MILAN, Jan 26 (APM) - Novartis has appointed a new country manager for Italy as part of changes in its international network, Quotidiano Sanità reported on Wednesday.
Pasquale Frega took over from Georg Schoeckenfuchs at the beginning of January as the new president of Novartis Italia and managing director of Novartis Farma.
Novartis’ three divisions in Italy, Innovative Medicines, Sandoz and Alcon, had combined sales of 1.6 billion euros in 2017, with 154 million euros coming from exports to other markets, the online publication reported. The Swiss group employs 2,296 people and invested 72 million euros in the country last year, 61 million euros of it in research and development.
Frega suggested that the results in 2017 showed that Novartis is one of the most dynamic groups operating in Italy. He highlighted the depth and diversity of the portfolio and the number of recently introduced innovative drugs, saying they have had an impact in the most important therapeutic areas. “In addition, the Novartis R&D pipeline will bring significant new launches, especially in the oncological and neurological fields,” he added.
Rome, Milan airports become Emirates ‘pharma corridors’
Rome and Milan airports have become new “pharma corridors” for Emirates SkyCargo, according to Thursday’s Il Sole 24 Ore.
The airline has 12 such hubs around the world, Nabil Sultan, senior vice president of the cargo division of the airline, told the paper. He said that the pharma corridors provide preferential, secure channels for pharmaceutical goods and will allow the company to further develop services for medicinal products.
Emirates decided to launch the service after feedback from global pharma companies. “We realised it was vital to work with our partners to ensure pharmaceutical goods have a secure passage in the best conditions possible,” Sultan explained.
He added that the airline is considering starting flights exclusively for the pharma industry.
Dompé to produce orphan eye drug Oxervate at L’Aquila
Dompé will produce its orphan eye drug Oxervate (cenegermin) at its manufacturing site near L’Aquila, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Thursday.
The decision to reimburse the therapy and grant it innovative status in Italy was published on Wednesday (APMHE 56569
Oxervate is a recombinant nerve growth factor used to treat the rare eye disease neurotrophic keratitis. It was developed out of research originally conducted by Nobel-prizewinning scientist Rita Levi Montalcini, the paper said.
Oxervate was launched in Germany last year, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. has put it on a fast-track approval procedure as a breakthrough therapy, Il Sole 24 Ore noted.
Health minister calls for increased health funding on campaign trail
Health minister Beatrice Lorenzin has called for health funding to be increased in line with Italy’s GDP growth as she continued her election campaign, Quotidiano Sanità reported on Tuesday.
Speaking on a radio programme, she said she inherited 25 billion euros of cuts when she took over at the health ministry in 2014. She said that a health pact with the regions had restored financial stability and that she has been responsible for a 7 billion-euro increase in health funding since then.
Lorenzin said she intends to press for constitutional reform so that some regional powers in healthcare are returned to central government responsibility.
Immunotherapy for head and neck cancers
Immunotherapy will provide a significant new option in the treatment of head and neck cancers in Italy, according to Thursday’s Libero.
Medical oncologist Lisa Licitra told the paper some innovative drugs which have already been approved in Europe, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab), could be available in Italy this year.
She said that they are currently seen as benefiting patients with metastatic or recurrent cancers. “The real aim in the future will be to use these drugs in curable forms of the disease, including for locally advanced head and neck cancers or even those at an early stage,” she told the paper.
CTI Biopharma delisted from Milan stock exchange
CTI Biopharma is to be delisted from the Milan stock exchange after a change of status for the parent company in the U.S, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday.
Its shares were traded for many years in Milan and on the Nasdaq as a result of the group’s Italian origins. CTI’s shareholders voted to reincorporate the company in the state of Delaware, which automatically led to the delisting in Italy, the paper, explained.
CTI’s share price has been in decline in Milan for years, only briefly rising last summer after Teva made a $10 million milestone payment related to sales of the leukaemia drug Trisenox, it added.