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Daily Brief: Europe changes mind on Puma drug, Pfizer's Healthcare Hub, AbbVie and Calico add $1bn to anti-ageing quest

The latest from pharma, biotech and healthcare

Europe changes mind on Puma’s breast cancer drug

The EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is set to approve the use of Puma Biotechnology’s neratinib for the extended adjuvant treatment of early stage HER2 breast cancer.

This is welcome news for the California-based biotech, as the EU’s regulator initially rejected the drug earlier this year due to concerns over the drug’s efficacy based on phase II and III studies.

After a prompt re-assessment however, the committee has reversed its stance, and it intends to hold a final vote at its next meeting.


Pfizer UK adds three start-ups to Healthcare Hub

A panel of Pfizer leaders based in the UK have chosen three start-ups to join the pharma giant’s newly established digital incubator Healthcare Hub.

Medopad, a platform that helps patients capture and share their experience and outcomes of care from trials to clinic was just one of the three start-ups chosen, along with Perfect Ward, a tool to help NHS teams monitor their CQC performance.

Inhealthcare, which helps the NHS deliver more care outside of hospitals was also selected as a winner, and the company - along with the other two winners – will receive grants and access to Pfizer’s network of partners to help the businesses grow.

Dr Hamish Graham, London manager, Pfizer Healthcare Hub, said: “The broad array of innovative technology presented to use by the different start-ups at the pitch day was a real privilege to see.

“The three winners really stood out due to their ability to show the impact of the technology on the healthcare service and the lives of the patients.”

Dr Graham says he looks forward to collaborating on some exciting projects during the next 12 months.


AbbVie and Calico add $1bn to age-related disease collaboration

AbbVie is to extend its collaboration with Calico, a company focused on ageing research, increasing the value of the partnership to $2.5bn

The partners originally came together in 2014 to discover, develop and commercialise new therapies for age-related diseases, and since then have developed early-stage programmes addressing disease states across oncology and neuroscience

Calico will be responsible for research and early development until 2022 and phase IIa trials up to 2027. AbbVie will have the option to manage late-stage development, and will also lead commercialisation efforts.

Micharl Severino, executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer of AbbVie, said: “Calico has attracted an outstanding team of world-class scientists and the extension of this collaboration allows us to further build on the research we’ve done to identify transformative treatment options for patients with age-related diseases.”

The $1bn extra in funding demonstrates the partners' confidence in their early stage pipeline, although they have divulged little about its candidates. Calico also lost its head of research, Hal Barron, to GSK in November last year.

The partnership has “fully met” expectations said chief executive of Alphabet backed Calico, and added: “Our initial agreement created a unique partnership and this extension will accelerate further our efforts to understand this science of ageing.”

27th June 2018

From: Research

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