NHS England and Vertex break stalemate over price of CF drugs

Pharmaceutical Technology | October 24, 2019

Four years after Orkambi was approved in the European Union, this life-saving drug will now be available to Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients in England through the NHS. The reason for the delay was continued failing pricing negotiations between Orkambi's manufacturer, Vertex, and NHS England, leading to patient advocacy campaigns supported by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Vertex and NHS England have announced they have come to an access agreement for all three of the former’s licensed Cystic Fibrosis (CF) drugs, Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor), Symkevi (tezacaftor/ivacaftor) and Kalydeco (ivacaftor). This means within 30 days NHS England physicians will be able to prescribe these drugs for eligible patients. Currently, this totals around 5,000 patients based on the approved indications of the CF drugs, but there is no limit to the number of patients as the access agreement is linked with all future indications of Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco. Orkambi will be available to all patients over the age of two with two copies of the F508del mutation in the Cystic Fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, while Symkevi is indicated for patients aged 12 or older with either two copies of F508del mutation in the CFTR gene or one F508de mutation and another of 14 other mutations in the same gene.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

AustinPx Names Elizabeth Hickman Chief Business Officer

AustinPx | September 28, 2022

AustinPx, Pharmaceutics and Manufacturing, a contract development and manufacturing organization announced the appointment of Elizabeth Hickman as Chief Business Officer. In this role, Ms. Hickman will be responsible for the Company’s CDMO business operations and strategy, including building capabilities and a team to deliver high-value solutions for pharmaceutical customers. Ms. Hickman is an accomplished business leader with over 15 years of experience with small and multi-billion-dollar CDMOs. Over her career, she has held business development and market strategy positions of increasing responsibility, most recently at West Pharmaceutical Services as Senior Director of Strategic Marketing, Services and Solutions where she was responsible for market expansion of the company’s contract development, testing and manufacturing services. Prior to joining West, Ms. Hickman led sales and marketing at Pharmatek Laboratories, where she helped grow the company’s services and revenues resulting in its successful acquisition by Catalent Pharma Solutions. Following Pharmatek’s acquisition, she continued to excel in market strategy and business development leadership roles with Catalent’s oral drug development business unit. Ms. Hickman has a BA in Microbiology from the University of Texas, Austin and an MBA from San Diego State University. "Elizabeth brings a sharp skillset and a wealth of CDMO experience to AustinPx," said Tim Scott, President and CEO for AustinPx. "She has a strong history of growing CDMOs as both a strategist and a team-builder. Elizabeth is unique in her ability to foster and create a culture that excels at providing client-centric services, and that is why she is such a tremendous asset for AustinPx. We are very fortunate to have her." As CBO at AustinPx, Ms. Hickman will focus on the strategic buildout of agile, best in class operations, systems, and teams. She will be responsible for all market strategy and communications, business development, project management, systems optimization, and data-driven processes that drive growth. "I am excited to be a part of AustinPx and join its impressive team of formulation and manufacturing scientists and operations staff. They are a true scientific powerhouse for our clients. My goal is to build on the Company’s strong foundation to develop a client-centric CDMO that consistently delivers exceptional service from initial engagement to product shipment. Ultimately, my passion is for the patients of our clients – if we can help get their drug candidates to the clinic faster, with better formulations and dosage forms, we can in turn impact more patients around the world." Elizabeth Hickman About AustinPx AustinPx, Pharmaceutics and Manufacturing is a contract development and manufacturing organization providing analytical and formulation development services and cGMP manufacturing for small molecule drugs. We specialize in phase-appropriate development strategies, speed to clinic and market strategies, and bioavailability enhancement of poorly soluble molecules - including our next generation amorphous dispersion platform, KinetiSol® Technology.

