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“Two households, both alike in dignity.” Although Shakespeare wrote these words to describe two warring families in fair Verona, they could easily be applied to the meeting of two powerhouse industries in the healthcare space: Big Pharma and Big Tech.

As Big Tech’s interest in pharma grew, it seemed like the two industries were on route to collision. But what happens when Big Pharma and Big Tech join forces to drive innovation in healthcare? We find out.

Sticking with technology, we learn how the pharma industry is getting to grips with social media as traditional broadcast and print marketing falls out of favour with patients.

Elsewhere in this issue, we round up four key ways that the pharma industry can prepare for the next health pandemic, ask if Long Covid symptoms could help patients dealing with chronic fatigue symptoms, and examine a regulatory framework for the production, distribution and export of medical cannabis in the Isle of Man

Plus, we dive into the complex world of mRNA vaccines to find out if the treatment option has potential outside of infectious diseases, speak to the minds behind the Ineos Oxford Institute for AMR Research to find out what can be done to avoid AMR disaster, and take a look at the business and public benefits of embracing the public benefit corporation model.

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By GlobalData

All this and more in this latest issue of Pharma Technology Magazine.


In this issue

Collaboration not competition: is Big Pharma and Big Tech working together a recipe for success?
Big Tech’s growing interest in the healthcare sector has largely been seen to put it on a collision course with Big Pharma. However, there are early signs of a culture of collaboration emerging between Big Tech and Big Pharma, which has only been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Allie Nawrat asks what this new era of collaboration between Big Tech and Big Pharma could mean for healthcare?
Read the article here.


Logging in: how the pharma industry is getting to grips with social media 
It’s no longer possible to ignore the prominence of social media. In the US, pharma companies have used TV advertising to market products directly to consumers, and now this trend appears to be moving into users’ social media feeds. However, social media marketing comes with its own rules, restrictions and opportunities. Abi Millar reports.
Read the article here.


Medical cannabis: regulating a new export market on the Isle of Man
As the Isle of Man prepares to accept applications for medical cannabis cultivation licences after introducing new regulations, what are the major considerations for regulating a new business sector for cannabis, and is the island well-positioned to make the most of this move?​​​​​​​ Chris Lo reports.
Read the article here.


Long Covid: could chronic fatigue syndrome be taken seriously at last?
‘Long Covid’ has become shorthand for a wide range of post-viral symptoms experienced by some patients following a Covid-19 infection. Cases of chronic fatigue after acute respiratory illness are far from unprecedented, but the scale at which they are now occurring is unprecedented. Advocates for patients with similar illnesses are now hoping that the attention being given to long Covid could help improve care for these illnesses as well. Chloe Kent reports.
Read the article here.


Life after Covid-19: four ways to prepare for the next pandemic
Covid-19 has given humanity a harsh wakeup call about the lethal impact infectious diseases can have. Vaccines are now rolling out across the globe, slowly but surely signalling the beginning of the end of the pandemic – but how do we avoid the next one? Chloe Kent dives deep into the regulatory reworks that could help us avoid future disaster.
Read the article here.


mRNA vaccines: the post-pandemic outlook after a breakthrough year
mRNA-based vaccine hit the headlines in 2020 after the quick development of two candidates to protect against SARS-CoV-2. This sudden breakthrough was built on the back of more than a decade of research into mRNA vaccines, both for infectious diseases and oncology. Chris Lo explores the post-pandemic outlook for vaccines developed using this innovative protein-encoding technology?
Read the article here.


Staving off AMR disaster with Ineos and the University of Oxford
The University of Oxford has teamed up with manufacturing company Ineos to open up a £100m institute focused on AMR research. The Ineos Oxford Institute will focus on overcoming the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, particularly in agriculture. Allie Nawrat talks to orthopaedic surgeon David Sweetnam about how the institute will ensure the world is prepared for the next public health emergency.
Read the article here.


Public benefit: could the PBC model help pharma balance profits and patients?
Pharma’s public reputation is far from positive. Could switching from being a traditional for-profit corporation to a public benefit corporation model enable pharma companies to prioritise the needs of the patients over the demands of shareholders? Allie Nawrat finds out.
Read the article here.


Next issue preview

The threat of AMR has long been hailed as the greatest threat that the medical industry will face over the coming years. In the next issue of Pharma Technology Focus, we take a look at notable research projects that are trialling potential alternatives to traditional antibiotics.

Plus, we highlight the best and brightest players in regenerative medicine – including the likes of Humacyte, Frequency and Sigilon Therapeutics – and investigates the extent to which these innovations are ready for the pharma mainstream.

Elsewhere, we talk to hVIVO about concerns surrounding human challenge studies and ask whether their use in the pandemic could support further use of this novel trial approach, and examine the benefits and challenges of digitalising drug dispensing.

Plus, we speak to Novartis biomedical research president Jay Bradner about the development of a potentially groundbreaking treatment for sickle cell disease, and find out the unorthodox business model of Centessa Pharmaceuticals.