Greek prosecutors drop another inquiry in Novartis bribery case, but 3 remain open

FiercePharma | August 30, 2019

Allegations that Novartis bribed top Greek officials may look even flimsier now that prosecutors have decided to toss out yet another line of inquiry. But the case isn’t dead yet. Greece’s corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki found no reason to continue investigating the country’s central bank chief Yannis Stournaras over bribery claims that involve Novartis, The Associated Press reported. Stournaras, the Bank of Greece governor, is the seventh of 10 top government officials to be cleared in the case, including two former prime ministers. However, Touloupaki is now seeking parliamentary approval to investigate former health minister Andreas Loverdos, the news site Kathimerini reported, even though previous reports said investigators had found no evidence of his accepting bribes. The case also remains open for Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis and EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, according to the local newspaper. The probe stemmed from whistleblower allegations that Novartis had paid officials millions of euros to boost the sales of its drugs and maintain favorable pricing in Greece. But since the alleged scandal broke early 2018, it has turned into a political farce. The former administration led by radical left party Syriza—which initiated the probe—called the case “the biggest scandal” in modern Greek history, while those standing accused have called it “the most ruthless and ridiculous conspiracy theory ever” and a crusade against political opponents.

Spotlight

Precision medicine is a young and growing field. Many of the technologies that will be needed to meet the goals of the Precision Medicine Initiative are in the early stages of development or have not yet been developed.


Other News
PHARMA TECH

n-Lorem Foundation Partners with Alnylam to Expand Technology Access to RNAi Therapeutics for Patients with Nano-rare Diseases

n-Lorem a nonprofit Foundation | January 20, 2022

n-Lorem, a nonprofit Foundation, discovering and providing experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to nano-rare disease patients for free, for life, today announced a new partnership with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. “Discovering, developing and providing individualized medicines for nano-rare patients is a monumental task. At n-Lorem, using ASO technology, we take advantage of three decades of experience, unparalleled quality control and integrated safety databases that are used to select frequency and dosage for each individual ASO therapy. As we expand our highly selective and versatile model to other amendable technologies, it is important for us to maintain a high level of quality,” said Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, n-Lorem Foundation. “Alnylam’s RNAi therapeutic technology is the perfect complement to Ionis’ ASO technology, both are well understood, proven drug discovery technologies. Adding Alnylam as a partner is another step in the creation of a broad network of partner stakeholders committed to treating nano-rare patients.” “We are pleased to partner with the n-Lorem Foundation in identifying opportunities to bring our novel RNAi technology platform to potentially help patients with nano-rare diseases. At Alnylam, we are committed to identifying pathways to expand access to our medicines and we applaud the work of the foundation in bringing together industry partners who are driven to provide options for patients that have little or no options for treatment,” Akshay Vaishnaw, M.D., Ph.D., President at Alnylam “Although we have the tools and expertise to understand nano-rare patients at a genetic level, the extreme rarity of these patients present insurmountable challenges to the current healthcare systems,” said Dr. Sarah Glass, Chief Development Officer, n-Lorem Foundation. “n-Lorem is addressing these challenges one nano-rare patient at a time and is supported through a consortium of well-renowned and diverse organizations worldwide. These include our biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners, including Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, Ultragenyx and today Alnylam; our clinical research partners, including Charles River Labs, Korea Institute of Toxicology and Parexel; our contract manufacturing partners, including ChemGenes, Cytiva and Nitto Avecia; and many other collaborations that make n-Lorem’s mission possible.” Alnylam is leading the translation of RNA interference into a whole new class of innovative medicines with the potential to transform the lives of people afflicted with rare genetic, cardio-metabolic, hepatic infectious, and central nervous system ocular diseases. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, RNAi therapeutics represent a powerful, clinically validated approach for the treatment of a wide range of severe and debilitating diseases. Founded in 2002, Alnylam is delivering on a bold vision to turn scientific possibility into reality, with a robust RNAi therapeutics platform. Alnylam’s commercial RNAi therapeutic products are ONPATTRO®, GIVLAARI® (givosiran), and OXLUMO®, as well as Leqvio®, which is being developed and commercialized by Alnylam’s partner Novartis. Alnylam has a deep pipeline of investigational medicines, including six product candidates that are in late-stage development. Alnylam is executing on its “Alnylam P5x25” strategy to deliver transformative medicines in both rare and common diseases benefiting patients around the world through sustainable innovation and exceptional financial performance, resulting in a leading biotech profile. Alnylam is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. About n-Lorem n-Lorem Foundation is a non-profit organization established to apply the efficiency, versatility and specificity of antisense technology to charitably provide experimental antisense oligonucleotide medicines to treat nano-rare patients diagnosed with diseases that are the result of a single genetic defect unique to only one or very few individuals. Nano-rare patients describe a very small group of patients who, because of their small numbers, have few if any treatment options. n-Lorem Foundation was created to provide hope to these nano-rare patients by developing individualized ASO medicines, which are short strands of modified DNA that can specifically target the transcripts of a defective gene to correct the abnormality. The advantage of experimental ASO medicines is that they can be developed rapidly, inexpensively and are highly specific. To date, n-Lorem has assisted in the development and treatment of 14 nano-rare patients and received over 100 applications for treatment with more than 40 nano-rare patients approved. n-Lorem was founded by Stanley T. Crooke, M.D., Ph.D., former chairman and CEO of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, who founded Ionis Pharmaceuticals in 1989 and, through his vision and leadership, established the company as the leader in RNA-targeted therapeutics.

