Spotlight: November 2023 - European Medical Journal

Spotlight: November 2023

1 Mins
GOLD looks back at some of the top pharma news stories of the past month including new appointments, regulatory wins and surprising survey results
Words by Jade Williams

1 November

BioMarin appoints Genentech’s CEO Alexander Hardy as its new leader following the retirement of former CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaimé. At Genentech, Head of the US Commercial Portfolio Ashley Magargee has already begun acting as interim CEO and will continue to do so until a new leader is appointed.

10 November

As Novo Nordisk celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding in Denmark, the company invests more than 42bn Danish kroner to expand its production capacity in the town of Kalundborg. The investment will provide additional capacity for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, including semaglutide that is used in Ozempic and Wegovy.

14 November

A new survey finds that 80% of black women in the US are “open” to participating in a clinical trial, but 73% have never been asked. The report, published by GCI Health, also challenges the assumption that mistrust discourages Black communities from participating in clinical trials. Instead, the results pointed to distance from trial sites and side effects.

16 November

The UK’s MHRA signs off a first-of-its-kind gene therapy to cure sickle-cell disease and transfusion-dependent betathalassemia from Vertex and CRISPR Therapeutics. The therapy uses CRISPR’s Nobel Prize winning gene-editing tool, and it will join bone marrow transplants as a treatment for the conditions.

20 November

In a “landmark” deal between the UK government, the ABPI and NHS England, the UK agrees to increase the annual growth rate allowance for branded drugs from 2% to 4% by 2027. The new Branded Medicines Pricing, Access and Growth (VPAG) scheme will also have a flexible rebate rate, so older and newer medicines will be treated differently.

27 November

Sanofi and Regeneron’s Dupixent receives positive results in a second phase 3 trial in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If approved, the drug, which is already approved for asthma, atopic dermatitis and several other inflammatory conditions, will be the first biologic to treat COPD and the biggest win for the indication in over a decade.

28 November

A survey of patient groups by PatientView finds that 52% of those surveyed would like to play a greater role in companies’ efforts to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. In addition, a further 21% of respondents say they would like to start advocating for ESG policy changes.

30 November

AbbVie is to acquire ImmunoGen in a deal worth around $10.1bn to bolster its oncology pipeline, particularly in the solid tumour space. ImmunoGen is the maker of ovarian cancer treatment Elahere – a first-in-class therapy that received accelerated approval from the FDA in 2022 – which is expected to become a blockbuster drug by 2030.

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