Spotlight: February 2024 - European Medical Journal

Spotlight: February 2024

1 Mins
GOLD looks back on some of the top pharma news stories from the past month, including new approvals, the latest appointments and departures in the industry and more
Words by Jade Williams

6 February

The US Federal Trade Commission comes out in support of march-in rights, which allow drug patents to be seized by government when they were developed with federal funding. The Commission says that it supports an “expansive and flexible” approach to march-in rights, including providing clarity that agencies can march in on the basis of high prices.

16 February

FDA approves Roche and Novartis’ omalizumab, originally an asthma medication, for use to prevent severe allergic reactions to food. The drug is approved for those aged one year and older with IgE-mediated food allergies – which includes peanuts, eggs, milk, wheat and more.

The first T-cell therapy for solid tumours is approved by FDA, marking a first-of-its-kind approval for drug maker Iovance Biotherapeutics. The therapy lifileucel is the first individualised tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy to reach the market and is approved for use in patients with advanced melanoma.

20 February

AbbVie announces that come 1 July 2024, long-time CEO Richard Gonzales will hand over the baton to Robert Michael, the company’s current President and CCO. Gonzales states that the decision comes at a time of strength for the company, along with a rich pipeline and “strong position” for the future.

21 February

Daniel O’Day, Chairman and CEO, Gilead Sciences, becomes the new Chair of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s Board of Directors at a time of contentious setbacks from Washington on drug pricing. In his new role, O’Day says he will work to “protect the innovation ecosystem” while ensuring equitable access to medicines for all.

In the US, Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability kickstart an investigation into drug shortages that have lasted over a year – calling on Sandoz, Teva and Pfizer for response. It is claimed there have been intermittent and repeated shortages that have affected patients across the United States.

22 February

BMS sets aside $400m for an expansion to its sterile drug product facility in Dublin, which will support the site in pushing out existing medicines and serve as a “launch excellence facility” for future pipeline products. The facility is also expected to create 350 extra jobs by 2026.

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