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PHARMA TECH

Babson Diagnostics and Pharmacy Podcast Network Announce Partnership That Will Take Listeners Inside Largest Retail Pharmacy Trade Show

Babson Diagnostics | July 27, 2022

Babson Diagnostics, a science-first, health care technology company, announced a media partnership with the Pharmacy Podcast Network in connection with the 2022 National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Total Store Expo, the largest gathering of retailers and suppliers in the health and wellness industry. As part of the partnership, the Pharmacy Podcast Network, the most popular and downloaded podcast about the pharmacy industry, will be integrated into Babson Diagnostics’ booth at the Total Store Expo. Todd Eury, founder and chief executive officer of the media company, will host podcasts from the booth featuring industry leaders attending the trade show. In addition, Babson will sponsor two podcasts that will be broadcast prior to the expo, which takes place Aug. 27 through Aug. 29 in Boston. The first of those shows, “Diagnostic Testing in Community Pharmacies,” went live today. “Babson is excited to be collaborating with one of the leading media outlets aimed at community pharmacists, who are the face of neighborhood healthcare. Babson is working with pharmacies to offer medically accurate blood testing that is easier, more convenient and less invasive than traditional methods.” David Stein, CEO of Babson Diagnostics Launched in 2009, the Pharmacy Podcast Network reaches more than 80,000 listeners per month with audio content focused on the critical role pharmacists play in the healthcare industry. “I look forward to bringing exciting new content to my audience through this partnership with Babson Diagnostics,” Eury said. “The Total Store Expo is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to bring insights to pharmacists about new and innovative products and services in health and wellness, such as Babson’s blood-testing ecosystem.” About Babson Diagnostics Babson Diagnostics is a science-first healthcare technology company bringing convenient, medically accurate diagnostic blood testing to the local pharmacy. We are the first and only company to do broad blood panels from a capillary microsample, collected from a finger, at a retail setting. Our core technology was incubated at Siemens Healthineers ​in 2015, and we became Babson Diagnostics in 2017. We have exclusive partnerships with Siemens Healthineers and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), two global leaders in healthcare innovation and medical technology. Together we are reimagining the entire blood testing process, helping people get the care they need, when they need it. Babson, based in Austin, Texas, is named in honor of Art Babson, whose legacy of scientific innovation and excellence is the foundation on which the company is built. About Pharmacy Podcast Network Pharmacy Podcast Nation is the flagship show hosting all of the Pharmacy Podcast Network 1400+ episodes. With more than 30 different podcast programs and some 40 different co-hosts helping to develop audio content about the pharmacy sector, its reach includes communities, hospitals, senior-care residences, military and public health settings that meet the information needs of 300,000 pharmacists with more than 100,000 monthly listeners. PPN also delivers a unique publication called Rx Influencer to all healthcare professionals with a specific focus on pharmacy.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Catalent Announces New Operating Structure

