Students at Welsh Annual Professional Debate vote against OTC sale of medical cannabis products

The Pharmaceutical Journal | April 11, 2019

Pharmacists should not sell cannabis-derived medical products over the counter (OTC), according to pharmacy students at the 2019 Annual Professional Debate. Co-hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales and Healthcare Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) Pharmacy  eanery, this year’s debate was held in Cardiff on 8 April 2019. During the evening, more than 100 pharmacy students debated whether pharmacies should supply OTC medical cannabis products. After hearing arguments for and against the motion, 56% of the students disagreed or strongly disagreed that pharmacists should sell the product, while 37% agreed or strongly agreed. Only 20% of voters agreed that there was enough evidence to support the pharmacy supply of OTC cannabis-derived medical products, with 77% disagreed.

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Americans will continue to feel the pain of high prescription drug prices in 2017, with costs projected to jump 12 percent next year. Here's how pharmaceutical companies push through price hikes.


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Pneuma Systems collaborates with West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. to improve the patient experience

Pneuma Systems Corporation | April 08, 2022

Medical technology company, Pneuma Systems Corporation, has entered a multi-faceted business collaboration with West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. with the goal of improving the patient's experience with drug therapy. West is a leading global manufacturer in the design and production of technologically advanced, high-quality, integrated containment and delivery systems for injectable medicines. Pneuma Systems Corporation has developed a family of fluid flow technologies that are aimed at scientific and medical applications. The global intravenous pump market segment is expected to reach USD 20.5 billion over the next five years. Pneuma will provide a novel closed-loop fluid flow control platform that West will use to develop drug delivery solutions for pharmaceutical companies and clinical end users. West will provide technical and financial support to Pneuma and access to the emerging West Digital Platform, designed to improve transmission of data and other information. "West's almost century-long commitment to the development of drug delivery systems dovetails with our cutting-edge flow control technology. West's latest foray into a broad digital architecture is very important to us. When you improve both fluid flow and information flow, the result is an improvement in workflow, which results in higher levels of patient safety and lower costs," said Pneuma CEO Jeffrey Carlisle. "We are aiming at disruptive improvements in workflow." "We are excited about our collaboration with Pneuma and the potential of their technologies to address a variety of flow control challenges to drive improvements in healthcare. At West our mission is to improve patient lives not only through our products and services but also by investing in small innovative companies and offering our deep technical and commercial expertise to help them bring their transformation technologies to the market," Scott Young, VP Venture & External Collaboration at West Pneuma Systems, together with its strategic partners, plans to install PneumaDrive™ technology-based infusion devices in infusion centers, home care, and acute care settings around the world. The low cost PneumaDrive™ technology can replace existing infusion pumps and automate "gravity drip" infusions, providing patients with a safer and easier experience. About Pneuma Pneuma Systems is a New Hampshire based company founded by Jeffrey Carlisle, also Founder of the recently acquired Ivenix. Pneuma is dedicated to improving fluid flow, information flow, and workflow for the IV therapy process. About West West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative, high-quality injectable solutions and services. As a trusted partner to established and emerging drug developers, West helps ensure the safe, effective containment and delivery of life-saving and life-enhancing medicines for patients. With approximately 10,000 team members across 50 sites worldwide, West helps support our customers by delivering over 45 billion components and devices each year.

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Labcorp Completes Acquisition of Personal Genome Diagnostics

Labcorp | February 21, 2022

Labcorp a leading global life sciences company, announced that it has closed its acquisition of Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx), a leader in cancer genomics with a portfolio of comprehensive liquid biopsy and tissue-based products. The addition of PGDx and its technology complements and accelerates Labcorp’s existing liquid biopsy capabilities and expands Labcorp’s leading oncology portfolio of next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based genomic profiling capabilities, positioning Labcorp at the forefront of driving better patient outcomes in oncology. About Labcorp Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company that provides vital information to help doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and patients make clear and confident decisions. Through our unparalleled diagnostics and drug development capabilities, we provide insights and accelerate innovations to improve health and improve lives. With over 75,000 employees, we serve clients in more than 100 countries. Labcorp (NYSE: LH) reported revenue of $16.1 billion in FY2021.

