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Manufacture Business Practice, Advanced Medicine, Trends & Forecasts

Business in Brief

Deals & acquisitions
  • GlaxoSmithKline is acquiring Novartis’ consumer health business for $13 billion. The business was initially a joint venture between the two companies and includes products such as Nicotinell nicotine patches, Panadol headache tablets and Sensodyne toothpaste. 
  • Pfizer has also been looking for a deal regarding its own consumer health business. The company has been assessing options since October 2017. Potential bidders included GSK and Reckitt Benckiser, but both pulled out in March. Now, Pfizer has been reported by many to be in talks with Procter & Gamble.  
  • Takeda has confirmed that it is considering an offer for Shire with the aim of boosting its footprint in gastroenterology, oncology and neuroscience. No approach has yet been made to Shire’s board and Takeda stressed that the offer was at a “preliminary and exploratory stage”.
Cell therapy
  • A report from BCC Research, Cell Therapy process: Global Markets and Technologies, seems to confirm the high expectations for the future of the field. The reports claims that the cell therapy processing market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 30.9 percent through 2022 and be worth $5 billion. 
  • Alofisel (darvadstrocel) has become the first allogeneic stem cell therapy to receive central marketing authorization approval in Europe. The therapy is approved for patients with Crohn’s disease who do not respond to current therapies. 
  • An encapsulated cell therapy for treating type 1 diabetes is on the cards for Eli Lilly, which has licensed the technology from Sigilon Therapeutics. Lilly will use Sigilon’s Afibromar platform for islet cell encapsulation and the companies hope the treatment will restore insulin production over sustained periods without triggering an immune reaction. 
  • Pfizer and Allogene Therapeutics have entered into an “asset contribution” regarding Pfizer’s CAR-T portfolio. Allogene will lead the development while Pfizer will participate financially through a 25 percent ownership stake in Allogene.
Emerging technology
  • A collaboration between Parkinson’s UK and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust to identify new treatments for the disease has won the inaugural BenevolentAI Award. The award was presented through a competition run with the Association of Medical Research Charities and will give the collaboration full research support from BenovolentAI, which specializes in using artificial intelligence for drug discovery.  
  • DHL is partnering with Accenture to trial blockchain in pharma supply chains. In particular, the companies want to see if the technology can help prevent the distribution of counterfeit drugs by ensuring the improved accuracy of supply data.
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About the Author
Stephanie Vine

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent fourteen years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

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