Vaccines mistrust a “global crisis” says Welcome report

Pharmaphorum.com | June 19, 2019

A wide-ranging survey involving 140,000 people in 140 countries has revealed a worryingly high level of concern about the safety of vaccines, with scepticism highest in the developed world. While the report by the Wellcome Trust suggests that more than three-quarters of the world’s population agree that vaccines are safe and effective, that confidence dips sharply in high-income regions like Europe and North America. All told, roughly three quarters of people polled said they felt vaccines were safe in Northern Europe, but that proportion plummeted to 59% in Western Europe and 50% in Eastern Europe. In France, one in three people disagreed that vaccines are safe, the highest percentage for any country worldwide, with high levels of scepticism also seen in Gabon, Togo, Russia and Switzerland. In contrast, low-income regions tend to have much more confidence in immunisation, with highs of 95% of people in South Asia and 92% in Eastern Africa. The low confidence in some areas of the world is critically important, given that the World Health Organization says that reluctance to receive vaccines – known as vaccine hesitancy – is one of the top 10 threats to public health as once-conquered diseases such as measles stage a comeback. There has been a dramatic increase in measles cases in almost every region in the world, and UNICEF warned in March 2019 that cases were surging to “alarmingly high levels”.

Spotlight

In the world of commercial research and science, there’s probably no undertaking more daunting—or more expensive—than the process of bringing a new medicine to market. For a new compound to make it from initial discovery through development, testing, and clinical trials to finally earn regulatory approval can take a decade or more.  Learn how Novartis and Microsoft are coming together using AI and leading research capabilities to advance medicine.


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Hovione expands drug product offering with a new manufacturing line dedicated to Continuous Tableting

Hovione | September 07, 2022

Hovione, the leader in spray drying and particle engineering, announced that it has expanded its continuous manufacturing offering and services. A new state-of-the-art continuous manufacturing facility is now coming online at the Loures site in Portugal. In addition, to support Hovione's commitment to providing access and services for continuous tableting, Hovione has further strengthened its capabilities by establishing a highly experienced multi-disciplinary global team in continuous tableting and upgrading its labs with the tools needed to support the drug product lifecycle, thereby further guaranteeing competency and capacity from research & development to production. Continuous manufacturing is expected to change the landscape of drug product development and commercial production. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is partnering with the International Council for Harmonization and leading a global initiative to advance continuous manufacturing of small molecules and other pharmaceutical modalities. Hovione is offering customers a commercial continuous tableting platform prepared to support key control needs and deliver on operational excellence, mechanistic modeling, and appropriate process analytical technology (PAT). Additionally, Hovione´s quality system has been designed to support the release of continuous tableting products through automated in-process controls, deployment of real time release, and compliant digital infrastructure. This cutting-edge technology offers a distinct set of features and advantages including faster development of simpler processes, agile manufacturing for variable demand, robust control strategies and high process quality standards. "Hovione has been historically focused on innovative technologies that benefit our customers and patients. With this investment in continuous tableting, our customers can rely on our support to bring much needed medicines to the market as fast as possible with the highest quality and manufacturing standards. We are investing to accelerate the adoption of this technology as we continue to innovate and enhance our offering around our areas of expertise." Jean-Luc Herbeaux, Hovione´s CEO "This investment in continuous tableting from R&D to production further strengthens Hovione´s CDMO offering and responds to the growing customer interest." says Filipe Neves, Hovione´s Strategic Business Director. This latest investment in Continuous Tableting is part of Hovione´s broader strategy to build differentiated and enabling capabilities and assets to meet customers unique needs for oral dosage forms manufacturing. About Hovione Hovione is an international company with over 60 years of experience as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization with a fully integrated offering of services for drug substance, drug product intermediate and drug product. The company has four FDA inspected sites in the USA, Portugal, Ireland and China and development laboratories in Lisbon, Portugal and New Jersey, USA. Hovione provides pharmaceutical customers services for the development and compliant manufacture of innovative drugs, including highly potent compounds, and customized product solutions across the entire drug life cycle. In the inhalation area, Hovione offers a complete range of services, from API and formulation development to devices. Hovione´s culture is based on innovation, quality and delivery. Hovione was the first Chemical/ Pharmaceutical Company to become a Certified B Corp, is a member of Rx-360, EFCG and participates actively in industry quality improvement initiatives to lead new global industry standards.

