Press review

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China overtakes Germany in chemical and pharmaceutical research

Country : China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.S.

Keywords :
BERLIN, 16 Aug (APM) - Chinese pharmaceutical and chemical companies have overtaken German competitors in chemical and pharmaceutical research and have moved up to second place behind the U.S., according German lobby VCI, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (p19) and Handelsblatt (p21) report on Friday.
China spends large sums on research while a third of all publications on chemistry and pharmaceutical research now come from China, while Germany only achieves just under 6%, chairman of the VCI Committee for Research Thomas Wessel said.
However, German companies have reached record sums in R&D in 2018, spending €11.8 billion (€7.1 billion in pharmaceuticals, €4.7 billion in chemicals) and it is expected to exceed the €12 billion mark this year.
VCI called for increased financial support and incentives to chemical start-ups so that Germany remains competitive.

Bayer should wait before agreeing a settlement

Bayer should wait for the rulings in appeal in the U.S. litigation on its weedkiller glyphosate before agreeing a settlement that could be worth several billions dollars, Handelsblatt reported on Monday (p28).
Even if the company could afford to pay a high single-digit billion sum, such an agreement would be "an admission that the takeover of Monsanto was a serious misjudgement". In addition, the money would be lacking for the further development of the pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals business, Handelsblatt said.
Bayer's shares rose by up to 11% on 9 August on rumours that the company proposed to pay $8 billion to settle U.S. glyphosate litigation, before mediator Ken Feinberg denied having made any proposal, SZ (p25) and FAZ (p24) reported on Saturday (APMHE 64008).
According to weekly Wirtschaftswoche (p56-58) on Friday, the next trial to take place in Saint Louis, Missouri, where Monsanto has its headquarters, will be difficult as the city court has the reputation to be hostile to companies.
The controversy over whether glyphosate does cause cancer is ongoing among experts, Handelsblatt reports on Friday (p12-13). The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) says glyphosate is safe but its opinion is contested by some experts saying that it has rejected divergent opinions without justifying it.

Evotec upgrades guidance for 2019

German biotech Evotec has updated its financial guidance for 2019 after reporting a 16% increase in sales to €207 million in the first half of 2019, it was reported in FAZ on Thursday (p20).
Sales growth was triggered by higher milestone payments from partners Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim and Celgene as well as higher license sales and positive exchange rate effects.
Revenues from contracts with customers are expected to increase by around 15% instead of 10% previously in 2019, reaching €419 million. It is counting on the recently acquired Just-Biotherapeutics business to strengthen its position in cell therapy.
Evotec acts as a service provider to the pharmaceutical industry and also partners on projects with external companies and academic institutes.

Stada grows in Europe

Stada increased its sales by 11% to €1.3 billion in the first half of 2019, both with over the counter medicines (OTC) and generics thanks to good performance in European markets, according to FAZ on Thursday (p20).
Markets in Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain and France grew particularly strongly, Stada reported.
In the coming months, Stada intends to launch several new products, including Movymia, a biosimilar of Lilly Forsteo (teriparatide) in osteoporosis (APMHE 64046) and OTC cold medicine Grippostad Complex.

German patient sues physician for misprescription of anxiolytic

A German patient is suing her physician for misprescription of Roche's anxiolytic Valiquid (diazepam) over years, weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday (p40-41).
Monika D. has alleged that her physician renewed prescriptions of Valiquid over 14 years without consideration about the dose she was taking and for a longer than recommended period of time. He went on prescribing after she became addicted to it and finally put an end to prescription but did not provide her any support to gradually stop the treatment.
An investigation by the public prosecutor's office is ongoing, involving a potential grievous bodily harm as the treatment termination had led to a life-threatening danger, Der Spiegel said.
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