January 30, 2020 - Memphis Business Journal
AmerisourceBergen Corp. announced today, Jan. 30, that its PharMEDium business unit will shut down permanently in 2020, including its Memphis facility.
In January 2019, PharMEDium
laid off 225
of its 440 Memphis staff. That number then dropped to their current headcount of 165 workers. With today’s news, those remaining workers will now be affected by the announced business unit closure.
PharMEDium’s facility in Memphis, at 6100 Global Drive, had been idle since December 2017 after voluntarily ceasing operations due to a drug recall related to sterility concerns. Executives said in January 2018 that the Memphis plant — which makes compounded sterile preparations (CSP) of drugs in doses not commercially available — is the largest in that business line and produced about half of the company’s CSP products when open for production.
January 30, 2020 - Fierce Biotech
Roche has dropped an antisense hepatitis B drug shortly after licensing a rival therapy from Dicerna Pharmaceuticals. RG6004 fell off Roche’s
as part of a periodic cull that affected a handful of other experimental programs.
Synthetic locked nucleic acid modified antisense oligonucleotide RG6004 moved into the clinic early in 2017, opening up another front in Roche’s attack against the hep B virus. New information about the drug dried up over the next few years, although Roche’s decision to pay $200 million (€182 million) upfront to license Dicerna’s phase 1 RNAi therapy suggested the Swiss Big Pharma saw gaps in its hep B pipeline.
January 29, 2020 - BioPharma Dive
Novartis' gene therapy Zolgensma costs $2.1 million per patient. But that record price tag hasn't impeded the Swiss drugmaker from recording a strong commercial launch for the one-time treatment in the U.S.
Sales numbers released Wednesday show Zolgensma, which was approved last year for the fatal neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy, earned $186 million in the fourth quarter. Zolgensma's commercial performance to date should offer some reassurance to investors that Novartis can successfully sell the gene therapy, which poses unique challenges to a system built around drugs for chronic diseases. Not only is Zolgensma's cost dramatically higher than typical, its value is tied to its potential to be a genetic cure for a disease that typically leads to death before the age of two.
January 27, 2020 - FierceBiotech
GlaxoSmithKline has licensed a tuberculosis vaccine to the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (MRI). The deal sets the stage for a push to build on recent phase 2b data and make the vaccine available in low-income countries where TB is prevalent.
The vaccine, M72/AS01E, is made up of an immunogenic fusion protein based on two TB antigens. GSK combined that protein with the adjuvant found in its shingles prophylactic Shingrix to create a subunit vaccine. Last year, a phase 2b trial
the vaccine to 50% protection against progression to active pulmonary tuberculosis for three years in adults infected with the mycobacterium.
Gates Foundation funding supported one of the organizations involved in the phase 2b. Now, Gates MRI, the nonprofit biotech offshoot of the foundation, has struck a deal to play a bigger role in the next steps in the development of the vaccine.