Press review

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Sanofi wants to fully embrace potential of big data

Country : France

Keywords :
PARIS, 17 May (APM) - Sanofi wants to fully embrace the potential of big data, from research and development to production and distribution, reported Les Echos on Wednesday (p.22).
The paper quotes Sanofi's chief digital officer Ameet Nathwani as saying that several trends justify the development of a global digital strategy, such as the increase in healthcare costs and the boom in apps and wearable connected technology, e.g. watches and bracelets.
Sanofi has been using data for several years through connected factories and clinical trial analyses but is looking to go even further and have an integrated digital strategy from beginning to end.
The creation of an e-health hub 39bis in January has seen the development of solutions to help doctors, pharmacists and research. For example, 39bis has developed an algorithm to better advise patients.
Olivier Wierzba from Boston Consulting Group, also quoted in the paper, believes embracing data could see the time taken to develop new drugs go down by two years, from a current average of eight to six.

U.S. states take legal action over generic pricing

Some 44 U.S. states have filed lawsuits against the main generic manufactures, including Pfizer, Mylan, Novartis and Teva, for inflating the prices of generic drugs, reported Les Echos on Tuesday (p.21) (APMHE 62951).
The pharma companies are accused of having agreed between themselves to inflate the prices of more than a hundred generic drugs, whose prices then soared - in some cases by up to 8,000%. Generics make up 85% of prescription drugs in the U.S.
According to the lawsuit, pharma representatives responsible for sales, marketing or prices agreed to the scheme at informal events, particularly between 2013 and 2015. U.S. state Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a CBS programme on Sunday that the price of an asthma treatment had shot up from $11 to $434 whilst that of a cholesterol drug had jumped from $27 to $196.
Teva, one of the largest generic manufacturers and one of the biggest players in the alleged scandal, has denied all accusations.

Bayer ordered to pay more than $2 billion in RoundUp court case

Bayer, owner of Monsanto, has been ordered to pay more than $2 billion to a couple who developed cancer from its herbicide RoundUp, Le Monde reported in a brief on Wednesday (p.11).
This is the third such ruling for the group. Bayer continues to argue that RoundUp, whose active ingredient glyphosate is said to be carcinogenic, is perfectly safe and said that it will appeal the decision. It is facing more than 13,000 lawsuits in the U.S.
Le Monde also reported on the subject on Wednesday (p.25) adding that Bayer's next trial on RoundUp will take place in August in Missouri.

TreeFrog Therapeutics raises €7.1 million for stem cell production

TreeFrog Therapeutics has raised €7.1 million in a funding round to industrialise stem cell production, reported Les Echos on Monday (p.37).
The company uses technology developed by its two founders, Kévin Alessandri and Maxime Feyeux, to produce stem cells in bioreactors instead of by hand in small plastic boxes. This means stem cells can be created on a larger scale.
The company delivered its first batch of stem cells to the Institut Imagine at the Necker hospital in Paris, which specialises in rare diseases, last month.
Stem cell-based drugs are started to show promising results in treating diseases such as Parkinson's type 1 diabetes and certain heart diseases, the paper continued. However, at the moment research is slowed down by the fact that stem cells cannot be produced in large quantities.
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