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Cancer Research UK unveil new Chief Business Officer

Cancer Research UK has appointed Tony Hickson to the position of Chief Business Officer. He arrives to the business from his position as Managing Director of Technology Transfer at Imperial Innovations, the technology transfer office of Imperial College London (ICL).

Hickson will begin his role in August, with his role dedicated to driving forward the commercial interests of the charity.

Parkinson’s disease: A quest for steadier therapies

Published on 07/06/18 at 01:12pm

The worrying number of deaths associated with Nuplazid has eyes returning to the pipeline for Parkinson’s disease. Anjali Shukla, a journalist focusing on healthcare, looks at the challenges companies face when developing a successful drug.

US regulators have decided to re-examine the safety of an already approved drug to treat Parkinson’s disease developed by San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals.

J&J looks to trim business with $2.8bn sale

Johnson & Johnson continues to look at options to slim down its business, after having received an offer from Fortive to sell its medical-sterilisation unit for $2.8 billion.

The deal consists of $2.7 billion in cash and $0.1 billion of retained net receivables.

For J&J, it is trying to divest units that have slower growth compared to the rest of the business. After its $30 billion deal for Actelion, it is clearly trying to focus on the higher growth area of pharmaceuticals into the long-term.

Pfizer pumps $600m into venture fund, targeting neuroscience

Pfizer’s move to dump its neuroscience divisions caused serious ripples through the industry, with many wondering whether it heralded an end of big pharma’s interest in the notoriously difficult to target disease area, which includes the elusive targets of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Forty Seven springs out of the blocks ahead of IPO

Forty Seven, a spinout from Stanford University, has had a busy few days – first announcing that it had filed for an IPO and then by releasing data from two proof-of-concept studies.

The biotech is looking to generate $115 million from the IPO to progress its lead candidate, 5F9.

In the two studies, the monoclonal antibody, designed to target the CD47 receptor, was tested in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL). The treatment is initially being tested alongside rituximab.

Axovant attempts to rise from ashes with $842m Parkinson’s therapy deal

Axovant’s spectacular crash to Earth, after a soaring IPO that saw its share price hit the heady heights of $26, is likely to become a biotech cautionary tale into the future but the next twist in the tale was revealed to be it securing a new lead candidate, this time in Parkinson’s disease.

Its previous lead candidate, which made the company’s name and that of its founder, Vivek Ramaswamy, was a drug for Alzheimer’s that the biotech had picked up from GSK’s offcuts.

It failed, spectacularly, and the biotech’s share price tanked to be worth under $2.

FlyPharma Conference Europe concludes its fourth successful year in Brussels

The FlyPharma Conference Europe wrapped up for another year on 6 June, returning with an expanded roster of speakers who provided insight into all aspects of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

The event was once again hosted at the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel and the Host Partner, Brussels Airport, as always provided speakers and insight into its own experiences working directly with a number of supply chain stakeholders.

Milan’s decision to appeal the EMA HQ relocation explained

Published on 04/06/18 at 09:49am

The decision to award the EMA headquarters to Amsterdam was a contentious one, not least because the vote had to be made by drawing names from a hat after an even-split between Milan and the Dutch capital.

The former city was left unhappy by the conclusion of the process and Pharmafocus caught up with Diana Bracco, CEO of the Bracco Group, to find out how Milan plans to pursue its appeal of the result.

Why has Milan chosen to appeal the decision to award the EMA headquarters to Amsterdam?

Amgen/Novartis migraine med gets CHMP nod

Amgen and Novartis have announced that their newly FDA-approved treatment for migraines has received a recommendation from the CHMP, generally a precursor to an approval by the EMA.

The first-in-class treatment for migraines is part of a new wave of CGRP inhibitors, with Amgen and Novartis treatment expected to reach blockbuster status.

Keytruda offers significant hope in subset of prostate cancer

Up until present, no studies had shown that immunotherapies could offer potential treatment for men with prostate cancer; however, at ASCO, a team from The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust were able to use MSD’s Keytruda to good effect in 38% of men.

There were 258 men on the study for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer and 38% of those were still alive after a year, with a further 11% of those still receiving treatment and had not seen their cancer grow.

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