Press review

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Pfizer’s job cuts the biggest among pharma in Spain

Country : Ireland, Spain, Rest of Asia

Keywords :
Madrid, Dec 8 (APM) - Although Pfizer's sales in Spain have increased job cuts have been ongoing in the firm’s subsidiary since 2012, with a total of 305 posts disappearing to 2016, medical journal Redacción Médica reported on Wednesday.
In 2012, Pfizer Spain’s workforce included 1,236 positions, while by 2016 this was down by 24.6%, the biggest drop among pharmaceutical firms in the country, the journal noted.
Redacción Médica quoted data from eInforma, a website which provides free information about companies, as saying job cuts in GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer Spain were substantially lower over the same period. Bayer cut 103 positions from 2012 to 2016, accounting for 10% of its workforce in the country; GlaxoSmithKline cut 77 jobs, 12% of the firm’s employees in Spain.
Novartis increased its workforce with 261 new positions in the period, while Sanofi added 34 new employees. “Other firms which increased jobs were Roche (261 new positions) and Merck Sharpe & Dohme, which doubled its workforce in Spain to 931 employees”, the journal said.

Compassionate use of Biogen’s Spinraza in Galicia

On Thursday, daily El País carried a lengthy story about a child in the Spanish region of Galicia who is being treated with Biogen’s Spinraza (nusinersen), which was imported from Germany because it is not yet available in Spain.
The Spanish authorities have not reached an agreement with Biogen regarding the drug’s price. A year of treatment with Spinraza costs nearly 800,000 euros per patient, the newspaper reported.
El País quoted the mother of the patient as saying doctors are surprised at the improvement he has shown.
Spinraza was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016. Regional healthcare authorities from Galicia bought the drug from Germany as soon as it became available, El País added.
Mercedes Álvarez, president of the region’s patient association, told El País this procedure will pave the way for patients in other regions to gain access to this new medicine.
Two other children have already started treatment with the drug in Galicia, and 20 more patients will follow soon, the newspaper reported.

One dose of gene therapy prevents bleeding in haemophilia B

A single intravenous infusion of a novel bioengineered gene therapy can prevent bleeding in patients with haemophilia B, daily ABC reported on Wednesday.
Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the U.S. have administered this new therapy to a small group of patients (10) and have seen that they can produce the missing clotting factor, ABC said. After this, none of the patients needed additional treatment to prevent bleeding, the newspaper noted. 
According to lead investigator Lindsey A. George, all the patients in this cohort experienced clinical benefit after one infusion without further medical intervention, ABC said.

Roche's Herceptin facing biosimilar competition

Roche’s breast cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab) faces biosimilar competition following the approval of biosimilar versions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission, financial Cinco Días reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 55870, APMHE 55674).
Two cheaper biosimilar versions of the best-selling drug manufactured by Mylan and Biogen were approved in the U.S. and Europe within a few days, the financial said.(APMHE 55674)

Almost 3,000 companies have left Catalonia

On Wednesday, financial El Economista carried a story including the list of companies which have left Catalonia since the illegal independence referendum of October 1, including some pharmaceutical firms.
A total of 2,931 companies have left the region, including generics manufacturer Indukern, Uxafarma, and biotechs Oryzon Genomics, Pangea Oncology and Inkemia.
Representatives of Barcelona-based Almirall have expressed their concern regarding the political situation, the financial noted.

Pfizer denies 'spontaneous erections' linked to Viagra plant

Pfizer has called claims that its manufacturing plant in Ireland is causing “spontaneous erections” among the male population of a nearby village “an amusing myth” and has reiterated that its manufacturing processes are highly sophisticated and regulated, dailies El Español and El Diario reported on Thursday.
El Español quoted a Sunday Times story reporting that villagers in Ringaskiddy (Ireland), where Pfizer’s Viagra is manufactured, say that fumes from the nearby plant cause erections.

Sanofi’s dengue vaccine withdrawn from Philippines

Philippine drug agency FDA has ordered the withdrawal of Sanofi Pasteur’s dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, which has already been used to immunise 734,000 children in the country, daily El Mundo reports on Friday. (APMHE 55897)
The agency has ordered the manufacturer to carry out an information campaign about the risks of the vaccine, the newspaper notes.
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