Press review

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Impact of nanomedicine on patient health 'still limited' - French expert

Dr Natalie Mignet, head of the French society of nanomedicine, said she regretted that "despite huge effort and innovative ideas from prestigious pharmaceutical companies, the impact of nanomedicine on patient health is still limited," in an article in Le Figaro on Monday (p.31).
It said that among other benefits, nanodrugs “raise the hope of better targeting tumour cells.”
Nanodrugs would be able to penetrate the human body further than other technologies currently available, in particular the blood-brain barrier.
However, the article concludes, as there are still numerous obstacles to overcome before the promises surrounding nanodrugs can be fulfilled, patients will need “a little more patience” before they can benefit from this technology.

New recommendations for prescribing Bayer’s Androcur

La Croix reported in a brief on Tuesday (p.10) that France’s drug regulator ANSM has set up new recommendations for prescribing Bayer’s Androcur in indications such as acne and moderate hirsutism, to include a brain MRI scan.
Androcur (cyproterone acetate) has been linked to brain tumours when used at high doses over periods of time, the brief said (APMHE 59477).

Growing Depakine scandal worries insurers

Les Echos reported on Thursday (p.30) that French healthcare professional insurers are starting to worry about the impact of the scandal surrounding Sanofi’s Depakine (APMHE 42992).
MACSF-Le Sou Medical said on Wednesday that it has been dealing with 95 files relating to Depakine this year, after 74 last year.
Nicolas Gombault, a director general delegate from the group, wondered if files relating to Androcur would be next.

Shared medical files

Le Figaro reports in a brief on Friday (p.23) that France’s health insurance and the French national union of healthcare professionals aim to create 40 million shared medical files (DMP) in the next five years.
Les Echos (p.3) also reports on this aim in a brief, adding that the DMPs, a type of digital health ID card, have been in the pipeline for the past 10 years.

New head of HAS general secretariat

Les Echos reported on Monday (p.34) that Cecile Lambert will be the new head of the general secretariat of French health technology assessment board HAS as of 1 December.
Lambert previously worked in the one of the health ministry’s departments for social cohesion.

Sanofi inaugurates new plant in Algeria

Les Echos reports on Friday (p.32) that Sanofi inaugurated a new production plant in Algeria at a cost of €85 million. Philippe Luscan, head of industrial affairs at the company, said the plan “will allow Sanofi’s production capabilities in the country to be doubled to 100 million boxes a year”.
Sanofi is the biggest pharma player on the Algerian market and also dominates in the neighbouring countries of Morocco and Tunisia.

Several candidates bidding to buy OTC branch of BMS France

German generic manufacturer Stada, French pharma Pierre Fabre and capital investment funds are competing to buy Upsa, the over-the-counter (OTC) medicines branch of BMS, Les Echos said in a brief on Tuesday (p.19).
Upsa could be valued at around €1 billon.

Inhaler and diabetes pen manufacturer Nemera up for sale

Inhaler and diabetes pen manufacturer Nemera is on sale for more than €1 billion, Les Echos reported on Thursday (p.26).
Various investment funds have been invited to bid for Nemera, which currently has sales of just over €300 million, including the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs and French fund Eurazeo.

Auvergne launches sixth 'New Deal' package to attract biotechs

The French region of Auvergne is launching a “New Deal” package for the sixth year in a row in a bid to attract biotech companies to the region, Le Figaro reported on Wednesday (p.21).
Biotech entrepreneurs have until 10 January 2019 to apply for the possibility of a €12,000 grant, a 40m2 equipped laboratory and made-to-measure support for a year. MSD and Thea are already based in the region.

Meditech wins ‘Best Tech Start-up of the Year’

Meditech won ‘Best Tech Start-up of the Year’ at the investment forum Start & MeetUP organised by the EmTech Europe 2018 congress, Les Echos reported in a brief on Wednesday (p.27).
The start-up is developing a system to monitor the transport of drugs between Europe and the U.S.

Embleema plans to make health data secure

Les Echos ran a short article on Thursday (p.24) on Embleema, a start-up that plans to make health data secure using blockchain. Embleema aims to get patients involved, and reimbursed, for giving their “real world data” to pharma companies.
The start-up raised funds in Paris on Wednesday, but its product is currently only available in the U.S.

Publicis wins contract to become GSK's global media agency

Les Echos reported on Tuesday (p.22) that French group Publicis has won the contract to become GlaxoSmithKline's global media agency.
GSK has one of the largest media budgets in the world and will be Publicis’ biggest contract.
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