Read More

PHARMACY MARKET

Ultivue Announces Co-Marketing Agreement with Aignostics for Unique Spatial AI-Powered Imaging Solutions for Translational Medicine

Ultivue, Inc., | March 10, 2022

Ultivue, Inc., an industry leader in multiplexing tools and novel image analysis solutions for tissue biomarker studies, and Aignostics GmbH, a global leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered precision diagnostics focused on pathology to assist with research, clinical trials and CDx development, announced a partnership to collaborate on the co-development of AI-powered spatial multiplexed immunophenotype solutions for translational research groups and Biopharma. The companies have already been working together since early 2021 to adapt Aignostics’ client platform to support visualization and analysis for some of Ultivue’s products and services, as well as provisioning of results and corresponding reports. The resulting co-developed platform will now be made available to joint clients. Additionally, proof of concept work conducted on the Ultivue 12-plex Immunophenotyping biomarker panel in over 1,000 clinical NSCLC cases has demonstrated encouraging results for the capacity of AI-based analysis of multiplexed images for more consistent and reproducible readouts at scale. These results will be published later this year and respective AI models made available via the platform. The companies are now expanding their relationship under a co-marketing agreement to offer the multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) platform to their respective biotech and pharma clients, initially for research use, with a GCP-compliant version to follow later this year. Moreover, Ultivue and Aignostics will offer AI-powered image analysis services within the platform via Aignostics “Explainable AI” approach for the consistent and precise analysis of mIF cohorts at scale, for both translational research and clinical trial research services in Ultivue’s CLIA accredited clinical research laboratory. “We are excited to extend our workflow offering to include mIF AI for highly automated image analysis by partnering with Aignostics,” says Florian Leiss, VP Digital Health at Ultivue. “Improved viewing capabilities enable us to interactively explore the interplay of mIF-labeled cell populations in the histological context of same-slide H&E.” “We believe that development of Ultivue’s assays with our AI-powered image analysis will create insights from data at scale that are unprecedented in spatial biology today. We are excited to start offering this approach to our clients for translational science and clinical trials,” Viktor Matyas, CEO of Aignostics Besides offering research and development services to its clients, Ultivue and Aignostics will also develop products for standardized analysis of certain Ultivue products, paving the way for more widespread use of these technologies in both clinical trials and clinical routine. About Ultivue Ultivue provides researchers and scientists in translational medicine with multiplex biomarker assays for tissue phenotyping and digital pathology. Its proprietary InSituPlex® technology enables advanced exploration and interrogation of tissue samples for precision medicine research. These highly customizable solutions coupled with our scientific consultative approach strengthen and accelerate biomarker discovery and drug development programs. About Aignostics Aignostics, a Berlin based company with offices in the US, is a digital pathology company dedicated to novel precision diagnostics through the use of a proprietary “Explainable AI” platform in pre-clinical and translational research and clinical trials. The use of such technology is expected to be crucial to implementation of AI-powered algorithms in routine diagnostics in order to verify (explain) the model’s decision outputs. Additionally, through its close alignment to Charité and TU Berlin amongst other collaborators, only Aignostics offers the combination of data access, sample testing and pathology expertise to develop digital pathology algorithms spanning multi-modal biomarker assay detection systems such as H&E, IHC and mIF, amongst others.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Long Island University Extends Partnership with Dassault Systèmes to Innovation and Research in Life Sciences

