Regulations

How biopharma dealt with COVID: ‚ÄėWe science-ed the crap out of it!‚Äô

COVID-19 showed biopharma at its best and worst says a former regulator, who argues that the scrutiny which came with the pandemic highlighted some key industry challenges. The pandemic put biopharma in the spotlight according to Jeff Baker, former deputy director of the Office of Biotechnology Products in CDER, who told delegates at the BPI East hybrid conference last month the crisis highlighted industry‚Äôs strengths and weaknesses. ‚ÄúThere will be a lot of books written about the COVID-19 crisis and…

Human error at CDMO led to Moderna vaccine contamination in Japan

An investigation has found an incorrectly assembled production line at Spanish CDMO Rovi led to the presence of foreign particles in a lot of Moderna‚Äôs COVID-19 vaccine. In August, Japan put on hold the rollout of 1.6 million doses of Moderna‚Äôs vaccine after ‚Äúforeign materials‚ÄĚ were discovered in approximately 565,000 vials. Moderna and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which distributes the vaccine in Japan, pointed the finger at contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Laboratorios Farmac√©uticos Rovi, and this week confirmed the issue stemmed…

FDA authorizes 9th batch of J&J COVID vax from troubled Emergent plant

The US FDA has authorized an emergency use authorization (EUA) for one additional batch of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine manufactured at Emergent‚Äô Bayview facility. Contamination issues stemming from Emergent BioSolutions marred rollout of J&J‚Äôs ‚ÄėJanssen‚Äô single dose COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year. The contract development and manufacturing organization‚Äôs (CDMO) Bayview, Maryland facility had been contracted by both J&J and AstraZeneca, but an ingredient mix up rendered 15 million doses unusable and landed the plant with¬†an FDA Form 483 and a…

US House approves bill to take on biosimilar ‚Äėpatent dance‚Äô

The bill aims to reduce US drug prices and could limit IP strategies undertaken by reference biologic makers to ward off biosimilar competition. Having been first introduce to the House in April, H R 2884 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday as part of four bills aimed at tackling the high prices of drugs in the US. According to the text, the bill ‚Äúlimits in certain instances the number of patents that the manufacturer of a biologic drug…

Biocon hit by FDA 483 with 6 observations at Malaysian plant

Biocon‚Äôs insulin manufacturing facility in Malaysia has received a US FDA Form 483 with six observations but firm says it will not affect commercialization plans in the US. Indian biopharma giant Biocon reported this week it has been issued with a Form 483 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the agency conducted an on-site pre-approval inspection (PAI) at its Malaysian ¬†manufacturing plant for its biosimilar insulin product. ‚ÄúThe US FDA conducted a (PAI) of our Malaysian subsidiary…

AstraZeneca vaccines: Further problems at Emergent but FDA okays exports

The US FDA has determined several lots of a COVID-19 vaccine are acceptable to use despite AstraZeneca identifying further¬†manufacturing deviations¬†at¬†CDMO¬†partner¬†Emergent.¬† Efforts to scale up COVID-19 vaccines in the wake of the pandemic have been exceptional, but in April¬†Emergent¬†BioSolution¬†fell afoul of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).¬† The¬†contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO)¬†had been contracted by both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca¬†(AZ)¬†to make their respective COVID-19 vaccines, but an ingredient mix up rendered 15 million doses unusable and landed the…

Tivdak approval marks another ADC success for Seagen

The US FDA has approved a fourth product for Seagen and the twelfth ADC therapeutic in the form of cervical cancer drug Tivdak. First up, it‚Äôs Seagen (previously Seattle Genetics), which received accelerated approval for Tivdak (tisotumab vedotin), an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) for the treatment of adult patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer with disease progression on or after chemotherapy. On a conference call discussing the approval, Seagen CEO Clay Siegall described the approval as ‚Äúanother significant milestone‚ÄĚ…

Eli Lilly and industry criticize Biden’s drug pricing plan

Eli Lilly says the US Government‚Äôs latest pricing plan will restrict access of drugs to patients and restrict industry innovation. On Thursday, the US Department of Health and Human Services published a plan to address what it describes as prices for prescription drugs that are ‚Äúhigher than any comparable nation.‚ÄĚ The report is based on three guiding principles for drug pricing reform: 1) To make drug prices more affordable and equitable for all consumers and throughout the health care system…

FDA: Drug firms using 24/7 production need more viral safety data

The US FDA has urged protein therapeutics makers using continuous manufacturing to take steps to keep products virus free. The regulator made the suggestion in a recent concept paper along with more general advice on how industry can use 24/7 production to manufacture protein drugs more efficiently. Viral contamination is an issue for all biopharmaceuticals made in processes that use mammalian cell lines. The cells contain sequences that can produce potentially harmful virus-like particles that must be removed from the…

EMA thumbs up to more CDMO sites supporting COVID vaccines

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved a Delpharm plant in France and a Catalent facility in the US to support supply of Pfizer and Moderna‚Äôs COVID-19 vaccines, respectively. The approvals from the EMA‚Äôs human medicines committee (CHMP) this week aim to increase manufacturing capacity and supply of the two COVID-19 vaccines in the EU. The first saw the Agency approve a fill-finish site in Saint Remy sur Avre, France operated by contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Delpharm. The…