Press review


Pandemic exposes Europe's need for production relocation, says Spanish generics association

MADRID, 24 July (APM) - One of the most important lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic is that Europe needs to bring drug production back to the continent, according to the head of generics manufacturers association AESEG, Europa Press agency and medical journal Acta Sanitaria reported on Wednesday.
AESEG director general Ángel Luis Rodríguez de la Cuerda told Europa Press that both at the European and Spanish level, pharmaceutical companies, branded and generics, need to relocate their production to avoid depending on other countries.
Regarding generics, he said: "This industry, which is key for the sustainability of the healthcare system, has contributed with drugs to be assessed in Covid-19, has maintained production in spite of restrictions to mobility and increased demand and it has guaranteed supplies for community pharmacies."
Lucas Sigman, head of Insud Pharma, told Europa Press that the response to the pandemic has been mainly based on the use of generic medicines, which have been used to sedate intubated patients and also to treat Covid-19.
Manuel Garrido, director general of Kern, said that there are a number of lessons to be learned from this public health crisis. One of the most important is that the real value of medicines is "by no means" their price. He also agreed with Rodríguez de la Cuerda about the importance of recovering national and European production.
Acta Sanitaria quoted Reig Jofre executive Ignacio Vilá as saying: "This crisis has shown that it is crucial to support the development of production plants in Spanish soil."

PharmaMar assesses cancer drug for Covid-19

PharmaMar is assessing the safety and efficacy of its cancer drug Aplidin (plitidepsin) for Covid-19, financial newspaper Cinco Días reported on Thursday.
Spanish regulator AEMPS authorised a clinical trial of Aplidin in 27 hospitalised patients in 10 Spanish medical centres, the financial notes.
The drug, which was rejected by the European Commission in its cancer indication, has been tested in vitro by research teams at the National Biotechnology Center (CSIC), the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, the Pasteur Institute in Korea and the Germans Trias I Pujol in Barcelona.
The financial newspaper quoted PharmaMar president José María Fernández de Sousa as saying: "They all agree. It is one thousand times more potent than remdesivir or hydroxychloroquine. We are quite sure that it will offer formidable results."

Moderna and Merck & Co say they will not sell their vaccines at cost price

U.S. firms Moderna and Merck & Co have said they do not intend to sell their respective Covid-19 vaccines at cost price, daily newspaper ABC reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 68268)
Janssen and AstraZeneca executives have said that they will, the newspaper noted. ABC quoted Pfizer chief business officer John Young as saying: "These are extraordinary times, and our price will reflect that."
On Thursday, ABC carried a follow-up story emphasising that the world record in terms of developing a vaccine was four years for parotitis in 1967.
The development of the Ebola vaccine, which took five years, was considered extremely fast. Now pharma, universities and research centres around the world are trying to get a vaccine in less than one year, it noted.

Rovi's owner family goes from millionaires to billionaires

The López-Belmonte family, owners of Rovi, have seen themselves go from millionaires to billionaires as the firm's shares have soared following news that they will collaborate in the manufacture of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine, daily newspaper El Mundo reported on Saturday.
For the first time, the value of the stock owned by the family surpasses €1 billion. The company was funded by the father of current president Juan López-Belmonte after the Spanish civil war.

Janssen to try Covid-19 vaccine in Spain

Janssen has announced that the development plan for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Phase II studies will involve Spain, Germany and The Netherlands, financial newspaper Cinco Días reported on Thursday.
Antonio Fernández, head of market access at Janssen Spain, told the financial that the company trusts Spain's research muscle. He said: "From the point of view of clinical research, it is a very relevant country. Besides, we have the support of the regulator and healthcare authorities."

Leukaemia drug shows promise in aggressive paediatric brain cancer

A new study by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil suggests that leukaemia drug arsenic trioxide could be useful in treating medulloblastoma, an aggressive kind of brain cancer most common in children, Europa Press agency reported on Wednesday.
The research team tested the medicine on cells obtained from this kind of tumour and got promising results in terms of cancer cell death. Additionally, cells exposed to arsenic trioxide were more sensitive to radiation therapy, Europa Press noted.



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