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Manufacturing and Production

AstraZeneca halting UK investment due to Brexit uncertainty

The Anglo-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca has suspended investment into the United Kingdom, due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The firm’s non-executive chairman, Leif Johansson, shed light on the company’s decision, in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde.

“If a transition deal does not make clear what will happen in the future, we will maintain our decision not to invest,” the Swedish businessman said to Le Monde.

AI, big data: Making a case for faster drug discovery

Published on 15/10/18 at 11:58am

They’re two of the biggest buzzwords getting professionals excited across pharma – Anjali Shukla explores the ways in which AI and big data are set to galvanise the industry.

Even if you haven’t been paying attention, it is hard to miss the buzz around artificial intelligence or deep learning and how the technology is only steps away from changing lives forever. The optimism is especially significant in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry as researchers continue to look out for cures for complex diseases.

Top Ten most popular articles on this week

Politics played a big role in pharma this week after Trump introduced legislation aimed at reducing the price of drugs. The effectiveness of trust-busting biosimilar bill in bring the medicines to market may be an interesting development over the coming year. Meanwhile the UK government came into question after researchers were denied visas.

Living with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Published on 11/10/18 at 12:43pm

Affected as a young child by a rare disease which targets just one in 200,000 and led to neurodegeneration throughout her teens, Niamh ni Ruari now uses a wheelchair for mobility. She shares her story of life with her condition and a few thoughts on society’s attitudes towards the disabled community.

Can you tell me a bit about the condition, your diagnosis and the symptoms you experience?

Sequiris invest £40m into expansion of Liverpool plant creating 100 new jobs

The Liverpool-based vaccine-maker Sequiris is investing £40 million into the expansion of its operations in the Speke area of Liverpool.

The multi-million pound investment is set to create 100 new jobs while allowing vaccines to be created more quickly in preparation for outbreaks of the flu. While vaccines are currently shipped to Italy for packaging, the expansion will now allow the process of packing the vaccines into syringes and capsules to be done in the UK.

Non-profit generic drug company Civica Rx appoints former Amgen quality chief as new CEO

Published on: 09/10/18

Civica Rx, a new not-for-profit generic drug company aimed at reducing the price of lifesaving medicines, has appointed former Amgen Chief Quality Officer, Senior Vice President Quality, Martin Van Trieste as their Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Having joined Civica as a member of its board of advisors in September 2017 Van Trieste took on the position of CEO in September of this year. The experienced pharma professional brings more than 35 years of experience to the role having previously worked for pharma firms Abbot Laboratories, Amgen and Bayer.

Menlo Therapeutics' cough drug fails to meet primary endpoint in phase II trial

The Redwood City, California-based late stage biopharmaceutical company Menlo Therapeutics have announced that experimental drug serlopitant has failed to meet its primary endpoint in patients with refractory chronic cough in Phase II trials.

The drug also failed to hit primary and secondary efficacy goals in a Phase II trial studying its use in treating pruritis in adults and adolescents with a history of atopic dermatitis earlier this year.

Janssen's Stelara shows promise across two dosages in ulcerative colitis

Janssen’s biologic therapy Stelara (ustekinumab) has shown new efficacy in the treatment of moderate to severe ulcerative colitis in two dosage groups, with both reporting “statistically significant improvements” as measured on the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ).

The drug has already secured approval in the US for a range of conditions including active psoriatic arthritis, moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease, and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

NICE guidelines on antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are misleading, study shows

Current NICE guidance concerning the severity of the effects of antidepressant withdrawal is misleading doctors according to research published in the journal Addictive Behaviours.

Celgene's Otezla impresses at Phase 3 in scalp psoriasis

Celgene has unveiled new Phase 3 data for Otezla (apremilast), its inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) specific for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), in the treatment of moderate to severe scalp psoriasis, with users showing a “highly statistically significant” increase in Scalp Physician’s Global Assessment (ScPGA) response, achieving its primary endpoint.

Specifically, patients taking 30mg twice daily reported a ScPGA response of 0 or 1, representing clear or almost clear respectively, with at least a two-point reduction from baseline after 16 weeks, compared to placebo.

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