ramarketing review: Highlights, insights & spotlights – July

31st July, 2023

Bringing you insight from our in-house sector experts, the ramarketing review offers vital industry knowledge to keep you in the know, featuring a different ramarketing expert each month to deliver headline highlights.

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Introducing July’s sector expert…

Dr Geoff Potjewyd P.h.D

Geoff is part of our content team, working as a Scientific Content Writer. He gained his P.h.D in Regenerative Medicine from the University of Manchester.

The interdisciplinary nature of Geoff’s research and writing background means that he has practical and theoretical experience in a range of scientific disciplines – from immortalized to stem cell culture, 3D tissue engineering to 3D printing, and biochemistry to biobanks.

Enjoy July’s news roundup featuring Geoff’s commentary on the headlines impacting companies operating inside outsourcing

Hear today, 3D printed ears tomorrow

Organ and tissue transplantation is an essential pillar of modern medicine, offering life-saving treatments and transformative solutions to people with irreparable tissue damage or organ failure. It is also a major area of innovation, with scientific advances in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and stem cell therapies promising to address global healthcare challenges. Some of the biggest barriers in the field of transplantation include the demand for organs far exceeding the available supply, as well as immune rejection and accessibility. 

One progressive solution to this lies in the fields of science mentioned above, with the biotech company Matricelf announcing their 3D printed human ear model that uses cells and extracellular components from the patient — effectively eliminating the risk of immune rejection. This technology promises to enhance accessibility and create an on-demand source of organ production for those in need.

Further innovation in this area can lead to new applications for the 3D printing of human tissues, with improvements in printing living structures opening the door to creating increasingly complex tissues.

Using AI in prenatal drug screening

In the context of prenatal care, medicines prescribed during this crucial time must ensure the safety and well-being of the fetus. Birth defects are recorded for one in every 33 births in the US, and the causes range from genetic mutations and pregnancy exposure to environmental factors such as drugs, food and pollutants — but for most cases, the cause is unknown. The potential risks associated with certain medications and substances administered during pregnancy highlight the critical need for drug screening in birth defect prevention to both account for unknown causes and accurately assess drugs still in the pipeline.

To address this need, one group is using AI to predict the impact of small-molecule drugs on birth defects. The model combines data on human genes and drugs with data that implicates drugs in birth defects to create a knowledge graph that connects these factors. This allows an exploration of new links between genes, drugs and birth defects that may help explain why these events occur and how to avoid them. The knowledge graph produced by the group will also inform the stratification of medical treatment, as links between inherited and environmental influences can be identified.

Ambivalence over EU reforms

The European Commission has released a revised package of pharmaceutical legislation to improve access to medicines across the European Union (EU) member states. 

The proposed reforms aim to address problems with the availability, affordability and waiting times for treatments in the EU. They include reducing market exclusivity for new drugs, streamlining the approval process and encouraging the development of new medicines for unmet needs. 

The regulations propose reducing the period of market exclusivity for innovative medicines unless they cater to an unmet medical need or are launched in all EU markets simultaneously. Some pharmaceutical companies argue that this could discourage investment in research and development. Nevertheless, the legislation is expected to be confirmed by the European Parliament. Generic drug-makers have welcomed the reforms, but concerns remain about supporting manufacturing within the EU.

Other pharma and biotech news from July:

MHRA plans to accelerate regulatory environment and foster innovation

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has revealed a plan to create a faster and more predictable regulatory environment, supporting innovation in the pharmaceutical sector. The plan centers on four key priorities: rebuilding public trust, improving access to safe products, forging strategic partnerships and enhancing the customer service culture.

Novartis acquires DTx Pharma for $1B to tackle neurological disease

Novartis has sealed a deal to acquire biotech firm DTx Pharma for up to $1 billion. This strategic move grants Novartis access to DTx’s FALCON platform and its groundbreaking siRNA therapy for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A). With no approved treatments for this degenerative nervous system condition, DTx-1252’s recent orphan drug designation holds immense promise.

Westlake Village BioPartners initiates $450M fund for biotech expansion

Venture capital firm Westlake Village BioPartners sets sights on nurturing and expanding early-stage biotech companies with its third fund. The $450 million fund will support growth in Los Angeles and beyond, under the management of Beth Seidenberg, Mira Chaurushiya and David Allison.

Green light for major life sciences development in London’s Canary Wharf

Approval has been granted for a life sciences development at Canary Wharf in London, UK. Canary Wharf Group, in partnership with Kadans, is set to construct a cutting-edge 23-story building, forming the centerpiece of a 3.3-hectare life sciences campus at North Quay. This “vertical campus” has the potential to deliver 3.5 million sq. ft. of laboratory and affiliated space, aiming to become Europe’s largest and most technologically advanced life sciences facility.

Biotech M&A: Resurgent landscape emerges in 2023

After a period of stagnation, the biotech industry is experiencing a resurgence in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). 2023 started with multiple billion-dollar deals, including Astellas Pharma’s $5.9 billion acquisition of Iveric Bio and Pfizer’s proposed $43 billion acquisition of Seagen. This surge indicates a revitalized M&A landscape in the biotech sector. 


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