Pharma companies admit to sharing 'sensitive' info to keep prices high

FiercePharma | September 23, 2019

As U.S. officials press a massive case for alleged generic drug price fixing, authorities in the U.K. have unearthed an example of rivals working a little too closely with each other. King Pharmaceuticals and Alissa Healthcare Research, which both sold the antidepressant drug nortriptyline, admitted to exchanging "commercially sensitive information" in order to keep prices high. The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in June it had found the companies exchanged info about prices, volumes and market entry plans for their drugs. Officials opened their investigation back in October 2017, and the allegations covered conduct between 2015 to 2017. Even as King and Alissa admitted to the violations, a third company, Lexon Limited, denied them. The investigation against Lexon is ongoing, and the authorities say they're preparing to levy penalties against the company. Meanwhile, a slate of generic drugmakers face U.S. allegations that they worked together to keep prices high. Dozens of states have sued leading generic firms, alleging they met in person and communicated digitally to share info about launch plans and divide up the market. The alleged price-fixing scheme encompassed some of the biggest generics makers in the business, including Teva Pharmaceutical and Mylan, prosecutors say.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

The Danish National Genome Center Partners with Lifebit to Deliver Nationwide Personalised Medicine

Lifebit Biotech | April 29, 2022

Lifebit, whose leading technology enables secure analysis over sensitive datasets for researchers and interconnects such large patient cohorts worldwide, today announces a long-term partnership with the Danish National Genome Center (NGC). Lifebit will deploy Lifebit CloudOS to create a Federated Trusted Research Environment within the Danish NGC's supercomputing cluster to serve as the scalable and secure data management and analysis platform for Denmark's national researchers, clinical scientists and international collaborators. The Danish NGC, a government agency and authority within the Danish Healthcare system, was created to implement the Danish Government's National Personalised Medicine Strategy. The core vision of the NGC is to develop more precise diagnosis, targeted treatment and strengthen research within the Danish healthcare system. During the first phase of the strategy, the Danish National Genome Center and its collaborators will recruit and sequence whole genomes of 60,000 patients diagnosed with cancer, autoimmune disorders and rare diseases by 2024. The platform will deliver a next-generation computational infrastructure within Denmark's on-premise supercomputing center, allowing the NGC to meet its vision of establishing and operating a state-of-the-art national infrastructure for personalised medicine while keeping the data at all times in the secure national infrastructure. Only Lifebit with both its genomic data expertise as well as its internationally proven ability of managing such complex Government environments through its patented operating system Lifebit CloudOS was deemed capable to deliver this project. The platform will thus enable researchers with secure access, querying and analysis of this sensitive clinico-genomic data in a fully scalable and flexible way; also allowing for them to collaborate at a global scale. Federation will play a crucial role in enabling the future possibility to collaborate with international partners such as Genomics England, France Genomique, Genomic Medicine Sweden and other biobanks from around the world. Virtually connecting these sensitive datasets, enabling joint analysis that is however performed in situ without moving data, can lead to exponentially higher research findings. In some cases, it can be observed that increasing the number of patients in a study by 10x led to ~100x the number of scientific findings and genomic associations making clear how important real connectivity of these datasets is. "Lifebit continues to guide and power the world's largest national and private precision medicine programmes. We are extremely proud to be delivering this flagship programme for the nation of Denmark. This Federated Trusted Research Environment will enable researchers to more effectively collaborate over this rich dataset at scale and drive international collaboration between other government initiatives - many of which already leverage Lifebit's federated technology." Thorben Seeger, Chief Business Development Officer at Lifebit Other examples of Lifebit's data platform at work include Genomics England, NIHR Cambridge and the Hong Kong Genome Institute. About Lifebit Biotech, Ltd. Lifebit builds enterprise data platforms for use by organisations with complex and sensitive biomedical datasets. Lifebit's patented federated technology securely unlocks access to biomedical data. From providing Trusted Research Environments for national precision medicine programmes to enabling pharmaceutical companies to discover new drug targets faster, Lifebit empowers customers to transform how they leverage sensitive biomedical data.

