Compass Pathways Ltd. has joined with a U.K. hospital and an academic establishment to research the role of psychedelic medicine in new models of mental health care. The London-based company signed a memorandum of understanding with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London to launch the project.
DUBLIN – Investment in European biotechnology slowed dramatically during the second quarter, as the funding frenzy of the first three months of the year gave way to a very solid but a less spectacular performance. Collectively, European firms engaged in drug discovery and development raised $3.358 billion in disclosed transactions during the second quarter, down 46% from the $6.195 billion raised during the first quarter.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidance for ethics and governance for artificial intelligence (AI) in health discusses several issues regarding regulation, including the question of transparency for the algorithm’s source code. The WHO paper is not prescriptive on this and several other issues, however, raising the prospect that regulatory entities will not be discouraged from adopting policies that run afoul of intellectual property concerns and thus impede advances in AI.
Sequana Medical NV reported positive results from the second interim analysis of its POSEIDON pivotal study evaluating the Alfapump for the treatment of recurrent or refractory ascites due to liver cirrhosis. These latest results, from 26 patients in the roll-in cohort, affirm earlier interim data showing high scores on all primary endpoints and continued improvement in quality of life.
The COVID-19 vaccine from Curevac AG looks far less protective than mRNA-based rivals, according to phase IIb/III data, but the company suggested it could still be approved in younger age groups or supplied to poorer countries at lower cost.
Glaxosmithkline plc should stick to its plan to split into two companies, one focused on pharma and the other on consumer health, but must ask itself whether CEO Emma Walmsley is the right person to lead the changes, according to activist investor Elliott Management.
Merck KGaA is partnering with Neuroloop GmbH, a subsidiary of B. Braun SE, to develop a neurostimulator device that can complement existing drug therapies for people with chronic inflammatory diseases. The collaboration aims to adapt Neuroloop’s neurostimulation platform to enable targeted treatment of chronic inflammatory ailments. The new bioelectronics program intends to open up new technologies and markets that are close to Merck’s electronics and health care business sectors.
As the first flagship action of Europe’s plan to beat cancer, the European Commission launched its Cancer Knowledge Center June 30. The new online platform will map the latest evidence on cancer, provide health care guidelines and quality assurance schemes, and monitor and project trends in cancer incidence and mortality across the EU, where cancer is the No. 1 killer for people younger than 65.
LONDON – Moves to expand the legal remit of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and give it more powers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and future health emergencies are moving to fruition, after the European Parliament and national health ministers in the European Council separately voted through the proposal.
As a first step in developing a portfolio of COVID-19 therapies, the European Commission identified five promising candidates June 29, including four monoclonal antibodies under rolling review at the EMA and an immunosuppressant that could have its marketing authorization extended to include the treatment of COVID-19 infections.