Pharma Business Line – Tenil Fri, 04 Jun 2021 16:15:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pharma Business Line – Tenil 32 32 by invitation | Rethinking pharmaceutical parks so that they are “smart” Fri, 04 Jun 2021 15:12:23 +0000

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has strained our public and private health systems. Amidst these challenges, the most important cry is the unavailability of drugs and resources. As global pharmaceutical companies operate at full capacity, not only in India but around the world, the availability, accessibility and affordability of life-saving medicines remain a challenge.

We started the year with the intention of stimulating public health systems and planning strategic investments to make manufacturing truly self-sufficient. As the stimulus to economic activity, employment and the health care state stagnate, what will make pharmaceutical manufacturing reliable?

It seems that there are only two key challenges on which a self-sustaining and export-worthy industry can pivot: the quality and availability of raw materials.

In 2019 alone, we recalled 40,000 batches of medicines exported to the USA. In 2020, India’s dependence on vital medicine imports was almost 90%. Over 70% of our key raw materials (KSMs), intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) come from a single country: China. For any global supply chain, this is a huge obstacle to security of supply, which was particularly highlighted in the early stages of the pandemic.

Government efforts to boost domestic production should be synchronized with reducing imports and modernizing technology to create quality drugs. In my opinion, achieving “Atmanirbharta” is about developing an ecosystem of pharmaceutical parks that embrace next-generation technologies.

While experts put the average drug manufacturing utilization rate at just 75 percent, the real numbers are much lower. Most of the manufacturing sites in India use a batch manufacturing methodology. Built on legacy processes, they have high start-up costs, quality consistency issues, and create a lot of waste. These cost the industry millions of dollars each year in operating expenses. It is relevant to note that these losses can be optimized using Industry 4.0 technologies, which identify gaps and suggest areas for improvement to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes.

Digital transformation enables early detection of machine line wear, flexible tracking of a defective batch in the event of a process failure and even enables rapid intervention, dramatically reducing waste. Through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), reams of data are converted into actionable intelligence, thus improving several aspects of the supply chain such as inventory management, trend analysis, forecasts, predictive equipment maintenance, etc.

For new manufacturing sites that are aided by the government’s PLI program, the incentive should be used to adopt Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT) and convert them into “smart factories”.

As the issue of drug safety escalated, many pharmaceutical majors planned for upstream integration and foray into the manufacturing of KSMs, APIs, and other intermediates. Along with the government, the industry has prioritized 53 APIs that cater to 41 bulk pharmaceuticals. Most of these materials manufacturing units require considerable resources – land, water, energy and, if not managed properly, can create effluents and pollutants. As the gestation period of these manufacturing units is long, now is the time for India to switch to zero defect solutions. The integration of these connected facilities with advanced effluent management systems such as zero / minimum liquid discharge (ZLD / MLD) in new pharmaceutical parks will pave the way for sustainable manufacturing, as in the case of the textile industry. . Along with centralized supply, water consumption and effluent management should be integrated into the ecosystem of smart pharmaceutical parks to reduce the burden on industry.

A view I share with industry stalwarts is that the transition to environmentally positive protocols should not be based on the voluntary actions of a private entity, but should form the basis for the creation of long-term sustainable manufacturing in the country.

I am personally convinced that the current geopolitical and economic climate has opened up a window of opportunity for us. We need to transition the way we traditionally approach production activities in India and take a sandbox approach that helps contain the impact of failures.

In India’s pursuit to reduce recalls and become globally competitive, technology can play a central role in achieving “zero defect, zero effect” – high product quality and no adverse effect on the market. environment by manufacturing. While building a self-sustaining and robust pharmaceutical supply chain, we must focus on building smart, high-performing fleets that can meet complex healthcare needs in the future.

(The author is Managing Director, ACG. Opinions are personal)

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ASCO: AstraZeneca and Merck to Expand Lynparza Blockbuster Territory with Big Early Breast Cancer Demonstration Thu, 03 Jun 2021 21:00:00 +0000

With regular screening, many cases of breast cancer are detected early. And in some patients at high risk of tumor recurrence, treatments are deployed around the surgery to increase the chances of recovery.

