The latest news from Canadian pharma including deals for J&J’s and Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccines, an abrupt end to Canada’s participation in CanSino Biologics’ clinical trials the country’s first medical cannabis clinical trial, and Innovative Medicines Canada’s top priorities.
Canada signs deals for J&J, Novavax COVID vaccines
Under the agreement with J&J, Canada would purchase up to 38 million doses of Janssen’s Ad26.COV2.S vaccine candidate on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use. Meanwhile, Novavax has agreed to supply up to 76 million doses of its candidate in the event of the vaccine gaining approval in the country.
Canada mulls global vaccine contribution
Canada is still considering a contribution to the international vaccine coalition known as COVAX, which aims to equitably distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to poorer countries that can’t afford one. A spokesman for Karina Gould, Canada’s International Development Minister, says the Trudeau government is working on the details of a spending commitment to what’s called the “COVAX Facility,” which is designed to ensure developing countries have fair access to a COVID-19 cure.
Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) Commits to Support Canada’s Economic Recovery While Protecting Canadians’ Health and Well-Being
IMC has three recommendations, and suggests the government should:
- Strike a balance between affordability and access to innovative medicines and vaccines. Balance can be achieved by suspending changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) and working together to ensure affordable treatments and vaccines are rapidly available to Canadians.
- Provide additional funding and research incentives over the next 5 years to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) One-Health Network and work with the Canadian Antimicrobial Innovation Coalition (CAIC) to address the growing public health threat of AMR.
- Work in cooperation with the provinces, territories, life sciences organizations and the pharmaceutical industry to develop a National Life Sciences Strategy (NLSS) for Canada and implement it over the next 10 years with appropriate funding.
Medically validating pot: Canada’s first medical cannabis clinical trial
Canada legalized cannabis at a national level in 2018, though, so studying and doing legal research on the drug is much easier north of the US border. There, medical professionals like Dr. Hance Clarke are eager to start standardizing medicinal cannabis for patients and physicians everywhere. Clarke is the director of pain services at Toronto General hospital and a recognized leader in opioid abuse education in Canada. Now, he’s working to validate and standardize cannabis as a medicine in Canada’s medical world.
In a clinical trial, called Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence (MC-RWE), researchers aim to first test the reliability and repeatability of Canadian cannabis products, and then to create a national repository of cannabis product data for physicians and patients. With the help of 2,000 Canadian trial subjects, they’re going to test products from 12 of Canada’s leading cannabis producers.
MPX International’s Wholly-Owned Subsidiary, Canveda Inc., Enters Into an Agreement for the Manufacturing and Distribution of Cannabis Products in Israel
“MPXI has a long-standing relationship with Panaxia and welcomes the opportunity to market our brand in Israel as part of our international cannabis strategy,” noted W. Scott Boyes, Chairman, President and CEO of MPX International. “Panaxia is a major player in the Israeli market and an emerging participant in the global cannabis space and we are honored to be able to work with them on this initial project.”
Teva Canada announces product availability of AJOVY™
Teva Canada, a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., today announced product availability of AJOVY™ (fremanezumab) 225 mg solution for subcutaneous injection for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults who have at least four migraine days per month. AJOVY™ is the first and only anti-CGRP drug approved in Canada, the European Union, and the United States that offers quarterly or monthly dosing regimens for the preventive treatment of migraine.
Canadian company BioScript Solutions announces launch of BioScript Logistics
BioScript Solutions, a company dedicated to providing full-service specialty care solutions for the distribution and provision of complex drug therapies, today announced their expansion into third-party logistics (3PL) with the launch of BioScript Logistics Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario.
Canada scraps COVID-19 vaccine trial with Chinese pharma company CanSino Biologics
In response to queries, the council said: “Due to the delay in the shipment of the CanSino COVID-19 vaccine candidate doses to Canada and as CanSino has now completed phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials elsewhere, this specific opportunity is over and the NRC is focusing its team and facilities on other COVID-19 priorities.”