💊 BioNTech to advance mpox vaccine; Sanofi to offload CNS drugs; GSK gets an FDA nod
#431 | Oxford launches a trial for MERS vaccine; A grant to bring AI ultrasound tech to LMICs; A(nother) reason to work remotely
Hello, and welcome back to yet another action-packed day with The Kable, brimming with updates from around the world and a whole lot of moving and shaking in Big Pharma.
But first, Nigeria's diphtheria outbreak. The outbreak, which was declared in January this year, has seen 1000s of infections in the country with August alone claiming 4000 cases. Doctors Without Borders is asking for an urgent, coordinated response to help with the outbreak before the situation worsens.
Oxford University is launching its second vaccine trial within a week. After initiating a vaccine trial for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever last week, this week it is now the turn for a MERS vaccine trial. That is the third time we've used the phrase vaccine trial in this paragraph. Or is it the fourth?
Moving on to corporate and Big Pharma updates. It's a pity that BioNTech hasn't made, oh maybe billions, lately and has had to depend upon a grant from CEPI to advance its mpox vaccine into the clinic. Unlike many of CEPI's other bets so far, though, this one might meet its 100-day goal, not counting all the time BioNTech has spent on the vaccine.
Elsewhere, poor GE Healthcare is dependent on grants. This time, the Gates Foundation is giving the company $44 million to develop AI-based ultrasound tools to bring the tech to LMICs. Much wow.
If there is one company that has famously failed to stay out of the news lately, it is South Korea's Samsung Biologics. In its latest newsmaking move, the company is expanding its cancer antibody production deal with Bristol Myers Squibb. The expanded contract is worth $242 million.
Two years ago, Merck spun out Organon as an independent entity focused on women’s health. Now, the Organon R&D head says the company is looking to build a pipeline with external acquisitions in drugs, diagnostics and devices.
French drugmaker Sanofi, tired of being Big Pharma probably, has been on a multi-year mission to slim down. As part of this mission, it is selling off 11 of its central nervous system meds to Pharmanovia in a deal worth we-don't-know-how-much.
In the last of our corporate updates today, the US FDA has approved GSK’s new bone cancer drug, Momelotinib, which came to GSK via a $2 billion purchase of Sierra Oncology last year.
A specialised group of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Vaccines Europe, has warned about Europe’s future as a vaccine research hub. Citing a new report, the group says vaccine research in Europe has been in a state of steady decline, exacerbated by funding issues and trial requirement complexities.
And finally, ahead of the 78th UNGA, the WHO and the World Bank have jointly released a report which surprisingly says progress on providing people affordable and accessible healthcare is stagnant.