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CPhI: Festival of Pharma


OPEN Health reveals new CEO appointment

Rob Barker has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at health communications and market access group OPEN Health, replacing current CEO and Co-Founder David Rowley, who has been in the role for a decade.

Barker steps into the head role after six years at the company, having most recently served as CEO of Open Health’s Medical Communications practice. Over the course of his 30-year career in biopharmaceuticals, Barker has held a number of executive leadership roles at companies including Huntsworth Health, The Central Group and Medicus International.

AstraZeneca’s Brilinta reduces stroke and death risk in head and neck artery atherosclerosis patients

Photo by D Wells

AstraZeneca’s Brilinta (ticagrelor) reduced the composite of stroke and death in patients with head and neck artery atherosclerosis who had an acute ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack, according to new clinical trial data. 

The THALES Phase 3 trial showed Brilinta 90mg used twice daily, and taken with daily aspirin for 30 days, reduced the rate of the composite stroke and death by 27%, compared to aspirin alone in patients who had ipsilateral atherosclerotic stenosis in the head and neck (cervicocranial) arteries. 

Pfizer takes legal action against Indian drugmakers over generic cancer drug

Photo by Pravbv

Pfizer has filed a petition in a US court against Indian companies Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma that alleges the pair were planning to release generic versions of Ibrance before the expiration of Pfizer’s patent. 

Pfizer filed the possible patent infringement petition against both companies in the District Court for the District of Delaware. 

Renewed BARDA backing boosts J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine funding by $1bn

Johnson & Johnson has said that it is injecting around $1 billion of funding into its research efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, part of that sum coming from the US Government.

In an expansion of its current partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), J&J is set to receive an additional $454 million from the authority to fund its ongoing Phase 3 studies of its adenovirus-based vaccine candidate in a single-dose formulation – a key factor that sets it apart from rival therapies from Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech.

Pfizer launches pilot delivery programme for its coronavirus vaccine

Photo by Lauri Silvennoinen

Pfizer is set to launch its first delivery programme for the COVID-19 vaccine it developed with BioNTech. It will be located in multiple sites across America; the company said it has selected New Mexico, Tennessee, Rhode Island and Texas for the programme because of their differences in size and immunisation infrastructure. 

UK secures 5m doses of Moderna's vaccine after it shows 94.5% interim efficacy

US firm Moderna has swooped in with Phase 3 interim data for its own messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, boasting even higher efficacy than its rival from Pfizer and BioNTech. 

The COVE study was conducted in partnership with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and has enrolled over 30,000 participants in the US.

Israel to reserve 8m doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine

Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has confirmed the nation’s plans to strike an agreement with Pfizer to secure eight million doses of its promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate, co-developed with BioNTech.

The candidate has generated a wave of excitement around the world since it was reported by the developers that it had shown an efficacy rate of more than 90% in Phase 3 clinical trials.

Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine shows 90% efficacy in interim analysis

Pfizer and BioNTech have ignited a wave of hope with the announcement of positive Phase 3 data demonstrating that their mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, BNT162b2, showed high levels of efficacy in the first independent analysis of any COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 3 trials so far.

On 8 November, an independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) conducted an interim efficacy analysis into the study, triggered once the evaluable count of COVID-19 cases in the patient population hit 96.

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