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August 23, 2018

Pharma Technology Focus – Issue 74

In this issue: Boosting trust in big pharma, the highs and lows of the world’s most expensive drug, gene therapy, and more.

By Eloise Mclennan

Pharma Technology Focus is now available on all devices. Read it for free here.

Trust in big pharma has never been particularly high, but the results of Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2018 show that trust in pharma is falling significantly, especially in informed public markets such as the US, Germany and France. We find out what needs to change to prevent further decline.

Also, we explore the highs and lows of Humira, an arthritis drug with indications for colitis and psoriasis, to find out how it became the world’s top drug, and speak to the research team behind Bluebird Bio, which was recently singled out by MIT Technology Review as one of the top 50 smartest companies for its innovative technology and business model focused on gene therapy.

Plus, we investigate current and future treatment options for chronic migraines, find out about the new philanthropic arm of The International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering, the ISPE Foundation, and get comment and analysis from GlobalData’s analysts.

In this issue

The People Vs Big Pharma: Tackling the Industry’s Trust Issues Price hikes, manipulative patent litigation and a rampant opioid addiction epidemic have steadily soured the public’s view of the pharma industry. Does Big Pharma have a crisis of public trust on its hands, and if so, how might it restore its credibility in the eyes of patients, policymakers and the rest of the taxpaying public? Chris Lo finds out. Read the article here.

Humira: The Highs and Lows Of The World’s Most Successful Drug Humira, an arthritis medication with indications for colitis and psoriasis, is the world’s bestselling drug, but it has not been all plain sailing for AbbVie, the drug’s manufacturer. The company has been held accountable by the FDA for improperly handling death complaints and has also been criticised for hiking up prices. Sally Turner delves into the story of Humira to find out how it became the world’s top drug. Read the article here.

Gene Therapy: Talking Smart Solutions with Bluebird Bio US biotechnology company Bluebird Bio’s successful combination of innovative technology and a strategic business model recently caught the attention of the MIT Technology Review, which listed it as one of its 50 Smartest Companies in 2017. Allie Nawrat finds out more about the company’s ex vivo gene therapy solutions and its recent venture into immunotherapy and gene editing fields. Read the article here.

A Research Headache: Improving the Understanding of Chronic Migraine Like many neurological conditions, chronic migraine is poorly understood and ripe with unmet needs. Improving the underlying knowledge of the disorder is crucial to relieving the misery experienced by sufferers and the financial costs for healthcare systems. Sally Turner finds out how the pharma industry is working to develop more effective therapies. Read the article here.

Philanthropy in Pharma: A Look inside the ISPE Foundation The International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering has launched a philanthropic arm, the ISPE Foundation, to support its members and the pharma industry more generally. Abi Millar explores the foundation’s plans. Read the article here.

Next issue preview

According to a new report by researchers from the University of Toronto, the characterisation of clinical trial data as commercially confidential information is an exacerbating issue across the Americas, especially as some countries still don’t impose registration of trials in a publicly accessible registry. We speak to the report authors to find out what can be done to improve clinical trial and health data transparency in the region.

Also in this issue, we take a look at Flash Therapeutics, a new cell therapy manufacturing and development company, to get the specifics on the manufacturing challenges associated with these therapies, examine how Amazon’s PillPack acquisition could impact the wider industry, and find out more about the evolving role of biomarkers in cancer drug development from Dr David Parker of bioinformatics firm Precision for Medicine.

Plus, we explore the highs and lows of hormone therapy treatments, learn the science behind AI -generated compounds and find out the latest market trends and innovations from GlobalData.

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