Pharma Moves Towards Continuous Manufacturing and Low-Cost Products

VLUU L110  / Samsung L110It’s Day 2 at CPhI and the remaining findings of the annual expert industry report were released today during the show. As continuous processing continues to revolutionize manufacturing, Emil Ciurczak, principal at Doramax Consulting, believes that large batch production will one day be a thing of the past.

“We’ve had improved measurement systems, including light-induced fluorescent spectroscopy (LIFS), near infrared (NIR) and Raman, for years, and have used them to guarantee mixing,” noted Ciurczak, “but now there are automated systems that operate continuously that will allow us to speed up pre-pilot-scale work in design of experiments (DOE), technology transfer and the determination of the design space.” He pointed out that these systems eliminate some of the problems observed with conventional methods when moving from laboratory scale to small manufacturing scale. DOE can now be done in a matter of days with the newer systems instead of weeks or months. Such improved tools lower the costs of manufacturing and enable branded players to get more value out of their products while still under patent. According to Ciurczak, there will be less complains in the future about DOE and quality by design (QbD) costing too much or tying up equipment. Read more »

AstraZeneca and Exco InTouch Collaborate to Augment Current COPD Pathways

Guest blog written by Chris Watson, product manager of Exco InTouch.

AstraZeneca and Exco InTouch have announced a program to develop and launch interactive mobile phone and internet-based health tools that will help patients in the UK and their healthcare providers to track and manage chronic conditions. AstraZeneca’s R&D organisation and Exco InTouch are developing the tool with an initial focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Read more »

President Obama’s Plans for Healthcare Reform and Job Growth

President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Feb. 12, 2013 touched on some issues that may directly impact the pharmaceutical industry: healthcare reform, innovation, and job creation. So how has the pharmaceutical industry responded?

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Pharma’s Shifting Needs for Scientific Talent

Developing and maintaining the right labor pool is an ongoing challenge for any industry, and it is one that the pharmaceutical industry also is facing. Recent attention in the pharmaceutical industry has focused on the restructuring that has occurred and that is still occurring among the large pharmaceutical companies. And while re-allocating resources, including labor resources, is always a crucial task for companies, it is a challenge made even more difficult amidst shifting industry fundamentals and a demand for higher productivity from scientific talent.

The pharmaceutical industry requires employees with a high-end scientific skill set, and PwC’s 2012 Global CEO Survey indicates that pharmaceutical companies are having a hard time finding the right people. A recent report by PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) takes a look at how changes in R&D models have affected the pharmaceutical workforce.

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Will “Robust Pipeline” Yield More New Drugs?

Jill Wechsler Washington EditorBiopharmaceutical companies are touting their huge investment in R&D, which has filled the drug pipeline with more potential first-in-class medicines, including orphan drugs, personalized medicines and new therapies based on novel scientific strategies. A report by the Analysis Group for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) documents more than 5,000 new medicines in the pipeline globally, many for untreated diseases and life-threatening conditions. The promise is that this more robust pipeline will lead to more new critical therapies for patients. Read more »

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 »

Why Sanofi’s Recent Job Cuts Could be Worse

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeYesterday, Sanofi issued a press statement titled “Sanofi provides information on the adaption of its activities in France through 2015.” Read past the headline and you quickly realise that the ‘adaption of activities’ involves eliminating around 900 jobs at the company’s sites France by 2015. You can read the statement here.

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JOBS Act Passage—A Boost for Biopharma?

Amid one of the most divisive eras in our nation’s political history, one thing we can all pretty much agree on is the fact that our stalled economic engine needs a jumpstart. Read more »

AstraZeneca Axe Hovers Above 7300 Workers

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeRumors of change at AstraZeneca have been rumbling through newspapers all week and yesterday the company finally revealed the details by releasing a statement about its  restructuring initiatives “to drive productivity and support innovation”. It all sounds very high and important but basically it boils down to job cuts. And lots of them. Read more »

Scaling the Bioprocess Barricade

Rich WhitworthJust over a week ago, I decided to hop on the early train to Glasgow, Scotland, so that I might catch at least half of the 8th bioProcess UK conference, focusing on advancing next generation therapies. The meeting was held in the very fitting Glasgow Science Center and, given the strikes over public sector pensions that day, there were plenty of youngsters mingling with the crowds—the next generation of bioprocess engineers perhaps? Amazingly, presentations were delivered in the IMAX theatre—I have never seen PowerPoint slides on such a scale before—but given the eminence of some of the keynote speakers involved, it too was quite apt. Read more »

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