In this week’s news, GDPR comes into force, UK hospitals team on AI, pharma M&A means fewer drugs and more…

GDPR is all around, even in pharma

Last week was the deadline for companies to comply with new European Union data protection laws – knowns as the GDPR.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to give European citizens more control over their personal data, including how it is gathered and stored by organisations.

The regulation also addresses how data is shared between organisations.

For pharmaceutical companies and CDMOs the impact of GDPR is hard to assess as most do not directly interact with their customers.

That said, the drug industry should have prepared, particularly those whose products do send data back to a centralized hub according to Mark Thompson, global privacy advocacy lead for KPMG.

PharmaTimes looked at the issue last week, providing readers with a useful guide to help them make sure their operations are comply with the new regulations.

Incidentally, GDPR also has implications for marketing and PR agencies like us…

UK hospitals aim to harness AI to improve patient treatment

Two UK hospitals have partnered with Deontics to use AI technology to improve the treatment of patients who have suffered a heart attack.

According to the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals the pilot project will use artificial intelligence software to help doctors make decisions about a patient’s care by rapidly accessing published data, evidence and guidance.

News of the project comes a few days after UK Prime Minister Theresa May suggested use of AI by the National Health Service (NHS) could prevent thousands of cancer deaths.

Mergers kill drug development projects say researchers

Researchers at Yale University have suggested that pharmaceutical mergers result in fewer medicines being developed.

The study – available here – suggests that 5% more drugs would become available each year if fewer than average pharmaceutical industry mergers took place.

The authors told AxiosWe see lower rates of innovation not only because incumbents hesitate to innovate, but also because incumbent firms with market power acquire innovators to terminate competition and as a consequence inhibit technological progress.”

US Gov backs GeoVax Zika vaccine effort

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded GeoVax Labs a grant to support development of a Zika vaccine.

The $600,000 award will support preclinical trials of GeoVax’s candidate GEO-ZM02.

Also in the news

The Global Initiative to Eradicate Polio is struggling to convince research labs to destroy remaining samples of the virus according to STAT.

Canadian CDMO Genvion has added spry drying capacity at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility according to in-Pharma.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has called for feedback on US President Donald Trump’s recently announced blueprint to lower drug prices.

FiercePharma reports that GSK s cutting jobs at its facility in Barnard Castle in County Durham, UK.