News

Shire attacks treatment monopoly of Sanofi
Enlarge image

BusinessFranceIrelandUK

Shire attacks treatment monopoly of Sanofi

29.06.2012 - For over a decade, Sanofi’s Cerezyme has dominated the market of therapies for Gaucher disease. Now, Shire challenges the drug with new results.

Dublin/Paris/ Carmiel/ Cambridge – Results from a head-to-head Phase III clinical study with Sanofi’s Gaucher disease therapy imiglucerase (Cerezyme) suggest that Shire’s enzyme replacement therapy velaglucerase alfa (VPRIV) offers a unique benefit to patients. According to the Irish drugmaker, only patients treated with VPRIV experienced statistically significant improvement in lumbar spine bone mineral density after nine months of treatment. This, together with a 15% lower price than Aventis‘ expensive type 1 Gaucher treatment could give the Irish an advantage in the market for the rare disease, that is narrow but lucrative.

Until VPRIV was approved in 40 countries, Aventis subsidiary Genzyme was able to charge $200,000 per year per patient for its treatment that dates back to 1997, but other players are now trying to get a piece of the cake. Pfizer and its development partner Protalix currently got US market authorisation for its plant-cell based enzyme expression therapy Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa) but it was rebuffed at the end of June by the EMA. VPRIV is made in a human cell line using Shire’s gene activation technology.

Type 1 Gaucher disease is caused by a lack of the enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase, which normally breaks down a fatty waste product called glucosylceramide. Without the enzyme, glucosylceramide builds up in the body, typically in the liver, spleen and bone marrow, which produces the symptoms of the disease: anaemia (low red blood cell counts), tiredness, easy bruising and a tendency to bleed, an enlarged spleen and liver, and bone pain and breaks. The latter symptoms are now addressed by Shires enzyme replacement therapy, according to surrogate marker data presented at the European Working Group on Gaucher Disease (EWGGD) meeting in Paris.

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/news/news/2012-02/shire-attacks-treatment-monopoly-of-sanofi.html

R&DEUBelgium

18.12.2014 IMI has launched a €115m call for proposals involving a project in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve vaccines against whopping cough in children.

PoliticsEUPolandItalySpainUK

16.12.2014 Two consortia combined of 144 European companies, research institutes and universities have been selected for funding by the EIT in the areas of health and raw materials. Both clusters are set to acquire €1.1bn over the next seven years.

M&ALuxembourg

11.12.2014 Luxembourg bio-analytical testing company Eurofins Scientific has signed an agreement to acquire Boston Heart Diagnostics Corp. for an initial €112m.

StudySwitzerlandEU

10.12.2014 When it comes to the biggest investors in Research and Development (R&D) Swiss pharma top dogs Novartis and Roche have defended their positioning among the top ten companies worldwide – according to a recently published EU study.

FinancingUKSpain

09.12.2014 British drug delivery specialist Midatech Pharma plc floated on the London stock market. It is the third biotech IPO on the AIM market this year.

CooperationAustria

05.12.2014 Austrian contract research company VTU has entered into a development and commercialisation agreement with US company RCT. The partners want to combine both companies' Pichia pastoris protein production technologies under VTU's roof.

FinancingDenmark

03.12.2014 Danish biotech pharma Ascendis has successfully completed a €48m Series D financing round. The funding is expected to support its late-stage clinical trials to push its lead drug into Phase III trials.

RegulationUKFranceGermanySpain

01.12.2014 In spite of innovative new medicines on the market, the UK and Germany lag behind other countries and continue to use older medicines - especially in the treatment of cancer. French and Spanish patients, on the other hand, benefit much earlier from medical innovation.

Events

All Events

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week

Products