GSK & Theravance receive positive data for pill

PharmaTimes have reported that GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance have reported positive data from four Phase III trials assessing a combination therapy for maintenance treatment of COPD, making the once-daily pill closer to a regulatory filing.

The clinical trials involved more than 4,000 patients, including two 24-week efficacy trials comparing a combination of the long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) umeclidinium bromide and the long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) vilanterol. The date showed statistically significant improvements when compared with placebo and the individual parts in both trials, which tested difference doses.

Darrell Baker, SVP Respiratory Portfolio Optimisation Leader at GSK said “We are very encouraged by the results of these initial studies for our LAMA/LABA, an important cornerstone of our broad respiratory development portfolio…. These studies, together with our earlier dose-ranging work, give us confidence that this is a once-daily medicine with the potential to benefit many patients with COPD.

 

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GSK to invest £500 million in the UK including a new facility in Cumbria

BBC News have reported that GlaxoSmithKline have released a press statement today confirming that it will invest more than £500m in the UK across its manufacturing sites to increase production of key aspects for its pharmaceutical products and vaccines.  This investment could create up to a 1000 new jobs.

GSK also announced a new manufacturing facility to be built in Ulverston in Cumbria. The biopharmaceutical facility will be its first new UK factory for 40 years.

Investment will also be made at the company’s two manufacturing sites in Scotland at Montrose and Irvine.

These investments represent one of the largest commitments to the UK life-sciences sector in recent years.  They follow confirmation by the Government in the Budget yesterday that it will implement a ‘patent box’ to encourage investment in R&D and related manufacturing in the UK, by introducing a lower rate of corporation tax on profits generated from UK-owned intellectual property

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is excellent news, a major investment that will create many highly skilled jobs and provide a great boost to the economy….We have a world class life sciences industry, and I am determined not just to keep it here in the UK but significantly increase it too… Our innovative life sciences strategy and ground breaking patent box are already making a difference, helping to grow this important industry and ensure the great discoveries of the next decade happen here in British laboratories.

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GSK launches a new UK apprenticeship programme

GSK Media Centre released a press statement announcing the launch of a new multi-disciplinary apprenticeship scheme. The programme, which will sit alongside GSK’s established graduate and undergraduate recruitment schemes, is aimed at 16-24 year olds and will offer positions at the company’s UK manufacturing, R&D and corporate sites.

The scheme will commence in August this year and GSK will take on 40 apprentices in the first intake. The apprenticeships will last between 2 and 4 years depending on which area it is in. There will be IT, R&D Laboratory Technician, Manufacturing, Supply Chain management and Artwork Design opportunities.

In addition to a competitive base salary, apprentices will benefit from a personalised training plan and a GSK mentor, who will provide advice and support over the duration of the programme. If there is an apprentice who demonstrates the skills and behaviour GSK is looking for, they will be offered a role with the company at the end of the programme

Natalie Woodford, SVP, Talent, Leadership & Organisation Development at GSK said: “GSK is committed to attracting and developing talent at all levels, and youth training and apprenticeships have a vital role in building the right skills our employees need for the future. We are delighted to announce this programme today, which will give young people hands-on experience in the life sciences industry; a key sector for the UK.”

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GSK laboratory to help seek out Olympic drug cheats

As reported by London 2012, the pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline have unveiled their Anti Doping Laboratory for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The laboratory which is in Harlow, Essex will be operated by both scientists and leading experts from Kings College London. It will test 6, 250 samples throughout the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which is many more than have been tested in previous Games.

The new drug testing laboratory will employ over 1,000 staff to work within the anti-doping process, as well as 150 scientists who will carry out the testing. The team will be lead by Professor David Cowan from the Drug Control Centre at King’s College London. The laboratory will be in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, said: ‘As a science-based organisation, GSK is well placed to help deliver the scale and cutting edge technology required to run an operation like the anti-doping facility for London 2012.

‘We have worked with King’s to put systems in place to enable this laboratory to test more samples than any previous Games and at the same time developing a blueprint for doping operations at future Games.’

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GSK plans to build UK factory and create 1,000 jobs

As reported in This is Money.co.uk, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is planning on building it’s first new UK factory in 30 years. This will create 1,000 jobs.

As Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK explains, the plan comes are a result of tax breaks on innovation introduced by Chancellor George Osbourne,  ‘Because of changes in the UK tax regime, it will be our intention to bring more activity to Britain and take advantage of the situation here and increase our contribution to Britain. If it [corporation tax] is going to come down over the next few years, it will attract us to pay more tax here.’

The global pharma are considering Cumbria, County Durham and two locations in Scotland for their new factory. A decision is expected to be made in May.

