Pharma Tech Focus January 2017

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Having lost the Democratic nomination after a passionate campaign, Bernie Sanders has stepped up his condemnation of the pharma industry. His criticism of Ariad over the price of its leukaemia drug, for example, knocked $400m off the company’s value. We ask whether the pharma industry should fear the fury of a politician scorned.

We also find out how far companies will go to protect market exclusivity and consider the ethics surrounding pay-to-delay agreements, explore a project that intends to foster genomic and epidemiological research to improve health across Africa, and take a closer look at mononucleosis, a condition linked to glandular fever that affects millions but has no cure.

Plus, we delve into the history of ibuprofen in the wake of a new breakthrough that may allow people to take higher doses without the cardiovascular side effects, and find out how China can crack down on falsified clinical data.

In this issue

Bernie vs. Big Pharma
Senator Bernie Sanders has continued to rail against pharmaceutical industry pricing since losing the Democratic nomination. With Sanders’ presidential ambitions scuppered, should the pharma industry fear the fury of a politician scorned? Chris Lo investigates.
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Pay for Delay
While some form of patent protection is clearly necessary, pay-for-delay agreements are more contentious. What happens when pharma companies pay large sums to prolong a patent and delay exposure to competition? Abi Millar investigates.
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An African Array
A new genomic array will provide the foundation for more detailed research than ever before into the genetic and environmental causes of common diseases in Africa. Elly Earls finds out more from two of the project’s key players.
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Treating Mononucleosis
Mononucleosis, a common condition usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, affects millions but has no cure or vaccine, and has a high risk of misdiagnosis. Abi Millar asks, what is being done to improve the situation?
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A New Era for Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen could soon be entering a new era, thanks to breakthrough research on the cardiovascular effects of one formulation of the drug. With one eye on the future, Elly Earls looks back at the medication’s history.
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The Future of Pharma
This year’s Pharma Integrates event debated the future of medicine, pharma and healthcare in the UK. Edit Kovalcsik, PhD, GlobalData’s analyst covering cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, discusses key findings from the event.
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Cracking Down on Data
China makes huge contributions to global drug discovery, but there is a problem that threatens the integrity of the sector: according to an investigation, more than 80% of Chinese clinical trial data is “fabricated”. Chris Lo investigates.
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Next issue preview

India’s policy of placing price caps on pharmaceutical products is set for a shake-up as the government considers dismantling the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and making decisions on drug pricing itself under a new, more flexible system. We consider the possible outcomes of the decision for both the industry and patients.

We also ask whether the pharma industry is getting too cosy with Irish doctors, after they received €6.8m in payments in 2015, find out more about the Medicines Discovery Catapult and how it will contribute to speeding up the drug development process, and discover how BenevolentAI is using artificial intelligence to select new drug targets.

Finally, we speak to the authors of a study into the effects of lingering health problems after childhood cancer to find out whether after-effects could be avoided with new therapies, and learn how internet-enabled packaging can remedy the problem of patient adherence from specialist Aeris.

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