Medical Syringe & Vaccine

Fosun Pharma To Buy 100 Million Doses of BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine For Mainland China

(Reuters) -Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd on Wednesday said it will buy at least 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from Germany’s BioNTech SE for use in mainland China next year, if the vaccine receives approval.

The Chinese government has not announced supply deals with Western drugmakers, which instead have partnered local firms.

Fosun said it will be entitled to 60% of annual gross profit from sales of doses that it will make from imported bulk ingredients, and 65% of profit from sales of doses imported ready for use.

For the initial supply of 50 million doses, Fosun will make an advance payment to BioNTech of 250 million euros ($303.80 million) – half by Dec. 30 and the remainder after regulatory approval – the firm said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing.

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Doctor with Vaccine

Factbox-Indian Pharma Industry’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plans

(REUTERS) – SEVERAL Indian pharmaceutical companies are working to develop or manufacture at least eight anti-COVID-19 formulations as the world’s largest producer of vaccines prepares for a massive response to the coronavirus pandemic.

India, which has itself been badly hit by the pandemic with nearly 10 million infections, the second-highest in the world, is focusing on affordable vaccines instead of the expensive messenger RNA shots of Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc.

Here is a look at the companies that are developing or manufacturing vaccines in India:

Pharma in Protective Gear

Pharmaceuticals Rely on Biotech Firms To Discover New Drug Candidates

Local pharmaceutical companies are teaming up with biotech firms to utilize cutting-edge technologies such as liquid biopsy and deep learning to discover candidates for innovative medicines.

Boryung Pharmaceutical has been most active in joining hands with the biotech industry.

On Tuesday, the company agreed with Quantum Intelligence, an AI-using new drug developer, for joint research. The deal came just four days after Boryung and IMBDx decided to collaborate on treatment development using IMBDx’s liquid biopsy technology for cancer diagnosis.

In June, Boryung also built a partnership with Pharminogen, a novel drug developer using deep learning.

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Doctor with vaccine

Covid Vaccines Offer Chance For Big Pharma To Improve Its Image

Never before has the world awaited a new medicine with such bated breath. A vaccine for Covid-19 has the potential to unlock society and save millions of people from death and serious disease, and the hero of the hour is an industry that is often regarded with disdain.

“Traditionally and historically, public trust in pharma has been comparable to the trust they put in their broadband provider,” said Alex Davies, a healthcare PR expert at Hanover Communications, which counts many drug companies as clients.

Yet Covid-19 has provided these firms with an opportunity to save the world. AstraZeneca has even pledged to make its vaccine available to low- and middle-income countries on a non-profit basis in perpetuity, and to wealthier ones for the course of the pandemic. Which begs the question: could 2020 mark a reputational turning point for big pharma?

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Computer with COVID-19 Info

How Pharma Money Colors Operation Warp Speed’s Quest to Defeat COVID

April 16 was a big day for Moderna, a Massachusetts biotech company on the verge of becoming a front-runner in the U.S. government’s race for a coronavirus vaccine. It had received roughly half a billion dollars in federal funding to develop a COVID shot that might be used on millions of Americans.

Thirteen days after the massive infusion of federal cash — which triggered a jump in the company’s stock price — Moncef Slaoui, a Moderna board member and longtime drug industry executive, was awarded options to buy 18,270 shares in the company, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The award added to 137,168 options he’d accumulated since 2018, the filings show.

It wouldn’t be long before President Donald Trump announced Slaoui as the top scientific adviser for the government’s $12 billion Operation Warp Speed program to rush COVID vaccines to market. In his Rose Garden speech on May 15, Trump lauded Slaoui as “one of the most respected men in the world” on vaccines.

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Medical Syringe & Vaccine

How Pharma Can Build Trust in COVID-19 Vaccines: Transparency on Trials and Side-Effects

Promising results from large clinical trials testing three vaccines to prevent COVID-19 bring us a step closer to a widely available vaccine.

On Nov. 9, Pfizer’s interim analysis from its Phase 3 vaccine trial revealed it prevented 90 per cent of COVID-19 cases. (The vaccine’s efficacy was revised to 95 per cent in a recent more complete analysis of the data.) Just one week later, Moderna announced interim results from its own Phase 3 trial: its vaccine conferred 94.5 per cent protection against illness.

On Nov. 23, AstraZeneca reported an interim analysis from two separate Phase 3 trials that looked at two dosing regimens. Its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, was 70 per cent efficacious overall, with one dosage regimen protecting against the disease 90 per cent of the time.

But a vaccine that works is useless if people are unwilling to take it.

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Pharma Tech

GoodRx CEO Shrugs Off $5 Billion Dive on Amazon Pharma Move

Newly-listed GoodRx Holdings Inc. got caught in the crosshairs of Amazon.com Inc.’s latest plans to shake up the drug industry, triggering a wipeout of about $5 billion in market value in just two days. But its chief executive officer is shrugging it off.

The Santa Monica, California-based company, mostly known for its prescription-drug pricing app, plunged to a record low of $33.51 on Wednesday in the wake of Amazon’s plans to sell medicines to its U.S. Prime members. GoodRx drew its first analyst downgrades after the news, with some saying Amazon’s foray could dampen the company’s growth.

GoodRx shares have rebounded more than 15% in the last two trading sessions, though the stock has still shed more than 30% of its value from an Oct. 6 high. Wall Street analysts are split about its future returns, with seven buy-rated followers compared to six with hold equivalents and one sell. At least one analyst has upgraded the stock.

Federal Judge Approves Landmark $8.3 Billion Purdue Pharma Opioid Settlement

A federal bankruptcy judge approved a controversial $8.3 billion settlement late Tuesday between Purdue Pharma and the Department of Justice.

The deal first unveiled last month stems from the company’s decades-long manufacture and marketing of Oxycontin and other highly addictive opioid medications.

Under terms approved by Judge Robert Drain, Purdue Pharma will plead guilty to three felony counts of criminal wrongdoing.

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Pharmacy School

Why The Pharma Industry Got Lucky with Pfizer — For Now

The news read like Heritage Foundation fan fiction. Pfizer, a 171-year-old paragon of American industry, was the first to generate truly promising data on a Covid-19 vaccine. And like a pharmaceutical John Henry — or John Galt — the company did it without accepting a single dollar from the federal government and its Operation Warp Speed.

Major drug makers have spent years arguing that their often controversial pricing practices are the essential tradeoff for occasionally world-changing medicines. And here was Pfizer, using only its ample profits to come through with “likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years,” as its CEO put it to CNBC.

Doctor with Vaccine

Pharma Companies Must Open Their Books on the Funding Agreements For Covid-19 Vaccines

Recently, the Financial Times reported that there is an important limitation to pharmaceutical corporation AstraZeneca’s not-for-profit promises on the production of their covid-19 vaccine. With hundreds of other vaccines under development, supported by an exceptional level of public funding, this is a cause for concern.

Pharmaceutical corporations must open their books, make all funding and licensing agreements public, and substantiate any no-profit claims with data. We know that pharma does not tend to share this information willingly, so it is time for governments to take charge, demand transparency, and put their commitments to equitable access of covid-19 vaccines into action.

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