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Iterative Scopes Receives FDA Clearance for AI-Assisted Polyp Detection Device SKOUT™

Iterative Scopes | September 23, 2022

Iterative Scopes, a pioneer in precision medicine technologies for gastroenterology, and Provation, the premier software and SaaS provider of clinical productivity and workflow automation solutions, announced that SKOUT™ has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults undergoing colorectal cancer screening or surveillance. SKOUT, a real-time computer-aided polyp detection device developed by Iterative Scopes, uses advanced computer vision technology designed to recognize suspicious tissue and provide real-time feedback to gastroenterologists. The device was evaluated in the largest U.S.-based multicenter clinical study for a computer aided polyp detection (CADe) device completed to date, which determined that SKOUT significantly improved overall adenoma detection in screening and surveillance colonoscopy compared to standard colonoscopy.1 In March 2021, Provation and Iterative Scopes entered a partnership focused on delivering artificial intelligence-based solutions to healthcare providers and researchers. Provation is a market leader in gastrointestinal (GI) documentation, with more than 3,500 customer facilities including 80% of the top academic and large health systems, and the company will act as an exclusive distributor of SKOUT to help broaden the technology’s reach among the country’s top GI-focused organizations. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and Europe,2 3 due in part to the high volumes of adenomas – approximately 26%4 – that endoscopists miss when conducting a colonoscopy. In its registration trial, SKOUT was found to improve adenoma detection, as measured by adenomas per colonoscopy (APC). Furthermore, increased detection was not limited to diminutive polyps. Higher APC rates have been shown to lead to improved patient outcomes; a recent study showed that the incidence of colorectal cancer within three years of examination decreases with higher APC rates.5 “Even among the best endoscopists, there is room for improvement in adenoma detection, which can impact patient outcomes. We are enthusiastic about the fact that even gastroenterologists with an already high baseline rate of adenoma detection demonstrated an improvement with SKOUT. Now that SKOUT is FDA-cleared, clinicians will be able to better detect adenomas with more efficiency, and ultimately change the standard of gastrointestinal care.” Sloane Allebes Phillips, VP of Clinical Operations at Iterative Scopes SKOUT is indicated as a computer-aided detection tool to assist qualified and trained endoscopists in identifying potential colorectal polyps during colonoscopy examinations in adult patients undergoing colorectal cancer screening or surveillance. SKOUT demonstrated a 27% relative increase in the detection of adenomas per colonoscopy, with an average of one additional adenoma resected for every 4.5 patients examined. Importantly, in the proximal colon, SKOUT demonstrated a 44% relative increase in 5-9 mm polyp detection, and a 29% relative increase in 5-9 mm polyp detection overall.1 These results validate the need for technological advancements that can help improve colonoscopies, and SKOUT’s artificial intelligence capabilities position it to do so. “Knowing that patients can walk away from their appointment with the confidence that they received a high quality and detailed colonoscopy is what excites us most about SKOUT’s FDA clearance,” said Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH, Robert M. and Mary H. Glickman Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and a primary investigator on the SKOUT registration study. “Confidence and peace-of-mind on behalf of providers and patients alike will allow clinicians to provide stronger recommendations and solutions for their patients.” “We are thrilled that our partner Iterative Scopes has received FDA clearance for their AI-Assisted Polyp Detection device, SKOUT. We have been very impressed with its study results and are eager to share our vision for integrating this technology into our solutions,” said Daniel Hamburger, CEO at Provation. “SKOUT is a true game-changer for the field of gastroenterology, and we can’t wait to start seeing its impact on patient care.” SKOUT’s intuitive user interface seamlessly integrates with existing clinical workflows and does not increase total procedure or withdrawal time.1 When a potential polyp is detected, the system calls attention to the polyp on the procedure monitor by drawing a blue bounding box around it and tracking the polyp as it moves on the screen. If a medical tool enters the frame, the bounding box automatically disappears to avoid obstructing the physician’s view during polyp removal. About Iterative Scopes Iterative Scopes is a pioneer in the application of artificial intelligence-based precision medicine for gastroenterology with the aim of helping to optimize clinical trials investigating treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The technology is also designed to potentially enhance colorectal cancer screenings. Its powerful, proprietary artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies have the potential to improve the accuracy and consistency of endoscopy readings. Iterative Scopes is initially applying these advances to impact polyp detection for colorectal cancer screenings and working to standardize disease severity characterization for inflammatory bowel disease. Longer term, the company plans to establish more meaningful endpoints for GI diseases, which may be better predictors of therapeutic response and disease outcomes. Spun out of MIT in 2017, the company is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. About Provation Provation is a leading provider of healthcare software and SaaS solutions for clinical productivity, care coordination, quality reporting, and billing. Our purpose is to empower providers to deliver quality healthcare for all. Provation’s comprehensive portfolio spans the entire patient encounter, from pre-procedure through post-procedure, with solutions for physician and nursing documentation anesthesia documentation patient engagement, surgical care coordination, quality reporting, and billing capture order set and care plan management and EHR embedded clinical documentation. Provation has a loyal customer base, serving more than 5,000 hospitals, surgery centers, and medical offices, and 700 physician groups globally, including 19 of the top 20 U.S. hospitals. In 2021, Provation was acquired by Fortive Corporation, a Fortune 1000 company that builds essential technology and accelerates transformation in high-impact fields like workplace safety, engineering, and healthcare.

