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Akanki Sharma

Ghaziabad, India
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About Akanki
Akanki Sharma is a journalist.
English Hindi
Feature Stories Investigative Journalism Interview (Print / Radio / Podcast)
Politics Technology Social

Journalism with a human touch

12 Jun 2024  |  www.theweek.in
India's significant demand for gold is fueling commercial fraud and grey-market transactions. Vivek Johri, former chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, notes an increase in seizures and smuggling methods. Vipul Shah, chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, calls for a reduction in gold import duty to 4 percent. Somasundaram P.R., regional CEO of the World Gold Council, advocates for the establishment of a self-regulatory organization.

Serum Institute of India Seeks Inclusion of COVID Vaccine Covovax in CoWIN Portal as Heterologous Booster Dose for Adults

09 Apr 2024  |  expresspharma.in
The Serum Institute of India has requested the union health ministry to include its COVID vaccine Covovax on the CoWIN portal as a heterologous booster dose for adults. The request was made by Prakash Kumar Singh, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII. The National Technical Advisery Group on Immunisation is expected to meet soon to make a decision. Covovax has received market authorization from the Drugs Controller General of India as a booster for those who have received Covishield or Covaxin. The vaccine, developed through technology transfer from Novavax, has also been approved by the EMA and received WHO's Emergency Use Listing.

China allows sale of Pfizer oral drug as demand surges in wake of rising COVID cases

14 Dec 2023  |  Express Pharma
China has approved the sale of Pfizer's COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, following the country's shift from its 'zero-COVID' policy. China Meheco Group has signed an agreement with Pfizer to import and distribute the drug, which is now available for retail sale. The first retail sale saw the drug sell out within half an hour. Dr Ashish Jha from the White House stated that the Biden administration was not involved in the approval process but supports global access to American scientific innovations.

California lawsuit accuses drugmakers of insulin overcharging

05 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
California is suing major insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, along with the largest Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) UnitedHealth Group, CVS Health, and Cigna, for allegedly overcharging patients for insulin. The lawsuit claims these companies used their market dominance to inflate prices, violating California's Unfair Competition Law. The state seeks to halt these practices and obtain damages for affected patients. Insulin prices have significantly increased, with reports showing substantial price hikes by these manufacturers since the drugs' initial launches.

EU to aggregate cancer imaging data across bloc in new project

05 Oct 2023  |  Express Healthcare
The European Union has launched the European Cancer Imaging Initiative to aggregate cancer imaging data, aiming to accelerate innovation and early diagnosis using AI. The project aligns with the EU's data strategy and GDPR compliance. Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides emphasized the role of digital technology in understanding cancer. Companies like Philips, Siemens Healthineers, and Bayer are involved, with Bayer recently acquiring Blackford Analysis to enhance AI diagnostic capabilities. Stakeholders express strong support for the initiative, highlighting its potential to advance medical research and diagnostic tools.

Eli Lilly to invest $450 million more to expand capacity as obesity drug decision looms

04 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
Eli Lilly is set to invest an additional $450 million to expand its North Carolina plant, aiming to boost production capacity ahead of an anticipated approval for its obesity drug, Mounjaro. The company has faced strong demand for its incretin products, including Trulicity, which has led to shortages. The expansion will add parenteral filling, device assembly, and packaging capacity, creating at least 100 new jobs by 2027. Analyst Chris Shibutani projects Mounjaro to generate significant sales, driving future growth for Eli Lilly. Since 2020, the company has committed $1.7 billion to the development of the Research Triangle Park site.

Pfizer explores options for some rare disease and cancer drugs

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
Pfizer is considering various options for its early-stage treatments for rare diseases and cancer to concentrate on high-impact medicines and vaccines. The company may collaborate with other drug developers or establish a new company for these treatments. Pfizer aims to focus on developing rare disease treatments internally using technologies like gene editing while exploring external opportunities for early-stage gene therapy programs and its cancer research facility in Boulder, Colorado.

ProVac vaccine to tackle Lumpy Skin Disease

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
A partnership was signed to ensure large-scale production of the Lumpi-ProVac vaccine to control Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in India. The vaccine, developed by ICAR-NRCE and ICAR-IVRI, is effective and safe, providing protection for about a year. Agrinnovate India granted non-exclusive rights for its commercial production to the Institute of Veterinary Biological Products. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, with significant involvement from various research centers. LSD has caused significant cattle mortality since 2019, prompting the development of this indigenous vaccine.

