Top ten stories of the month

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

Top ten stories of the month

Related tags Gilead China Novo nordisk Alexion Teva BeiGene Roche Novartis

This month’s round-up of the most popular stories of the month, featuring a bold prediction of future growth for Chinese biotech and bad news for a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are the biggest stories to feature on BioPharma-Reporter during April:

1.​ Gilead produces 97% on-spec Yescarta

The difficulties in the manufacture of CAR-T treatments have become increasingly understood as the breakthrough technology has been commercialised, but Kite’s head of medical affairs told us its process is nearly flawless.

2.​ Chinese biotechs moving ahead of Europe

The pace at which the Chinese biotech ecosystem is growing has been missed by Europeans, suggested one executive at BIO-Europe Spring.

3.​ Novo Nordisk invests $100m in Kalundborg site

The Danish company invested in the rebuild of its existing facilities and plans to add further production equipment at its site in Kalundborg.

4. Biosimilar for Soliris approved in Russia after development collaboration

The first-ever Soliris biosimilar approved in Russia, after it was produced through Selexis’ SureTechnology platform and cell line.

5. Teva’s migraine med given marketing authorization

Teva’s anti-CGRP migraine drug lines up next to its competitors, after the European Commission granted it marketing authorization.

6. BioAtla and BeiGene partner on immunotherapy

BeiGene partnered with BioAtla to develop and commercialise the latter’s CTLA-4 antibody, which will be explored for use alongside a PD-1 antibody.

7. Biogen stops developing Alzheimer’s drug

Biogen halts all clinical trial activity on its Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab, after its failure in Phase III trials.

8. T-cell amplifier receives orphan drug designation

US FDA granted orphan drug designation for Hyleukin-7, an immuno-oncology agent that boosts T cell production and functionality, for the treatment of ICL.

9. Roche reports strong start to 2019

Despite increased competition from biosimilars in Europe, Roche announced sales of its pharmaceutical divisions are up by 10%.

10. Infant death in trial yet Novartis anticipates no threat to approval

Novartis investigates the death of an infant in a gene therapy clinical trial to determine whether it was related to the treatment but does not anticipate an impact on FDA approval. 

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