PARIS, 21 Feb (APM) - The pharma industry in France believes it has sufficient drug stocks, despite the coronavirus outbreak, Les Echos reported on Wednesday (p7).
According to the European Chamber of Commerce in China, on Tuesday, global pharmacies could face a shortage of drugs due to the coronavirus. France's national academy of pharmacy has the same concerns.
All the major groups have some of their medicines manufactured in China and also get their supplies in raw materials, notably the active substances, from the country, the paper said.
However, the pharma industry believes it has sufficient stocks.
The new French Health Minister, Olivier Véran, indicated on Wednesday, that there was no "red" alert concerning possible drug shortages linked to the Covid-19 epidemic in China, 20 minutes reported on Thursday.
The minister said that he was in constant contact with France's drugs' regulator ANSM.
Sanofi to collaborate with U.S. government on coronavirus vaccine
Sanofi is to collaborate with the U.S. government on coronavirus vaccine, reported Les Echos on Wednesday (p15). (APMHE 66274
It will work with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), the French pharma said on Tuesday.
If not the only one in the race. Sanofi is the second pharma to associate with BARDA after Johnson & Johnson.
No let-up in Servier's research projects
Servier continues to increase the number of research projects, Les Echos (p22) and Le Figaro (p25) reported on Friday.
A decade after the Mediator (benfluorex) scandal, the pharma relaunched its R&D, with 30 drugs in development.
The company increased turnover 10.5% to €4.6 billion in the year the fiscal year ended 30 September and is targeting €5 billion for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The EBITDA is only at €518 million.
The group's margin is running at 11.5%. This rate is rather that of a producer of generics (10 to 25%) than of a pharmaceutical company with innovative products (45% on average), Les Echos said.
Half the turnover is generated in emerging countries, less strict in terms of innovation. Le Figaro reported that Servier hopes to get approval next month to market its first own drug in Japan.
Bill to allow online sales of non-prescription drugs
Examination of a bill to allow online sales of non-prescription drugs began on Monday in the French Senate, La Croix reported on Monday (p6).
Supported by the government and presented to the Council of Ministers on 5 February, the bill would allow the rules to be relaxed to permit online sales.
It would also allow small pharmacies to pool their resources to create a website. In addition, it would also allow for the existence of "deported warehouses" from pharmacies to store products and organise the logistics necessary for electronic commerce.
French professionals fear that U.S. giant Amazon will use the text to break their monopoly.
The National Council of the Order of Pharmacists affirmed its concerns and requested for the text to be withdrawn. The National Association of Pharmacy Students of France denounced "the uberisation of pharmacy".
Former users of contraceptive device Essure want state to recognise blame
Former users of the contraceptive device Essure want the French state to recognise its faults in the scandal, Le Parisien revealed on Monday (p17).
They criticise it for not having detected the toxicity of the implants before they were placed on the market.
Four women sent a request to the French ministry of health. They are asking for the recognition of the state's fault in the scandal within two months and for compensation.
If it declines, a procedure will be brought before the administrative court.
Genkyotex raises €4.9 million to fight lung, kidney and liver fibrosis
Genkyotex has raised €4.9 million to fight lung, kidney and liver fibrosis, le Echos reported on Monday (p31).
Almost all the funds were brought by historical shareholders; Andera Partners (€2.3 million) , Vesalius, Neomed, N5 Investment AS and Wellington.
Genkyotex is poised to launch a Phase II trial into lung fibrosis, including 60 patients in the United States. It will be financed by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
The biotech will also reinforce a Phase II trial on kidney fibrosis associated to type 1 diabetes, launched in Australia in 2018 by enlarging it to New Zealand, Germany and Denmark, including 140 patients.
Reimbursement ends for Bene-Arzneimittel's Elmiron
The French Health Ministry has announced that Bene-Arzneimittel's Elmiron (pentosane) for painful bladder will no longer be reimbursed in France, L’Humanité reported on Tuesday (p15). (APMHE 65876
From 16 March, women who suffer from interstitial cystitis, will not have any alternative, the newspaper said.
Patient association Cystite interstitielle France called out the French ministry of health to consider the consequences for patients of this decision. (APMHE 65989
Start-up MAbSilico uses AI to accelerate drugs' development
The start-up MAbSilico is using artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate the development of drugs, Les Echos reported on Friday (p30).
MAbSilico's tools are already marketed to 20 organisations of public research and French and American biotech players.
Created in 2017, the start-up has just concluded a three-year contract with the listed biotech Ose Immunotherapeutics, which will enhance her expertise.