April 23, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
The proposed merger between Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn, though facing a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has won antitrust clearance from the European Commission—but not without conditions.
EU regulators said Wednesday they
the transaction after the pair agreed to sell some Mylan generic drugs across 20 countries in the European Economic Area and the U.K.
April 23, 2020 - STAT
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday warned that the world’s emergence from coronavirus lockdowns will be slow, and cautioned that it will take innovation before people feel safe enough to attend large public events or flock to restaurants.
“Even as a government relaxes restrictions on behavior, not everyone will immediately resume the activities that are allowed,” Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, wrote in a long essay posted Thursday to his blog. “It will take a lot of good communication so that people understand what the risks are and feel comfortable going back to work or school.”
Gates said that the dramatic shutdowns of cities and countries worldwide have been necessary to slow spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, despite the enormous societal costs.
April 21, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
Americans have been told daily that researchers are urgently working on COVID-19 vaccines, and that one might be available in 12 to 18 months. That timeline has made its way to high levels of government and through national media coverage.
But one influential biopharma analyst doesn't buy it—and he has plenty of reasons why.
“We view the current expectations for a vaccine in this timeframe as the equivalent of standing 24 feet (the usual distance is 8 feet) from a dartboard, with one dart in hand, and counting on a bullseye from one throw,” the analyst wrote. “It is theoretically possible, but highly unlikely, that such expectations are correct.”
April 21, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
Merck KGaA and subsidiary MilliporeSigma are doubling down on their gene therapy bets with a hefty nine-figure investment into expanded viral vector production.
MilliporeSigma will spend $110 million to open a second viral vector facility in Carlsbad, California, to "more than double" its gene therapy manufacturing capacity, the company said Tuesday.
The new, 140,000-square-foot expansion will add to MilliporeSigma's existing work at the site, which has been involved in gene therapy manufacturing since 1997 and currently employs around 175 workers, a spokeswoman said.
April 21, 2020 - Fierce Biotech
Sangamo Therapeutics has
a deal with Mogrify to gain access to a source of cells for use in its allogeneic CAR-Treg therapies. The agreement sees Sangamo pay an upfront fee to get Mogrify to apply its direct cell conversion technology to the generation of regulatory T cells.
Ready access to sources of cells has emerged as a key area of focus for developers of off-the-shelf cell therapies, leading to deals such as Allogene’s alliance with Notch Therapeutics. That deal, like other moves by allogeneic cell therapy players, reflected a desire to replace the finite donated T cells used in early off-the-shelf prospects with renewable, more scalable sources of starting materials.
Sangamo has identified Mogrify as a provider of such materials. Mogrify put itself on the map early last year when Darrin Disley, the former leader of Horizon Discovery, joined the startup as CEO and invested in its seed round. Months later, Mogrify raised a $16 million series A round.