NEW DELHI – Significant disruptions to supplies of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from China caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have led India to fundamentally rethink its supply chains and the structure of its pharmaceutical industry, according to industry executives and consultants.
During a panel discussion at Biocom California's Global Life Sciences Partnering Conference, business development executives at various pharmaceutical companies advised biotech companies on everything from funding to manufacturing to deal structure.
With several more emergency use authorizations (EUAs) across the globe, COVID-19 efforts to flatten the emerging variants with cocktail therapies and tweaked vaccines are frantically underway. BioWorld has tracked 884 therapeutics and vaccines that have entered development for the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus since it first emerged more than a year ago, and the U.S. government has now provided EUAs to three vaccines and six therapies.
Without any mega-mergers completed in the first two months of 2021, M&A values have significantly plummeted from those recorded in each of the last two years, although both deals and M&As in January and February are tracking similarly to prior years in terms of volume.
With the clock ticking on the urgent need to develop new antibiotics, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has given policy makers a sharp reminder that society should not lose focus on antibiotic resistance as well, which has the potential to dwarf COVID-19 in terms of deaths and economic costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, noted in its Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the U.S. 2019 report that more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. Against a universal decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics, there has been a renaissance of interest in using phage therapy, whose use has waxed and waned for almost a century.
The 2017 FDA approval of Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl, Roche Holding AG) spurred a race to create the next gene therapy for the eye. The organ is very amenable to gene therapy given that it's a confined space with post-mitotic cells that has immune privilege and requires substantially smaller amounts of viral vector compared to systemic treatments.