Press review

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Catalonian firms Esteve and Ferrer give up on generics

Country : Spain, Japan

Keywords :
MADRID, 15 Feb (APM) - Esteve and Ferrer, based in the Spanish region of Catalonia, have decided to drop their generic businesses due to low returns and focus instead on branded drugs, where both risk and revenue are bigger, financial El Economista reported on Monday.
El Economista carried the headline: “Catalonia’s generic industry staggers with Esteve and Ferrer out of the business”.
Spanish generics manufacturers have faced competition from big firms such as Israel’s Teva and U.S. Mylan. Additionally, new foreign firms have entered the generics market in Spain due to the launch of drug tenders in Andalusia, where price cuts forced many Spanish firms to leave the region. The region’s market accounts for 20% of all generics in Spain, El Economista reported.
Ferrer sold its generics division to India’s Hetero in January (APMHE 61266). Esteve has not made any moves yet, with new partners, a partial or total sale of the division being some of the possibilities the firm’s board is considering, the financial added.
Esteve’s generic division, Pensa Pharma, has a manufacturing plant near Barcelona and a number of subsidiaries in Europe and the U.S., for a total of almost 800 employees. In October 2018, it announced that 6% of its workforce would be shed, El Economista noted. (APMHE 60363)

Japan’s Takeda to produce stem cell therapies in Madrid

Takeda will develop, manufacture and supply its first stem cell therapy at its plant in Tres Cantos near Madrid, financial El Economista, daily 20 Minutos, Europa Press agency, medical journals Redacción Médica, Acta Sanitaria and Diario Médico reported.
The Spanish plant is Takeda’s only one authorised to manufacture this kind of therapy, which will be used in clinical trials and sold internationally, as announced during the visit of Spanish health minister Luisa Carcedo to the premises in Tres Cantos.
Takeda took control of Spain’s TiGenix, its partner in the development of a stem cell therapy, in a €520 million operation in 2018, El Economista added. (56300)

Novartis awarded best workplace in Spain

Novartis has been chosen as best company in the ‘Top Employers Spain’ ranking for the second consecutive year, daily ABC reported on Saturday. Medical journal Acta Sanitaria carries the story on Friday.
The award acknowledges working conditions and companies’ strategies to manage and boost talent.
A total of 94 companies operating in Spain were included in the list of Top Employers 2019, with Novartis obtaining the highest score, ABC reported.
The daily quoted Alfonso Casero, head of human resources at Novartis Spain, as saying: “At Novartis we are convinced that those companies which support a good working environment generate way more value over time than those which do not”.

Shortage in supplies of cancer drug fludarabine

Spanish drug agency AEMPS has reported a shortage in supplies of fludarabine, dailies Público, El Español and medical journal Redacción Médica reported on Thursday.
The shortages started in July 2018, when Aurovitas Spain reported problems in manufacturing. An increase in demand and manufacturing issues later affected Accord Healthcare, Teva and Sanofi, which also manufacture the medicine, Redacción Médica reported.
Supplies are expected to return to normal by the end of March. As shortages have occurred across Europe and access to batches sold in other countries is limited, AEMPS has consulted with the Spanish Society of Haematology and Haemotherapy for recommendations about alternatives in lymphoid chronic leukaemia, acute myeloblastic leukaemia and high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome, Redacción Médica noted.

Insulin-releasing pill presented as alternative to jabs

Researchers from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have published a study on a newly developed insulin-releasing pill which could put an end to jabs for diabetic patients, daily El Mundo and La Vanguardia reported on Saturday.
El Mundo quoted Giovanni Traverso, the lead author of the study, published in Science magazine, as saying the pill has a sugar coat which is dissolved in the stomach, releasing a microscopic needle which binds and releases insulin.
In the story, María José Alonso, a Spanish expert in nanomedicine, said Traverso and his team have overcome a challenge which has kept scientists busy for almost a century: making insulin available by oral means instead of jabs.
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