EMA seeks to issue guidance on liver damage from Novartis's gene therapy

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is considering issuing guidance for physicians using Novartis's gene therapy Zolgensma, advising them to monitor patients for liver injury following recent deaths due to liver failure. Novartis reported two fatalities in August from acute liver failure after Zolgensma treatment, which is used for spinal muscular atrophy. The guidance, pending approval from EMA expert panels, suggests consulting specialists and adjusting corticosteroid regimens if patients do not respond adequately. Zolgensma, which costs over $2 million per patient, competes with Roche's Evrysdi and Biogen's Spinraza.

Indian scientists discover new anti-cancer agent showing huge promise

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
Scientists from Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Agharkar Research Institute in Pune, and IIT Hyderabad have discovered a new drug molecule, Ruthenium-Ferrocene Bimetallic, showing high anti-tumor potential and anti-angiogenic effects. This development is significant due to the limitations of current platinum drugs, which often face resistance. The research, led by Malay Patra, has shown promising results in cellular models and zebrafish, with plans to test on mammals. The findings have been published in the ACS journal, indicating potential for managing platinum-resistant cancers.

USFDA grants appeal for Ardelyx's kidney disease drug

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
The USFDA has granted an appeal for Ardelyx’s experimental kidney disease drug, tenapanor, after previously delaying its decision. This news led to a significant rise in Ardelyx’s shares. The FDA's advisory committee had earlier voted for the drug's approval both as a single therapy and in combination with existing treatments for controlling high phosphate levels in dialysis patients. Tenapanor, also known as Ibsrela, is already approved for treating irritable bowel syndrome in the US and Canada. Ardelyx had reacquired the drug rights from AstraZeneca in 2015.

Cooperation needed among multi-lateral organisations to deal with future outbreaks: Adar Poonawalla

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
Adar Poonawalla emphasizes the need for vaccine equity and global harmonization of regulatory standards to enhance real-time impact. He advocates for international agreements on vaccine certificates and clinical trial procedures to avoid delays. Highlighting the importance of multi-lateral cooperation, Poonawalla is optimistic about future pandemic preparedness. He underscores India's significant role in global vaccine manufacturing and mentions upcoming vaccines for cervical cancer and malaria. Michelle Williams from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health stresses the ongoing threat of COVID-19 variants and the necessity for continued vigilance.

NPPA revises ceiling prices of 128 medicines

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
The National Pharma Pricing Authority (NPPA) has revised the ceiling prices of 128 drugs, including antibiotics, anti-viral medications, and treatments for conditions such as asthma, cancer, and brain tumors. The new prices include Rs 2.18 for an Amoxicillin capsule and Rs 1.07 for a 400 mg Ibuprofen tablet. Manufacturers must adjust their prices to comply with these new ceilings. Additionally, the NPPA has set retail prices for 12 scheduled formulations under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013, including Rs 13.83 for an anti-diabetes combination drug tablet.

Novartis warns US plan to curb drug prices could hit key research

01 Oct 2023  |  Express Pharma
The US government's plan to curb drug prices through the Inflation Reduction Act could negatively impact Novartis's research in small-molecule drugs, which are crucial for innovative treatments. Novartis urges reconsideration of the legislation, highlighting the potential unintended consequences on patient care and pharmaceutical innovation. The company aims to prioritize growth in the US market while maintaining its leading position in Europe.

Can India eliminate malaria by 2030?

02 Jun 2023  |  www.theweek.in
India aims to eliminate malaria by 2030, facing challenges such as high mosquito larva presence near water bodies and lack of awareness. Despite an 80% reduction in cases since 2014, concentrated efforts are needed in tribal-populated states. Experts highlight the importance of vector control, accurate case reporting, and skilled technicians. The Vector Control Research Centre and National Institute of Malaria Research are conducting studies and trials to improve vector surveillance and control methods. Public health experts emphasize the need for environmental methods to prevent mosquito breeding, while the WHO's 1-3-7 model serves as a successful example.

Malaria elimination has to be a people's movement

02 Jun 2023  |  www.theweek.in
Malaria No More's India director, Pratik Kumar, discusses the challenges and necessary actions for malaria eradication in India. He highlights the discrepancies in malaria data reporting between the government and WHO, the inefficiencies in the current health system, and the need for a collective societal effort to eliminate malaria by 2030. The text criticizes the government's lack of urgency and effective action, emphasizing the importance of involving all sectors and making malaria eradication a people's movement.

