The latest news from French pharma, including fears of medicine shortages and suspension of online sales of paracetamol, CARMAT’s artificial heart product entering a study in France, Sanofi’s expanded deal with Innate Pharma and new funding for cell and gene therapy biotech Cellectis.
The French government has announced an immediate ban on the internet sale of all paracetamol-based painkillers. Because of the lack of Chinese imports, paracetamol, particularly for children, has been in short supply in French pharmacies for the past six months.
Because a large portion of the active ingredients in medicines consumed in France are manufactured in China, there has been widespread concern in recent weeks about shortages. “More than 70 percent of pharmacies reported a shortage of pediatric amoxicillin,” said a press release from the unions and the National Council of Pharmacists on Friday, December 23.
French medtech company, CARMAT, announced that its Aeson artificial heart product would be implemented within the framework of a clinical study in France known as ‘EFICAS’.
“EFICAS is the largest study undertaken by CARMAT at this stage, and I am delighted that it will entirely take place in France, thus enabling our country’s patients to benefit from our therapy. This is a crucial study, as it will eventually notably allow us to obtain Aeson’s reimbursement in France,” said CARMAT chief executive Stéphane Piat in a statement.
After signing a collaboration with fellow French company Innate Pharma in 2016 to develop natural killer (NK) cell engagers, Sanofi will be paying EUR 25 million euros upfront for a second order. Expanding on the existing collaboration, this time Sanofi will use Innate’s ANKET platform to target the glycoprotein B7H3, which is overexpressed on various solid tumors. Sanofi will also have the option to add two more targets and be responsible for all development, manufacturing and commercialization once candidates have been selected.
France-based cell and gene therapy biotech Cellectis has entered a EUR 40 million credit facility agreement with the European Investment Bank. Cellectis will use the funds to further develop its pipeline of CAR-T cell candidates.
Celyad scraps one final clinical CAR-T program (Endpoints)
French biotech Celyad Oncology began 2022 with hopes that it could garner initial evidence that its CAR-T could lead breakthroughs in solid tumors. But patient deaths derailed those plans and, as cash dwindled and partnership talks went nowhere, the French biotech went into survival mode, selling its manufacturing site and pausing clinical programs. Now Celyad has announced its decision to discontinue the development of its remaining clinical program, CYAD-211.