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RESEARCH

DisperSol Technologies Announces Collaboration with Ajax Therapeutics to Develop Enhanced KinetiSol Drug Formulations

DisperSol Technologies | December 18, 2021

DisperSol Technologies LLC announced that it is has entered into a research collaboration with Ajax Therapeutics, Inc. to apply its KinetiSol technology to enhance the bioavailability of an Ajax drug candidate in development for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. “Ajax is taking an innovative approach to developing a pipeline of selectively targeted small molecules and we look forward to applying our proprietary KinetiSol technology to help enhance the bioavailability of one of these promising drug candidates. This collaboration is another example of our partnering strategy with our KinetiSol technology platform to help improve the bioavailability of next generation targeted therapies to provide new treatments for patients in need.” Dr. Edward Rudnic, CEO of DisperSol Technologies About DisperSol Technologies DisperSol is a clinical-stage drug development company focused on developing new treatments for patients utilizing its proprietary KinetiSol® technology platform. KinetiSol has proven capable of creating novel therapeutics from poorly bioavailable drugs to deliver unique clinical benefits to patients. The platform enables a drug development path forward to patients when other options fail to make a difference. DisperSol’s active programs include, DST-0509 about to enter Phase 3 for iron overload disorder and DST-2970 in Phase 2 for refractory metastatic prostate cancer. Additional earlier-stage programs include DST-5407 for non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. About Ajax Therapeutics Ajax Therapeutics, Inc. is pursuing uniquely selective approaches to develop novel therapies targeting key cytokine signaling pathways that drive hematologic malignancies. By combining the deep cancer and structural biology insights of our founding scientists with the industry’s most advanced computational drug discovery and protein structure platforms from our founding partner, Schrödinger, Inc., we aim to discover and develop more precisely designed therapies to address significant unmet needs for patients with hematologic malignancies.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

OPTEL ACQUIRES PHARMA TRACK-AND-TRACE UNIT OF KÖRBER

OPTEL Group | January 12, 2022

OPTEL GROUP, already a world leader in supply chain traceability, is expanding its expertise and global reach with the recent acquisition of the track-and-trace unit of the Körber Business Area Pharma, formerly known as Traxeed, based in Germany. Körber is a leading international technology group. The acquisition, announced today, will allow OPTEL to leverage the unit's expertise in pharmaceutical and agrochemical track-and-trace technologies, provide the company with a second foothold in the European marketplace and contribute to its diversification plans. "Creating a strong presence in the German market is key to the success of our strategic objectives because Germany is a well-established manufacturing hub, with a strong history of developing innovative manufacturing efficiency solutions and Industry 4.0 technologies," Louis Roy, founder and president of OPTEL "We are pleased that we have found a solid and future-oriented new owner with a broad international market access, from whose global network and years of experience in the highly specialized track-and-trace sector customers will clearly benefit. We are furthermore convinced that the new strategic owner can open up attractive development opportunities for the team," said Dr. Jürgen Krebs, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer in the Körber Business Area Pharma. The acquisition allows OPTEL to welcome highly skilled pharma track-and-trace experts from Körber, complementing OPTEL's existing strengths in traceability, vision technologies, software and hardware. Furthermore, it will solidify and expand the company's presence in the European market by providing a second base of operations after Limerick, Ireland. In addition to the acquisition, a close collaboration between OPTEL and Körber's Business Area Pharma is planned in the future. The two companies plan to sign a partnership agreement whereby OPTEL becomes Körber's preferred partner for track-and-trace solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Since its founding in 1989, OPTEL has become the world's foremost provider of track-and-trace solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. Its acquisitions in recent years have positioned it as the only company with the ability to provide complete, full-stack supply chain traceability. The Canadian multinational has since diversified into other industries, including consumer-packaged goods, metals and minerals, and agrochemicals. The acquisition of the track-and-trace unit of the Körber Business Area Pharma is expected to accelerate further expansion. ABOUT OPTEL OPTEL is a leading global provider of traceability systems whose goal is to use its innovative technologies to build a sustainable world through the Intelligent Supply Chain. OPTEL is the only company with the ability to offer complete end-to-end traceability, providing granular data at every step of the supply chain – from raw materials to the consumer and beyond. Founded in 1989, OPTEL is a Certified B Corporation headquartered in Canada, with facilities in Ireland, India and Brazil, as well as employees worldwide. ABOUT KÖRBER We are Körber – an international technology group with about 10,000 employees, more than 100 locations worldwide and a common goal: We turn entrepreneurial thinking into customer success and shape the technological change. In the Business Areas Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, Tissue and Tobacco, we offer products, solutions and services that inspire. We act fast to customer needs, we execute ideas seamlessly, and with our innovations we create added value for our customers. In doing so, we are increasingly building on ecosystems that solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Körber AG is the holding company of the Körber Group.

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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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