Pharmacy takes FDA to task in citizen petition over tainted valsartan

fiercepharma | June 20, 2019

The FDA has tied the contamination of blood pressure drugs by probable carcinogens to an approved switch in manufacturing to a process that uses certain solvents. Now an online pharmacy says it has discovered the solvents are as bad as the impurities they have been creating and has criticized the FDA for not taking steps to limit their use. In a citizen petition, the New Haven, Connecticut-based Valisure says the FDA has established acceptable limits for impurities such as those commonly known as NDMA and NDEA after they were discovered in heart drugs last year, leading to massive global recalls. But it claims the FDA has not lowered the acceptable level for the solvent DMF, although it “has become apparent that the switch in the manufacturing industry to the use of the DMF solvent may be largely responsible” for the appearance of the impurities in the U.S. drug supply. “This disparity lacks a rational basis and is of significant concern, particularly because of Valisure’s recent findings that high levels of DMF exist in certain on-market lots of valsartan medication,” Valisure’s petition says. The petition says the FDA needs to investigate the use of the solvent N,N-Dimethylformamide (DMF) in drug manufacturing since it is classified as a Class 2 carcinogen. It should lower the acceptable level of its use in the U.S. drug supply and requested the FDA seek the recall all of the drugs in which it is found in levels that exceed its guidance.

Spotlight

It is FDA's policy to help prevent or alleviate shortages, primarily of medically necessary drug products, since these can have significant public health consequences. A drug shortage may involve either an actual or a potential shortage of a drug product. A product is considered to be medically necessary, or a medical necessity, if it is used to treat or prevent a serious disease or medical condition, and there is no other available source of that product or alternative drug or therapy that is judged by medical staff to be an adequate substitute.


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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

UCB Showcases Strength of the Expanding Dermatology Portfolio at the 31st EADV Congress

UCB, Inc. | September 02, 2022

UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it will present 20 abstracts across its dermatology portfolio at the 31st European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Milan, Italy, September 7-10. The abstracts, accepted for poster presentation, underscore UCB's commitment to delivering innovative solutions that aim to address the unmet needs of people living with dermatological diseases. "We are proud to present new data from our expanding dermatology portfolio at the 31st EADV Congress. At UCB, our ambition is to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and the strength of scientific data at this year's congress reaffirms our long-standing commitment to raising standards of care," said Emmanuel Caeymaex, Executive Vice President, Immunology Solutions and Head of U.S., UCB. Key data to be presented on UCB's investigational product bimekizumab include new results from the BE BRIGHT open-label extension study evaluating maintenance of response with bimekizumab through three years in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who responded at week 16 during Phase 3 clinical studies. New analysis of pooled safety data from up to three years of treatment with bimekizumab in the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis across Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials will also be presented. Bimekizumab is an investigational product; its efficacy and safety have not been established for any indication in the U.S. and it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For CIMZIA® (certolizumab pegol), data to be presented include three-year data from three Phase 3 trials evaluating the association of patient-reported outcomes (Dermatology Life Quality Index, DLQI 0/1) with relative skin clearance improvements (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, PASI) in subgroups of adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. About UCB UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With approximately 8,600 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of €5.8 billion in 2021. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).