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FDA Accepts Dupixent® (dupilumab) for Priority Review in Adults with Prurigo Nodularis

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | May 31, 2022

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted for Priority Review the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Dupixent® Medical (dupilumab) to treat adults with prurigo nodularis, a chronic skin disease that causes extreme itch and inflammatory skin lesions. The target action date for the FDA decision is September 30, 2022. The sBLA is supported by data from two pivotal Phase 3 trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of Dupixent in patients 18 years and older with prurigo nodularis Both trials met the primary and key secondary endpoints, showing Dupixent significantly improved disease signs and symptoms compared to placebo, including reduction in itch and skin lesions. The safety results from these trials were generally consistent with the known safety profile of Dupixent in its approved dermatology indications. The adverse event more commonly observed with Dupixent was conjunctivitis. The FDA grants Priority Review to therapies that have the potential to provide significant improvements in the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of serious conditions. Additional regulatory filings around the world are also planned in 2022.The potential use of Dupixent in prurigo nodularis is currently under clinical development, and the safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority. About Prurigo Nodularis People with prurigo nodularis experience intense, persistent itch, with thick skin lesions (called nodules) that can cover most of the body. Prurigo nodularis is often described as painful with burning, stinging and tingling of the skin. The impact of uncontrolled prurigo nodularis on quality of life is one of the highest among inflammatory skin diseases due to the extreme itch and is comparable to other debilitating chronic diseases that can negatively affect mental health, activities of daily living and social interactions. High-potency topical steroids are commonly prescribed but are associated with safety risks if used long-term. There are approximately 75,000 people in the U.S. who are unable to control their disease with systemic therapy and are most in need of a treatment option. About Dupixent Dupixent, which was invented using Regeneron's proprietary VelocImmune® technology, is a fully human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) pathways and is not an immunosuppressant. The Dupixent development program has shown significant clinical benefit and a decrease in type 2 inflammation in Phase 3 trials, establishing that IL-4 and IL-13 are key and central drivers of the type 2 inflammation that plays a major role in multiple related and often co-morbid diseases. These diseases include approved indications for Dupixent such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP) and eosinophilic esophagitis, as well as investigational diseases such as prurigo nodularis. Dupixent is approved for use in certain patients with atopic dermatitis, asthma, CRSwNP or eosinophilic esophagitis in different age populations in a number of countries around the world. Dupixent is currently approved across these indications in the U.S. and for one or more of these indications in the European Union and Japan and more than 60 countries. More than 400,000 patients have been treated with Dupixent globally. About Regeneron's VelocImmune Technology Regeneron's VelocImmune technology utilizes a proprietary genetically engineered mouse platform endowed with a genetically humanized immune system to produce optimized fully human antibodies. When Regeneron's President and Chief Scientific Officer George D. Yancopoulos was a graduate student with his mentor Frederick W. Alt in 1985, they were the first to envision making such a genetically humanized mouse, and Regeneron has spent decades inventing and developing VelocImmune and related VelociSuite® technologies. Dr. Yancopoulos and his team have used VelocImmune technology to create approximately one in five of all original, FDA-approved or authorized fully human monoclonal antibodies currently available. This includes Dupixent, REGEN-COV® (casirivimab and imdevimab), Libtayo® (cemiplimab-rwlc), Praluent® (alirocumab), Kevzara® (sarilumab), Evkeeza® (evinacumab-dgnb) and Inmazeb™. Dupilumab Development Program Dupilumab is being jointly developed by Regeneron and Sanofi under a global collaboration agreement. To date, dupilumab has been studied across 60 clinical trials involving more than 10,000 patients with various chronic diseases driven in part by type 2 inflammation.

