Biography for Nick Paul Taylor
Nick Taylor, UK Correspondent
Nick Taylor is a freelance journalist with more than six years' experience of reporting on the global biopharma industry. Since graduating with a biology degree from the University of York, Nick has written for numerous healthcare publications, including Nature BioPharma Dealmakers, Life Science Leader and Outsourcing-Pharma. You can contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @NickPaulTaylor.
Articles by Nick Paul Taylor
Astellas presented summary results from Phase III trials of the Protein Sciences' flu shot it plans to commercialize in Japan. Separately, Takeda signed a deal to begin selling a freeze-dried live attenuated chickenpox vaccine in Japan.
Strong demand for flu vaccines in Canada has left authorities scrambling for supplies this winter, but in general preventive vaccines have suffered less severe shortages than drugs in recent years. BIO argues this is evidence the current system for vaccines works and has asked the FDA to rethink its drug shortage plans.
Merck's rotavirus vaccine RotaTeq has faced close scrutiny since winning FDA approval in 2006, with authorities monitoring whether it shares side effects with a similar Wyeth product that was pulled from the market. Now a FDA-funded study has shown RotaTeq is linked to the side effect, but the benefits outweigh the risks.
Although recent products have given prostate cancer patients more treatment options, the American Cancer Society still estimates that almost 30,000 men died of the disease last year. This week virtual drug developer Madison Vaccines raised $8 million to further its ambitions to cut that figure.
Swap deals are notoriously difficult to pull off, with the inability to make an "apples-to-apples" comparison of assets scuppering most attempts. Merck and Novartis are reportedly still trying to make a swap deal work though, with the latter's vaccine unit trading hands.
The Switzerland-based biotech has raised $22 million from German billionaire Dietmar Hopp and other backers to advance its Alzheimer's vaccine candidate, ACI-35, into clinical trials.
The Connecticut-based biotech won approval for its flu vaccine last year but it faces competition from GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and the other established giants of the market.
The meningitis B outbreak at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has slowed for now, with no new cases on the campus since November. However, authorities still view the bacteria as a threat and are trying to get clearance to use Novartis' Bexsero. When that will happen is unclear, though.
Reports the H1N1 flu virus is circulating in North America have prompted a surge in demand for vaccines in Canada. While health authorities typically welcome increased uptake of flu vaccines, the spike in demand has left parts of the country with dwindling stocks.
The start of 2014 has been a tumultuous period for Chinese manufacturers of hepatitis B vaccines, with three leading producers failing to gain quality certificates and authorities investigating 17 baby deaths. This week, China reassured its population there is no link between the vaccine and the deaths, but a history of cover-ups mean people are still suspicious.