Why the drug price hike is necessary

28 Apr 2023  |  www.theweek.in
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) of India announced a 12.12% increase in medicine prices based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) rate for pharmaceuticals for 2022, effective from April 1. However, a subsequent clarification revealed an average price reduction of 6.73% for 651 of 870 essential medicines. Despite the confusion, the pharmaceutical industry has faced significant cost increases in raw materials, packaging, and transportation, necessitating the price hike. The NPPA is also actively monitoring for illegal price hikes. While the government has been praised for capping prices of essential medicines, the regulation of non-essential drug prices remains a challenge.

India is home to second largest population of patients living with hemophilia

25 Apr 2023  |  www.theweek.in
India has the second largest population of hemophilia patients, with over 1.3 lakh cases. The blood disorder, which impairs clotting, is often undiagnosed due to poor screening facilities. Roche Pharma India's CEO V Simpson Emmanuel highlights the challenges in diagnosis and treatment, while Dr Chandrakala S from KEM Hospital in Mumbai notes the need for regular replacement therapy, which is not widely available. Roche launched Hemlibra in 2019, a bi-specific antibody treatment for hemophilia. The government has removed customs duty on rare diseases drugs, with calls to include all anti-hemophilic drugs.

Heatstroke-related deaths likely to increase this year: Experts

24 Apr 2023  |  www.theweek.in
Health experts warn of an increase in heatstroke-related deaths due to rising temperatures and climate change. Maharashtra has already recorded 14 deaths, and experts like Dr Rajendra Gupta emphasize the need for government action and public awareness. Common causes and symptoms of heatstroke are highlighted, along with preventive measures. The article stresses the importance of hydration and avoiding outdoor activities during extreme heat, particularly for vulnerable populations such as the elderly.

C20 meet: Focus on holistic health crucial, suggest experts

08 Apr 2023  |  www.theweek.in
The C20 India summit, an official engagement group of G20, convened in Faridabad, Haryana, to discuss integrated holistic health. Global healthcare experts, including WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, emphasized the need for universal health coverage and reorienting health systems towards primary healthcare. The summit addressed key health challenges such as mental health, nutrition, and the integration of traditional medicine. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar highlighted the importance of a balanced lifestyle and Ayurveda. Recommendations from the summit will be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for final policy framing.

Has Urdu literature lost its charm? Not at all, say young poets at 'Shaam-e-Sher'

05 Apr 2023  |  www.business-standard.com
The article discusses the enduring charm of Urdu literature, particularly poetry, in the modern digital age. It highlights the efforts of the Rekhta Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving Urdu poetry and literature, and their recent event 'Shaam-e-Sher' that catered to young poets and Urdu enthusiasts. The event saw participation from a diverse audience, including many from non-Urdu backgrounds, indicating a growing interest in Urdu poetry among the youth. The article features quotes from participants and poets who express their admiration for the language's elegance and emotional depth. Veteran poet Shamim Hanafi's observations suggest optimism for the future of Urdu literature, especially with the increased involvement of younger generations.

Awareness on robotic surgeries low in India

02 Apr 2023  |  www.theweek.in
Robotic surgeries in India are still in their early stages, contributing less than 0.1% globally. Awareness and training for robotic surgeries are limited, and high costs are a significant barrier. Dr. Sudhir Srivastava, MD and Chairman of SSI Innovations, developed India's first Made-in-India surgical robot, SSI Mantra, to make robotic surgeries more affordable. SSI Mantra has been deployed in several hospitals across India. The DaVinci surgical system by Intuitive Surgical is commonly used but is expensive. Challenges include high costs, limited instrument usage, and the need for stable internet connectivity for remote surgeries. SSI Innovations is seeking USFDA approval for SSI Mantra.

Pay more for paracetamol, amoxicillin and other medicines from tomorrow. Here's why

31 Mar 2023  |  www.theweek.in
From April 1, the prices of 384 essential medications and over 900 formulations will increase by more than 12% due to a rise in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI). This development is expected to provide relief to the pharmaceutical industry, which has been struggling with increased production costs since the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) announced the change, which has raised concerns about the affordability of essential medicines. Rajiv Singhal from the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists supports the increase, while Malini Aisola from the All India Drug Action Network warns that it could undermine price controls for essential medicines.

