Will Pharma Embrace Open Innovation?

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeRecent years of low approvals of new blockbuster products have given rise to the perception that pharmaceutical drug development, in its current format, no longer works. Recent late-stage failures of clinical trials have also served to emphasise the risky nature of drug development. So what’s the alternative?

At the end of last week, GlaxoSmithKline placed its bets on open innovation as a new way forward for developing medicines. Read more »

GSK’s Olympic Role

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeThere are many ways in which pharmaceutical companies can make a contribution to society beyond developing and manufacturing medicines. GlaxoSmithKline, based in the UK, has always been keen to position itself as a supporter of the British economy so it’s no surprise to see the pharma giant being patriotic once again as it touts its involvement in the Olympic Games, which will start in London in just under two-weeks time. Read more »

Public-Private Partnerships Step Up

Amy RitterWith pharmaceutical R&D efforts in decline, public-private partnerships are emerging as a way to bolster early stage discovery efforts. Read more »

Vaccine Tied to Narcolepsy

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeThe 2009 swine flu pandemic (and panic) has been forgotten by most, but regulators, global health organisations and pharmaceutical companies are continuing post-pandemic activities, which include keeping an eye on new cases of the illness and monitoring the safety of pandemic vaccines.

This week, swine flu returned to headlines after two studies published in the Public Library of Science appeared to confirm a link between GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix vaccine and cases of narcolepsy in children in Finland. Between 2002 and 2009, instances of narcolepsy were around 0.31 per 100,000 people. In 2010, this jumped to 5.3 cases per 100,000, which equates to a 17-fold increase. Read more »

GSK Causes UK Celebration

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeGlaxoSmithKline this week gave the UK government and several trade organisations reason to celebrate after announcing that it will build a new manufacturing facility in the country — the first in almost forty years. The facility will be dedicated to biopharmaceuticals and will create new jobs in Ulveston, Cumbria, which has been chosen for the new site. Read more »

GSK in Spotlight for Alleged Unethical Trials

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeGlaxoSmithKline has faced intense media scrutiny this week after being fined approximately 72 650 Euros by a court in Argentina for allegedly conducting unethical clinical trials on children for the company’s pneumococcal vaccine, Synflorix.

I always seem to be writing about GSK in my blogs but this is a much more sombre subject compared with the recent news of GSK CEO Andrew Witty’s knighthood. This week’s attention on GSK is focused on the COMPAS (Clinical Otitis Media and PneumoniA Study) study, which involved almost 24 000 children and was completed in Argentina in June 2011. The fine issued by the Argentinean National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) related to administrative procedures in place for the study in 2007 and 2008. According to media reports (Sky News, CNN), some consent forms were signed by illiterate parents or people who did not have custody of the children. Claims have also been made that some children feeling unwell after vaccination were not seen by doctors. Read more »

GSK CEO Knighted

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeFirst of all, I wish all of you a very happy new year! The pharma industry and its workers have been through a lot of hardships in recent times with huge job losses, eroding profits and drying pipelines. A lot of gloomy predictions have been made about 2012 (including ongoing economic woes and the end of the world) but let’s hope that this year finally brings good times for pharma as it seems that the industry is well overdue for a successful year.

For Andrew Witty, the CEO of British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, the year is definitely off to a good start after he was knighted for services to the UK economy and pharmaceutical industry. Sir Andrew as he will now be known received the royal recognition in the UK’s 2012 New Year’s Honours List. Almost 1000 people received awards of varying kinds.  Read more »

Fast Pharma Strikes Again

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeEarlier this week I read a great article on Reuters about how pharma companies are looking to the automobile industry for innovation by transferring some of the lean methodologies learned in car manufacturing to pharmaceuticals. As a pharmaceutical journalist, I read a lot of news stories and articles about innovative new products, R&D projects and partnerships, and sometimes it’s too easy to let your eyes gloss over these as everyday business. Earlier this year though, the partnership between GlaxoSmithKline the McLaren Group really grabbed my attention. Pharma… and a racing-car maker? That’s definitely not an everyday occurrence. Or is it? Read more »

New Hope for Neglected Diseases

Erik Greb PharmTech editorIt’s getting harder for the pharmaceutical industry to ignore neglected diseases. The globalization of national economies and the rise in air travel are increasing the potential for exposure to these diseases, which previously had been limited to the developing world. “Now is the time to have this discussion,” Kishor M. Wasan, chair-elect of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’s Pharmaceuticals in Global Health Focus Group, told Pharmaceutical Technology earlier this month. Industry now seems to be getting the message. Read more »

Fast Pharma – The Best of British

Rich WhitworthPartnerships and strategic agreements are common in the pharma industry. Flicking through my inbox of the last few days I see Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono, Catalent and Toyobo Biologics… both very sensible. But one particular announcement this week gave me cause to raise my eyebrows and smile.

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