Long Island University | March 23, 2022

Long Island University announced a new research and innovation partnership with Dassault Systèmes in life sciences. The partnership will focus on research with high societal impact to advance the fields of pharmaceutical sciences, precision medicine and health care in the digital age. Research includes precision medicine using "Virtual Twins," or exact digital models of human anatomy being developed by LIU and Dassault Systèmes; pandemic preparedness and the digitization of healthcare; innovation in medical devices; and telemedicine through the "Internet of Things," or the exchange and analysis of data between physical objects that are connected digitally. In addition, the partnership aims to provide a platform for technology transfer, or the sharing and transformation of inventions and scientific outcomes into commercialized products or services that benefit society. "Long Island University is at the forefront of revolutionizing health care training and research in higher education with our ongoing partnership with Dassault Systèmes. We are investing in opportunities and technology to ensure our students become future leaders and innovators in emerging industries." President Kimberly R. Cline As part of this commitment to students, LIU has also been designated as a Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE Edu Center of Excellence. Dassault Systèmes created the global 3DEXPERIENCE Edu Centers of Excellence program in October 2021. The program is aimed at providing students, professionals, learners, businesses and governments with a network of centers dedicated to experiential, lifelong learning with its 3DEXPERIENCE platform that enables the current and future workforce to accelerate the digital transformation of industry. "At Dassault Systèmes, we have the profound belief that the virtual world extends and improves the real world helping to address today's social and environmental challenges," said Rama Kondru, Ph.D. co-CEO of Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company. "This strategic initiative with LIU brings enormous opportunities since it is helping to prepare the next generation of life science experts to innovate in tomorrow's more sustainable economy, transform healthcare, and solve some of the biggest medical challenges in areas such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease." LIU is the second Center of Excellence in the U.S. in addition to Purdue University, which opened as a Center of Excellence in Advanced Composites in 2020. Additional centers have been established in France, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil and India, and focus on various industry sectors. "Earning the distinction of being named a 3DEXPERIENCE Edu Center of Excellence is a testament to Long Island University's standing as a preeminent academic institution," said LIU Board of Trustees Chair Eric Krasnoff. "We are proud to partner with Dassault Systèmes to create an ecosystem where students, faculty and industry partners can collaborate on real-world, impactful learning." The University's extended and ongoing partnership with Dassault Systèmes, world leader in 3D design and engineering software, is in line with its vision to advance academic excellence through innovation, provide extraordinary and distinctive experiences to students, and create solutions for a sustainable global future. Forged in 2019, the partnership provides LIU students with hands-on experience using cutting-edge artificial intelligence and digital engineering technologies, and to collaborate on multidisciplinary research in the life sciences. "The LIU-Dassault Systèmes research partnership is centered on solving real-world problems through an integrated approach to education while simultaneously developing the future workforce for precision medicine, healthcare and pharmacy," said Dr. Randy Burd, senior vice president for academic affairs at LIU. "We look forward to using Dassault Systèmes' incredible technology to expand and enhance life sciences, liberal arts, humanities and performing arts degree programs throughout the University." In 2021, the University opened a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory that allows students to use Dassault Systèmes' patented 3D, augmented reality and virtual reality software to conduct experiential research, education and training. The laboratory is used in several areas of study, including artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality gaming, cybersecurity, data analytics, and drug discovery and development. LIU also employs Dassault Systèmes' cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform in classrooms across the University. "LIU has entered a truly transformative niche in higher education by aligning with a digital healthcare industry that is on the rise," said Dr. Mohammed Cherkaoui, vice president for academic affairs at LIU. "We are honored to work with Dassault Systèmes, combining its content expertise and research tools to become a global leader in the innovation of healthcare." About Long Island University Long Island University, founded in 1926, continues to redefine higher education, providing high quality academic instruction by world-class faculty. Recognized by Forbes for its emphasis on experiential learning and by

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Omnicell Completes Acquisition of ReCept

Omnicell, Inc. | December 30, 2021

Omnicell, Inc. a leading provider of medication management solutions and adherence tools for health systems and pharmacies, has completed the previously announced acquisition of ReCept Holdings, Inc. The addition of ReCept’s specialty pharmacy management services for health systems, provider groups, and federally qualified health centers expands Omnicell’s Advanced Services portfolio to address the growing and complex specialty pharmacy market. ReCept provides implementation and managed services for health systems and other provider organizations to optimize their specialty pharmacy programs and the related pharmaceutical aspects of patient care. This total solution supports on-site management, including payor contracting, staffing, licensing, quality assurance, 340B administration, and preferred pricing agreements designed to improve margin and profitability, while keeping the patient at the center of care. “ReCept’s specialty pharmacy management services capabilities naturally complement Omnicell’s intelligent infrastructure, giving us deeper expertise to address the growing market need for managing complex specialty medications as part of a broader, more comprehensive medication management strategy,” Randall Lipps, chairman, president, CEO, and founder of Omnicell Under the terms of the purchase agreement, the acquisition price was $100 million, subject to customary adjustments, as provided for in the agreement and plan of merger. The ReCept business that is being acquired recorded annual recurring revenue of $24 million (unaudited) for the 12 months ended September 30, 2021, and is expected to accelerate Omnicell’s Advanced Services revenue growth. Omnicell used cash on its balance sheet to fund the transaction, which is expected to be accretive to Omnicell’s non-GAAP EBITDA beginning in the first quarter of 2023. About Omnicell Since 1992, Omnicell has been committed to transforming the pharmacy care delivery model to dramatically improve outcomes and lower costs. Through the vision of the autonomous pharmacy, a combination of automation, intelligence, and technology-enabled services, powered by a cloud data platform, Omnicell supports more efficient ways to manage medications across all care settings. Over 7,000 facilities worldwide use Omnicell automation and analytics solutions to help increase operational efficiency, reduce medication errors, deliver actionable intelligence, and improve patient safety. More than 60,000 institutional and retail pharmacies across North America and the United Kingdom leverage Omnicell's innovative medication adherence and population health solutions to improve patient engagement and adherence to prescriptions, helping to reduce costly hospital readmissions.

Read More