We the Women: From menstruation to menopause—why so much silence?

04 Mar 2023  |  www.theweek.in
The article discusses the silence and stigma surrounding menstruation and menopause in India, highlighting personal stories and expert opinions. It emphasizes the need for open conversations and awareness to de-stigmatize these natural biological processes. Key figures like Asha Rao and Monalisa Padhee are noted for their advocacy work, while experts like Dr. Nozer Sheriar and Dr. Sunila Khandelwal provide insights into the symptoms and societal perceptions of menopause. The article also references UNICEF data on menstruation awareness among adolescent girls in India.

We The Women expands its wings to Jaipur

03 Mar 2023  |  theweek.in
We The Women (WTW) festival, a platform celebrating women's achievements and discussions on their challenges, is being organized in Jaipur on March 4. The event will feature a range of speakers including actor-turned-politician Khushboo Sundar, actresses Vidya Balan and Jhanvi Kapoor, businesswoman Ghazal Alagh, and Neelam Krishnamurthy, an advocate for Uphaar tragedy victims. Aditya Roy Kapur will speak on masculinity, and a video conversation with Hilary Rodham Clinton is also scheduled. The forum, founded by journalist Barkha Dutt, has previously been held in four other Indian cities with over 500 speakers.

Archaeological research in India needs the right push: Experts

27 Feb 2023  |  www.theweek.in
Archaeological research and education in India are not meeting the needs of students like Anushree, who pursued higher education abroad at Durham University due to a lack of opportunities in Indian institutions. Experts like Professor K. Krishnan from Baroda University acknowledge the potential for archaeological studies in India but note the absence of the necessary push and opportunities. Durham University's Department of Social Sciences and Health has partnered with Indian institutions to enhance archaeological research through joint research, workshops, faculty exchange, and training. This collaboration aims to improve learning for archaeology students and support India's research system.

World Sustainable Development Summit: Experts push for more climate finance

24 Feb 2023  |  www.theweek.in
The 22nd World Sustainable Development Summit 2023, organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, emphasized the urgent need for increased climate finance. Experts, including Amitabh Kant from the Ministry of External Affairs, highlighted India's potential to meet decarbonization targets and the necessity of reducing green hydrogen costs. Jagjeet Singh Sareen from Dalberg Advisors and Mahendra Singhi, CEO of Dalmia Cement, stressed the importance of expanding climate finance and developing specific strategies to address climate change. Dr. Dhruba Purkayastha from the Climate Policy Initiative pointed out the significant global gap in climate investments, advocating for an institutional mechanism to ensure effective use of funds.

Health Ministry appoints new DCGI with temporary charge

16 Feb 2023  |  www.theweek.in
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has appointed Dr. P.B.N. Prasad as the new Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on a temporary basis, succeeding Dr. V.G. Somani. Dr. Prasad will hold the position until February 28 or until further orders. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has recommended three candidates for the permanent position, including Dr. Rajeev Raghuvanshi, Dr. Somani, and Dr. Prasad, with the final decision pending.

Implementing digital solutions in healthcare need of the hour, suggest health experts

14 Feb 2023  |  www.theweek.in
Global healthcare experts emphasize the urgent need for digital solutions to improve healthcare infrastructure, especially highlighted by the challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. In India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare approved telemedicine to treat virus patients, accelerating the adoption of technology in healthcare. Experts like Professor Ilona Kickbusch and Dr. Ratna Devi stress the importance of digital health systems and patient empowerment. The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) is making significant strides with over 32 crore health accounts created. Comparisons with the Netherlands' healthcare system highlight the potential for international partnerships to create cost-effective solutions.

'One quality, one standard': Bharat Biotech chairman calls for FDA merger

06 Feb 2023  |  www.theweek.in
Bharat Biotech chairman Dr Krishna Ella advocates for merging state and central Food and Drug Administrations in India to ensure uniform quality standards amid criticism over drug manufacturing lapses. He emphasizes the need for a centralized regulatory system and highlights the political nature of the decision. The call comes as India faces scrutiny over drug-related deaths abroad. Dr Ella also discusses Bharat Biotech's preparedness for future health crises and ongoing vaccine development. The article also covers the partnership between the Ella Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Global Health Institute to establish a health center in Bengaluru, aimed at advancing vaccine research and development.