Catalent, Inc | July 06, 2022

Catalent, Inc. the global leader in enabling biopharma, cell, gene, and consumer health partners to optimize development, launch, and supply of better patient treatments across multiple modalities, today announced changes to its operating structure and executive leadership team that went into effect July 1. This new organizational structure includes a shift from four reporting segments to two, each representing roughly half of the total company revenue. According to Alessandro Maselli, Catalent’s President and Chief Executive Officer since July 1, the segment changes reflect evolving customer and industry trends and position the company to deliver its next level of growth and achievement. “Our industry continues to demonstrate steady growth, and this new structure will allow us to be more agile in meeting and anticipating customer needs and expectations. Among other benefits, it will create commercial synergies for our customers, as they will be better able to access the full range of Catalent services applicable to their molecules.” Maselli Dr. Aris Gennadios was named Group President of Catalent’s newly formed Pharma and Consumer Health segment. The new segment consolidates the company’s prior Softgel & Oral Technologies segment, which Gennadios had led since 2013, and its Oral & Specialty Delivery and Clinical Supply Services segments. “Combining our businesses focused on the development and supply of pharmaceutical and consumer health products will provide our customers with more integrated solutions, streamlined service, and simplified delivery of the solutions they need to accelerate their path to patients and consumers,” said Dr. Gennadios. The new Pharma and Consumer Health segment will encompass the offerings of the three prior segments, including the company’s market-leading softgels, Zydis® fast-dissolve technologies, gummy dosage forms, clinical development and trial supply services, and global pharma manufacturing platforms. Dedicated teams will focus on Catalent’s pharmaceutical, consumer health, and clinical development and supply solutions to further drive value for customers and the opportunity for accelerated growth of these businesses. The scope of Catalent’s other reporting segment, Biologics, continues without any change. This organizational restructuring has also been accompanied by a few additional leadership changes. Jonathan Arnold, who previously served as President, Oral & Specialty Delivery, since 2017, is Catalent’s new Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, and Head of Transformation. He will be dedicated to ensuring a best-in-class customer experience and working closely with others on the leadership team to optimize the company’s growing portfolio. Additionally, Steven Fasman, who previously served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel since 2014, will be Catalent’s Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, a newly created position. Mr. Fasman will oversee certain administrative functions of the company, including legal & compliance, information technology, engineering, procurement, governmental affairs, and various ESG-related departments. Finally, Karen Flynn has announced her decision to retire from her role as Catalent’s Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “Karen has played a critical role on the Executive Leadership Team since joining Catalent in early 2020. I am immensely grateful for her leadership, innovative thinking, and steadfast commitment to the company,” said Maselli. About Catalent, Inc. Catalent, Inc. an S&P 500® company, is the global leader in enabling pharma, biotech, and consumer health partners to optimize product development, launch, and full life-cycle supply for patients around the world. With broad and deep scale and expertise in development sciences, delivery technologies, and multi-modality manufacturing, Catalent is the industry’s preferred partner for personalized medicines, consumer health brand extensions, and blockbuster drugs. Catalent helps accelerate over 1,000 partner programs and launch over 150 new products every year. Its flexible manufacturing platforms at over 50 global sites supply over 70 billion doses of nearly 7,000 products to over 1,000 customers annually. Catalent’s expert workforce exceeds 19,000, including more than 2,500 scientists and technicians. Headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, the company generated $4 billion in revenue in its 2021 fiscal year.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Titan Pharmaceuticals Announces Board Expansion and Management Changes

