Biotechnology in Thoughts from the Centre

How COVID-19 has accelerated the development of vaccines and medicinal therapies: lessons for the future of regulation

By Malka Fraiman and Paulien Nuyts

Green-covid

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on countries across the world and, in the absence of any known therapies, galvanized a global race to find safe and effective treatments and vaccines. Regulators have responded swiftly to help expedite drug development and approval. This blog focuses on two of the geographies most affected by COVID-19, Europe and the United States of America (US), and specifically the response of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It considers the challenges and opportunities that arise from the changes in the regulatory landscape and the implications for the future of medicines regulation.

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Posted on 26/06/2020 | 0 Comments

Intelligent drug supply chain: Creating value from AI

By Dr Francesca Properzi, PhD. Research Manager, and Maria João Cruz, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions

Pharma

This week we launched the fourth in our series of reports highlighting the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) across the biopharma value chain. Our report, Intelligent drug supply chain: Creating value from AI, explores the digital transformation of biopharma’s global supply chains and how AI can help improve value and manage risks more effectively. Given the unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report also considers the role that AI can play in helping supply chains respond, recover and thrive.

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Posted on 16/06/2020 | 0 Comments

Accelerating the race for a vaccine for COVID-19 –from a marathon to a sprint

By Karen Taylor, Director, and Maria João Cruz, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions

Covid-yellow

The London Marathon was meant to take place on Sunday, April 26, but was postponed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a great disappointment to the 40,000 people intending to take part, as well as the thousands of charities that the runners were raising money for. In its place social media launched a 2.6 challenge campaign urging the public to run, walk, cycle or skip over 2.6 miles, 26 minutes or even 26 miles in the garden. The challenge went viral and within two days over £6.6 million had been raised. Feeling humbled by the efforts of so many people got us thinking about another important race that we are all invested in, the race to find an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Serendipitously, this past week was World Immunisation Week. Consequently, this blog provides a progress report on the race to develop a vaccine and why, despite the race being more of a sprint than a marathon, the prospect of a reliable vaccine for use in the general population is still some 18 months away.1

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Posted on 04/05/2020 | 0 Comments

The Indian pharmaceutical industry: a time of transition

By Pratik Avhad, Senior Analyst, Insight

Indian-pharma

From being nowhere on the global pharmaceutical (pharma) map in 1970 to playing key role in delivering high-quality and affordable generic drugs worldwide, the Indian pharma industry has come a long way. In the first blog of our series on the ‘pharmacy of the world’, we looked at the factors behind its evolution and highlighted some of the recent domestic and international challenges which have resulted in a period of more volatile and somewhat stagnant growth. This blog explores new initiatives that the industry has embarked on to tackle these challenges and kick-start growth.

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Posted on 17/04/2020 | 0 Comments

COVID-19 testing: how it works and why we need it urgently

By Karen Taylor, Director, and Maria João Cruz, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions

Covid-orange

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rapid testing of patients who meet the suspected case definition for COVID-19 is a priority for determining the clinical management and policy response to control the outbreak.1 Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is critical to track the spread of this novel virus, understand its epidemiology, inform health managers of each case, and suppress transmission.2 Currently, different countries have implemented different testing strategies, depending on the availability of diagnostics kits and reagents, and on the capacity and capability of the healthcare system. However, there has been a global call to increase the speed and capacity for testing to help isolate cases and flatten the peak. This week’s blog explores the importance of testing, what tests can be done and which are already available.

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Posted on 09/04/2020 | 0 Comments

Who will win the race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19

By Karen Taylor, Director, Centre for Health Solutions

Covid

Our previous reports have highlighted the increasing number of innovations that have led to life-saving and life-enhancing clinical treatments and how, over the past 30 or so years, healthcare has moved from treating infectious or communicable diseases to managing a ‘tidal wave’ of complex age and behaviour related, non-communicable, diseases.1 This transition was made possible by the development and widespread use of vaccines and antibiotics which dramatically reduced the prevalence and improved outcomes for most infectious diseases. Today, this scenario has been turned on its head as people across the world face the unrelenting human and economic impact from a novel, infectious, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (named COVID-19 disease). On 11th March the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and the biopharma industry is now in a race to develop both preventive and therapeutic interventions.

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Posted on 06/04/2020 | 0 Comments

The Indian pharmaceutical industry: The ‘pharmacy of the world’?

By Pratik Avhad, Senior Analyst, Insight

Indian-pharma

The Indian pharmaceutical (pharma) industry has an annual revenue of US$38 billion – globally it’s the third largest in the world by volume and 11th by value. It comprises over 3,000 pharma companies and 10,500 manufacturing facilities. It also produces drugs at around a third of the US costs and half of the European costs. Moreover, Indian pharma companies supply around 20 per cent of the worlds’ generics and 50 per cent of its vaccines.1,2 This is the first of three blogs exploring the past, present and future of the Indian pharma market. This first blog examines the evolution of the industry, with subsequent ones exploring the transformations now underway, and the likely future for the industry.

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Posted on 20/03/2020 | 0 Comments

How AI could improve the odds of finding treatments for rare diseases

By Maria João Cruz, Research Analyst, and Dr Francesca Properzi, PhD, Research Manager, Centre for Health Solutions

AI

February 29, a pretty rare date, was this year’s Rare Disease Day, a campaign to raise awareness among the public and policy makers on rare diseases and how they impact the lives of patients and their loved ones.1 Indeed, the advocacy, commitment and tenacity of rare disease patient organisations have played a critical role in elevating ‘rare diseases’ as an emerging global public health priority. Particularly in advocating for legislation to develop drugs and treatment programmes that will meet patients’ needs. In today’s blog we highlight the importance of rare diseases and, in particular, the opportunities that artificial intelligence (AI) tools offer to speed-up the discovery of new treatments.

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Posted on 06/03/2020 | 0 Comments

What are the key considerations for biotech European expansion?

By Juan Salcines Gomez-Pardo, Consultant, Monitor Deloitte

Biotech

Small to medium sized life sciences companies are now at the forefront of innovation in the search for new cures and hope for patients. However, many biotech and medtech companies face significant challenges in navigating the business life cycle. Monitor Deloitte colleagues Li Xiaofeng, Hanno Ronte and James Forsyth have recently published our latest thinking on ‘Biotech-in-a-boxTM: ‘How to ‘ACE’ geographical expansion in Europe’. This report introduces a three-step game plan to support biotech and medtech companies to thrive in an increasingly challenging environment, de-risk attempts to scale up adoption of technologies and improve success in geographical expansion. This week’s blog by our colleague, Juan Salcines, highlights the key findings from this report, based on his recent experience working with biotech companies across Europe.

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Posted on 21/02/2020 | 0 Comments

Intelligent clinical trials: Transforming through AI-enabled engagement

By Dr Francesca Properzi, PhD. Research Manager, and Maria João Cruz, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions

Clinical-trial

This week we launched the third report in our series on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) across the biopharma value chain. This latest report, Intelligent clinical trials: Transforming through AI-enabled engagement, explores how AI, in particular machine learning and natural language processing, can reduce clinical trial cycle times while reducing the costs and improving the productivity and outcomes of clinical development. In this blog, we highlight the main takeaways from our report.

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Posted on 13/02/2020 | 0 Comments