Speed is of the essence when it comes to manufacturing CAR T drugs—personalized treatments in which immune cells are engineered to recognize and destroy patients’ cancers. With that in mind, Gilead will locate a new European manufacturing site for its CAR-T therapy Yescarta at an airport in the Netherlands.
Kite, the Gilead company that developed the personalized treatment, said today it has leased a 117,000 square-foot facility in Hoofddorp at the SEGRO Park Amsterdam Airport. It did not say how much it will invest in the manufacturing operation but indicated it expects to have 300 employees there when it is fully operational in 2020.
AstraZeneca’s ambitions for keeping pace with GlaxoSmithKline in the severe COPD market just took a big hit.
In a late-stage COPD trial released Friday, the British drugmaker’s blockbuster hopeful Fasenra didn’t beat placebo at holding off episodes when symptoms suddenly worsen. The study, dubbed Galathea, examined the drug as an add-on to dual- or triple-inhaled therapy.
AstraZeneca isn’t throwing in the towel yet, though. It’s still fielding one more phase 3 study, Terranova, and “we will now await the results … and a full evaluation of both trials to determine next steps for Fasenra in COPD,” R&D chief Sean Bohen said in a statement.
It’s been more than a year since then-president elect Donald Trump said pharma was “getting away with murder,” blasting the industry’s corporate lobbying power and calling for “competitive bidding” to reduce pharmaceutical prices. On Friday, in a promised speech delayed twice, the U.S. public finally has a chance to see how sincere he was.
Not so much, if Friday morning chatter bears out. While on the campaign trail, candidate Trump crossed a party line and called for Medicare Part D negotiations to throw the weight of the U.S. government’s purchasing behind efforts to slash prescription drug prices. Now, President Trump doesn’t support the idea, according to press reports on Friday.
Instead, Trump’s plan—dubbed “American Patients First”—includes measures that are far more friendly to branded drugmakers; they’d be designed to step up generic competition, encourage outcomes-based pricing, reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients and set up incentives for lower list prices, according to analyst and press reports. Though the aim would be lowering drug prices, the ideas are more gentle than they might have been—and short of anything that could really rattle drugmakers.
A yearlong internal power struggle for control of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech has spilled from the boardroom to the production floor, forcing the company to suspend manufacturing of its hepatitis A vaccine.
The company said on Tuesday that after repeated interruptions to the power supply at its manufacturing site in Shanghai, it was forced to halt production and “destroy the bulk of its hepatitis A vaccines.”
The company said it will now “fumigate and sterilize the facilities, and verify whether any equipment was damaged by the power outage in April.”
Takeda issued a statement saying that it has reached a $62 billion acquisition agreement with Shire, showing its intention to acquire it since the end of March. Takeda has finally acquired Shire, which becomes the largest acquisition this year, and at the same time, Takeda and Shire have merged to form a new Takeda. “One of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world.
No matter how tortuous the process and how many challenges to be faced, Takeda is still on schedule to complete the acquisition of Shire, but also a big step forward to world-class pharmaceutical company.