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | August 22, 2022

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has expanded its Board of Directors from five to eleven and appointed six new directors following their election at its special meeting of stockholders held on August 15, 2022. The new directors, which were on a nominee slate proposed by Activist Investing LLC are Avraham Ben-Tzvi, Peter L. Chasey, Eric Greenberg, David E. Lazar, Matthew C. McMurdo and David Natan. In addition, following the Special Meeting, Mr. Lazar was appointed interim Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, with a mandate to lead Titan's continuing review of strategic alternatives. Mr. Lazar succeeds Marc Rubin, M.D., who will no longer serve as Executive Chairman, but will remain on the Board. "As one of the largest investors in Titan, Activist Investing's goal is to help the Company unlock value for both ourselves and our fellow shareholders through a strategic transaction. I believe the reconstituted Board, which collectively possess decades of experience in pharmaceutical executive leadership, clinical research, strategic turnarounds, deal structuring, corporate governance, investment management, accounting, finance and corporate law, will be a tremendous asset in this endeavor." Mr. Lazar Biographies of Newly Elected Directors Avraham Ben-Tzvi is the Founder of ABZ Law Office, a boutique Israeli law firm specializing in outsourced general counsel services for publicly traded as well as private companies and corporations, Investments & Securities Laws, Commercial Law & Contracts and various civil law matters, which he established in January 2017. Mr. Ben-Tzvi served as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Purple Biotech Ltd. (formerly Kitov Pharma Ltd.), a clinical-stage company advancing first-in-class therapies to overcome tumor immune evasion and drug resistance, from November 2015 until April 2020. Prior to that, Mr. Ben-Tzvi served as General Counsel and secretary at Medigus Ltd., a minimally invasive endosurgical tools medical device and miniaturized imaging equipment company, from April 2014 until November 2015. Mr. Ben-Tzvi is a member of the Israel Bar Association, and is also licensed as a Notary by the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Prior to that he served as an attorney at one of Israel's leading international law fi rms where, amongst other corporate and commercial work, he advised companies and underwriters on various offerings by Israeli companies listing in US and on various SEC related filings. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Ben-Tzvi worked in a number of business development, corporate finance and banking roles at companies in the financial services, lithium battery manufacturing and software development industries. Mr. Ben-Tzvi holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics from Yeshiva University in New York and an LLB, magna cum laude with Honors, in from Sha'arei Mishpat College of Law in Hod HaSharon, Israel. Peter L. Chasey serves as the Owner of Chasey Law Offices, a law practice specializing in personal litigation, business litigation and commercial law, since founding the practice in 2005. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chasey served as staff counsel for one of the largest insurance companies in the world defending general claims against insured businesses and also served as a land surveyor. Mr. Chasey holds a B.S. in Political Science and Government from the University of San Diego and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. Eric Greenberg has over 40 years of capital markets experience. As a trader and portfolio manager at hedge funds, his areas of expertise included the development of trading strategies, portfolio management and deal structuring. Mr. Greenberg was Co-Founder of Blink Charging Co., a leader in the EV charging infrastructure industry. In addition, Mr. Greenberg provides investor relation and digital marketing services for companies across a variety of industries, such as life sciences, fintech, internet platforms and others. Mr. Greenberg holds a B.B.A in Finance from Baruch College and an M.B.A. in Finance from Baruch College Zicklin School of Business. David E. Lazar has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Custodian Ventures LLC, a company which specializes in assisting distressed public companies through custodianship, since February 2018, and Activist Investing LLC, an actively managed investment fund, since March 2018. Previously, Mr. Lazar served as Managing Partner at Zenith Partners International Inc., a boutique consulting firm, from July 2012 to April 2018. In his role as Chief Executive Officer of Custodian Ventures LLC, Mr. Lazar has successfully served as a custodian to numerous public companies across a wide range of industries. Mr. Lazar currently serves as an Advisor to PROMAX Investments LLC, a position he has held since July 2022, and as an Ambassador at Large for the Arab African Council for Integration and Development, since March 2022. Matthew C. McMurdo currently serves as Managing Member of McMurdo Law Group, LLC, a corporate and securities law practice, since 2010. Previously, Mr. McMurdo was a Partner at Nannarone & McMurdo, LLP, a boutique law firm, from 2008 to 2010. In addition, Mr. McMurdo served as General Counsel of Berkley Asset Management LLC, the general partner of a real estate fund focused on opportunistic and distressed real estate assets, from 2011 to 2013. Mr. McMurdo holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a J.D., cum laude, from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. David Natan currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Natan & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm offering chief financial officer services to public and private companies in a variety of industries, since 2007. In addition, Mr. Natan currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Airborne Motorworks, Inc., a privately-held aerospace transportation company, since April 2020. From February 2010 to May 2020, Mr. Natan served as Chief Executive Officer of ForceField Energy, Inc., a company focused on the solar industry and LED lighting products. From February 2002 to November 2007, Mr. Natan served as Executive Vice President of Reporting and Chief Financial Officer of PharmaNet Development Group, Inc., a drug development services company, and, from June 1995 to February 2002, as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Global Technovations, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of oil analysis instruments and speakers and speaker components. Prior to that, Mr. Na tan served in various roles of increasing responsibility with Deloitte & Touche LLP, a global consulting firm. Mr. Natan currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Global Diversified Marketing Group, Inc., a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of food and snack products, since February 2021 and serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Sunshine Biopharma, Inc., a pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement company, since February 2022. Previously, Mr. Natan served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ForceField Energy, Inc., from April 2015 to May 2020, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Global Technovations, Inc., from December 1999 to December 2001. Mr. Natan holds a B.A. in Economics from Boston University. About Titan Pharmaceuticals Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based in South San Francisco, CA, is a development stage company developing proprietary therapeutics with its ProNeura® long-term, continuous drug delivery technology. The ProNeura technology has the potential to be used in developing products for treating a number of chronic conditions, where maintaining consistent, around-the-clock blood levels of medication may benefit the patient and improve medical outcomes. In December 2021, Titan commenced a process to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.

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