Press review

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23andMe and GSK deal illustrates boom in use of genetic testing

Country : China, France, U.S., UK

Keywords :
PARIS, Aug 17 (APM) - La Croix on Thursday reported on the deal in late July between GlaxoSmithKline and U.S. company 23andMe, noting the partnership would give the UK pharma access to genetic data of more than three million people.
The article noted the market of such genetic tests, while forbidden in France, is booming, with customers attracted to know about their genetic lineage, as well as their susceptibility to certain diseases.
23andMe got the green light from U.S. Food and Drug Administration to include predisposition testing for 10 diseases, like Parkinson's, cancers and Alzheimer's.
Interviewed by La Croix, Mauro Turrini, a French sociologist and specialist of health data, pointed out most of the users are giving their consents for the use of their personal data, without being fully aware they can be sold to third parties like GSK.

Hepatitis C: Gilead loses patents protection in China

Authorities in China have invalidated some patents held by Gilead on its flagship hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi, Les Echos said on Thursday.
The decision opens the way for generic competition as soon as early 2019 instead of 2024, the newspaper said, underlining the company has not yet decided if it would appeal.

Sanofi criticised for job cuts amid good financial performance

On Thursday, L’Humanité published an article strongly criticising Sanofi, noting the company has cut around 650 jobs between 2016 and 2018, while at the same time enjoying substantial profits.
The newspaper relayed critics from French workers unions about the human resources policy of the big pharma, while noting the company has enjoyed a €1.77 billion profit in the first half of 2018.

Sanofi relaunches part of Mourenx plant

Monday’s Les Echos briefly reported that Sanofi has relaunched its French plant in Mourenx (South), after the site was closed because it was far exceeding limits of air pollution.
This restart is only limited to a part of the activities of the site, added the newspaper.

Alnylam gets first green light from FDA for RNAi treatment

On the same day, Les Echos also noted briefly the approval granted by the U.S. FDA for Alnylam’s Onpattro in the treatment of polyneuropathy (peripheral nerve disease) caused by hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (hATTR).
As APMHE underlined, Les Echos pointed out it was the first approval obtained for a of a small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA, APMHE 59298).

Stefan Scherer joins Cellectis

Stefan Scherer has been appointed vice-president in charge of clinical development and associate medical director of French biotech Cellectis.
He was previously in charge of early stage development, strategy and oncology innovation for Novartis in the U.S.
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