Portfolio access agreements – Lessons learnt from Vertex Pharma’s Orkambi

Jack Rawson, Analyst Email: Road to commercialization of Vertex’s CF portfolio The European Commission recently approved Vertex’s combination regimen Symkevi (tezacaftor / ivacaftor; marketed as Symdeko in the US). This is their third disease- modifying Cystic Fibrosis (CF) drug on the market.  The first was Kalydeco (ivacaftor) in 2012, which was the first disease-modifying […]

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Chaotic & Unprepared: British biotech industry waits for Brexit

By Joanna Fernandes, Analyst Email: #Brexit #UKBiotech The United Kingdom’s  (UK) biopharma sector are in a precarious position, with less than 24 weeks to go, a no deal Brexit is becoming an increasing reality, forcing the industry to face a potentially, extremely difficult set of circumstances now and in the future. The pharmaceutical sector […]

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LentiGlobin: a potential gamechanger in thalassaemia therapy

By Jack Rawson, Analyst Email: October 2018 turned out to be a good month for β-thalassemia patients seeking new and effective treatments. The European Medicine Agency (EMA) accepted US-based biotech firm bluebird bio’s marketing authorization application (MAA). The new gene therapy – LentiGlobin – could be a gamechanger for patients with transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT). […]

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CAR-T reimbursement: Lessons learnt from NICE assessments

By Max Rex, Analyst Email: It’s been difficult to keep up with the flurry of reimbursement news coming out of England relating to the recently approved CAR-T therapies Kymriah (Novartis) and Yescarta (Gilead). Despite only having gained EMA (European Medicines Agency) approval in late August this year, England’s medicines watchdog, NICE (National Institute of […]

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NICE balks at Spinraza price, rejects reimbursement in its draft guidance

By Christina Poschen, Consultant Email: Biogen’s Spinraza, a treatment for the rare genetic disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is currently making headlines for its high price and promising outcomes.  Various European countries including Spain, Italy as well as The Netherlands and Belgium just made the product available to their patients or confirmed they will […]

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Seven months to Brexit, does the biopharma industry have the tools to be ready?

Everything you need to know about the latest Brexit White Paper By Joanna Fernandes, Analyst Email: As the countdown to Brexit draws near, a flurry of activities has emerged from the UK government, the EU and the pharma/biotech industry. But central to the conversation is the recent white paper released by the UK government […]

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Slow Brexit proceedings frustrates biotech industry

By Aparna Krishnan, Corporate Affairs Lead As the UK Prime Minister’s office is preparing for the cabinet meeting at Chequers this Friday, British businesses including the biotech industry are none the wiser on what lays ahead after March 29, 2019 when the UK exits the European Union. The current discussion is focussed on the Brexit […]

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Faster route to access in Scotland for rare disease patients requiring ultra-orphan drugs

By Alison Kneen, Vice President International Operations Fantastic news for Scottish patients who suffer from very rare diseases. As of October 1, 2018, patients will receive faster access to new treatments as a result of changes being made to the Scottish Medicine Consortium (SMC), the health technology assessment (HTA) body pathway which is used to evaluate […]

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Cancer diagnosis – a step forward for England

New rapid diagnostic and assessment centres are being piloted in ten areas across England in a focused approach to identify cancer early.  These new centres are part of the NHS plan to meet the new faster diagnosis standard, where patients with suspected cancer should receive a diagnosis or given the all clear within 28-days. The […]

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PRIME – two-year assessment – was it good for biopharma?

The PRIority Medicines Scheme (PRIME) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was started two years ago to support and optimise medicine development. The scheme provides early and enhanced scientific and regulatory support to medicines that have the potential to significantly address patients’ unmet medical needs. The EMA has published their two-year review and not surprisingly more than […]

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