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eHealth: Where IT meets biotech
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Event ReviewEUGermany

eHealth: Where IT meets biotech

16.02.2016 - The application of digital technology in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector was the focal point of the 9th Berlin Conference on IP in Life Sciences. According to the 100+ expert attendees, the potential of new technologies was raised through the cooperation of IT and life science specialists.

Thilo Kaltenbach’s analyse is conclusive, “The large pharma companies are rebooting their medical tools and equipment.” The management consultant from Roland Berger was one of the many experts, who highlighted in mid-February at the Berlin Conference on IP in Life Sciences "Digital Health Solutions", the factors that play an important role in E-health applications.

Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are currently sticking to the motto "Service beyond the pill", in particular on new sales and marketing scenarios based on apps and applicators. But in Kaltenbach’s opinion, that’s just the sidelines: "No one knows what ideas will establish themselves in the end. Therefore a large company is highly unlikely to go out on a limb. There is a lot of cooperating and experimenting."

Sanofi presented the issue of E-health from a Big pharma perspective at the annual BIOCOM event. Vice President Francois Nicolas, joint-responsible for diabetes management, stressed at the conference held in the French Embassy in Berlin-Mitte, the diversity of actors in the market and why pharma relies on partnerships with IT giants such as IBM, Qualcomm, Apple or Alphabet. According to Nicolas: "We are currently entering a new era of health management. We need to simplify the patient’s dealings with the disease in everyday life, so that the therapies can be used effectively." Digital solutions, particularly in common diseases such as diabetes, are currently in vogue.

Further sessions at the conference emphasised the significance of digital solutions for the research and development work. Manuel Gea from Bio-Modeling Systems in Paris pointed out, among other things, the unreliability of published data and the need for Smart Data instead of Big Data. The insufficient development of new active substances in many years of clinical trials and patient’s increasing easy access to information was once again the focal point for Roland Brus, the founder of the online platform Mytomorrows. The legal experts from Vossius, among others, informed the attendees why, under certain conditions, software is patentable and which formulations are to be observed.

A pitching session was held at the end of the day. Six invited entrepreneurs from all over Europe presented their business ideas to a jury of investors. In the end, the Bayer Accelerator Berlin-based start-up, Viomedo was the one to convince the jury. The online marketplace aims to bring drug developers and patients together to push-start clinical trials as early and as soon as possible. The crowd favourite, however, was the Spanish firm Mint Labs, which has developed a cloud-based solution for the evaluation of neurobiological MRI scans.

 

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LicensingSwitzerland

30.08.2016 Swiss biopharma company Ferring has acquired the exclusive development and commercialisation rights to Seikagaku’s Phase III chemonucleolytic leg pain treatment for €85m.

Clinical TrialsFrance

26.08.2016 Adocia said it would discontinue its diabetic foot ulcer programme after its lead product BioChaperone PDGF disappointed in Phase III. The French company will turn the focus on its earlier-stage products.

M&AUKSweden

24.08.2016 Pharma major Pfizer is putting the cherry on top of its multi-billion-dollar takeover of Medivation with the acquisition of AstraZeneca’s antibiotics for a cool US$1.5bn. With the divestment, AZ aims to further sharpen its focus.

FinancingUK

23.08.2016 Cambridge University-allied investor Cambridge Innovation Capital has raised £75m (€87m) to reinvest in technology and healthcare companies. Among the backers were Woodford Investment and Winton Ventures.

R&DDenmark

19.08.2016 Together with partner Johnson & Johnson, Danish biotech Genmab is now one step closer to FDA approval with its combination treatment for multiple myeloma after its submission of a supplemental Biologics License Application. In July, Genmab was granted a Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for its blood cancer therapy.

ResearchUKEU

17.08.2016 Philip Hammond, the UK’S chancellor has announced the government will guarantee funding for EU-backed "structural and investment fund" projects whose timelines extend beyond the UK’s departure from the EU, provided the projects are signed prior to this year's Autumn Statement on the UK budget. The decision ensures continued funding for farmers, companies and institutions involved in the EU’s Horizon 2020 project. The move could cost the UK government up to £6bn (€6.9bn).

Stock marketsGermany

15.08.2016 Back in April, the American FDA gave the green light for the colorectal cancer-screening test Epi procolon. Now Berlin-based diagnostics specialist Epigenomics is considering a secondary listing in the US. A draft of the required registration document was confidentially submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

LicensingDenmark

11.08.2016 Danish Genmab AS has granted Gilead Sciences license to use its DuoBody technology platform to develop bispecific antibodies for the treatment of HIV. The deal is worth up to €252m.

Clinical developmentHungaryIreland

09.08.2016 Hungarian Gedeon Richter and Irish Allergan are staying on course in the face of dissappointing Phase III results for depression drug cariprazine. The partners will now begin another Phase III study needed for approval.

ImmunotherapySpain

08.08.2016 Araclon Biotech’s Alzheimer’s vaccine ABvac40 is going forward into Phase II after showing a good safety profile in Phase I. The promising trial results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

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No liability assumed, Date: 29.08.2016