Press review

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Pharma’s annual R&D investment close to €34 billion - Spanish press

MADRID, 19 Oct (APM) - Pharmaceutical companies devote almost €34 billion to R&D annually, more than 17% of sales, daily La Razón, the third biggest Spanish newspaper by number of readers, reported on Tuesday.
This figure proves “the innovative industry’s commitment to citizens’ health and research in healthcare”. This investment allows disruptive innovation which can make a difference in the management of certain diseases, the newspaper said.
In 2017, pharma operating in Spain broke a record in R&D investment, which surpassed €1.1 billion, a 5.7% increase from 2016. This accounts for more than 20% of the R&D spend in Spain, making pharma the leading industry in the country in terms of R&D.
Pharma is the sector which devotes the highest proportion of financial resources to research and development, with one out of five euros invested in this strategic activity. “Quite innovative industries, such as automobile and transportation” come below pharma in terms of proportional R&D spend, La Razón added.
Almost half of pharma’s research funds were devoted to open innovation initiatives in collaboration with public hospitals and research centres.
Pharma’s commitment is shown in innovation-centered events such as the recent Biospain meeting, the biggest biotech conference in Europe. Biospain is organised by the Spanish Association of Biotech Industries ASEBIO. (APMHE 59900, APMHE 59921)
La Razón also praised Gilead’s trajectory in the “discovery, development and commercialisation of innovative drugs for unmet medical needs”. It mentioned its “success” in finding innovative medicines to treat HIV and hepatitis C and added that new-generation, highly efficient drugs in a number of diseases may result from the current 400 clinical trials the company is carrying out or planning to start.

Pharma’s research efforts noted on World Breast Cancer Day

On Friday, World Breast Cancer Day, there is wide coverage on epidemiology and increased survival, with a number of media using information from branded pharma lobby Farmaindustria about the industry’s contribution to better treatment for the disease.
Europa Press agency, medical journals Acta Sanitaria, Redacción Médica and IM Farmacias report that globally there are ongoing clinical trials of 169 treatments for breast cancer.
Europa Press reports that there are 195 clinical trials of those 169 treatments, adding that research is a long, complex and expensive process, as noted by Farmaindustria.
Acta Sanitaria reports that 90% of clinical trials carried out in Spain over the past five years were initiated by pharmaceutical companies.
The journal quoted data included in the report “The value of drugs from a social perspective”, according to which, thanks to innovative medicines, breast cancer mortality dropped 4% in Spain between 2000 and 2015.
Financial El Economista carries a story about the launch of Lilly’s Verzenios (abemaciclib), the first breast cancer drug discovered and developed in Spain, at the company’s plant near Madrid. (APMHE 59979)

Roche to disclose new data in cancer immunotherapies at ESMO

Roche is to present data from various clinical trials at the meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Munich, Europa Press agency, medical journals Acta Sanitaria, Redacción Médica and IM Médico reported on Monday.
Acta Sanitaria reported that new, positive data from Phase III trials will be presented at the meeting in a number of tumour types. News is expected regarding the ALESIA study of Alecensa (alectinib) and additional data on tissue-agnostic drug candidate entrectinib, the journal reported.
Sandra Horning, Roche’s chief medical officer, was quoted in the story as saying: “Data from the first positive Phase III study on a combination of immunotherapy in breast cancer will be presented at ESMO, with exciting results using Tecentriq (atezolizumab)+nab-paclitaxel in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, specifically in PD-L1 positive cases".
Redacción Médica carried the headline: “Good results for Roche’s cancer immunotherapies”.

Former French prime minister dating Spanish pharma heiress

France’s former prime minister Manuel Valls has attended a public event with Susana Gallardo, daughter of the founder of Almirall, daily El País reported on Wednesday.
The Gallardo family owns 66% of the firm, which is worth €2.3 billion, the newspaper noted.
Susana Gallardo became notorious when she walked the streets of Barcelona wrapped in a Spanish flag as a protest against the independence movement in Catalonia, El País added.
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