The agenda for the mammalian synthetic biology workshop held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last weekend demonstrates that renewed interest in vaccines has opened up new therapeutic targets, which in turn has driven new approaches to manufacturing. And the threats of pandemic flu and bioterrorism have acted as an extra innovation driver.
Being the largest company by any number of measures--revenues, earnings, those kinds of yardsticks--is a good thing. Being the largest by number of employees is trickier, unless yours is also the largest by those other measures. As we have seen time and again in recent years in the pharma industry, having lots of employees and falling revenues is a formula that leads to layoffs. As a whole, the top 10 companies had fewer employees at the end of 2012 than at the end of 2011. Read the full report >>
With the books closed on 2012, we can confirm--as expected--that a majority of the major FDA vaccine approvals went to trivalent influenza vaccines. (The FDA is continuing this trend with the first vaccine approval of 2013 going to Flublok.) Manufacturers, after all, need to reformulate them each season. But two new quadrivalent flu vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca also joined the ranks, scheduled to hit the market later this year. Read more >>
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Having committed to offering its rotavirus vaccine--Rotavac--for $1 a dose in 2011, Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech has now presented positive Phase III data that compares favorably to currently available rotavirus vaccines.
Reuters has looked inside the Pfizer lab tasked with developing a vaccine for the drug-resistant superbug MRSA.
A universal flu vaccine is the holy grail of influenza immunizations. The yearly process of making educated guesses about the upcoming flu season would end, replaced by a vaccine for many of the strains. It is a massive challenge, but one that Sanofi and others have taken up.
Cancer vaccines have so far generated more headlines than health benefits. Even some of the success stories, like Dendreon, have faltered once faced with trying to commercialize an oncology immunotherapy. Yet the vast potential means people continue to talk up the sector.
Recruiting for vacant senior positions is a balancing act between identifying the ideal person and hiring quickly to avoid a power vacuum. Pakistan's National Institutes of Health (NIH) seems to be struggling to find this balance. Its search for an executive director is now in its fifth year.
In pandemic flu preparation, a lot of focus is placed on protecting against the specific viral strain. Yet analysis of the 1918 pandemic shows secondary bacterial pneumonia directly caused many of the deaths. This brings Pfizer's Prevnar 13 into play, and the Big Pharma is talking up its role.
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When studies of AbbVie's chloesterol drug Niaspan raised questions about its effectiveness, analysts suggested it would lose its blockbuster status. But in the face of falling sales, AbbVie's former parent Abbott Laboratories simply raised the price.
The FDA yesterday responded to a Forbes op-ed from Steven Nissen, Chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, published earlier that day. In it, Nissen railed the...