While the biopharma industry was widely praised for its fast response to the COVID-19 pandemic, moves are afoot to ensure that the world is better prepared in case another pandemic hits. Moderna Inc. was one of the companies that blazed a trail in the early stages of the pandemic with its revolutionary mRNA vaccine. Now the firm is investing in manufacturing and R&D in the U.K. to make good on a pledge to respond to the next global disease threat within 100 days of its detection.
An agreement has been reached in the U.K. to pay a fixed annual fee for two antibiotics, regardless of how often the drugs are prescribed, in a bid to prevent their overuse and slow the development of antimicrobial resistance.
The U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is still considering a drastic overhaul of the 2002 medical device regulatory framework, but may have sent a signal that its new framework won’t deviate too far from established regulatory approaches. The agency reported June 16 that it has signed on with both the International Council for Harmonization (ICH) for drugs and the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF) for devices, providing members of both industries with at least some modest confidence that access to the 67 million strong U.K. market won’t suffer from a new set of unique regulatory hurdles.
Two years on from establishing the first such fund, Dutch venture capital firm Forbion has announced a second growth opportunities fund, to be devoted to late-stage biotechs in Europe. The new fund has reached a first close of €470 million (US$500.6 million) and is expected to meet its hard cap of €600 million over the summer.
Following an investigation into Leadiant Group’s pricing of a rare disease drug, the Italian Competition Authority fined the privately held company about €3.5 million (US$3.76 million) May 31 for charging the Italian National Health Service excessive prices since 2017 for Chenodeoxycholic Acid Leadiant.
Healiva SA, a Swiss wound care specialist, emerged from stealth mode having acquired two cell therapy assets from Smith & Nephew plc. Financial terms were not disclosed, but they included an up-front payment as well as “deferred benefits,” Healiva CEO and founder Priyanka Dutta-Passecker told BioWorld. The deal means that the Lugano-based company – which was formed in 2020 – could be booking revenues as early as 2023.
Facing the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the EMA issued a final revised guideline on the evaluation of new antibiotics. In accordance with an agreement with the U.S. FDA and Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, the EMA’s guideline aligns as much as possible with the data requirements of those regulators so drug developers can design clinical trials that meet the evidence needs of all three agencies, the EMA said.