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Top Ten most popular articles on this week!

Takeda’s acquisition of Shire finally got the go-ahead this week as 88% of shareholders voted in favour of French CEO Christophe Weber’s plan which will propel the Japanese firm into 8th position among drugmakers worldwide.

EUSA Pharma take on Novelion CEO Jeffrey Hackman to lead US expansion

Published on: 06/12/18

The Hertfordshire-based speciality pharma firm EUSA Pharma has appointed Jeffrey S Hackman as President of the company’s United States operations.

Hackman will lead the Hemel Hampstead-based oncology and rare diseases specialist’s expansion into the US, as the company establishes new headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.

To support the move, EUSA is rapidly expanding it sales, marketing, market access and medical teams, as it intends to launch a new oncology and rare diseases sales force, backed by a full medical and commercial team.

UCB to invest £1 billion into UK R&D

The Brussels-based multinational UCB will invest £1 billion into UK research and development, according to the government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal, which details public and private sector investments into Britain’s life sciences industry.

Meanwhile £75 million will be invested into the development of new AI driven diagnostic tests while £50 million will be invested in digital pathology programmes and £37.5 million into regional Digital Innovation Hubs.

Bayer to cut 12,000 jobs by 2025

German pharma giant Bayer is set to cut 12,000 jobs by 2025 as part of a plan to focus on its core life sciences business.

The layoffs, which will affect 10% of Bayer’s 118,000 strong workforce, will be focused on corporate functions in Germany with 6,000 corporate functions jobs to be cut. However 4,100 crop sciences roles will be taken down following the $63 billion deal with Monsanto in which Bayer took on the role of the world’s largest agrochemicals company.

Sanofi announce cull of 670 French jobs

Image Credit: Thomas Bresson

French pharma giant Sanofi has said that it will cut 670 jobs in France over the next two years. The company currently employs 25,000 employees across France.

In speaking with the 710,000 strong CGT Union, Sanofi has said that the cuts will be voluntary as jobs in finance, human resources and IT are to be culled by 2020. Sanofi are also set to outsource 80 IT jobs. 

Kai Gait, Senior Global Digital Director at GlaxoSmithKline

Published on 06/12/18 at 09:15am

“If people say pharma’s never really been cutting edge in digital – that’s wrong!”

What led you to your current position as Senior Global Digital Director at GSK?

NICE approves Cimzia but blocks Ilumetri in treatment of psoriasis

UK drug watchdog NICE has announced two new recommendations relating to medicines for the treatment of psoriasis, approving UCB Pharma’s Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for use on the NHS, but rejecting Almirall’s Ilumetri (tildrakizumab).

The organisation chose to recommend Cimzia for the treatment of severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients that have proven unresponsive to other systemic treatments such as phototherapy, methotrexate and ciclosporin, or if these treatments are not found to be unsuitable.

Pfizer's biosimilar proves non-inferior to rituximab in lymphoma at ASH 2018

Joining the chorus of data presentations at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting 2018, Pfizer has announced new data for its biosimilar version of Genentech’s Rituxan/MabThera (rituximab), revealing that the drug met its primary endpoint.

The 26-week data show that PF-05280586, as the biosimilar is known, proved itself to be clinically non-inferior in terms of overall response rate compared to rituximab in the first-line treatment of CD20-positive, low tumour burden, follicular lymphoma (LTB-FL); the drug recorded an ORR of 75.7% versus 70.7% for rituximab.

Hemlibra shows "clinically meaningful" bleed control in paediatric haemophilia A patients

In another reveal at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting 2018, Roche unveiled new Phase 3 findings for Hemlibra (emicizumab) as a prophylactic in haemophilia A patients with factor VIII inhibitors younger than 12 years of age.

The data, drawn from the largest pivotal study of this patient population, showed that 76.9% of participants treated once weekly experienced zero treated bleeds over the course of the study period.

Cancer drug access for NHS patients is slowing, ICR reports

A new report from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has indicated that NHS patients in the UK are suffering delays in accessing new cancer drugs, while there is a significant discrepancy in the number of new drugs being developed across all cancer subtypes since the turn of the century.

From patent to patient – analysing access to innovative cancer drugs assessed all 97 cancer drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency between 2000 and 2016 in 177 indications.

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