Now supported by further successful clinical trials, AstraZeneca and Merck are considering a HER2 negative niche in the post-surgical breast cancer market to further expand their PARP inhibitor blockbuster Lynparza.

Use of Lynparza after surgery in early high-risk HER2-negative breast cancer reduced risk of disease recurrence or death by 42% compared to placebo, according to data presented in plenary from the American Society of Clinical Oncology Virtual Meeting.

The results of the Phase 3 OlympiA trial involved patients whose tumors carry BRCA 1/2 mutations, which account for about 5% of all breast cancer cases in the United States and predispose women to aggressive disease.

At three years, about 85.9% of Lynparza patients were still alive without invasive breast cancer, compared to 77.1% in the placebo group.

RELATED: AstraZeneca’s Already Dominant Lynparza Lines Up For Early Breast Cancer With New Trial Win

Lynparza is now the first PARP inhibitor to claim a victory that, as ASCO said, “could change the standard of care in adjuvant systemic therapy” for early germ-producing breast cancer with BRCA1 / 2 and HER2 mutations -negative. And it’s a home run.

Two breast cancer experts SVB Leerink spoke to before the data came to light said a 30% reduction in the so-called invasive disease-free survival marker would be clinically significant enough to prompt doctors to adopt Lynparza in patients with early breast cancer. The 42% of Lynparza easily crossed this threshold.

Previously, Eli Lilly’s CDK4 / 6 inhibitor, Verzenio, reported a 25.3% reduction in the risk of cancer recurrence when used as an adjuvant therapy for early HR-risk breast cancer. positive and HER2-negative. And that was also seen as a practice-changing improvement.

RELATED: ESMO: Verzenio de Lilly Pressures Pfizer with Practice-Changing Win in Early Breast Cancer

In the OlympiA trial, Lynparza was actually given after current standard chemotherapy used before or after surgery. The diet was designed that way, rather than trying to replace chemotherapy with Lynparza, as AZ and Merck try to “give the best possible therapy to achieve a cure,” explained Dave Fredrickson, business leader. AZ oncology, in an interview.

Lynparza has also been shown to reduce the risk of distant tumor recurrence or death by 43%.

Key information as to whether Lynparza can help patients live longer was not mature at interim analysis with a median follow-up of 2.5 years, but the survival curve was moving in favor of Lynparza with a reduction of 32 % of risk of death. The study is continuing to read overall survival data.

Prior to the early victory in breast cancer, Lynparza was the first PARP inhibitor authorized to treat metastatic breast cancer with BRCA mutation thanks to the FDA green light in 2018.

Fredrickson described the latest Lynparza trial as part of AstraZeneca’s “explicit strategy” to intervene early in the line of treatment of its cancer drugs on different types of tumors.

Tagrisso, the company’s best-selling product, recently entered early stage EGFR mutated non-small cell lung cancer after showing that its use after surgery could reduce the risk of disease recurrence. or 83% death compared to placebo in patients with stage II and IIIA disease. And several studies are testing its PD-L1 inhibitor Imfinzi as a pre- or post-surgical treatment for different cancers.

RELATED: AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso, Imfinzi Slow Down By COVID-19, But Growth Is Coming: Exec

AZ is currently trying to refine Lynparza’s advantage amid increasing competition from Zejula, GlaxoSmithKline’s rival PARP inhibitor, and OlympiA has once again taken a step ahead.

Despite a single approval that covers HRD-negative ovarian cancer in the so-called first-line interview setting, Zejula still fell short of Lynparza in terms of sales. In the first quarter, Zejula had revenue of £ 88million ($ 124million), while Lynparza made $ 543million from AZ.

The next big step for Lynparza will be data from the PROpel trial later this year, which could take the drug one-line in the treatment sequence for newly diagnosed castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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Sensex is trading higher; Clever Tops 15 650 Thu, 03 Jun 2021 05:09:45 +0000

The benchmark Sensex stock index jumped more than 350 points early in Thursday, following the gains of index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC and Infosys amid a largely positive trend in global markets.

At 10:30 a.m., the 30-stock BSE index was trading 270.7 points or 0.52% higher to 52,120.18, and the larger NSE Nifty index jumped 80.40 points or 0.52. % at 15,656.60.

