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Following the news that the UK BioIndustry Association has named Action Medical Research as its charity of the year for 2019, we take a look back at key moments in the charity’s history. Plus, we take a look at the biggest drug innovations coming out of China.

Also, we examine the complex challenge of manufacturing antivenom for snake bites to find out how the pharma industry can help address this growing medical issue, speak to drug policy reformer Amanda Feilding about the medicinal potential of cannabis and psychedelics, and explore what big internet companies are doing to stamp out the scourge of fake online pharmacies.

And finally, we take a look at the plans for UK’s first dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, find out how social media platform The Mighty is helping pharma companies to communicate with patients, and profile the Italian pharma industry to find out how the market is developing.

In this issue

Action Medical Research: celebrating decades of discovery 
The UK BioIndustry Association has named Action Medical Research as its charity of the year for 2019. With a focus on funding breakthrough treatments for conditions affecting children, the charity has a history stretching back to the 1950s with the validation of the first UK polio vaccine. Charlotte Edwards traces the research history of the charity and profile its greatest successes through the years.
Read the article here.

How government policy has shaped china’s pharma phenomenon 
After many decades of growth, China is now the second largest global pharmaceutical market. Since the Chinese state closely controls the country’s economy, it’s unsurprising that government reforms have been the most significant contributor, so which policy changes have been the most beneficial? Allie Nawrat reports.
Read the article here.

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Snake venom in pharma; access to antivenom is a topic that needs attention
Over 100,000 people die each year as a result of snake bites, but access to antivenom is often a challenging task thanks to manufacturers dropping antivenom products from their production line. Abi Millar finds out how this problem is being addressed.
Read the article here.

Discussing drug policy reform with psychedelics campaigner Amanda Feilding 
Amanda Feilding has dedicated her life to campaigning to amend global policies towards illegal drugs by conducting scientific research into the medical benefits of cannabis and psychedelics through her NGO, the Beckley Foundation. Allie Nawrat talks to Feilding about the medicinal potential of these compounds and progress towards their legalisation on this basis.
Read the article here.

False flags: are search engines benefiting rogue online pharmacies?
Online pharmacy services are a small but rapidly growing part of the pharmacy business, but the preponderance of rogue websites appearing in search results has been difficult to stamp out. Should search companies be doing more to tackle the issue? Chris Lo investigates.
Read the article here.

Inside the UK’s first vaccines innovation centre
A new, state-of-the-art Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre was recently announced to address what is being called a structural gap in late-stage vaccine manufacturing in the UK. How will the plans improve emergency preparedness for epidemic threats? ​​​​Charlotte Edwards finds out.
Read the article here.

The Mighty: how patients and pharma align in the age of social media
The Mighty is a social media platform specifically for people and communities living with disease, chronic illness or mental health conditions. Pharma companies are beginning to engage with the platform as a way to communicate with patients and gain insights into how they talk about their conditions, to improve their marketing. Sally Turner reports.
Read the article here.

Inside Italy’s pharmaceutical industry
Last year, three of the five top US exports to Italy were health related, and the country overtook Germany as the biggest pharmaceutical producer in the EU.  Abi Millar explores the Italian pharma industry to find out how the market is developing.
Read the article here.

Fostering closer collaboration between manufacturing & regulatory functions
Until the boundaries between ERP and regulatory information management are broken down, so that everyone can readily share essential data, how can life sciences firms expect to be more agile and efficient? Catherine Gambert reports.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

In the next issue of Pharma Technology Focus, we explore the potential of ketamine-based products following the US FDA’s vote to back Johnson & Johnson’s depression drug esketamine and track the life and times of the European Medicines Agency as the flag goes down on the organisation’s London headquarters.

We also examine the launch of Australian medical cannabis firm Althea in the UK and find out what the pharma and biotech industries could learn from an open-science approach to drug development

Plus, we take a look at the research from Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and examine other treatments targeting memory loss. Finally, we speak to the team behind RUNLABS, a start-up dedicated to providing laboratory space and accelerator services to new biotech firm, to find out what services these fledgling businesses need during their early years.