Monday, May 18, 2015
Alexion Pharmaceuticals will significantly expand its operations in Ireland by constructing the company’s first ever biologics manufacturing facility outside the U.S. This $502.6 million, four-year project, which will be constructed at Alexion’s College Park site in Blanchardstown, is expected to create approximately 200 additional full-time jobs on completion, bringing Alexion’s total workforce in Ireland to almost 500.
The EMA has updated its rules on declarations of interests for scientific committee members and experts. The updates further strengthen EMA’s policy by restricting involvement of experts in the scientific assessment of medicines if they plan to take up a job in the pharmaceutical industry. The updates also include a revised guide on how to complete the agency’s declaration of interest form.
As the number of new medicines introduced in Europe rises, governments are finding it increasingly difficult to afford them, according to a comprehensive study released today by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The study illustrates the challenges for national health systems, with specific examples, and shows that few countries in the WHO European Region have mechanisms in place to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of new drugs; this hampers the value-assessment and decision-making processes.
Genomics England has announced a new collaboration as part of the 100,000 Genomes Project to accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments for patients. Ten pharma and biotech companies have come together to create the Genomics Expert Network for Enterprises (GENE) Consortium to oversee a year-long industry trial.
New treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies are set to benefit from an investment of $47 million through the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC)—a partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Innovate U.K. This MRC and Innovate U.K. funding will be further boosted by over $12 million of investment leveraged from industry, bringing the total investment for this round to $59 million.
Eighteen European academic partners and three pharmaceutical companies are launching a new project under the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) funded New Drugs 4 Bad Bugs (ND4BB) program. COMBACTE-CARE (Combating Bacterial resistance in Europe-Carbapenem-Resistance) will bring highly innovative studies and activities related to the treatment of patients with infections caused by Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Being very difficult to treat and sometimes deadly, CRE are considered to be one of the most dangerous resistant bacteria in the world. University Medical Center Utrecht is the project’s managing entity.
NHS England has launched an initiative to help treat depression and anxiety and improve access to psychological therapies by unveiling the first ever directory of NHS-endorsed digital mental health services. The Mental Health Apps Library features online tools, resources and apps that have a proven track record of effectiveness in improving mental health outcomes.
MI-mAbs, a new immunotechnology center designed to accelerate the development of new immunotherapy antibodies against cancer and inflammatory disease and founding member of the France-based Marseille Immunopole (MI) cluster, has announced the signature of the consortium agreement sealing the commitment of its founders: Aix-Marseille Universite (AMU) and its private subsidiary Protisvalor, CNRS, Inserm, the Institute Paoli-Calmettes (IPC); three of their research centers (the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, the Cancer Research Center of Marseille and the Center for Immunophenomics); Innate Pharma, a European immuno-oncology company; and Sanofi.