Titan was the first winner of the Sensex pack, with an increase of over 4%, followed by Reliance Industries, PowerGrid, Kotak Bank, HDFC, ONGC and Infosys.

In contrast, NTPC, Bajaj Auto, IndusInd Bank, Nestlé India, Dr Reddy’s, SBI and Sun Pharma were among the laggards.

In the previous session, Sensex finished down 85.40 points or 0.16% to 51,849.48, while Nifty was up 1.35 points or 0.01% to 15,576.20.

Net FII buyers

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they bought shares worth 921.10 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional data from the exchanges.

“National actions look good at the moment. Increased optimism about the economic recovery with the continued decline in the number of daily cases during the second wave of COVID and improving recovery rates have already driven national actions to new heights, ”Binod Modi said, Head of Strategy at Reliance Securities.

In addition, the start of the gradual withdrawal of restrictions by states, which portends an improvement in economic indicators from the current month, also uplifted the mood of the market, he added.

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Government calls for applications for PLI pharmaceuticals program Tue, 01 Jun 2021 15:46:00 +0000

The government on Tuesday released operational guidelines for the production-linked incentive program (PLI) for the pharmaceutical sector.

The approved program expenditure is ₹ 15,000 crore and it is open for industry applications from June 1 to July 31. Applications are invited in three groups based on the global manufacturing turnover of the program. ‘2019-20 candidates’ fiscal year, he said in a press release.

“A special exception for MSMEs has been maintained under the program. All applications will be submitted through an online portal managed by SIDBI, the project management agency for the program. The request can be made on the online portal, the URL of which is », Indicates the government press release.

Three categories

According to the government statement, the products covered by the scheme are formulations, biopharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients, key raw materials, drug intermediates, in vitro diagnostic medical devices, etc. Eligible products have been classified into three categories. Category 1 and Category 2 products attract 10 percent incentive and Category 3 products attract 5 percent incentive on additional sales. Additional sales of a product means the sales of that product in one year beyond the sales of that product in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The government will select a maximum of 55 applicants under the program and each applicant, through a single application, can apply for more than one product and the products applied by an applicant can fall into one of three categories.

“Applicants will be expected to make a minimum cumulative investment per year over a period of 5 years, as prescribed under the program. The investment could relate to new plant and machinery, new equipment and associated utilities, research and development, technology transfer, product registration and expenses incurred for the construction where the plant and machinery are installed. . Investments made from April 1, 2020 will be considered eligible investments under the program, ”he added.

Shortlisted manufacturers will receive LIPs based on additional sales of pharmaceuticals for 6 years. A selected participant will receive a maximum bonus of ₹ 1,000 crore, ₹ 250 crore and ₹ 50 crore, respectively, depending on their group during the program period.

“An additional incentive will be available based on performance, but under certain conditions. Under no circumstances would the total incentive, including additional inventiveness, be greater than ₹ 1,200 crore, ₹ 300 crore and ₹ 60 crore per selected participant respectively for the three groups during the period of the program, ”states the communicated.

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Xenon Pharmaceuticals to Present at Jefferies 2021 Virtual Healthcare Conference Mon, 31 May 2021 20:01:00 +0000


