Press review

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Report says German doctors' data protection software inadequate

Country : Germany, U.S.

Keywords :
BERLIN, 15 Nov (APM) - Many medical practices do not adequately secure sensitive information against hacker attacks, according to a confidential report revealed by Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Wednesday (p1 and 4).
In the report, the public electronic health record consortium Gematik says that security risks exist in more than 90% of practices that are already connected to the nationwide health data network because connections do not use the highest security standards.
Gematik has developed guidelines on how the practices are to be connected. However, it does not check whether the specifications are also implemented during the installation of IT service providers.
Questioned by SZ, the Federal Ministry of Health and Gematik rejected any responsibility for the security gaps, saying that physicians must ensure their installation are safe.

Merz sets up three operational divisions

Family-owned company Merz plans to structure its business into three independently-operating units, Merz Aesthetics, Merz Therapeutics and Merz Consumer Care, chief executive Philip Burchard told Handelsblatt on Monday (p44) (APMHE 65069).
It will give each "significantly greater flexibility and more responsibility" in order to "operate closer to customers and better exploit market opportunities", Burchard said.

Medigene expands R&D expenses

Biotech Medigene has worked intensively on the further development of immunotherapies in the first nine months of 2019, increasing by around 25% its research and development expenditure from the previous year, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on Thursday (p18).
The biotech subsequently reported a 48% increase in operating losses to €16.5 million,
The pipeline of possible further drug candidates based on the T-cell receptor immunotherapy is expected to grow, said chief executive Dolores Schendel.

Evotec raises annual forecast again

German biotech Evotec has raised its earnings forecast for 2019 for the second time this year after reporting a 16% increase in sales to €321 million in the first nine months, FAZ said on Wednesday (p18).
Earnings (EBITDA) adjusted for special effects are now expected to rise by around 15% in 2019 instead of more than 10%.
Evotec operates in two businesses as a service provider in drug research for large pharmaceutical companies and a R&D partner. Evotec and Vifor Pharma recently founded a joint venture to develop drugs for kidney diseases.

BioNTech's share price rises despite growing losses

BioNTech's share price rose to €19 on Thursday after the German biotech reported its first results following its listing a month ago - despite a reported loss of €30 million in the third quarter, FAZ reports on Friday (p18 & 34).
BioNTech's third-quarter sales also increased to €29 million because of partnerships with other pharma companies, compared to €20 million for the same period last year. BioNTech also reported €50 million R&D expenses in the third quarter.

Merck KGaA creates 100 jobs

Merck KGaA has created 100 jobs in the last year, 75 of which are in Darmstadt and Gernsheim in the Hessen region, following cuts of more than 100 posts in Germany in 2018, FAZ reports on Friday (p18) (APMHE 65118).
The numbers were revealed at Merck's Thursday results presentation for the third quarter of 2019 (APMHE 65118). The group raised its group sales forecast for 2019 by €400 million to €15.7 to 16.3 billion, FAZ reports.

Molecular Health looks to revolutionise drug research with data analytics

German health analytics specialist Molecular Health aims to revolutionise drug research with software based on data analytics that could accelerate processes, Handelsblatt said on Tuesday (p20-21).
The company, funded by German billionaire Dietmar Hopp and run by Friedrich von Bohlen, is exploring potential new alliances with data providers in which digital pharmaceutical research could be tested in a larger portfolio of research projects.
Molecular Health's software is already used by pharma companies and by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Medicine students want guidelines on pharmaceutical industry influence

The network 'Universities Allied for Essential Medicines' is putting pressure on German medical faculties to adopt guidelines for dealing with the pharmaceutical industry, Der Spiegel reported on Saturday (p143).
Only two out of 38 - TU Dresden and Charité Berlin - have such rules, said Zoe Friedmann, student at the Charité. Professors should be transparent about their collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry
The network also demands specific teaching on pharmaceutical marketing strategies with prescribing physicians in order to be able to deal with it during their professional life.

Forum for 'Multimorbidity and Multimedication' created in Frankfurt

The Goethe University of Frankfurt has created the Frankfurt Forum for Multimorbidity and Multimedication funded by data provider Insight Health, FAZ reported on Monday (p35).
Endowed professor Marjan van den Akker wants to bring together researchers, doctors and patients to define guideline and tools to better manage drug prescription in multi-morbid, chronically-ill patients.
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