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One hundred billion dollars. That is the combined revenue of the top 10 pharmaceuticals in 2020, marking the first year in which this threshold has been crossed. AbbVie’s Humira easily retained its lead in 2020 with $20.3bn in sales. Gilead Sciences’ HIV triple combo Biktarvy was the fastest climber, entering the top 10 in eighth place after 53.2% growth in a year, while Avastin, Enbrel and Rituxan fell out of the list.
Venture capitalists and industry executives discussed strategies for placing smart bets on emerging gene therapy companies during a recent virtual panel.
Deal-making and financing activities are on the rise for liquid biopsy diagnostic products in 2021 despite questions remaining around whether the technology can unseat standard-of-care biomarker and imaging tests.
In conjunction with In Vivo’s Rising Leaders series, a panel of senior executives representing a wide spectrum of the life sciences industry – from large biopharmaceuticals to small biotech and cancer diagnostics – was convened to discuss what it takes to successfully lead during times of uncertainty and upheaval. Insights on communication strategies, navigating team integrations, supporting diversity and inclusion, and getting the most from multi-generational employees rested on a common theme: valuing people and anticipating workforce needs.
Expanding partnerships with CROs, the COVID-19 lockdown, an eager FDA and an industry desire for faster and more diverse clinical trial recruiting helped Science 37, a decentralized clinical trial company, nail down plans to go public. Science 37 CEO David Coman spoke with In Vivo about the reasons for going public via SPAC, and why decentralization is a “prerequisite to operating a clinical trial today.”
Following early investor conversations, Laevoroc Oncology has split its leading products into three independent subsidiaries to off-set risk and provide greater choice to future partners. While there is no underlying platform technology, CEO Thomas Mehrling believes the subsidiaries all include potential “game-changing medicines.”
With nearly 3,500 therapies in development globally, and almost $480m in start-up financing in Q1 of 2021 alone, the cell, gene and RNA therapy area is seeing a sharp rise in development and attention.
Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide, a GLP-1 agonist marketed in an injected formulation as Ozempic, and an oral tablet form as Rybelsus, is a success story with the potential for an epic third act. First approved as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, semaglutide is under FDA review as a treatment for obesity, with additional clinical programs in NASH and Alzheimer’s disease.
After 45 years as a domestic Japanese biopharmaceutical company, JCR Pharmaceuticals is expanding into global markets. The company is betting that its manufacturing strength – which helped land a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing deal with AstraZeneca – and blood-brain barrier crossing J-Brain Cargo technology will lead to success in Western markets.
The number of gene therapies in development continues to rise, as trial sponsors widen the scope of addressable conditions, beyond ultra-rare diseases. Will manufacturing capacity – and payer budgets – be able to keep up?
The merging of the capabilities of Belgium’s SERB and the UK’s BTG Specialty Pharma could produce the world’s biggest antidotes manufacturer.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for society to address health care challenges at speed – we ignore them at our peril. Equally, it has highlighted the power that can be deployed to develop new pharmaceuticals when the life sciences sector collaborates internationally to tackle a common cause.
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