PharmExec Blog

Positive Results for Ebola Vaccine

Immunovaccine Inc., a clinical stage vaccine company, announced on Aug. 25 positive results for a vaccine formulated in its DepoVax technology in an Ebola virus challenge study performed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the NIH.

In a preliminary study, four vaccinated cynomolgus macaque, which are particularly sensitive to the Ebola virus, received two doses of the DepoVax-formulated vaccine before being challenged with a lethal dose of the wild type Zaire strain of the Ebola virus. More than two weeks following exposure to the virus, all vaccinated subjects were alive with no disease symptoms. The two unvaccinated control animals in this study succumbed to the infection within seven days.

This study, conducted under NIAID’s preclinical services program was designed to identify favorable vaccine candidates for further study. Based on this high efficacy observed in cynomolgus macaques, Immunovaccine is exploring a potential development program for an Ebola virus vaccine with various organizations.

Source: Immunovaccine

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China Closes In On US As Biggest Healthcare Market

China overtook Japan as the world’s second-biggest healthcare market in 2013, and with its annual healthcare spending forecast to reach nearly US$900bn by 2018, it will rapidly close the gap on the US, reports the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

EIU’s China Healthy Province Index (CHPI) provides a detailed healthcare profile of each of China’s 31 provinces,ranking provinces according to which are best placed in terms of resources and financing to meet current and anticipated healthcare demand. Beijing tops the CHPI, but one of the surprising outcomes was the strong performance of poorer provinces such as Qinghai and Gansu. Sparse populations in such regions ease pressure on local healthcare systems. Those that bottomed out include the rapidly developing central provinces of Henan and Anhui, densely populated regions where access to healthcare and funding is low despite booming local demand.

The EIU also reports how the Chinese government has been opening up the healthcare system to private sector investment, but warns that stresses in the system our mounting, as popular frustration over costs and access begins to “boil over”.

More information: http://www.eiu.com/chpi2014

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Ebola Debates Turn Everyone into an Expert

It is a tragic truism to remark that the merits of the pharma sector are most sharply perceived only at times of deep human suffering. The debates engendered by the latest Ebola outbreak neatly if nastily demonstrate the point. All of a sudden, the mass media and social networks are reflecting wide public demands for more action on drug development—instead of the customary complaints that drug firms are merely cynical money-making machines. How is it possible—the question is heard over and over again—that in this day and age no vaccines or medicines exist against such terrible diseases? Why have governments been so neglectful of obvious research needs? And as the anger and frustration increase, so yesterday’s bad boys in the pharma labs become seen more as the heroes of tomorrow, the great hope for miracle cures, the saviors of the world deserving of munificent funding and strong moral support. It was thus with bird flu, with SARS, and with numerous previous health scares—and once the immediate crisis passed, the abrupt surge of sympathy for drug researchers just as abruptly subsided, and the standard narrative was resumed.

For the full version of this Applied Clinical Trials article by Peter O’ Donnell, click here.

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Emerging Pharma Leaders: Michael Injaychock, Eli Lilly & Co.

Michael Injaychock joined Eli Lilly in 2007 after five years in a Washington-based financial services consulting role and a subsequent MBA from the University of North Carolina. Course work there as well as a stiff self-evaluation of his former job led Injaychock to conclude his future lay in a post that carried a larger purpose. “I captured my ideal position in three words: marketing that matters.” Read More »

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ADHD Market to Reach Nearly $10 Billion by 2020

The Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) therapeutics market value will rise from $6.9 billion in 2013 to $9.9 billion by 2020, with broadening diagnostic criteria a key driver of growth, according to GBI Research.

The company’s new report states that the increase — which represents a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.3% and relates to eight major markets (US,  UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Canada) — will occur fastest in Japan, due to the country’s high ADHD prevalence. Read More »

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