Scaling up to manufacture a massive volume of a COVID-19 vaccine, drug or innovative device that’s still in early stage development is easier said than done, especially in a global pandemic that has the supply chain stretched beyond capacity.
Just days after Clovis Oncology Inc.'s Rubraca (rucaparib) became the first PARP inhibitor approved by the FDA to treat certain cases of metastatic prostate cancer (mCPRC) in third-line care, the agency granted an even broader label in the indication to its first-in-class competitor, Lynparza (olaparib). Endorsement of second-line use of Lynparza in mCPRC and an overall survival (OS) benefit listed in its updated label will help rapidly establish it as "the drug of choice in the [second] line, leaving little commercial opportunities for Rubraca downstream," SVB Leerink analyst Andrew Berens said.
Except for breakthrough devices and qualifying infectious disease drugs, the footwork for getting Medicare's new technology add-on payment (NTAP) can be more challenging than that needed to win FDA approval. It could be even tougher for products that use artificial intelligence (AI) or that follow a subscription model for pricing.
“Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities,” Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said today as he testified at a House subcommittee hearing on the U.S. response to COVID-19.
DUBLIN – The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a public-private research partnership between the European Commission (EC) and Europe’s pharmaceutical industry, has boosted funding for a fast-track response to the COVID-19 pandemic from €45 million (US$48.8 million) to €72 million.
DUBLIN – Kurma Partners closed its third biotech fund, Kurma Biofund III, at €160 million (US$174 million), €10 million ahead of its initial target. The Paris-based fund will allocate the bulk of the capital to therapeutics firms, but it is also open to opportunistic investments in med tech, particularly in digital health applications and in biotech-med tech convergence, partner Peter Neubeck told BioWorld.
Saudi Arabia, which last year made its first appearance on the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Priority Watch List, is back on the list this year and is being singled out for an out-of-cycle review due to what the USTR calls its “unfair commercial use” and “unauthorized disclosure” of proprietary data submitted for drug approvals.
Given all the public-private partnerships responding to the need for timely COVID-19 therapies, diagnostics and vaccines, the demands to forgo patents or exclusive licenses for coronavirus products and the clamor that industry shouldn’t “profit” from U.S. taxpayer-supported research are growing louder.
Public drug and device companies may want to think twice before eagerly jumping on the COVID-19 bandwagon with announcements overselling their efforts to develop or repurpose products to treat patients infected with the coronavirus.
LONDON – These are hardly times for a fanfare, but this month saw the unveiling of a new name in bioprocessing, following the formal closing of the $21.4 billion sale of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences to Danaher Corp. The business, now renamed Cytiva, has turnover of $3.3 billion, nearly 7,000 employees and operations in 40 countries. More than 75% of FDA-approved biologic drugs use its products in their manufacture.