LONDON – The European Commission (EC) has put forward proposals for a Data Act that is intended to both give users greater rights over their own data and allow greater third-party access. The Act sets out who can use and access data generated in the EU across all sectors of the economy. It is pitched by the EC as opening the doors to an under-used resource that will in turn promote research and innovation and create new markets in information services.
The EU initiated a dispute complaint with the World Trade Organization over China’s intellectual property (IP) enforcement allowing Chinese courts to block infringement litigation worldwide. The Feb. 18 complaint, posted by the WTO last week, takes issue with Chinese courts issuing global injunctions barring patent holders from asserting their rights through legal proceedings in other countries until the case is settled in China.
LONDON – Antibody-drug conjugate specialist Heidelberg Pharma AG has secured a route into Asia and a fresh injection of much-needed capital, in a licensing and equity deal with Huadong Medicine Co. Ltd. worth up to €930 million (US$1.1 billion).
Europe’s pharmaceutical industry has warned the conflict in Ukraine is disrupting supplies of medicines and clinical trials, while pledging free medicines to the humanitarian effort to those caught in or fleeing from the Russian invasion. A representative of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, which has an affiliate in Ukraine, told BioWorld that the disruption has left pharma industry staff in that country taking to emergency shelters.
After a rejection by the FDA in June, it looks like Orphazyme A/S is headed for disappointment in Europe too with arimoclomol for Niemann-Pick disease type C, a rare and potentially fatal inherited condition in which fat builds in tissues and organs. The Copenhagen-based company said it was summoned before experts to give an “oral explanation” about the drug, something that only occurs if the European Medicines Agency’s CHMP has developed major doubts during its review.
A sense of normalcy is returning to the U.K., at least from a regulatory perspective. The U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency will continue to support COVID-19 clinical trials with ongoing regulatory and scientific input, but all further applications and meeting requests for COVID-19 products will be considered according to usual timelines rather than on an emergency basis, the agency said Feb. 23.
Paving the way for wider dissemination of up-to-date information on drugs approved in the EU, the European Medicines Regulatory Network adopted a common standard for the electronic product information (EPI), which includes the package leaflet for patients and the summary of product characteristics for health care professionals.
LONDON – Two years into the pandemic and the number of new drugs approved by the EMA fell from 97 approvals in 2020 to 92 in 2021. But both years are still well up on pre-COVID-19 times in 2019 when 66 products got the nod, according to the EMA’s annual human medicines report.
In the latest chapter in an ongoing contract dispute between AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals GmbH and Pharmaessentia Corp., the German Federal Court of Justice this week set aside the €143 million (US$162.8 million) in damages awarded to AOP, citing procedural flaws in quantifying the product supply and damages.
In one of its familiar U-turns, the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended NHS England should fund a rare disease gene therapy from Orchard Therapeutics plc, considered to be the world’s most expensive drug. The list price for Libmeldy (atidarsagene autotemcel) in England and Wales is £2,875,000 (US$3.9 million), making it the most expensive drug that NICE has ever evaluated.