Pharmaceuticals in Thoughts from the Centre

COVID-19 impact: rethinking how to plan for and run clinical trials

By Maria João Cruz, PhD, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions, and Alex Grisman, Director, Deloitte

Corona-purple

Clinical trials are vital to find out whether a new medicine (or medical device) is safe, effective and better than existing treatments. Essentially, clinical trials serve to accumulate sufficient, robust evidence to assure regulators of the patient benefits from a new medical intervention. The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed medical infrastructures and had a significant disruptive effect on the current clinical trial landscape. A number of our previous blogs have examined the response of biopharma companies in pivoting their research activities to try and develop COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.1,2 This week we take a look at the challenges COVID-19 is presenting to the operation of other clinical trials, including site and participant selection recruitment and retention, and the strategies that biopharma is adopting to mitigate these challenges.

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Posted on 07/08/2020 | 0 Comments

Why I am inspired by the life sciences sector

By Mike DeLone, US life sciences leader, Deloitte LLP

Blog

I am particularly pleased this week to share with you a blog by Mike DeLone, the national sector leader for Deloitte’s US Life Sciences practice. Mike’s clear articulation of why he is feeling inspired by what he is seeing in the life sciences sector, resonated strongly with me, and I hope will resonate with those reading this blog.

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Posted on 31/07/2020 | 0 Comments

Coalitions and collaborations are driving COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines

By Greg Reh, Deloitte Global 's Life Sciences & Health Care practice

Blog

This week we are delighted to share with you a blog written by Greg Reh who leads the life sciences practice for Deloitte Global. The focus is on partnerships and collaborations which have been a feature of the industry for a number of years — particularly in terms of preventing infections and communicative diseases in underserved parts of the world. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the importance and viability of collaborations, both inside and outside of the life sciences sector, and has accelerated activity, including increasing dialogue and commitment among key industry stakeholders.

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Posted on 24/07/2020 | 0 Comments

Why COVID-19 risks undermining initiatives to reduce the global threat of antimicrobial resistance

By Samrina Bhatti, MRPharmS, PGDipGPP, Manager, Centre for Health Solutions

Covid-red

The growth of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is widely acknowledged as an urgent public health challenge, causing at least 700,000 deaths globally every year.1 AMR also presents serious financial threats in healthcare costs and productivity losses.2 Although COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a growing body of international evidence shows that the global threat of AMR is worsening due to the fact that many patients with COVID-19 symptoms are being prescribed antibiotics partly due to uncertainty about the pathology of the infection; and as a precaution in preventing and treating secondary bacterial infections.3

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Posted on 10/07/2020 | 0 Comments

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