Social responsibility at its finest, AI partnerships, and a crack down on vaccine manufacturing malpractice... What’s new for pharma in business?
Maryam Mahdi | | Quick Read
- In an attempt to cut its CO2 emissions, Novo Nordisk has invested in a 632-acre solar panel installation in North Carolina. The installation covers the same area as 500 football pitches and will help the company reach its goal of achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality by 2030. The North-Carolina based project will provide the company's entire US operation with energy by 2020, severing the company’s ties with traditional energy sources.
- Abbvie pledged $40 million to rebuild a school based near its headquarters in North Chicago. The donation to The Neal Math & Science Academy was the last in a series of awards given from the company's $350 million tax rebate and will serve to transform the school into a “21st-century learning space.”
- With the intention of exploiting AI to accelerate the drug discovery process, Janssen has partnered with Iktos to use the company’s AI powered technology. The collaboration will allow the two companies to share their expertise in deep generative models and the prediction of small molecule activity. Iktos has also recently announced other newly formed partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies in pursuit of novel compounds using in silico methods to identify and design them.
- BenevolentAI has entered into a collaboration with AstraZeneca to produce novel drugs for chronic kidney disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The long-term partnership will see BenevolentAI combining their target identification platform with AstraZeneca’s genomic and clinical trial data. The companies are confident that their alliance will lead to greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying these diseases.
- Torrent Pharmaceuticals recalled 104 lots of Iosartan (amounting to 1.07 million bottles of the drug) in April over concerns that they contained cancer causing impurities. The Indian pharmaceutical company recalled 36 lots of losartan potassium and 68 lots of losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets, according to the FDA. In the weeks prior to the mass recall, the FDA had called for doses of Iosartan to be tested to identify whether they contained any of the impurities discovered in other blood pressure medications. Iosartan is now one of a dozen drugs to be recalled over safety concerns calling into question inspection processes at international plants.
- Fentanyl, the frequently used (and addictive) pain relief medication has been a popular topic of conversation of late in US news media. Now, mismarked packaging of the drug has led Alvogen to recall to lots of the product over concerns that they could lead to patient overdoses. The patches were labeled as containing 12 mcg/h, when in reality they contained more than four times that amount (50 mc/h). No adverse effects have been reported but Alvogen recommends that patients who are using mismarked patches immediately discontinue their use.
- Dengvaxia, Sanofi’s vaccine for dengue fever, has, again, faced restrictions from the FDA. A regulatory committee ruled that Dengvaxia can only be used in patients who have contracted dengue before and in areas where the disease is endemic, limiting its use to the US territories of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Guam.
- Chinese drugmakers who are found guilty of making or distributing counterfeit vaccines will feel the full force of the law after a second draft of legislation was released. China wants to root out malpractice through tougher penalties for perpetrators. The new legislation will allow victims of vaccine counterfeiting to seek compensation if they experience adverse events (including death, organ injury or serious disability) due to immunization with such products.
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