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Akorn Announces FDA-approved Generic Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection 0.25 mg

Akorn Pharmaceuticals | August 17, 2022

Akorn Operating Company LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company, announces that it received FDA approval for a generic version of Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection, 0.25 mg. This is the first approved AP-Rated bioequivalent version of Merck Serono's Cetrotide®.1 "We are pleased to announce the first approved AP-rated generic option for women receiving fertility treatments. As an increasing number of infants are being conceived via the use of ART, Akorn is excited to be able to offer a competitively priced option to support women who undergo this series of treatments. This is a welcome addition to our portfolio of more than 200 specialty and injectable generics." Akorn President and CEO Douglas Boothe Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is defined as fertility treatments where eggs or embryos are handled for the purpose of establishing a pregnancy. 2 The FDA granted Akorn a Competitive Generic Therapy (CGT) designation for Cetrorelix, a designation intended to incentivize effective development, efficient review, and timely market entry of drugs for which there is inadequate generic competition. As the first approved applicant with the CGT designation, Akorn's Cetrorelix is eligible for 180 days of CGT market exclusivity, which will begin to run from the commercial launch of Cetrorelix. According to IQVIA, U.S. sales of Cetrorelix through June of 2022 were approximately $63 million with full year U.S. sales projection of approximately $127 million. About Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection 0.25 mg Cetrorelix is used to prevent premature ovulation during controlled ovarian stimulation. Cetrorelix blocks the effects of a natural hormone, called gonadotropin‐releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH controls the secretion of another hormone, called luteinizing hormone (LH), which induces ovulation during the menstrual cycle. During hormone treatment for ovarian stimulation, premature ovulation may lead to eggs that are not suitable for fertilization. Cetrorelix Acetate for Injection blocks such undesirable premature ovulation. About Akorn Akorn Operating Company LLC, develops, manufactures and markets specialty pharmaceuticals. Since 1971, as an industry leader in generic products in alternate dosage forms such as ophthalmics, injectables, oral liquids, otics, topicals, inhalants and nasal sprays, we focus each day on our mission to improve lives, through the quality, availability and affordability of our products.

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PCI Pharma Services Selects Thoughtworks for Digital Platform Transformation with Agile Approach

Thoughtworks | July 11, 2022

Thoughtworks a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, today announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with PCI Pharma Services, a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization. Thoughtworks will help PCI in its journey to digitize its supply chain, with the goal of accelerating the time it takes to bring clients’ life-changing therapies to market for patients. By co-developing tools for digital business modernization, Thoughtworks will help PCI improve client visibility into its clinical and commercial drug supply chains for pharmaceutical and biotech companies of all sizes in 100+ countries. By digitizing the supply chain, Thoughtworks will help PCI deliver greater insights to clients to increase their overall efficiency, support their business goals and ultimately produce high quality treatments for patients. The agreement includes expanding and adapting pci | bridge, an industry first-of-its-kind, end-to-end data platform that provides real-time status of projects, automatically identifies risks, spots trends and provides business analytics insights. With this modern application programming interface (API), clients have the ability to seamlessly integrate their systems with PCI’s, creating greater transparency and a more simplified process for decision-making. “Digital transformation has been a key differentiating factor for PCI’s business strategy, and the evolution of pci | bridge will be critical to increasing client engagement and maximizing the value of data and analytics for PCI and our external partners. With Thoughtworks’ 28+ years of experience at the forefront of innovation, we look forward to making our clients’ lives easier through this partnership." Wayne Hull, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, PCI Pharma Services With a shared commitment to customer-centricity, the Thoughtworks and PCI product and engineering teams will create a new level of intuitive self-service solutions for clients. The partnership will also simplify the collection and analysis of information to reach business insights faster and streamline processes to develop useful new products for clients. The teams will do this by working side-by-side using agile development methods, including pair programming, test-driven development and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) automation. “Recognized as a leader in global CDMO services, PCI Pharma Services is well on its digital transformation journey, providing clients with sophisticated supply chain solutions and a digitally integrated experience unlike anything else in the industry,” said Chris Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Thoughtworks North America. “We are thrilled to partner with PCI Pharma Services as it empowers its clients to make even more powerful, life-impacting decisions through their expansive data and analytics ecosystems.” About PCI Pharma Services PCI is a leading global CDMO, providing clients with integrated end-to-end drug development, manufacturing and packaging capabilities that increase their products’ speed to market and opportunities for commercial success. PCI brings the proven experience that comes with more than 50 successful product launches each year and over five decades in the healthcare services business. We currently have 30 sites across seven countries and over 4,300 employees that work to bring life-changing therapies to patients. Leading technology and continued investment enable us to address global drug development needs throughout the entire product life cycle – from manufacturing capabilities through the clinical trial supply chain and into commercialization. Our clients view us as an extension of their business and a collaborative partner with the shared goal of improving patients’ lives. For more information, please visit pci.com About Thoughtworks Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are 11,000+ people strong across 49 offices in 17 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.

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Spotlight

In the world of commercial research and science, there’s probably no undertaking more daunting—or more expensive—than the process of bringing a new medicine to market. For a new compound to make it from initial discovery through development, testing, and clinical trials to finally earn regulatory approval can take a decade or more.  Learn how Novartis and Microsoft are coming together using AI and leading research capabilities to advance medicine.

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