3 Strong Buy stocks with 100% upside potential

Every stock investor wants a high return; it’s axiomatic, which is why people go public to begin with. But markets are inherently risky, and finding the sweet spot – the right mix of risk and reward – seems as much an art as a science. You can however use science to minimize the risk. We are talking about statistical science, the study of numbers, their patterns and the relationships between them. This can give investors an objective view of the larger market or specific stocks, and can even be used to measure the success of these stock performers, professional traders and analysts. We used the tools on the TipRanks platform to sort publicly traded stocks and find three that have a strong combination of risk and reward. Specifically, we looked for Strong Buy stocks that have recently received analyst approval, as well as a price target suggesting upside potential of 100% or more. Doubling your money seems like a good return, so let’s find out what else these stocks have for them. Rezolute (RZLT) We’ll start with the biopharmaceutical industry, where Rezolute specializes in the development of drug therapies – new drugs – for patients with difficult-to-treat metabolic disorders. These are often seen as orphan diseases, diseases that have very few patients and therefore a limited market. Rezolute is currently working on two pipeline projects, both for conditions similar to or related to diabetes. The Company’s lead drug candidate, RZ358, is currently in an open label Phase 2b study as a treatment for congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI), a rare pediatric disease in which the pancreas produces too much insulin , resulting in extremely low blood sugar, with cascading effects throughout the body. RZ402, the second drug candidate, is in phase 1 clinical trials. This is an oral treatment for diabetic macular edema, one of the causes of blindness in diabetes. In its recent financial report for the third quarter of fiscal 2021, Rezolute included updates on the development of the two main drug candidates. For RZ358, the company noted that the phase 2b RIZE study was still enrolling patients and that baseline data should be available during 2H21. For the Phase 1 study of RZ402, Resolute announced that the trial has ended and initial results show that oral administration once daily is feasible. The company will launch a Phase 1b trial in 3Q21, as a step towards Phase 2 studies. Regarding the financial results, Rezolute said it has on hand $ 32 million available in cash and cash equivalents, enough to fund. operations through the third calendar quarter of 2022. HC Wainwright five-star analyst Douglas Tsao began his coverage of RZLT with an optimistic outlook, writing: “Rezolute is set to step into the limelight with two assets to the mechanisms Unprecedented… Despite assets with promising data and differentiated mechanisms, Rezolute has been largely overlooked by the investment community, which we largely attribute to its entry into the public markets via a reverse merger and an OTC List. keys ahead and a recent NASDAQ listing, we think it’s time for investors to pay attention to this story. Tsao is giving the stock a no. te purchase and a target price of $ 21, which implies an increase of 103% for the coming year. (To see Tsao’s review, click here.) The Strong Buy consensus rating on RZLT shares is based on 3 recent reviews – and they are all positive, unanimously agreed by consensus. The shares are priced at $ 10.33, with an average price target of $ 25.33, making the one-year upside potential a solid 145%. (See Rezolute’s market analysis on TipRanks.) Westport Fuel Systems, Inc. (WPRT) Next, we have Westport Fuel Systems, a company that operates in the green sector of the energy and transportation industry, producing natural gas engines and associated fuel system components, for personal and commercial vehicles. Westport is a leader in high pressure direct injection technology and also produces engines designed for propane or hydrogen fuels. Westport holds 1,400 patents or patent applications relating to alternative fuel systems. Last year, the company achieved sales in 70 countries, with total revenue of $ 252 million. In the current year’s first quarter report, Westport reported revenue of $ 76.4 million, beating estimates of $ 3.81 million and up 14% from 1Q20, putting the company on track to beat last year’s total. The company recorded a net loss in the first quarter; however, despite the lack of $ 0.01 from the street forecast, the loss of 2 cents per share was well below the loss of 12 cents recorded in the last year’s quarter. Westport has a stated goal of reaching $ 1 billion in annual business by the middle of this decade. Amit Dayal, 5-star analyst at HC Wainwright, covers this headline, and he was impressed with the first quarter results. Dayal wrote: “The strength in year-over-year revenues is attributed to a 25.0% increase in OEM sales supported by demand for light vehicles. Gross margins for the quarter improved to 17.0% from 15.5% in 4Q20, supported by the product mix. Regarding the outlook for the company, the analyst added, “A key takeaway from the call was management’s increasing focus on growth in North America. We believe regulators in this geography are now pressuring fleet owners to look for cleaner trucks. This, in our opinion, plays on the company’s available solutions that already meet this need. Consistent with these comments, Dayal rated the WPRT shares as a buy. Its price target, at $ 16, indicates confidence in a 155% rise for the 12-month nest. (To view Dayal’s track record, click here.) Like RZLT above, Westport received 3 positive stock reviews for a unanimous Strong Buy consensus rating. WPRT shares have an average price target of $ 13.33, which implies a one-year increase of 112% from the current price of $ 6.26. (See Westport stock market analysis on TipRanks.) Ayr Wellness (AYRWF) For the last headline on our list, we’ll look to the fast-growing cannabis industry. Ayr Wellness is a United States-based cannabis company, an MSO (multi-state operator) with operations ranging from growing the plants to distributing the product. Ayr has dispensaries in Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada and Pennsylvania, and offers a range of products for medicinal and recreational users. The legal cannabis market is young and continues to grow rapidly. In Ayr’s 1Q21 report, the company showed a 74% year-over-year gain to $ 58.4 million. Ayr focused on expanding his footprint. During the quarter, he completed the acquisition of Liberty Health Sciences in Florida. The move added 42 dispensaries to Ayr’s Florida operation, giving the company the fourth-largest “ cannabis footprint ” in the third-largest state. Ayr also made acquisitions in Arizona and Ohio, with Ohio operations scheduled to begin in the next quarter. The company plans to enter the New Jersey market by the end of the summer. Echelon analyst Andrew Semple sees the company’s expansion as the driving force here, and he writes of Ayr: “We expect strong growth to come with our forecast for sales to exceed 120. million by Q420, more than double Q1 levels. In the coming quarters, Ayr will benefit from the full first quarter of the contribution of its operations acquired in Arizona and Florida, the closing of the acquisition of Garden State Dispensary in New Jersey (expected in Q321), significant increases in capacity in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, and Nevada (as well as MA / OH due to go live in 2022), and 14 new dispensaries operational by YE 2021 compared to QE Q121. Semple, a 5-star analyst ranked among Wall Street’s Top 100 Analysts, gives stocks a buy rating and raises his price target from C $ 70 ($ 58) to C $ 74 ($ 61), suggesting a 100% increase for the coming year. . (To see Semple’s track record, click here.) There are 5 recent reviews on this stock, with a 4: 1 split in favor of buy over hold, all merging into a Strong consensus rating. Buy. The average price target is $ 45.58, which implies a 49% hike in the coming year. (See Ayr Wellness stock market analysis on TipRanks. To find great ideas for trading stocks at attractive valuations, visit Top Stocks to Buy from TipRanks, a newly launched tool that brings together all the information about stocks from TipRanks Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Global business confidence index plunges due to pandemic Mon, 31 May 2021 07:27:38 +0000

