November's top stories: Patheon to buy API facility, UK NICE approved Celgene’s drug

Patheon agreed to acquire a new API manufacturing facility in the US, and UK NICE approved Celgene’s Imnovid drug for use in relapsed myeloma patients. Pharmaceutical-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November.


Patheon agreed to acquire new API manufacturing facility in US from Roche

Patheon signed an agreement to acquire a new active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturing facility in Florence, South Carolina, US, from Roche.

Under the agreement, the site will be purchased by Patheon for an immaterial sum, as well as the cost of associated inventory and spare parts.

Patheon also signed a supply arrangement with Roche, which will help defray the costs associated with running the site for the next few years.

 

UK NICE approved Celgene’s Imnovid drug for use in relapsed myeloma patients

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved US biotech Celgene’s Imnovid (pomalidomide) in combination with dexamethasone for use in relapsed myeloma patients.

The drug was specifically approved for patients who received at least two prior treatments, including Velcade and Revlimid.

Following the approval, the drug will be immediately available for myeloma patients.

 

New study found modified virus could stimulate immune attack on liver cancer cells

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Leeds, UK, found that a modified form of Reovirus could be used to launch an immune attack on liver cancer cells.

The virus was able to stimulate the immune system to destroy liver cancer cells in mice and can have the potential to stop the hepatitis C virus from growing.

Treatment with the modified Reovirus caused the tumour cells to die in mice with liver cancer.

The viral treatment stopped the harmful virus from reproducing in the mice that had liver cancer caused by the hepatitis C virus.

 

Novartis acquired Selexys Pharmaceuticals in US for $665m

Novartis acquired US-based hematologic and inflammatory disorder theraputics developer Selexys Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at approximately $665m.

The company exercised its acquisition right after receiving results of the Sustain study, a Phase II trial evaluating the use of an anti-P-selectin antibody called SelG1, in the reduction of vaso-occlusive pain crises in patients with sickle-cell disease (SCD).

Novartis oncology CEO Bruno Strigini said: "Sickle-cell disease affects millions of people around the world and there are limited therapies available for treatment of vaso-occlusive pain crises, a very common complication of the disease.

 

UK team of health experts deployed to help control global disease outbreaks

A UK team of health experts comprising clinicians, scientists and academicians will be deployed to respond to requests from countries worldwide to help control disease outbreaks within 48 hours.

Known as the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, the team will be on call to respond to urgent requests from international countries and fly in to help tackle the source of the disease outbreaks.

The Ebola crisis brought out the need for the international community to develop a system to help countries respond to and control disease outbreaks that pose a threat to public health before they become a global emergency.

 

Russian Federation set to introduce new scientific drug research projects

The Russian Federation’s Industry and Trade Ministry is set to introduce the latest scientific research on drugs, with an aim to help innovative developments enter Russia and western markets.

As part of this initiative, a new programme has been launched to promote, expert trials and analytical support, as well as business acceleration for research projects that previously received state funding.

This programme of the sixth Russian-Swedish economic forum on new investment potential will include a presentation of the project office and Russian innovative projects in pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies.

 

New Zealand’s Upside Biotechnologies launched new skin replacement treatment

New Zealand-based Upside Biotechnologies launched a new skin replacement treatment in Auckland for patients suffering from major burns.

Using regenerative medicine, new methods can be developed to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues to restore or establish normal function.

Upside Biotechnologies has developed the new technology at the University of Auckland’s Rod Dunbar’s laboratory. 

 

Victoria announced $10m grant to aid cancer researchers

The Australian-based Government of Victoria announced a $10m grant to aid cancer researchers of Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre to advance the fight against cancer.

Minister for health Jill Hennessy announced a Victorian Cancer Agency grant to support cancer research and discoveries across the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) alliance.

The alliance connects the work of ten Melbourne-based institutions.

All these institutions work together to enhance the control and cure of cancer.

 

Haiti launched cholera vaccination campaign

Haiti launched an emergency cholera vaccination campaign, under which more than 800,000 affected by Hurricane Matthew last month will be vaccinated.

After the category-four storm devastated south-west Haiti, the number of cholera cases across the country rose drastically.

Across the country, the number of new cases went above 200 from roughly 75 a day, reported Npr.org.

To prevent a further surge in cholera cases, the Haitian Ministry of Health and international aid groups plan to vaccinate everyone in south-west Haiti more than one year old.

 

Pfizer cancelled €400m expansion plans of Grange Castle plant in Ireland

US drugmaker Pfizer reportedly cancelled a planned €400m expansion of its plant at Grange Castle in Clondalkin, Dublin, Ireland.

The development of this plant would have provided employment for 350 people and 1,250 jobs at the time of construction.

Earlier this year, the company sought planning permission to carry out a 34,500m² expansion of the 36-acre site plant site.

The company had already started preliminary works on the Grange Castle project, however, no final formal decision had been made to go ahead.