In this week’s news, EU regulators prep for Brexit (again), software breakthrough for personalized meds, digital pill can boost HIV drug adherence and more…

 EU preps for MHRA’s departure

Regulators across Europe are preparing to take over work conducted on the European Union’s behalf by the UK MHRA.

According to a Reuters report, regulatory agencies are hiring additional staff to take on reviews and other supervisory functions carried out by the MHRA under the EU’s centralized scheme.

Hugo Hurts, executive director of the Netherlands Medicines Evaluation Board, said, “It’s a real pity that we are going to lose the UK expertise, which is certainly very strong.

“It’s a real challenge, but I’m not going to say there is not enough knowledge to replace that in the rest of the network” he said.

The MHRA, which is likely to stop being a member of the EMA and associated drug regulatory schemes when the UK withdraws from the union next March, has also stopped taking on EU projects.

Personalised medicine to benefit from new software

New computing techniques that identify patients likely to benefit from certain drugs can be applied to the emerging field of personalized medicines according to GlobalData.

The data analytics firm wrote about a trial conducted at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts in which new software was used to identify patients that may respond best to antidepressants.

According to GlobalData, the study showed that 30% of patients would benefit from antidepressants, with older patients suffering severe depression also demonstrating better cognitive control on computerised tasks, being the most likely to benefit.

GlobalData analyst Rahael Maladwala, said, “Studies like this are just the beginning, as technology improves the hope is that physicians will not just be able to tell whether a patient is suited to pharmacological treatment or not, but which specific medication a patient is likely get the highest therapeutic benefit from.

“Personalised medication is inching closer and closer to becoming a reality and could potentially be commonplace for patients in the next 20 years, not just for depression and neurology but across all therapy areas.”

New digital pill boosts adherence to HIV drug Truvada

Researchers have developed a pill designed to improve adherence to the HIV drug, PrEP.

According to data presented at the AIDS 2018 conference last week, the new tablet features a sensor the size of a grain of salt that records the precise time it is taken by the patient,

Data is passed to a patch worn on the upper torso and then transmitted to the patient’s smartphone.

Also in the news

Digital technology is playing more of a part in drug launches according to new research by Williams Lea Tag.

Biocentury looked at how information is shared between companies owned by Syncona Investment Management Ltd.

EU negotiators have rejected a whitepaper outlining the UK Government’s best case relationship with the block after Brexit. In the paper the UK expressed a desire to remain part of the EMA. Read more at Euractiv.