The overall business confidence index plunges to around 20 points – 51.5 in the current cycle from 74.2 – due to the surge in Covid-19 infections, according to a survey.

The survey titled, ‘The business confidence of the FICCI ‘ the proportion of respondents citing a situation of low demand once again noted a significant increase.

“About 70 percent of respondents said weak demand was a hindering factor in the current survey, compared to 56 percent saying the same in the previous cycle. The corresponding number last year was 77 percent, ”the survey said.

With household income severely affected and past savings already depleted in the first wave of infections, demand conditions are expected to remain weak for longer this time around, he added.

Also read: Indian economy faces stress test in the face of Covid-19 risks

The survey was conducted during the month of April / May 2021 and measures respondents’ expectations for the period from April to September 2021. The survey covers participants from a wide range of sectors.

In the current survey, the proportion of respondents predicting better short-term sales prospects has dropped significantly to 31 percent, from 66 percent of respondents saying the same in the previous cycle.

He added that the proportion of respondents citing higher profits over the next six months fell to 16 percent in the latest survey, from 36 percent of respondents saying the same in the previous cycle.

In addition to the usual activity indicators, respondents were also asked to give their opinion on the impact of localized restrictions imposed by various state governments on their activities and subsequent measures taken by them to ensure business continuity.

Also read: Indian economy likely accelerated in January-March, before the Covid-19 wave

About 80% of participating companies said they were having problems doing business due to the new wave of restrictions. That’s less than 90 percent of respondents who said the same thing in the same poll last year.

“A majority of participating companies called for an extension of the moratorium on loans, repayment of principal and interest, for at least six more months,” the survey said.

Respondents also stressed the need to continue with liquidity support and credit enhancement measures for MSMEs, as announced the previous year.

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Value e-commerce, the most promising growth segment of the online market: Kunal Bahl, CEO of Snapdeal Sun, 30 May 2021 13:32:10 +0000

India’s $ 210 billion (non-food, non-pharmaceutical) retail market, which is growing 9-11%, represents a vastly untapped online opportunity. Currently, only 3 percent of valuable merchandise is sold online, enabling rapid growth in value e-commerce. Kunal Bahl, co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal, tells Activity area how the market, with its 220 million more valuable products, taps into this segment by supplying 60 percent of Indian households with products they can afford. Excerpts:

When do you plan to raise another round of funding, and how much will it be?

