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Daily Brief: Immunotherapy combos dominate ASCO, Pharma's Brexit warning, Big data and prostate cancer

News from the frontline of pharma, biotech and healthcare

Hello and welcome to a rapid round-up of some of today's most eyecatching stories from pharma, biotech and healthcare



Thousands of abstracts of clinical trials were released yesterday by ASCO, ahead of its all-important cancer congress next month.  The markets have already chosen one big winner and one big loser, based on these telltale previews.

Read more: Immuno-oncology at ASCO: survival data, combinations and new indications


Pharma and biotech leaders back ’no deal’ Brexit warning

A cross-party committee of MPs has warned the government to secure a post-Brexit deal to protect patients and the UK's pharma and biotech sectors.

The BEIS Strategy Committee has published its report ‘The impact of Brexit on the pharmaceutical sector’ today, and called for the government to secure the closest possible regulatory alignment with the EU as well as minimum border friction.


A joint statement by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) - whose chief executives, Mike Thompson (pictured) and Steve Bates, provided evidence to the Committee - said:

"Today’s Select Committee Report is right - a Brexit ‘no deal’ would significantly damage public health, patient access to medicines and the UK’s leading pharmaceutical sector. This must be avoided at all costs.

"Securing co-operation on the regulation, trade and supply of medicines must be a priority for both the UK Government and the EU."

Senior members of the Conservative party are, however, advocating the UK walk away from talks if a satisfactory deal can’t be reached – leaving a ‘no deal’ scenario still a possibility.  Read more


China extends patents on medicines

China is to extend patent protection on medicines from 20 years to 25 years, in a move at fostering greater R&D investment in its nascent research-based biotech and pharma sector.

Beijing has also removed import tariffs of up to 6% on 28 categories of medicines, including cancer treatments, and has modernised its drugs regulator to be more in line with the US and Europe.

Read more at the Nikkei Asian Review


Big data project aims to transform European prostate cancer treatment

The European Union’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has been around 10 years, and has produced some major research collaborations between pharma, biotech and academics.

These have created new pan-European research networks of data sharing in areas such as improve drug discovery and precision medicine in oncology, Alzheimer’s and real-world evidence (RWE) studies.

The latest is a €12m ($14m) public-private research project to improved prostate cancer treatment.  The five-year PIONEER project will involve 32 partners across nine countries, and aims to raise standards of care by unlocking the potential of big data and analytics.

PIONEER will standardise and integrate existing big data from clinical trials and registries, large epidemiological cohorts, electronic health records, and real-world data from different European and non-European patient populations.

The aim is then to use advanced analytical methods to transform prostate cancer outcomes, health system efficiency and quality of health and social care – and also recommend standardised care pathways for clinical centres across Europe.


The consortium is being jointly led by Prof. James N’Dow from the European Association of Urology/University of Aberdeen (pictured) and Dr. Alex Asiimwe, Director and Global TA head, epidemiology, Bayer.

The consortium includes 32 companies, including most of the big pharma players in prostate cancer (Astellas, Bayer, Janssen, Sanofi) plus a range of academic centres and stakeholders from across nine countries.

Read more about PIONEER here

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

17th May 2018

From: Marketing



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