Press review

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Zambon's biggest-ever acquisition of Breath Therapeutics for up to €500 million will boost growth strategy

MILAN, 26 July (APM) - Zambon has strengthened its growth strategy after buying Breath Therapeutics for up to €500 million, its largest-ever acquisition in its 113 year history, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Thursday.
The deal will see Sofinnova Partners exiting an investment it made two and a half years ago, the paper said. The venture capital firm was co-lead in a €43.5 million series A round of capital raising in 2017 along with Belgium's Gimv. A third investor, Gilde Healthcare, is also selling its shareholding in Breath Therapeutics
Breath's lead product candidate is an inhalation therapy using a novel formulation of cyclosporine A, L-CsA-i, currently being tested in Phase III for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, a potentially fatal orphan respiratory disease (APMHE 63818).
Zambon aims to have data from the Phase III trials in 2021 and is predicting that it will be marketing the treatment by 2023 following regulatory approvals from the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, Il,Sole 24 Ore said.
Zambon's chief executive Roberto Tascione is confident the group's geographic footprint, R&D infrastructure and relationships with the scientific communities, will accelerate the development of the important new potential treatment, About Pharma reported on Thursday.
Graziano Seghezzi, managing partner at Soffinova and on Breath's board, said Breath Therapeutics epitomises his firm's investment strategy of developing cutting-edge platforms and products. "We had a clear vision in mind for a transatlantic operation with strong bases in Europe and in the U.S. to maximise the commercial opportunity," he was quoted as saying.

AbbVie has best pharma reputation in Italy

For the third year running, AbbVie has emerged as the pharma company with the best reputation in Italy, according to Tuesday’s Il Sole 24 Ore.
It cited a league table published by Reputation Institute that showed the U.S. group gaining 70.28 points, followed by two Italian companies, Bracco with 70.08 points and Menarini with 69.91
Pharma's reputation in Italy has been improving in recent years with a peak in 2017 when the country was bidding to be the new host of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the paper said.
The factors which have helped the industry's image include greater willingness to engage in dialogue with public opinion, commitment to discuss important issues such as transparency and the sector's good performance which has been illustrated with figures from the association Farmindustria.
Sara Fargion, vice-president at Reputation Institute, told the paper that companies are looking to build on the improved image by equipping themselves for more effective communication with the outside world.

Recordati looking to buy products in Takeda's portfolio

Recordati is interested in buying some of the products in Takeda's over-the-counter (OTC) portfolio which is being put up for sale, according to Monday’s Milano Finanza.
It follows reports that the Japanese group is planning to dispose of OTC and off-patent prescription drugs potentially worth €1.5 billion (APMHE 63753).
Milano Finanza said Recordati, along with Stada, Zentiva and private equity firms, could be a potential buyer. However, analysts at investment bank Mediobanca have ruled out the Italian group acquiring the whole portfolio. The company is expected to target specific products should they become available individually, the paper said.

Italian region wants triptorelin banned from use in gender dysphoria

Friuli Venezia Giulia is looking to have triptorelin banned as a treatment for gender dysphoria, Il Giornale reported on Tuesday.
It follows the decision to allow the national health service to pay for what is considered by some to be a controversial treatment.
Centre-right parties have voted a motion calling on the region's administration to negotiate with the government for the introduction of a nationwide ban of the drug. They have argued that there are not enough clinical studies about the treatment especially the long-term negative effects.
Centre-right parties have denied the motion is part of an ideological battle against the treatment of gender dysphoria.

Vaccination cover improves but measles still below recommended level

Vaccination cover in Italy improved significantly in 2018, although immunisation against measles is still below the recommended level, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Monday.
Vaccination against polio has risen above the World Health Organization's minimum threshold of 95%, a sign of across-the-board improvement, the paper said. However measles coverage was 93.22% last year for all age groups with the autonomous province of Bolzano achieving only 70.84% compared to Lazio's 94.87%.
In a separate article on Monday, Il Sole 24 Ore reported that the constitutional court has ruled that national rules about mandatory vaccination must be respected by all regions.
Molise had introduced its own legislation to allow unvaccinated children to attend school despite the national rules. The constitutional court ruled that, although some vaccination policies can be decided by regions, the mandatory vaccination rule is not one of them.
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