Right now, we are focused on executing our plan for customer experience, growth and profitability. Given the firm’s clear focus and leadership in the value e-commerce segment, investors continue to contact us to invest in the business, and at the right time we will explore the same.

Your recent campaign

focus on value

e-commerce. How is this different from traditional e-commerce agreements?

For a long time, e-commerce in India was about brands on the one hand, and relatively low-quality, low-cost items on the other. Value e-commerce is all about providing users with good quality products at affordable prices, without requiring a trade-off between price and quality. Value e-commerce is for consumers who are primarily looking for affordable lifestyle products and are not necessarily looking to buy discounted brands. In India, a value driven platform is a missing piece of the Indian e-commerce market. While a few platforms offer a limited selection of valuable items, at Snapdeal we understand that a dedicated value shopping platform is essential to reaching over 90% of online shoppers. Our efforts over the past four years have focused on creating value in e-commerce.

How is Snapdeal different from other ecommerce players who also offer value-added offers? Is there a parallel with value retailers such as DMart or Vishal Mega Mart?

Concentration is the key success factor in an ultra competitive e-commerce market. We have seen successful online businesses spring up in categories such as cosmetics, eyewear, and children’s products.

The value retail segment is the largest part of Indian retailing, and we are confident that the growth opportunity for a value-focused e-commerce leader such as Snapdeal is significant.

Well-established retail models such as DMart and Vishal Mega Mart are successfully serving this audience in physical markets. We are the first large-scale platform to create an online equivalent of these, with an exclusive focus on good-quality, well-priced products like everyday wear, everyday kitchenware. and decorative items for the home.

How did Snapdeal sculpt

a positioning in

value-driven e-commerce?

Finding a balance between good quality and affordable prices is not an easy task – it requires that every part of the business be optimized to deliver value to customers, given the small size of the baskets, while ensuring consistent and good user experience.

For example, in an early industry, we offer free shipping on all orders, with no minimum order value requirement, ensuring that shipping costs don’t go down much. Working closely with our salespeople, we have built an assortment large enough to meet the full range of value needs.

For customers who are primarily looking for affordable value products in discretionary categories such as clothing, footwear, home decor and cooking, among others, we are able to meet all of their requirements without them having to do their shopping. shopping at local bazaars.

On Snapdeal, 100% of products are rated for their value and affordability. Technology has enabled us to provide a personalized flow to each client; a frictionless customer experience to facilitate ordering, delivery, as well as returns and refunds, which is very important to our customers who come mainly from small towns and are new to e-commerce.

Your last campaign

looks at the brand-oriented psyche. What

is the thought process

behind this campaign?

Seeking value is an integral part of an Indian customer’s buying consideration – both online and offline. Our latest campaign inspires consumers to look beyond sales talks to find the best value for their money and trust their wisdom to judge value against the hype.

While researching for the campaign, we surveyed hundreds of consumers who frequently buy brands and implicitly equate good quality with high prices. In blind tests, they were constantly amazed at the quality of the products, even when it came to affordable products not from well-known brands. The campaign uses humor to disrupt the idea that only expensive brands deliver good quality.

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Tablet developed by IIT-H for Kala Azar promises treatment for black fungus Sat, 29 May 2021 17:08:26 +0000

Even though an increase in so-called black fungus cases has triggered a severe shortage of amphotericin B injections, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (Hyderabad) believe that a tablet developed to treat Kala Azar, also a disease fungal, can be reused. to treat mucormycosis.

The tablet, developed as a proof of concept in the Institute’s lab two years ago, is affordable and convenient to use, said Chandra Shekhar Sharma, associate professor in the chemical engineering department at IIT-H. Activity area.

Also Read: Delhi Extends Curfew To Jun 7, Allows Construction And Manufacturing

The researchers said they mimicked the chemical processes that take place in the body when the drug passes through the gastrointestinal tract in the lab, to test its effectiveness.

Cheaper alternative

The development of the 60 mg tablet cost the department around ₹ 200, which promises a significant reduction in the cost of treating the fungal disease. The patient should take three tablets per day.

