Weekend News: Business, Finance and Innovations in Biotech and Pharma Industries (Piramal, Biogen, Glioblastoma)


These are the top stories of the weekend;

Piramal to acquire four brands of Pfizer for ₹110 Crore

Mumbai based Piramal Enterprises will acquire four brands of  U.S. company, Pfizer which include its child nutrition supplement Ferradol, medicated soap Neko, pain reliever Sloan and cough syrup Waterbury’s compound for ₹110 crore.

For the expansion of the company’s consumer product business, this is company’s third such acquisition in last six months. About a month ago, the company acquired the brand Little, the sellers of baby accessories in India. In December, 2015 they acquired five MSD pharmaceuticals product of pain relief category for ₹95 crore.

The company’s consumer products division ranks 7th in India, but we aim to be a ‘top three’ player in the OTC (over-the-counter) market by 2020. Acquisition is one of the important routes to help us achieve our goal,” said Nandini Piramal, Executive Director, Piramal Enterprises.


Biogen and Sobi’s Alprolix for Hemophilia B Received EC Approval

Cambridge based biotech Biogen and Swedish company Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) declared the approval of their extended half life therapy, Alprolix (rFIXFc) for the treatment of hemophilia B by European Commission (EC) in all 28 European Union (EU) member states and maintained its orphan designation.

Alprolix is the only recombinant factor IX Fc Fusion protein therapy for hemophilia B treatment for the EU people which provides prolonged protection against bleeding episodes with fewer prophylactic injections. The approval was based on the results of two global Phase III clinical trials done to check the safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of Alprolix for hemophilia B.

Alprolix has become a meaningful treatment advance for people living with haemophilia B in countries where it is approved and is backed by robust clinical data and the longest real-world experience of any prolonged circulation factor IX therapy to date,” said Gilmore O’Neill, M.D., Senior Vice President Drug Innovation Units at Biogen. “We’re proud to bring the European haemophilia community one of the first treatment advances in nearly 20 years, and believe the availability of extended half-life therapies in Europe will change the way that many approach treatment.”


Duke University’s Poliovirus Study to Treat Glioblastoma Received FDA Approval

Duke University’s experiment to utilize genetically modified poliovirus for treatment of a deadly brain cancer-glioblastoma received U.S. FDA Breakthrough status. FDA wants to speed up the procedure of bringing the therapy to the market. A 20 years old nursing student, Stephanie Lipscomb was the first patient to be treated by this therapy who got her tennis ball size tumor 98% removed.

The therapy was engineered by molecular biologist Matthias Gromeier.

All human cancers, they develop a shield or shroud of protective measures that make them invisible to the immune system,” Gromeier explained. “This is precisely what we try to reverse with our virus. So by infecting the tumor, we are actually removing this protective shield. And enabling the immune system to come in and attack.”

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