Pharmaceutical Industry News Roundup, June 13th.
June 13, 2018
Worth over 1.1 trillion dollars annually and employing millions of people throughout the design, development, testing, deployment and delivery phases, the global pharmaceutical industry is a vast, complicated and innovative beast, one which improves lives every single day.
Existing at the very forefront of advanced scientific techniques, the pharmaceutical industry engages in ground-breaking work on a constant basis. Here in the UK, we boast one of the biggest and most successful pharmaceutical industries in the world, hosting companies as diverse as Pfizer, GSK and AstraZeneca – many of whom we support with our pharma industry dehumidification solutions.
With countless companies operating across the UK and the world though, keeping up to date with the latest news out of the industry can be a struggle. That’s why we regularly round up the biggest stories of the day. Here’s June’s latest news:
Ovarian Cancer Drug Zejula Added to Cancer Drugs Fund
Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate of all gynaecological diseases in the UK and 11 women each day lose their lives to the disease. As such, finding more effective treatments for the cancer is high amongst the priorities of many major drug companies.
Now, Tesaro’s ovarian cancer drug Zejula (niraparib) has been accepted into the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). Zejula is the first PARP inhibitor that has been shown to be effective in patients with a BRCA mutation as well as those without the mutation.
However, overall survival data for Zejula is not yet available. As such, NICE has recommended that women with a BRCA mutation who have received two lines of chemotherapy and women without a BRCA mutation who have received two or more lines of chemotherapy should take it, whilst more data is collected.
Jonathan Ledermann, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University College London Cancer Institute, said “Recurrent ovarian cancer is an aggressive form of cancer where a key goal of treatment is to keep women in remission and off chemotherapy for as long as possible – allowing them the best chance for a good quality of life
“Zejula offers the chance to delay this cancer from returning or progressing for months, and possibly years in some cases. It is a significant step forward. Crucially, this decision opens the door for many women who, until now, have not had the option of maintenance treatment with a PARP inhibitor.”
Brain Cancer Vaccine Shows Promising Results
A treatment for people with glioblastoma which works by using a patients immune cells to target the tumour has shown remarkable promise in an 11-year study involving more than 300 people worldwide, according to a paper published in the Journal of Translational Medicine leading to the Brain Tumour Charity to brand the results “remarkably promising”.
Glioblastoma is typically treated with surgery and courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which typically extend life by around 15-17 months on average. However, the new treatment found that the average person had their life extended to more than 23 months, with 30% living for an average of 40.5 months after surgery. The longest of the survivors had their life extended to more than seven years. Only seven participants reported adverse effects.
The researchers said: “It appears that patients who survive past a certain threshold time points may continue onwards to unusually long survival times.”
It is hoped that further studies can corroborate the findings and offer some level of assurance to sufferers of glioblastoma.