R&D

BMJ Open published findings last week showing only 26% of pharmaceutical products had publicly available results for all clinical trials supporting their U.S. FDA approvals. Large companies were “significantly more transparent” than non-large companies, driven by better data sharing procedures and the implementation of reporting requirements, the researchers found.

J&J last week launched a research center hosted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) that will focus on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and next-generation TB drug regimens. The J&J Satellite Center for Global Health Discovery at LSHTM marks the first in a planned series of academic research centers, according to a company press release.

Each center will partner with academic institutions to focus on threats with high unmet need, including AMR,…

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The Access to Medicine (AtM) Foundation released a new report last week highlighting some biotechs that are finding novel ways to get badly needed antibiotics to patients in low- and middle-income countries despite notoriously difficult market conditions.

Drawing on “new data and discussions with stakeholders,” the report said that small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) now account for 75% of all late-stage antimicrobials in the R&D pipeline, with many large companies having…

Boston University-led CARB-X announced Tuesday that it will give British diagnostics company GenomeKey $3 million (plus up to $6.5 million in milestones) to develop a four-hour test for sepsis. The diagnostic uses machine learning to identify bacterial species and test for antibiotic sensitivity, allowing clinicians to prescribe targeted drugs quickly and “reduce unnecessary antibiotic consumption,” the press release said.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts-based biotech X-Biotix announced…

In its 13th annual G-FINDER report, released last week, Australian think tank Policy Cures Research said global funding for neglected diseases R&D remained “stable” at $3.88 billion in 2019, one year before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the overall stability masked underlying changes. Private sector funding from the year prior dropped 19%, a shift offset by a 2.8% increase in public sector funding and a 5.2% jump in philanthropic funding, the report said.

Belgium-based biomanufacturing platform company Univercells announced Tuesday that it has signed letters of intent with two Senegal-based organizations to strengthen local vaccine manufacturing capacity. The company will work with the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training to strengthen its R&D capabilities and create bioproduction capacity for routine immunization vaccines, and will also partner with Institut Pasteur de Dakar to rapidly establish local…

GSK and Vir Biotechnology announced Wednesday that they are expanding their existing Covid-19 therapeutics collaboration to include research and development of treatments for influenza and other respiratory viruses, and exploration of up to three monoclonal antibodies to target non-influenza pathogens.

GSK will pay Vir $225 million upfront, increase its equity investment in the San Francisco-based biotech by $120 million, and shell out an additional $300 million if it exercises an…

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Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher announced last week its $877 million all-cash acquisition of Novasep’s Belgian viral vector manufacturing business, Henogen. The purchase will help Thermo Fisher “expand its capabilities for cell and gene vaccines and therapies globally,” the press release said.

Fellow CDMO Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies also has new manufacturing muscle in the works. Fujifilm and its collaborator, the Massachusetts Center for Advanced Biological Innovation and…

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) released a draft Tuesday of its Influenza Vaccines Research and Development Roadmap for public comment and review.

The 10-year plan for improving seasonal flu vaccines and developing new universal products will also provide “a mechanism for benchmarking and tracking progress” in R&D and will incorporate lessons from Covid-19 vaccine development “as appropriate,” the draft said.

The roadmap is planned for…

GSK and Novartis jointly pledged funding on Tuesday to research the link between genetic diversity and response to malaria and tuberculosis drugs in African patients.

A joint press release said the companies will invest a combined $3.6 million over five years in their Project Africa Genomic Research Approach for Diversity and Optimising Therapeutics (GRADIENT) collaboration, which will release all collected data to the public.

GRADIENT is inviting researchers across Africa to…