We are talking to vendors to develop ERP for IPC so that our whole working process turns digital

01 Feb 2023  |  Express Pharma
The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) is planning to digitise the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) to increase reach, offer flexible pricing, and conduct better research on its usage. The digitisation will also help prevent counterfeiting and improve services by tracking product usage. IPC is also working on digitising its internal processes through an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and converting its library into a digital product. The digitisation process is currently in the tender phase, with an expert committee evaluating vendors. The article highlights the challenges faced by MSMEs in the pharma industry regarding digitisation due to lack of skills and finances.

Budget 2023: Centre allocates Rs 495 crore for Global Fund Grant under Covid-19 Response Mechanism

01 Feb 2023  |  The Week
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated Rs 495 crore for the Global Fund Grant under the Covid-19 Response Mechanism in India's union budget for 2023-2024. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare received a total revenue of Rs 1,04,683 crore, with some budgetary decreases in grants-in-aid to state governments and capital outlay for medical and public health. However, there were increases in allocations for the Central Government Health Scheme, Safdarjung Hospital, and other medical institutions. The Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission and Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana saw significant budget increases, while the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana experienced a decrease. The National AIDS and STD Control Programme and the National Organ Transplant Programme received higher allocations, with no change in the National Rural Health Mission funding.

Ministry of AYUSH inks MoU with ITDC to promote medical value travel, other traditional medicinal systems

24 Jan 2023  |  expresspharma.in
The Ministry of AYUSH has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the India Tourism Development Corporation to promote Medical Value Travel in Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal systems. The MoU includes training for ITDC officials, identification of tourist circuits, and the inclusion of historical heritage sites in tourism offerings. A Joint Working Group will monitor the MoU's implementation and progress, drawing on best practices from countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The growth of the AYUSH-based healthcare and wellness economy is significant, with an estimated increase to 70 billion dollars by 2025.

Sinopharm unit gets OK for clinical trials of mRNA COVID vaccine

23 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Sinopharm's biotech unit in Shanghai has received approval from the National Medical Products Administration for clinical trials of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine targeting the Omicron variant. The unit has a production capacity of two billion doses annually. Sinopharm is also the China distributor of Merck & Co's COVID-19 antiviral treatment molnupiravir, sold under the brand name Lagevrio, which was recently launched in the Chinese market.

J&J to discontinue HIV vaccine trial

19 Jan 2023  |  expresspharma.in
Johnson & Johnson has terminated a global late-stage trial of an HIV vaccine due to its ineffectiveness in preventing infections. This follows a previous failure of another J&J HIV vaccine study. The trial, which started in 2019, involved around 3,900 gay men and transgender individuals, administering two types of shots over four visits. Despite the setback, research partners like NIAID and HVTN remain committed to pursuing an effective HIV vaccine. The WHO reports that in 2021, approximately 650,000 people died from HIV-related causes, and 1.5 million new infections occurred. Other HIV vaccine candidates are in trial, including those from Moderna Inc. J&J's shares fell 1.3% following the announcement.

Sanofi sees decision on Zantac dispute with Boehringer in Q1

19 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Sanofi anticipates a decision in its arbitration with Boehringer Ingelheim over Zantac-related cancer claims in the US by the end of the first quarter. The dispute concerns Sanofi's obligations after acquiring Zantac's marketing rights from Boehringer in 2017. Sanofi's shares rose nearly one percent following the announcement. Thousands of US lawsuits claim Zantac caused cancer, but a federal judge recently dismissed about 50,000 claims due to lack of scientific backing. Sanofi expects its fourth-quarter results to benefit from a stronger dollar and increased flu vaccine sales, with currency movements boosting sales and core earnings per share.

Moderna says RSV vaccine 84 per cent effective at preventing symptoms in older adults

18 Jan 2023  |  expresspharma.in
Moderna's experimental mRNA vaccine for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), mRNA-1345, showed 83.7% efficacy in preventing symptoms like cough and fever in a late-stage trial with adults aged 60 and older. RSV causes significant mortality among older adults, and Moderna's vaccine is compared favorably to Pfizer's and GSK's, which are also in development. The RSV vaccine market is potentially worth over $10 billion, with half expected from the US. Moderna plans to seek global regulatory approval in the first half of 2023, and the vaccine is generally safe with no myocarditis concerns.

