Press review

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Monovalent vaccine unavailable for mandatory measles vaccination

BERLIN, 13 Sep (APM) - The German government is planning plans to make measles vaccination mandatory, however, there is no monovalent vaccine against measles available, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on Monday (p37).
The bill under discussion could result in legislation which would mark the first time Germany has ever made a vaccination mandatory (APMHE 63735).
No single monovalent vaccine is available for measles in Germany. Measles vaccinations instead consist of combined vaccines against three or four other diseases. Since this is the case, it would mean the obligation to vaccinate is extended de facto to the other infectious diseases targeted by the combined vaccines.
It is highly unlikely that a monovalent measles vaccine will come back on the German market, FAZ added. The last available, Masern Impfstoff Mérieux, lost its marketing authorisation for Germany as it had not been marketed for three years, drug regulator Paul Ehrlich Institute's chair Klaus Cichutek told FAZ.
Sanofi told FAZ that development of a new monovalent vaccine would take eight to ten years and new manufacturing facilities would be needed.
However, it is possible to import vaccines prescribed by a physician.

Pharmaceutical industry wants special pricing for new antibiotics

German pharmaceutical lobby vfa called for special pricing procedures for new antibiotics that are efficient against multi-resistant bacteria, FAZ reports on Friday (p26) (APMHE 64344).
Vfa suggested securing sales volume in cross-border agreement, introducing a "premium payment" for the successful development of such antibiotics in order to partly refinance development costs and accelerating reimbursement procedures in hospitals as these antibiotics are merely prescribed in hospitals.

Bayer streamlines management board

Bayer's management board will be reduced from seven to five members and, in return, heads of of the three divisions will have more responsibilities, Handelsblatt (p26) and Die Welt (p9) reported on Wednesday (APMHE 64310).
Two long-standing members of the board, Kemal Malik in charge of innovation and Hartmut Klusik, incharge of human resources will leave the board and the company on 31 December.
Bayer said it was part of efficiency measures, including 12,000 job cuts, announced in November 2018.

Analysts see Evotec shares rising

Analysts from all eight banks following German biotech Evotec recommend buying shares, Handelsblatt report on Friday (p34).
The €28.63 average price target for the next twelve months is almost 40% above the current price, the newspaper said.
Handelsblatt noted that Evotec CEO, Werner Lanthaler, is also optimlistic as he shares for almost €380,000 since the presentation of the half-year results.

Gates Foundation partners with BioNTech

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has signed a partnership over $55 million with Germany's BioNTech to develop vaccine and immunotherapy candidates in HIV and tuberculosis, FAZ reported on Saturday (p57) (APMHE 64247).
BioNTech founder Ugur Sahin told FAZ the company is "excited" about the deal that could bring another $45 million grant by the Gates Foundation in the future.

Warning on biotin vitamins

Biotin-based vitamins, sold as dietary supplements to strengthen hair, skin and fingernails, can induce false blood results, weekly Der Spiegel said on Saturday (p107)
It is the case for PSA tests to detect prostate cancer and rapid tests to diagnose a heart attack.

Purdue deal over opioid crisis not to end litigation

The present deal, under which Purdue and the family would pay $12 billion in total to over 2,000 U.S. states, municipalities and hospitals, would not end litigation, as 16 states have not accepted the offer, according to TV reports, Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (p26) and FAZ (p26) report on Friday (APMHE 64331).
The Sackler family, owner of Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue, still rejects any responsibility for the opioid crisis - even after proposing payments of $3 billion in damages from private funds, SZ says.
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