and aggressive form of melanoma that affects the eye, which covers Canada, twenty markets across Central Eastern Europe and Israel, will now extend to Australia and New Zealand. KIMMTRAK has been approved by both by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), where it is the first and only treatment approved in the E.U. to treat patients with unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma. "We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Immunocore and proud to further grow the reach of their breakthrough treatment, as part of our mission that knows no borders. We believe that every patient, wherever they are in the world, deserves a fair chance to receive lifesaving, highly innovative therapies. By adding new countries and continents, we are continuing in our efforts to turn our mission into a reality." Meir Jakobsohn, Founder and CEO of Medison "It can be challenging for biotechs to commercialise in a large number of countries, often resulting in delayed access to highly innovative therapies in many areas of the world. Medison's global platform is designed to address this challenge," said Gil Gurfinkel, VP Corporate Development at Medison. "Immunocore's novel therapy for unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma and our ability to treat patients suffering from this rare and aggressive form of cancer in additional countries is a win-win outcome of our partnership." Medison's expansion of its commercial presence to Australia and New Zealand is the latest addition to its geographic growth, enabling Medison to capitalize on growing market opportunities for its commercial partners. Medison is further enlarging its footprint in Europe with a new office location for its international headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, and operations in Greece and Cyprus, which enlarge its European offering of Central Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, and Balkans. In Canada, the team is also growing and recently moved into larger office space in downtown Toronto. With this latest growth, Medison increases its commercial presence across 25 locations around the world. Medison is hiring across all locations and in key functions. About Medison Pharma Medison is a global pharma company focused on providing access to highly innovative therapies to patients in international markets. Medison is the first to create an international commercialization platform for highly innovative therapies, helping to save and improve lives by making the best available novel treatments accessible to patients in international markets. Medison has a track record of multi-territorial partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies seeking to expand their global reach. Medison is also an active investor in disruptive healthcare technologies and provides its partners with exposure to innovation in biotech and digital health. About KIMMTRAK® KIMMTRAK is a novel bispecific protein comprised of a soluble T cell receptor fused to an anti-CD3 immune-effector function. KIMMTRAK specifically targets gp100, a lineage antigen expressed in melanocytes and melanoma. This is the first molecule developed using Immunocore's ImmTAC technology platform designed to redirect and activate T cells to recognise and kill tumour cells. KIMMTRAK has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation, Fast Track designation and orphan drug designation by the FDA in the United States, Accelerated Assessment by the EMA, and Promising Innovative Medicine (PIM) designation under the UK Early Access to Medicines Scheme for metastatic uveal melanoma. KIMMTRAK is currently approved in 31 countries, including the United States and European Union.

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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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