Davos 2023: Moderna CEO says he wants to have MRNA factory on every continent

17 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Moderna's CEO, Stephane Bancel, expressed his ambition to establish MRNA vaccine manufacturing facilities on every continent, with current plans for factories in Canada, Australia, Britain, and Kenya. This expansion aims to enhance global vaccine production capabilities. The announcement was made during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, emphasizing Moderna's commitment to global health and preparedness.

USFDA pulls up Sun Pharma for lapses in Halol plant

16 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning letter to Sun Pharma for significant violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations at its Halol plant in Gujarat. The violations include failure to prevent microbiological contamination of drug products, rendering them adulterated. The facility was inspected from April 26 to May 9, 2022.

Serum Institute’s free supply of Covishield to Centre: First lot of 80 lakh doses set for dispatch

14 Jan 2023  |  expresspharma.in
The Serum Institute of India has begun supplying Covishield vaccines to the Indian government at no cost, with the initial dispatch of 80 lakh doses occurring on January 14, 2023. This is part of a larger commitment to provide two crore doses valued at Rs 410 crore. SII has already supplied 170 crore doses of Covishield since the start of the vaccination campaign.

Abbvie raises sales outlook of two new drugs to more than $17.5 billion in 2025

12 Jan 2023  |  expresspharma.in
AbbVie has increased its 2025 sales forecast for its immunology drugs Skyrizi and Rinvoq to over $17.5 billion, aiming to compensate for the anticipated revenue decline from its rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira. The company's previous forecast was over $15 billion, and it now expects peak sales to surpass $21 billion by 2027. AbbVie's strategy involves negotiations with insurers and pharmacy benefit managers for Humira, with its sales this year being influenced by the pricing of competitive drugs.

Merck to take legal action against unauthorized distributors of its COVID treatment in China

12 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Merck & Co announced it would initiate legal proceedings against certain pharmaceutical companies for supplying COVID-19 drugs to various provinces and cities in China under the pretense of Merck authorization. The company clarified that Sinopharm is the sole authorized distributor of its COVID-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir, marketed as Lagevrio, which was co-developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Merck is in discussions with Sinopharm regarding a production technology license, and China National Biotec Group, a Sinopharm affiliate, is expected to manufacture the drug.

Eisai files for approval of Alzheimer's drug in Europe

12 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Eisai has submitted a marketing application to the European health regulator for its Alzheimer's drug lecanemab, developed in partnership with Biogen. The drug, which has received accelerated approval in the US, targets amyloid beta deposits in the brain. Eisai plans to seek marketing authorization in Japan by the end of the business year on 31st March.

Innova Captab and Blue Jet Healthcare get SEBI's nod to float IPO

12 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Pharma companies Innova Captab and Blue Jet Healthcare have received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise funds through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Innova Captab's IPO includes a fresh issuance of equity shares worth Rs 400 crore and an offer for sale (OFS) of 96 lakh equity shares by promoters and other shareholders. Blue Jet Healthcare's IPO is entirely an OFS of up to 21,683,178 equity shares by its promoters. The funds raised by Innova Captab will be used for debt repayment, subsidiary loan payments, and working capital requirements.

AstraZeneca to buy US-based CinCor Pharma in $1.8 billion deal

11 Jan 2023  |  expresspharma.in
AstraZeneca plans to acquire clinical-stage biopharma firm CinCor Pharma for approximately $1.8 billion, aiming to bolster its portfolio of heart and kidney drugs. The purchase price of $26 per share represents a 121% premium over CinCor's closing stock price. Additionally, the deal includes a contingent value right of $10 per share, contingent upon a regulatory submission for CinCor's baxdrostat, a treatment for cardio-renal diseases.

BioNTech buys InstaDeep

10 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
BioNTech has agreed to acquire the British AI startup InstaDeep for up to 562 million pounds to enhance its biotech research capabilities. The deal includes an upfront payment of 362 million pounds and up to 200 million pounds contingent on InstaDeep's future performance. This acquisition aligns with BioNTech's strategy to integrate AI into its operations, particularly in developing new cancer immunotherapies and other vaccines. InstaDeep will continue to provide AI and ML services to other companies, including Google and Nvidia. The announcement was made during the JP Morgan healthcare conference.

