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Daily Brief: UK must follow through on Life Sciences Strategy, haemophilia gene therapy latest and more

A rapid round up from the frontline of pharma, biotech and healthcare

Hello and welcome to our Daily Brief, a rapid round up of some of today’s most eyecatching news.

Among the biggest biopharma news today is the FDA’s approval of Dova’s Doptelet to treat thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic liver disease – although turbulence in biotech stocks saw the company’s share price dip.

Meanwhile UK biotech company Allergy Therapeutics has some good news at last from its long-delayed allergy treatment

The news is also coming thick and fast from the haemophilia congress taking place in Glasgow, with updates on two potentially curative treatments: Spark and Pfizer’s haemophilia B gene therapy, and BioMarin’s haemophilia A gene therapy ‘valrox’.

UK

Post-Brexit UK needs to commit to life sciences strategy, says Lilly

Eli Lilly has spoken out about post-Brexit Britain and life sciences, urging the UK government to make sure it follows through on promises to support the sector.

Lilly is headquartered in Indianapolis in the US, but has a significant presence in the UK, and says the government here must prioritise a post-Brexit trade deal with the US that allows the "enduring ties" between the two nations to keep developing.

Corinna Peachey

“As an American business with a large presence in the UK, we are keen to ensure that the government makes the continued growth of US/UK trade a top priority,” commented Corinna Peachey, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs and Market Access, Lilly UK, ROI & Nordics (pictured).

However it’s hardly surprising that Theresa May’s government is preoccupied with the Brexit negotiations with the remaining ‘EU27’ nations.

That’s because if the UK can’t secure a good post-Brexit deal with Europe, it could be excluded from the EMA's pan-European marketing authorisation – a blow which would immediately see the UK slip down the global rankings of important launch markets.

Lilly says it also believes the government can “reassure global investors in the short-term” through “full implementation of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy,” the blueprint it unveiled in December.

“By implementing the Life Sciences Strategy, the government will send a clear message that the UK remains open for business and committed to remaining a global hub of research and development” concluded Peachey.

NICE – RARE DISEASES

NICE rejects Clinuvel’s rare photosensitivity disease treatment

England’s cost effectiveness watchdog has given a ‘final evaluation determination’ (FED) for Clinuvel’s rare disease treatment Scenesse.

The drug is a treatment for patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), a condition in which exposure to light causes painful and debilitating reactions in the body.

Scenesse (afamelanotide) has not been launched in the UK, but the company has stated that the cost of an implant will be £12,020 (excluding VAT).

The marketing authorisation recommends an implant is administered every two months before expected, and during increased, sunlight exposure from spring to early autumn, and recommends a maximum of four implants per year.

NICE’s Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) committee concluded that overall the drug “doesn’t appear to provide value for money” as a highly specialised service, and cannot be recommended for routine NHS funding.

The appraisal is one of 10 NICE highly specialised drug appraisals in development NICE, with a further three proposed.

AMR

UK pledges £30m to fight antimicrobial resistance

The UK has taken a lead in co-ordinating international action to counter antimicrobial resistance in the last few years, and has just announced more funding.

The £30m ($40m) will be delivered through four new projects as part of the GlobalAMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF).

The biggest of these will be the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator – a non-profit international partnership supporting research on the most dangerous drug-resistant bacteria. The government is giving £20m to support scientific research around the world to develop new vaccines and alternatives-to-antibiotics against drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans.

A further £5m will be spent on a partnership with Argentina to tackle AMR in agriculture, and another £5m will go into the

Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics(FIND) – a global non-profit aimed at developing, evaluating and delivering high-quality affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases.

A final £1m will go into the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) – which will support sustainable access to new or improved antibiotic treatments, with a particular focus on developing a new antibiotic for drug-resistant gonorrhoea

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

22nd May 2018

From: Research

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