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PHARMA TECH

ArisGlobal Accelerates Growth Announces Executive Evolution

ArisGlobal | September 08, 2022

ArisGlobal, the leading provider of life sciences software that automates core drug development functions with its end-to-end technology platform LifeSphere®, today announces an expansion to its C-suite. James Jarrett is the company's new Chief Financial Officer, Kathleen Turland joins as the first Chief Legal Officer, and Aman Wasan has stepped into the new role of Chief Commercial Officer. The three appointments are happening during a time of significant momentum for ArisGlobal, which has experienced annual recurring revenue growth of 34% in the first half of 2022 YoY. James Jarrett, Chief Financial Officer Jarrett brings over a decade of executive leadership experience driving revenue and cash flow growth. He has partnered with management teams and boards of directors of high-growth, highly leveraged companies undergoing rapid change. Prior to joining ArisGlobal, he served as the CFO for Emergence Health Holdings, Carewell Urgent Care, and ProCure Proton Therapy Center. Kathleen Turland, Chief Legal Officer Turland is a global strategic leader with more than 20 years of legal experience. She brings her broad range of legal and business skills to ArisGlobal, having worked with companies experiencing significant growth and expansion over the years, including General Electric, and FUSE Group. She started her legal career in New York, clerking for a Federal Court Judge, and working at two revered New York law firms. Aman Wasan, Chief Commercial Officer Wasan is an expert in general management and commercial leadership with a deep understanding and knowledge of drug safety and clinical research. Since joining ArisGlobal in 2018, Wasan has excelled in six different positions, most recently as Senior Vice President of Global Commercials, where he managed global enterprise business. Before joining the ArisGlobal team, Wasan worked for Bioclinica as the company's Global Head of Safety and Regulatory Services. "As we continue scaling our business and building new functions to better serve our customer base, expanding our C-suite will help us execute our mission and further drive our success in the life sciences industry. James, Kathleen, and Aman carry a wealth of industry knowledge instrumental in empowering ArisGlobal to further expand its customer pipeline, continue to develop innovative technology, and maintain a role as a trusted leader in the market." CEO Mike Gordon Turland's addition to the company also represents consistent and focused efforts by ArisGlobal to continually put women in positions of leadership. Turland joins ArisGlobal veterans Ritu Shrivastava, Vice President Corporate Development, and Heidi Hattendorf, Vice President of Marketing, on the executive team. Currently, ArisGlobal also has women in core leadership positions across business, product, quality, people, and technology functions. About ArisGlobal ArisGlobal is led by passionate individuals who support life sciences leaders in developing and monitoring breakthrough medicines and therapies. With more than 35 years of expertise in the life sciences industry, ArisGlobal develops technology products within the platform LifeSphere to power pharmaceutical and biotech research and development. Building on our commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives, we give back to the communities where we live and work – in the U.S, Europe, India, Japan, and China.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

DisperSol Appoints Tim Scott New President and CEO; Company Changes Name to AustinPx™, Pharmaceutics and Manufacturing

AustinPx | August 29, 2022

DisperSol Technologies, LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company announced the appointment of Tim Scott as president and chief executive officer of the company. At the same time, the company announced that it is changing its name to AustinPx™, Pharmaceutics and Manufacturing, to better reflect the company’s new direction as a contract development and manufacturing organization. Mr. Scott also joins the board of directors of AustinPx. The hiring of Mr. Scott and the company name change to AustinPx, Pharmaceutics and Manufacturing, are part of a shift in the focus of the pharmaceutical technology company that first developed KinetiSol® technology, a patented amorphous dispersion technology for improving drug bioavailability. The company will now provide pharmaceutical chemistry services including analytical and formulation development and cGMP manufacturing at its site in Austin, Texas. Mr. Scott was the co-founder and president of Pharmatek Laboratories from 1999 until 2016, when he sold the company to Catalent Pharma Solutions (NYSE: CTLT). He currently serves as board chair of Biocom, a trade organization supporting 2,000 life science companies. Mr. Scott also serves on the Medical Research Advisory Committee for the Conrad Prebys Foundation, providing grants to innovative research in the health sciences. “I can think of no one better to lead the transformation of AustinPx than Tim. He brings a wealth of experience in building a contract development and manufacturing business, and he has strong connections throughout the industry. We are delighted to have his leadership as we build AustinPx into a world class CDMO.” Shaun Kirkpatrick, President at Research Corporation Technologies and board chair of AustinPx “Our goal is to build a client-centric organization that provides drug development and manufacturing services for pharma companies worldwide,” says Scott. “The name AustinPx represents where we come from and what we do. Px stands for Pharmaceutics. To our core, we are a pharmaceutics company. Our approach is data-driven and agnostic, which means our formulation strategy for each drug is based on the unique physiochemistry of that compound. And for poorly soluble compounds, we have one of the most powerful tools available in KinetiSol, a truly next generation technology for rendering active pharmaceutical ingredients amorphous.” KinetiSol is a proprietary technology for improving drug bioavailability. This advanced technology transforms active pharmaceutical ingredients into amorphous solid dispersions, thereby enhancing the physiochemistry and PK of drugs. KinetiSol offers many advantages over other amorphous dispersion technologies. It provides a broader formulation design space and a more efficient scale-up. Additionally, KinetiSol’s significantly smaller ecological footprint makes it a greener technology. 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. The company specializes in phase-appropriate development strategies, speed to clinic and market strategies, and bioavailability enhancement of poorly soluble molecules – including its next generation amorphous dispersion platform, KinetiSol®. AustinPx’s lead investors include Research Corporation Technologies, Inc. and Acadia Woods.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Aculys Pharma and SUSMED Have Entered into a Contract to Conduct the World's First Clinical Trial Utilizing Blockchain Technology

