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Medical cannabis: Growth by leaps and bounds

Published on 18/10/19 at 11:06am

This article follows parts one and two of our trio of in-depth pieces focusing on the growing medical cannabis phenomenon. In June 2019, Pharmafocus visited the headquarters of cannabis company Canopy Growth in the Canadian town of Smiths Falls. Louis Goss investigates how the industry is taking off in Canada and how this might inform the evolution of medicinal cannabis legislation in the UK.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

It’s time for a rundown of the top 10 articles on PharmaFile this past week. The past seven days saw the first and only transdermal patch for schizophrenia being approved and additionally a new UK medicines bill which could see faster access to key conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Furthermore there were three FDA approvals for a variety of different conditions.

10. Lilly's pegilodecakin combo falls at Phase 3 in pancreatic cancer

Drug manufacturers to settle US opioid litigation with $50 billion package

Five drug makers and distributors are now offering $22 billion in cash, as well as drugs and services, valued at $28 billion; to resolve ongoing lawsuits against the industry on claims it fuelled the opioid crisis in the US.

The industry currently faces roughly 2,600 lawsuits brought by state and local governments, hospitals and other bodies seeking to hold the drug manufacturers culpable and responsible for the toll of the opioid abuse. Local governments are seeking funds to cover the costs of services in their communities.

Gilead appoints Andrew Dickinson as CFO

Published on: 16/10/19

Gilead Sciences have announced that Andrew Dickinson has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective 1 November.

Dickinson currently serves as the company’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy and in his new role will become part of a senior leadership team reporting directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel O’Day.

Medical cannabis: Riding the wave

Published on 16/10/19 at 12:23pm

Following on from our previous piece from Mewburn Ellis on the history of social attitudes towards cannabis, Israel-based Kanabo Research is one of many emerging firms leading the international surge of research and development into the potential of cannabis-based therapies.

Medical cannabis: On to greener pastures?

Published on 14/10/19 at 11:42am

In the first of three articles on the topic, Callum McGuinn, Associate and European Patent Attorney at Mewburn Ellis, explores the history of social attitudes towards cannabis and asks what the future may hold for the development and use of medicines derived from the substance.

Three focus areas to accelerate breakthrough drugs to market

Published date: 
The pace of R&D innovation is getting treatments to patients faster, but it is also putting pressure on clinical operations teams. There are now more complexities in running trials and organizations have a greater need for improved trial efficiency.

The number of clinical trials taking place each year continues to rise. In fact, in 2018, the FDA approved a record-breaking 59 drugs[i]. Volumes are increasing, in part, due to the shift towards precision medicine. And the impact these drugs are having on patient lives is significant. For example, it was recently announced that NHS patients with lymphoma are being given a pioneering treatment that genetically reprograms their immune system to fight cancer.[ii]

Biotechnology Innovation Organization Chief to step down after US 2020 elections

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the largest trade body representing the world’s biotechnology industry, has revealed that its President and CEO Jim Greenwood is to step down from the role following the 2020 US presidential election.

Greenwood has served in the position since 2004, succeeding founding President Carl Feldbaum who retired that year. His tenure saw the BIO triple in size to 176 employees, while its operating budget grew to $85 million.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

It’s the end of the week and time for a rundown of our top most popular articles on Pharmafile these past 7 days. This week saw numerous FDA approvals as well as a few research collaborations that could see new treatments being fully developed over the coming years. Here they are:

10. Novartis' legelizumab outperforms Roche's Xolair in chronic urticaria clearance

The Lung Ambition Alliance: Stronger together

Published on 09/10/19 at 11:05am

Following our piece by AstraZeneca's Patrick Connor introducing the Lung Ambition Alliance, a new cross-functional collaboration which aims to double five-year survival in lung cancer by 2025, Pharmafocus spoke to head figures from three of the Alliance’s founding partners to get a feel for how it will operate, how it will deliver on its aspiring promises, and what sets it apart from previous collaborative efforts.

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