💊 Astellas to gain cancer therapy partner; Biogen to lose part of workforce; India to retain pharma export market
#392 | Custodians of the cornea; Ribosomes for regenerative medicine; Plant-based milks lose protein content competition
Hello and welcome back to yet another Kable woefully documenting the good, the bad and the ugly of India’s cough syrup saga. But first, Big Pharma makes news, as does the pharma scene in Asia, while bird flu continues its global search for new hosts.
Having identified targeted protein degradation as a key growth driver in cancer therapies, Astellas is paying about $21 million upfront to partner with PeptiDream. PeptiDream also stands to earn milestone payments up to roughly $145.8 million per target.
Eugia Pharma Specialities, a subsidiary of India’s Aurobindo Pharma, has got a go-ahead from the US FDA to make and market its Plerixafor injection, indicated for use in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or multiple myeloma.
In a return of the pharma layoff wave, Biogen is planning to let go of 11% of its workforce by 2025. That’s 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, the WHO is reiterating that when it comes to people living with HIV, U=U. Undetectable equals to untransmittable, meaning that patients with an undetectable viral load have zero risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners.
The WHO has also issued rapid communication on the use of targeted next-gen sequencing (NGS) for the diagnosis of drug-resistant TB. NGS is a new class of diagnostic tech for resistance in TB and can provide results much faster than traditional culture-based methods.
India is opening itself up to the benefits of medicinal marijuana with the country’s first cannabis research project at Jammu’s CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine.
The National Dental Research Institute Singapore has set up the Global Consortium of Oral Health Birth Cohort Studies, an international effort to generate and disseminate evidence on chronic oral diseases.
Japan’s Omron Healthcare has initiated construction of a new manufacturing plant in Chennai, India.
In case you were wondering, yes, Covid is still around. And yes, vaccines for variants are also still emerging. South Korea’s Cellid has gained approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for the global phase 3 trial of its Omicron-targeting Covid vaccine.
Apparently, stem cell tourism is a thing, with patients travelling to the US, Mexico, India and China and shelling out thousands of dollars for treatments. But the stem cell therapies many of these clinics offer are untested and potentially dangerous. This article in The Conversation highlights the risks that unregulated stem cell clinics pose and the regulatory loopholes that they exploit.
In Egypt, Gennvax has got a golden ticket. No, not the Willy Wonka kind. The kind that lets them develop and manufacture vaccines for Africa.
In Turkey, a world-first trial for drugs to treat Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever has been launched. Yay!
You a cat lover? We hate to break it to you that your feline friends in Korea haven’t been spared from the global spread of bird flu. 38 cats at a South Korean shelter died recently. Two of them had tested positive for H5N1.
You a misanthrope? In the UK, four humans have tested positive for bird flu.
And Parana, Brazil’s biggest poultry-producing state, has declared an animal health emergency as 7 bird flu cases have been detected in wild birds.
And finally, given our focus on One Health, we have to remind you that the WHO is currently hosting the first-ever global workshop on biodiversity, traditional knowledge, health and well-being in Brazil.