In addition to facilitating its administration because it is taken orally, the tablet exhibits reduced nephro-toxicity (adverse effect of drugs and chemicals on the kidneys).

The institute is seeking partnerships with pharmaceutical companies to bring the drug to clinical trials by seeking authorization for emergency use and making it available for mass production. “In 2019, Saptarshi Majumdar and Chandra Shekhar Sharma from the institute’s chemical engineering department published a proven study on the oral nanofibrous AMB (amphotericin B) to treat Kala Azar,” Sharma said.

Kala Azar, also called Visceral leishmaniasis, is a disease where the parasite infects internal organs such as the liver.

“This is a very first attempt to manufacture nanofibrous amphotericin B oral tablets for the potential treatment of Kala Azar. With the two-year advancement of the review, researchers are now confident that the technology can be transferred to pharmaceutical partners for large-scale production, ”he said.

Need an immediate try

In view of the shortage of drugs to treat mucormycosis, the Institute believes that it is necessary to allow emergency use and immediate testing of this drug by the oral route.

“The technology developed is IP-free, which facilitates its mass production and makes it affordable to the general public,” said Sharma.

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What Vietnam Needs to Produce Licensed Covid Vaccines Sat, 29 May 2021 02:00:00 +0000

Professor Thomas Preiss of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, said mRNA vaccine production is a new technology and involves several distinct steps.

Preiss said mRNA is the basis of some Covid vaccines like those made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, while AstraZeneca uses viral vector technology.

He said the more conventional AstraZeneca vaccine could likely be made by an appropriately sized Vietnam-based vaccine producer. The implementation of the new technology for the production of mRNA would be more complex but still feasible. The country does not need to build a huge factory to make mRNA vaccines, and only needs several full-size clean rooms in which most of the processes could be carried out, he said.

A health worker at the HCMC Tropical Disease Hospital holds a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in March 2021. Photo by VnExpress / Huu Khoa.

Regardless of the type of vaccine, “Vietnam will need to build facilities that meet high medical manufacturing standards to make an effective and safe Covid-19 vaccine.”

For Vietnam to have an end-to-end solution for mRNA production, it would take a facility to make the gmp grade DNA plasmid and a specialized bioreactor for making the real mRNA using that DNA as a template. and purify it. Another specialized device will take the purified mRNA and package it into lipid nanoparticles. Finally, the formulated mRNA vaccine should be distributed in ampoules and packaged for shipment. This last “filling and finishing” step is similar for any type of vaccine.

In producing any vaccine, there are multiple issues that a country must address, such as having the facilities, raw materials and supply lines, said Preiss. In addition, the patent regime for mRNA vaccines involves several sub-steps that are patented separately, he said. Licenses should be sought from several entities.

If Vietnam is to manufacture the mRNA vaccine, it must also procure a number of specific types of building blocks and other reaction components. The supply lines are different from those that manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine in terms of production and packaging.

Citing the case of Australia, which already makes the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said a large pharmaceutical company had tweaked its existing plant for production. As the mRNA vaccine is based on new technology, there are currently no established manufacturing lines in Australia, but the government has just started a market approach process to encourage commercial parties to establish a production facility for the vaccine. Sovereign mRNA for the country.

Preiss said Vietnam is not beyond Vietnam’s capacity to produce vaccines, and if it is ambitious about developing its biotech industry, establishing mRNA production could be a good idea. thing.

It is not too complex for a developing country to manufacture vaccines, even mRNA vaccines, if it has the resources, he said, stressing that India, a developing country, is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.

On May 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was considering a proposal from an unidentified Vietnamese vaccine manufacturer to make a Covid-19 vaccine based on mRNA.

Vietnam last week asked the UK to consider transferring vaccine technologies to Vietnam.

Nitin Kapoor, chairman and chief executive of AstraZeneca Vietnam, said the company would consider transferring the technology to Vietnam in the future if there is a partner in the country capable of producing drugs, including vaccines.

AstraZeneca had started an investigation to check bioreactors in Vietnam for Covid-19 vaccine production, but stopped it because the need for the vaccine was urgent around the world as the pandemic raged.