Aculys Pharma, Inc. | July 13, 2022

Aculys Pharma, Inc. a company focused on the development and commercialization of new innovative drugs in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, has entered into a contract with SUSMED, Inc., a company that promotes digital medicine to conduct the world's first1 corporate-sponsored clinical trial using blockchain technology. The clinical trial utilizing this blockchain technology, provided by SUSMED, will be conducted in collaboration with CMIC Co., Ltd., a pioneer in drug development support (CRO), with the cooperation of several medical institutions. With the sophistication of research and development and the increasing cost of new drug development, improving the efficiency of clinical trials is one of the challenges in the pharmaceutical industry that requires addressing. In such an environment, efficient use of resources and pursuit of efficiency are required. And improving productivity and quality of new drug development is also extremely important for society as a whole. Under these circumstances, Aculys Pharma is working to improve productivity and quality of clinical trials by utilizing AI and digital technologies for the development and commercialization of new drugs. The clinical trial system developed by SUSMED enables the reduction of data entry work and monitoring work2 by medical institutions by using the SUSMED-patented technology that binds e-worksheets and eCRF using blockchain technology. In addition to publishing multiple medical papers3, the clinical research that SUSMED conducted with the National Cancer Center has been approved by the Cabinet Office regulatory sandbox4. The result of the verification test conducted by the regulatory sandbox was published in the International Medical Journal in June 20205. With this outcome, The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare issued a notice on December 4, 2020 that source data verification (SDV: Source Data Verification) using blockchain technology is permitted as an alternative method under the GCP ministerial ordinance. CMIC will promote these efforts for attaining an efficient clinical trial by 1) supporting the operation of the system at the medical institution, 2) cooperating with development of the e-worksheet and eCRF, and 3) complementing the functions outside the scope of the system. This clinical trial which utilizes blockchain technology significantly reduces the number of processes around data entry at medical institutions and SDV compared to conventional methods, and also contributes to reducing the number of required CRA visits to the medical institutions. In addition, by taking advantage of blockchain technology, it is expected to have the effect of increasing the reliability of the clinical trial data itself. Through these methods, we aim to improve the efficiency of the clinical trial-related work-streams necessary for new drug development, and to optimize new drug development costs without compromising reliability. "We are delighted to be able to conduct a clinical trial utilizing blockchain technology in collaboration with SUSMED and CMIC as Aculys Pharma strives for providing new therapeutic modalities by making full use of the latest in digital technology. We expect this pioneering effort of three companies, which aim to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical trials, will realize digital transformation of clinical trial monitoring work and contribute to the optimization of new drug development costs. We will continue to actively introduce new technologies not bound by a conventional framework and aim to solve social issues surrounding Japanese healthcare by collaborating and partnering with external partners." Kazunari Tsunaba, President and CEO of Aculys Pharma, Inc Taro Ueno, President and CEO of SUSMED, Inc., stated as follows. "In the clinical trials conducted in the development of new medical technology, prevention of data tampering and cost efficiency have been issues. While developing therapeutic apps in the healthcare field, we have come to focus on the possibility of using blockchain technology in clinical development and continued research and development. This time, we are delighted to be able to collaborate with CMIC to conduct the world’s first clinical trials using blockchain technology in a corporate-sponsored clinical trial of Aculys Pharma, a company that focuses on the development and commercialization of new innovative drugs. We believe that utilization of blockchain technology enables us to realize efficient and reliable clinical development and we also can contribute for optimization and sustainability of future social security.” "CMIC was established in 1992 as Japan's first CRO and has supported a number of clinical trials of drug development. This time we are participating in the corporate-sponsored clinical trial of Aculys Pharma with SUSMED. While digitalization will furthermore drive acceleration of process efficiency, we will continue to pursue further improvement of quality and efficiency of clinical trials in monitoring work by utilizing CMIC's know-how based on numerous clinical trial experiences over the past 30 years." About Aculys Pharma, Inc. Aculys Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovations in the fields of neurology and psychiatry. Its corporate name was created from the philosophy of "Catalyst to Access." Aimed to act as a bridge for innovative medical care in the field of neuropsychiatry, Aculys Pharma develops and commercializes novel pharmaceuticals and provides innovations for better medical care to patients, their families, healthcare professionals, and society.

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Spotlight

It is FDA's policy to help prevent or alleviate shortages, primarily of medically necessary drug products, since these can have significant public health consequences. A drug shortage may involve either an actual or a potential shortage of a drug product. A product is considered to be medically necessary, or a medical necessity, if it is used to treat or prevent a serious disease or medical condition, and there is no other available source of that product or alternative drug or therapy that is judged by medical staff to be an adequate substitute.

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