NHS, MSD collaborate to help eliminate hep C

pharmatimes | April 30, 2019

The NHS has announced plans to collaborate with American Pharma giant MSD in a deal that could help England become the first country in the world to eliminate hepatitis C. MSD has already announced a commitment to help see hepatitis C eliminated in the UK by 2025, and over 30,000 people have already benefitted from new drugs being made available on the NHS over the last few years. The three-year ‘ambitious’ partnership will allow MSD to “work with NHS providers, local authority services, community organisations and other companies to align the diverse elements of the whole pathway for those at risk of hepatitis C infection,” according to Louise Houson, managing director, MSD UK.

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Vivera Partners with NINDS of NIH to Identify Potential Stuttering Treatments

Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | May 18, 2022

Vivera Biosciences, a division of Vivera Pharmaceuticals dedicated to the research and development of innovative medical technologies and pharmaceutical therapies, is pleased to announce its collaborative progress on a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke an Institute within the National Institutes of Health that aims to foster and advance cutting-edge neuroscience research to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The collaboration aims to identify therapeutic agents for the potential treatment of stuttering disorders, estimated to affect approximately 70 million people worldwide. Stuttering, also referred to as childhood-onset fluency disorder, is a neurological condition characterized by speech disfluencies, which can be disabling to patients affected. While there are currently no FDA-approved therapies for stuttering, in recent years, much has been discovered to understand the underlying neurological basis for the disorder. Scientists at Vivera and NINDS have discovered differences in the structure and function of the areas of the brain that regulate the timing and initiation of speech related to stuttering. These neurological revelations and the potential to develop related therapeutics inspired the partnership between Vivera and NINDS. The initiative is unique because of the individuals it will be led by: Vivera Biosciences' Investigator, Gerald A. Maguire, M.D., D.F.A.P.A., and NINDS' Principal Investigator, Shahriar SheikhBahaei, Ph.D. Both are persons who stutter and doctors who have dedicated their careers to understanding the disorder they share with millions of others and one they are working to develop novel treatments for. "I am grateful to the NIH, NINDS, and Vivera Biosciences for supporting this translational collaborative research with my friend and colleague, Dr. SheikhBahaei, as we potentially develop therapeutics to assist our stuttering community," said Dr. Maguire. Dr. Maguire is a world-renowned clinical researcher. He has over three decades of experience as an academic psychiatrist and has served as principal investigator for numerous studies involving investigational medications for various neuropsychiatric disorders, specializing in stuttering. "This collaboration may be an initial step toward developing novel and personalized therapeutic approaches for changing the course of the disorder for people who stutter," Dr. SheikhBahaei. Dr. SheikhBahaei's graduate studies focused on how astrocytic networks control activities of respiratory motor circuits within the brainstem. He currently leads the Neuron-Glia Signaling and Circuits Unit at NINDS, whose goal is to understand how different glial and neural cell types in the brain contribute to the neural circuits controlling voluntary speech production to enhance the ability to intervene in motor control disorders like stuttering. "Vivera is confident in our choice in partnership with NIH," said Vivera's Chief Medical Officer, Stephen J. McColgan, M.D., M.B.A. "Since day one, Vivera has been dedicated to the research and development of patient-centric treatments," said Paul Edalat, CEO of Vivera. "This partnership with NIH and NINDS is about bettering the lives of people who stutter, further solidifying the Company's commitment to our mission." About Vivera Pharmaceuticals Vivera Pharmaceuticals is an innovative, science-driven pharmaceutical company located in Southern California. The Company has global exclusivity to license the patented and patent-pending TABMELT® sublingual drug delivery system for pharmaceutical use and holds its own issued patents on ZICOH®, a smart dose-controlled electronic medical device. The Company has also received a Notice of Allowance for its portable telemedicine station, MDZone. With multiple divisions, including its pharmaceutical, neurosciences, medical technology, biosciences, and advanced diagnostics divisions, Vivera Pharmaceuticals is vertically integrated with patented technology, manufacturing capabilities, and distribution for its products.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Novartis announces new organizational structure to accelerate growth strengthen pipeline and increase productivity