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Basetwo Launches No-Code Artificial Intelligence Platform for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Raises $3.8 Million

Basetwo | May 27, 2022

Basetwo, a SaaS AI platform for manufacturers, announced it secured a $3.8M seed round led by Glasswing Ventures and Argon Ventures with additional funding from Caffeinated Capital, Graphite Ventures, MaRs IAF, Pareto Holdings, Plug and Play, and Quiet Capital. The funding supports the launch of the category-making Basetwo AI platform, a first-of-its-kind solution that enables process engineers to rapidly build digital twins of their manufacturing plants leveraging a familiar no-code interface. Basetwo promotes the digitalization of manufacturing systems to foster intelligent manufacturing across the global supply chain. Basetwo intends to be the default platform for continuous improvement in the current Good Manufacturing Process (cGMP), beginning with the pharmaceutical market and expanding to the food and beverage and chemical markets. The pharmaceutical manufacturing market has been challenged in the past two years due to the pandemic and associated supply chain issues. In addition, the rate of drug development and demand for pharmaceuticals has increased at an unprecedented rate, fueled by technological and economic advancement globally. However, manufacturing optimization to meet this demand is still rudimentary and inadequate to meet today’s and future needs. According to ABI Research the pharma industry is predicted to spend over $4.5 billion on digital transformation by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 27%. In addition, the market for digital twins is forecasted to reach $35.5 billion by 2026, a 37% CAGR, according to a recent ResearchandMarkets report, primarily driven by the growing applications of digital twin technology in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Basetwo’s platform powered by “physics-informed machine learning” is well suited for pharmaceutical manufacturing. The Company’s no-code approach brings highly sophisticated capabilities from pre-built models to data pipelines and integrations within a complex manufacturing process to a format familiar to process engineers. Basetwo's ability to predict and understand manufacturing processes improves as more data is gathered, improving return on investment over time. “The introduction of our no-code AI platform lets manufacturers of any size leverage the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning (ML) to develop digital twins easily, quickly, and economically. We are excited to have the backing and the expertise from Glasswing Ventures, Argon Ventures, and all our investors as we scale the business.” Thouheed Abdul Gaffoor, Co-Founder and CEO of Basetwo Having previously co-founded and exited Emagin, an AI startup in the heavy industry, Thouheed has seen first-hand the challenges that manufacturers face with maximizing value from machine learning initiatives. To address this challenge, Thouheed left his previous role as Head of AI at Autodesk, and partnered with Thamjeeth Abdul Gaffoor, who co-founded and served as the CFO at Emagin, Tawfeeq Abdul Gaffoor, former Software Engineer at Lyft and Databricks, and Kiefer Eaton, a pharmaceutical industry specialist from Johnson & Johnson. Together, the Basetwo founding team brings deep domain expertise in manufacturing, technology, and pharmaceuticals. “The pharmaceutical manufacturing market is at a critical point, having been heavily challenged by the pandemic and supply chain issues. By creating a digital duplicate of a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, the Basetwo AI platform allows process engineers to analyze where things might break down — or run more efficiently, and increase resilience,” said Rudina Seseri, Founder and Managing Partner of Glasswing Ventures. “As a category maker, Basetwo has delivered a revolutionary AI-based no-code solution that enables manufacturers to use digital twins for optimization. We anticipate that Thouheed and his team will disrupt the status quo in manufacturing and affect significant change in the industry.” About Basetwo Basetwo is the first no-code AI platform that enables process engineers to rapidly build and operationalize digital twins of their manufacturing plants. From process development to commercial manufacturing, manufacturers use the digital twins they build with Basetwo AI to improve process efficiencies across the value chain. About Glasswing Ventures Glasswing Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to investing in the next generation of AI and frontier technology startups that enable the rise of the intelligent enterprise. The firm was founded by visionary partners with decades of experience in these markets, a disciplined investment approach, and a strong track record of industry-leading returns. Glasswing leverages its deep domain expertise and world-leading advisory councils to invest in exceptional founders who transform markets and revolutionize industries. About Argon Ventures Argon Ventures is a venture fund with a mission to amplify the energy of founders to launch breakthrough products to build impactful, global businesses. The firm’s Intelligent Industry Solutions investment thesis is centered on cutting-edge software platforms that accelerate productivity & drive top-line revenue, transform markets through radical efficiency and create enterprise value through data at scale. Argon’s portfolio spans a number of markets, including digital health, future of work, manufacturing, and others. The founding General Partners collectively bring over four decades of experience as successful operators, investors, advisors, founders and C-level executives of global companies.

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Americans will continue to feel the pain of high prescription drug prices in 2017, with costs projected to jump 12 percent next year. Here's how pharmaceutical companies push through price hikes.

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