The latest pharma industry news from Germany, including German lobbying efforts against EU pharma legislation; Evonik’s new lipid manufacturing plant; Bayer’s 2023 sales and earnings outlook; Boehringer Ingelheim new biotech R&D centre and deal with RetinAI, and BioNTech/Pfizer’s EU Covid shot deal.
Germany clashes with other EU states on pharma regulation overhaul (Financial Times)
Germany and several smaller member states have mounted opposing last-ditch lobbying efforts over EU pharmaceutical legislation to be published next week, with Berlin warning that it would damage investment by the drug industry. The overhaul of pharma legislation is the most significant for 20 years, prompting an outcry from drugmakers who fear the EU will cut exclusivity protection from 10 to eight years, while allowing them to win back the two years by jumping over new hurdles.
QuickSTAT Opens New Facility in Germany to Serve the Healthcare, Pharma & Biotech Industries (PR Web)
QuickSTAT has opened a new customer service and operational facility in Frankfurt, Germany to support the country’s growth within the healthcare, pharma and biotech industries, as well as the expected increase of new cell and gene therapies. QuickSTAT’s new facility is strategically located to not only serve clients in Germany, but also throughout Europe, providing the continent with customized logistics and priority transportation solutions.
Evonik opens new German lipid manufacturing plant (Fierce Pharma)
As Evonik aims to grow its presence in the contract manufacturing and development industry, the company has opened the doors to a new lipid manufacturing facility in Hanau, Germany. Lipids produced at the plant will be used for RNA drugs and gene therapies aimed at infectious diseases, cancer and more, the German chemical specialist said in a statement.
Bayer confirms 2023 sales, earnings outlook (Reuters)
German pharmaceuticals and agriculture group Bayer confirmed its 2023 sales and earnings guidance and reiterated that business would not really pick up before the second half of the year.
“We are expecting business to be relatively sluggish in the first half-year compared with the very strong previous year,” Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in a speech to be held at Bayer’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday, which was posted in writing on the company’s website on Monday.
Boehringer Ingelheim opens new biotechnology R&D centre in Germany (Pharmaceutical Business Review)
Boehringer Ingelheim has opened its new advanced Biologicals Development Center (BDC) in Biberach an der Riß, Germany. The company has invested €350m in the new research and development (R&D) centre, representing its largest single investment in the country to date.
The new high-tech facility will strengthen the company’s biopharmaceuticals development capabilities that account for about 50% of the company’s research pipeline.
Boehringer taps RetinAI for AI boost to eye disease R&D (Fierce Biotech)
Boehringer Ingelheim has tapped RetinAI to support its attempt to develop treatments for geographic atrophy (GA), striking a deal to apply artificial intelligence tools to its imaging data in a search for novel biomarkers and predictors of disease progression.
In recent years, Boehringer has made moves to crack the GA market, advancing a candidate into the clinic in 2019 and striking a deal with CDR-Life to work on preclinical antibody fragments the next year. But those efforts have stuttered, notably when an early-phase clinical trial was terminated last year after a look at the data persuaded the company that the benefit-risk balance may be unfavorable for patients.
King’s College London and Grünenthal join forces (Pharma Times)
King’s College London and Grünenthal are embarking on a 24-month collaboration to develop microfluidic culture (MFC) models based on human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
The partnership will focus on pain research and aims to build on King’s College’s Dr Ramin Raouf, and his extensive MFC studies, by establishing models using iPSC-derived neurons that closely imitate the processes of human nociceptive neurones.
BioNTech/Pfizer’s mooted EU deal for 70mn Covid shots threatens rivals (Financial Times)
A proposed deal between BioNTech/Pfizer and the EU for about 70mn Covid-19 shots a year until 2026 threatens to push rivals Moderna, Novavax, and Sanofi out of the market, risking the regional prevention of Covid-19 being left to just one product.
The bloc is negotiating an amended deal with Pfizer despite the European public prosecutor opening a criminal investigation into their original agreement. The fresh proposal includes a new provision for member states to pay half price — about €10 — for each cancelled dose, according to people close to negotiations, who also confirmed the annual 70mn figure.
CureVac’s ‘half-baked’ COVID-flu data release questioned by analysts, but shares still rally 17% (Fierce Biotech)
CureVac and GSK have picked the mRNA approach that will advance in the clinic for flu and COVID-19 after seeing phase 1 data on a handful of candidates. While analysts were happy to see the win, they were skeptical of the lack of updated variant data and limited population read-out—even going so far as to call the disclosure “half-baked.”
Germany-based CureVac said Friday that preliminary data from the early-stage trials for its COVID-19 and seasonal flu shots look good. The vaccines, which use CureVac’s second-generation mRNA backbone, produced an immune response and were generally well tolerated with no safety concerns.
Activist investor pushes Bayer to separate crop science, consumer health from pharma (Endpoints)
An activist investor is urging Bayer to split its three main units and shake up the supervisory board as shareholders are set to meet for their annual confab next week and Bill Anderson prepares to take over as CEO in June.