Novartis Pharma AG | April 04, 2022

Novartis announced the introduction of a new organizational structure and operating model designed to support the company’s innovation, growth, and productivity ambitions as a focused medicines company in the coming decade. “The simpler organizational model we are unveiling today is central to our growth strategy as it will make us more agile and competitive, enhance patient and customer orientation, unlock significant potential in our R&D pipeline and drive value-creation through operational efficiencies. With our portfolio of in-market medicines and up to 20 major pipeline assets that could be approved by 2026, Novartis is in a strong position to deliver above-peer-median sales and margin growth in the mid- and long-term.” Vas Narasimhan, CEO Novartis Integrating Pharmaceuticals and Oncology business units Novartis will integrate the Pharmaceuticals and Oncology business units and create two separate commercial organizations with a stronger geographic focus—Innovative Medicines US and Innovative Medicines International. The two units will have full P&L responsibility across all therapeutic areas and ownership of customer experience, marketing and sales, and market access for their respective markets. The elevation and establishment of an independent US commercial organization strengthens Novartis’s ability to achieve its goal of becoming a top-five company in the US in terms of sales while maintaining and growing its leadership position internationally. The new model will also help Novartis bring increased focus and commitment to its core therapeutic areas of Cardiovascular, Hematology, Solid Tumors, Immunology and Neuroscience. Marie-France Tschudin, currently President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, will become President, Innovative Medicines International and Chief Commercial Officer. In her capacity as Chief Commercial Officer, Marie-France Tschudin will oversee global marketing, medical affairs and value and access across all therapeutic areas. Victor Bulto, currently Head of US Pharmaceuticals, will become President, Innovative Medicines US. They will both report to Vas Narasimhan effective immediately. New Strategy & Growth Function Novartis will create a new Strategy & Growth function combining corporate strategy, R&D portfolio strategy and business development. This function will help drive the company’s growth strategy end-to-end and will look across internal and external opportunities to strengthen Novartis’s pipeline with medicines that are both transformational and can make significant contributions to growth. This new function will be led by a Chief Strategy & Growth Officer who will become a member of the ECN and report to the CEO. The search is currently underway for this new leader, and in the interim the function will be led by Lutz Hegemann, M.D., Ph.D., President, Global Health. Integrated Operations and Global Functions Novartis will also combine its Technical Operations and Customer & Technology Solutions units to create a new Operations unit. This new unit will provide a stronger and simpler operational backbone that can accelerate multiple technology transformation initiatives more efficiently, create novel digital solutions at scale and increase productivity, while maintaining industry-leading quality and service levels. Effective immediately, Steffen Lang, currently Global Head of Novartis Technical Operations, will become President, Operations reporting to Vas Narasimhan. In addition, all G&A functions—Finance, People & Organization, Ethics, Risk & Compliance, Legal, and Communications & Engagement—will be integrated on global and country levels. Change in Global Drug Development (GDD) Leadership Novartis has appointed Shreeram Aradhye, M.D., as President, Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer effective May 16th, 2022. Dr. Aradhye, who is returning to Novartis, was most recently Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Dicerna Therapeutics where he led the development of multiple clinical stage RNAi assets. Previously, he was Chief Development Officer at Axcella Health. Dr. Aradhye has dedicated his entire professional career to improving patient lives, first as an academic clinician and then as a drug developer and business leader. He brings significant experience in global clinical development of innovative medicines across several therapeutic areas and has played a key leadership role in the development of multiple innovative therapeutics. During his 20-year tenure at Novartis, he held several global leadership roles including as development head for the company’s Neuroscience franchise and Global Head of Medical Affairs for the Pharmaceuticals business unit. Dr. Aradhye will report to Vas Narasimhan and join the ECN. With the changes in organizational structure and operating model, John Tsai, M.D., has decided to pursue opportunities outside Novartis effective May 15th, 2022. “I would like to extend my deep gratitude to Susanne, Robert and John for their invaluable contributions to the company. Susanne has been an inspiring and dedicated leader at the company for 25 years, and she has played a pivotal role in strengthening our global Oncology business. Over the last four years, Robert has led a successful transformation of our business services and technology operations and helped create a strong Customer & Technology Solutions unit. Since taking over as Head of GDD in May 2018, John has played a key leadership role in advancing our mid-stage pipeline and delivering 18 major drug approvals to patients around the world. I wish them the very best in their future endeavors,” added Vas Narasimhan, CEO Novartis. “I would like to congratulate Marie-France, Shreeram, Steffen and Victor on their new roles, and extend a warm welcome back to Shreeram. I look forward to working closely with them as we embark on this new phase of our journey to reimagine medicine together.” About Novartis Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Titan Pharmaceuticals to Explore Strategic Alternatives

