Biology

Weekly News Round-up – 13/3/20

12 months ago By Josh Neil
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Proventa International Weekly News

Despite coronavirus’ new pandemic status and the number of new cases tied with Biogen’s conference in late February, today’s news really won’t discuss coronavirus, apart from this first sentence. In the news this week, among other things the UK’s latest budget has introduced a number of pharma-friendly proposals; Amgen/Allergan’s Rituximab biosimilar looks set to be a blockbuster; and the FDA halts overseas inspections due to certain flu-related, topical reasons. 

UK BUDGET INTRODUCES PHARMA-FRIENDLY MEASURES – UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his first budget this week. Alongside the £5 billion set aside to aid the NHS, the UK government intends to increase R&D tax credits from 12% to 13%, raising investment to £22 billion a year. The BioIndustry Association also received a £200 million ‘scale-up fund’ for life sciences. It will now look to secure a further £400 million in private investment. 

NICE ACCEPTS TEVA’S MIGRAINE DRUG AJOVY AFTER REJECTING NOVARTIS RIVAL – Following its rejection of NHS funding for Novartis’ CGRP inhibitor Aimovig, NICE has backed rival Teva’s migraine prevention drug Ajovy. NICE said Teva had offered a discount on its £5,000 a year price list, bringing it under the threshold for cost-effectiveness. Following an outcry about Aimovig’s rejection, NICE is set to review its decision. The rejection also creates a disparity, as Aimovig was accepted for Scottish NHS use in April 2019. 

AMGEN/ALLERGAN RITUXIMAB BIOSIMILAR COULD BE BLOCKBUSTER – Amgen/Allergan’s cancer drug biosimilar is one of ten possible blockbuster drugs by 2025, data firm GlobalData has suggested. The drug, a near-copy of Roche’s rituximab, could reach up to $4 billion in sales by that year.

In other news: 

R&D
Janssen’s lung cancer dual-target antibody could be a Breakthrough Therapy

Clinical Trials
BMS/Abbvie multiple myeloma combo fails in trials

Manufacturing
FDA halts foreign inspections over COVID-19 virus

That’s all for now. See you next week!

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

To ensure you remain up-to-date on the latest in clinical development, sign up for Proventa International’s online Clinical Operations, Supply Chain & Pharmacovigilance Strategy Meeting 2020.

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