Speaking of infrastructure, Dr Sarah Schiffling, senior lecturer in supply chain management at John Moores University in Liverpool, UK, said Vietnam would need suitable facilities for production at the desired scale, appropriate technology and sufficient workers with the necessary knowledge to produce vaccines.

The supply chain is probably the most neglected part of vaccine production, she said. This requires many different things, from the ingredients of the vaccine to things like the filters used in the production process and the vials the vaccines are filled into.

In times of extremely high demand, it could be difficult to have sufficient capacity at all stages of the supply chain, from raw materials to finished vaccines, she said.

“With such a sensitive product, it is essential that excellent quality can be guaranteed throughout the production process.”

She acknowledged that Vietnam has a fairly developed pharmaceutical industry, but said specific companies would need to be identified to manufacture Covid vaccines.

But it must take into account the larger environment, including the storage, transport and distribution of vaccines, she said.

Tinglong Dai, professor of operations management and business analysis at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School in the United States, said vaccine manufacturing based on mRNA is niche technology, and therefore training could take years, and the country should instead recruit experts from companies like Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna.

Vietnam would need to acquire the technical know-how to make things work and ensure the quality of vaccines, and that is why it needs technology transfer, he said.

Optimistic about Vietnam’s ability

Dai said it was “absolutely technically possible” for Vietnam to produce Covid-19 vaccines because it has a formidable workforce with many educated workers.

The United States has expressed interest in expanding production of Covid vaccines in Asia, he said.

Vietnam “does not need to produce everything” but could instead collaborate with partners, for example South Korea, to produce vaccines, he said.

Moderna and Novavax have signed an agreement with the South Korean government to manufacture their Covid-19 vaccines.

Dai stressed that a country wishing to produce Covid vaccines must consider both supply and demand, and there are uncertainties about demand in the near future as people might prefer more vaccines. recent.

“Without sufficient demand, I don’t think the proposed manufacturing center will be feasible.”

But if the government shows strong political will and commitment, companies could be confident enough to develop and produce vaccines.

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Credit Suisse withdraws HCL Tech and Tata Steel from model portfolio Wed, 26 May 2021 14:29:35 +0000

Credit Suisse (CS) has removed HCL Technologies from its portfolio of information technology models and replaced it with Tata Consultancy Services. According to the Swiss investment advisory firm, HCL Tech was phased out due to poor earnings review relative to its peers, and TCS added due to “TCS ‘short-term underperformance versus Infosys, with the P / E premium at the 30-month low, allowing TCS to catch up. “

However, CS maintained its “underweight” position in the information technology sector. “Our sector underweight is due to zero positions in Wipro, Tech Mahindra and now HCLT,” he said.

In addition, CS has also reduced its position from “overweight” to metals to “underweight”, as it believes that the current upward trend in demand is not structural and will not be sustained. “Metals inventories have a high book value over several years, which made risk-reward unfavorable,” the investment advisory firm said.

Among the metal pack, CS removed Tata Steel from its 30 stock portfolio and replaced it with Hindalco Industries.

Credit Suisse, however, has become “overweight” in the cement sector as it expects companies to benefit from lower global input costs, while prices are local. Despite short-term concerns, CS has added UltraTech Cement to its model portfolio due to its plans to expand capacity and reduce fixed costs.

Marico in, Nestlé outside

The investment advisory firm reduced Staples’ weighting to Marketweight from the overweight by replacing Nestlé India with Marico. The brokerage expects Marico to profit from the growth of new businesses.

Credit Suisse has also added Asian Paints to its model portfolio as it expects the pricing power to benefit the paint business due to the normalization of petrochemical prices and falling costs. .

The brokerage remained “underweight” on NBFCs and removed Bajaj Finance from its model portfolio. In addition, it remained “underweight” in insurance companies and in the telecommunications, utilities and energy sectors.

Specific to actions in the pharmaceutical industry

Credit Suisse prefers to be specific to stocks in the healthcare sector and favors companies such as Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, which are beneficiaries of Covid-19 drugs, vaccine distribution and have a better pipeline in the United States. .

Brokerage continues to remain “overweight” in industrials (capital goods and engineering) as it expects operational performance to improve in the future. He also kept his “overweight” to banks, which include private sector banks and the State Bank of India, as these stocks are the best coins on expectations of better-than-expected growth over the medium term.

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