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | December 22, 2021

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has commenced a process to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. Titan has engaged Maxim Group LLC as its exclusive financial advisor to assist in this process. Potential strategic alternatives that may be explored or evaluated as part of this process include an acquisition, merger, reverse merger, other business combination, sales of assets, licensing or other strategic transactions involving the Company. There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in any agreements or transactions, or that, if completed, any agreements or transactions will be successful or on attractive terms. Titan does not expect to disclose developments with respect to this process unless and until the evaluation of strategic alternatives has been completed or the board of directors has concluded that disclosure is appropriate or legally required. 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. Ultimate validation of the ProNeura® delivery system has been exemplified by approval of Probuphine in the US, EU and Canada. Key ongoing ProNeura implant programs include IND-enabling, non-clinical assessment of TP-2021, a potent peptide kappa opioid agonist for the long-term treatment of severe, chronic pruritis, and nalmefene, a mu opioid receptor blocker designed to decrease relapse and potential death from overdose in detoxed patients with Opiate Use Disorder.

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PHARMACY MARKET

The McQuade Center for Strategic Research and Development and Mindset Pharma Collaborate to Develop Psychedelic Medicines

McQuade | January 06, 2022

The McQuade Center for Strategic Research and Development, LLC, a member of the global Otsuka family of pharmaceutical companies, and Mindset Pharma Inc. announce a collaboration that will support the development of psychedelic medicines. MSRD has made a strategic investment to support the discovery and development of novel chemical entity assets of Mindset, a drug discovery and development company focused on creating optimized and patentable next-generation psychedelic medicines to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders with unmet medical needs. “Exploring multiple paths is essential as we work to address the unique needs of individuals living with mental health conditions. We look forward to collaborating with Mindset on these assets and are hopeful that medical psychedelics could be approved to treat mental illness in the future.” Robert McQuade, Ph.D., president, McQuade Center for Strategic Research and Development, LLC, and chief strategic officer, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc MSRD, which identifies and supports early-stage opportunities that can change the landscape of treatments for mental illness and renal disorders, will financially and operationally support the development of two families of Mindset’s novel medical psychedelic compounds through Phase 1a and Phase 1b clinical trials. MSRD has made an upfront cash payment of $5 million USD to Mindset and under the terms of the agreement, MSRD and Mindset may agree to expand the collaboration to continue to develop the compounds as pharmaceutical products. In addition, Mindset has granted MSRD a right of first refusal with respect to any asset sale, exclusive licensing or collaboration opportunities pertaining to the drugs and a right of first negotiation with respect to a merger, acquisition or asset sale related to Mindset, both in exchange for the upfront payment, further collaboration, and funding of the development of Mindset’s novel compounds. MSRD also has the ability to potentially receive single-digit percentage royalty payments under certain circumstances when the right of first refusal is not consummated or the agreement is terminated. “It is our great pleasure to collaborate with MSRD, a member company of Otsuka, to further the development of two of our families of novel psychedelic compounds. We look forward to leveraging their extensive experience in drug development and CNS indications to accelerate and de-risk our development pathway as we prepare to launch clinical trials,” said James Lanthier, chief executive officer of Mindset. “There is a high unmet need for innovative treatments of mental illness. This collaboration further validates our belief that optimized and patentable next-generation psychedelic compounds will be the future of treatments for mental illness.” Mr. Richard Patricio, chairman of Mindset’s board, added, “This transformational transaction is a validation of what our team has accomplished over the last several years. We are ecstatic that Otsuka has chosen to collaborate with Mindset in the novel psychedelic drug development space and see this as a pivotal moment in Mindset’s maturation. Our team is excited to work closely with MSRD to help meet the unmet needs of millions of people worldwide suffering with a variety of mental disorders. The future is truly exciting.” About Mindset Pharma Mindset Pharma Inc. is a drug discovery and development company focused on creating optimized and patentable next-generation psychedelic medicines to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders with unmet needs. Mindset was established in order to develop next generation pharmaceutical assets that leverage the breakthrough therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs. Mindset is developing several novel families of next generation psychedelic compounds, as well as an innovative process to chemically synthesize psilocybin as well as its own proprietary compounds. For further information on Mindset, About the McQuade Center for Strategic Research and Development (MSRD) Established in 2019, by the Otsuka pharmaceutical business in the U.S., the mission of MSRD is to search for, identify, and fund innovative early-stage research and development programs that have the potential to build the future portfolio of Otsuka products. Otsuka is dedicated to investing in innovative and creative products in areas of unmet need and MSRD was created as an extension of this commitment to support and identify early-stage opportunities that can change the landscape of treatments for mental illness and renal disorders. About Otsuka Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka–people creating new products for better health worldwide.” Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures, and markets innovative products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products to meet unmet medical needs and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

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