German expats in China receive first foreign COVID vaccines

06 Jan 2023  |  www.expresspharma.in
German expatriates in China have started receiving the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, marking the first distribution of a foreign vaccine in China, which has previously only used domestic vaccines. This follows an agreement from Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit to Beijing in November. Over 8,000 doses have been shipped, with more than 1,500 Germans registering interest. The arrangement, which is reciprocal, also allows Chinese nationals in Germany to receive China's SinoVac vaccine. The EU has offered free vaccines to China, but the Chinese Foreign Ministry claims their supplies are sufficient.

Geron's blood cancer drug succeeds in late-stage study, shares surge

05 Jan 2023  |  expresspharma.in
Geron's experimental blood cancer drug imetelstat demonstrated efficacy in a late-stage trial by increasing the number of patients achieving transfusion independence compared to a placebo. The trial results showed 40% of patients on imetelstat were transfusion-independent for eight weeks, versus 15% on placebo. Geron plans to seek US approval in mid-2023, EU approval in the second half of 2023, and launch commercially in 2024, with a projected peak market potential of $1.2 billion. The drug also met a secondary goal, with 28% of patients avoiding transfusions for 24 weeks. Adverse effects were consistent with previous trials. Geron is also evaluating imetelstat for myelofibrosis, with results expected in 2024, potentially competing with Incyte's Jakafi.

Macleods Pharma recalls 10,000 bottles of anti-bacterial medication in US

05 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Macleods Pharma is recalling approximately 10,000 bottles of generic antibiotic medication in the US market due to a labeling error, as reported by the USFDA. The recall involves 10,052 bottles of Levofloxacin tablets, used for treating bacterial infections, due to mismatched embossing on the tablets and package insert. The affected lot was manufactured in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, and the recall was initiated on January 5th in the US and Puerto Rico.

Pharma industry to hike prices on over 350 drugs in US

01 Jan 2023  |  Express Pharma
Drugmakers including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, and Sanofi plan to raise prices on over 350 drugs in the US in early January. The increases are in response to the upcoming Inflation Reduction Act, inflation, and supply chain constraints. Pfizer will see the most increases, followed by GSK, Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, and Sanofi. The median drug price increase last year was 4.9%, with the average at 6.4%, both below US inflation rates. Companies justify the hikes by citing factors like inflation, the value of therapies, and manufacturing costs.

Dr Reddy’s Lab Q3 results: Consolidated net profit up 77 per cent at Rs 1,247 crore

31 Dec 2022  |  Express Pharma
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories reported a 77% increase in consolidated net profit, reaching Rs 1,247 crore for the third quarter ending December 31, 2022, compared to Rs 706 crore in the same period the previous year. Revenue from operations rose to Rs 6,770 crore from Rs 5,320 crore year-over-year.

Urgent need to develop antibiotics for newborns: Global experts

30 Dec 2022  |  Express Pharma
Global public health experts, including those from India, have emphasized the urgent need to develop antibiotics for newborns, who are increasingly resistant to existing treatments. Approximately 2.3 million newborns die annually from severe bacterial infections, with 50-70% of common pathogens showing high resistance to first and second-line antibiotics. The paper, co-authored by experts from GARDP and AIIMS, calls for a global consensus to streamline antibiotic development and access for neonatal populations. Collaborative networks like the one between GARDP, Penta, SGUL, and others have been successful, as seen in a global observational study of neonatal sepsis. However, challenges such as ethical concerns and regulatory issues hinder clinical research in newborns, with only four of the 40 antibiotics approved since 2000 including dosing information for newborns.

The centre’s PMBJP is an ambitious scheme which certainly provides generics at affordable rates but more efforts are required to make it really successful

06 Aug 2020  |  Express Pharma
The article discusses the challenges faced by the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), a scheme introduced by the Indian government to provide affordable generic medicines to the public. Despite its noble intent, the scheme is plagued by operational issues such as supply chain inefficiencies, stock shortages, and payment delays to suppliers. Stakeholders, including store operators and pharmaceutical companies, express their concerns over the execution of the scheme. The article highlights specific instances where patients were unable to obtain necessary medications due to stock unavailability. It also covers the difficulties faced by pharma companies in receiving timely payments and the lack of tracking mechanisms for products. The CEO of BPPI acknowledges the need for improvement and the article calls for better planning and systems to address these issues.

Akanki's confirmed information

Aug 2020

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