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GSK to Profit From Sale of Non-Core Assets

At least three private equity firms are planning a bid for GSK non-prescription drugs, reports Reuters.

The products being bid for include over the counter painkillers and vitamin supplements. These sales are the product of GSK’s reduction of non-core products announced in February, representing 10% of the consumer healthcare business. Bids for the products are expected on 8th August, but will be negotiable. CEO Andrew Witty expects the deals to close in the fourth quarter of 2011 before adding that GSK will be looking for the best deal for shareholders to benefit.

Rival companies are unlikely to bid for all the products GSK is looking to offload, worth a maximum of around £2 billion. However because the products will not be sold as a single body, analysts believe that GSK will not be able to make that amount. The lack of coherence in the products on sale, other than, as one analyst says “stuff that GSK doesn’t want,” also means it will be difficult to sell the portfolio for such an amount in one go.

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GSK in Job and Tax Pledge

GlaxoSmithKline is set to create more UK jobs and pay more tax, helping the economy, reports the Guardian.

As CK Science has earlier reported, here, GSK is set to expand its UK operations, adding to the current 16,000 employees throughout Britain. Two sites in Scotland and one in county Durham are being looked into as locations to create new plants. This comes at a time when other companies with UK branches are scaling back their operations. Andrew Witty, GSK’s chief executive, has said that his company wants to “have more manufacturing and do more R&D work in Britain” leading to a greater amount of tax paid by GSK.

In the next few years, GSK expects to be a “net hirer” because the UK can strike a good balance between research and development support and competitive medicine prices. GSK has moved back into the black this year, recording a £1.1 billion profit in the second quarter, meaning that they can afford the expense of reopening UK operations.

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GSK to Pay Trainee Tuition Fees

As reported by The Telegraph, The global pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is to pay up to £27,000 university tuition fees for 50 to 100 of their graduate trainees. They are the first company to announce help recruits in this way.

The company’s chief executive, Andrew Witty announced the news on Sky News. He stated that the scheme was not restricted to scientists, chemists and pharmacists, but will also be available to lawyers, economists and all of the other top class graduates that could help the pharmaceutical company.  He said, “The biggest reason we are doing this is that we want to get the absolute best possible graduates we can to work for GSK,” he told the programme. This is a great way for us to try and ensure we get that next brilliant scientist.”

As of next year, university tuition fees will triple for undergraduates so this is great news for budding scientists who are interested in working in the Pharmaceutical industry.

It is hoped that the announcement of GSK’s scheme will will encourage other companies to follow suit and help their recruits with crippling tuition fees. Thus ensuring that potential top talent will continue with their education.

GSK’s programme will costs them around £3 million per year and trainees will be required to stay with the company for several years until the fees have be repaid.

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GSK Recruits Masters Students – Drug Discovery Scheme

iStock_000006963239Medium1-150x150As reported by The Recruiter, the global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline will be recruiting British university students to work on the discovery of the drugs of the future.

The pharma company plans to launch a medicinal chemistry module using students in their third year of their Master of Science study at the University of Nottingham. The project will run over two terms with 12 students and will focus on research, synthesis and testing of PI 3 kinase inhibitors, which are currently under investigation by a number of drug companies. GSK will be researching their potential in the treatment of asthma.

The move comes as large pharmaceutical companies take steps to strengthen partnerships with academia in a bid to boost innovation in research whilst reducing costs.

The scheme will be a great opportunity for students to make a name for themselves as inventors of patents, with the possibility of receiving royalties if their work was translated into a successful drug.

Head of Chemistry at GSK, Dave Allen stated. “This is not a way of saving money, but we are not a charity and we get something back. Our people will mentor, and get a sense of innovation from students.”

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Abbott Laboratories May Sell Vaccines Business

Pills, syringe and thermometer.As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Abbott Laboratories, the drug and medical device manufacturer, is considering selling its vaccine business.

The news comes just months after Abbot t purchased the pharmaceutical unit of Belgium company, Solvay in February for $6.2 billion.

The purchase of Solvay granted Abbott access to the emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Asia along with new therapeutic areas, including hormone therapies and vaccines.

Shares of Abbott fell 63 cents to $46.55 in afternoon trading.

It is expected that pharmaceutical industry giants such as GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca may enter a bidding war for the vaccines business.

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GSK Prepared for Pharmaceutical Drug Price Cuts

Pharmaceutical Jobs, Pharmaceutical Recruitment, UKAs reported in the Daily Telegraph, the global pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is well prepared to take cuts in pharmaceutical drug prices as government budgets are squeezed.

At yesterday’s annual meeting, Andrew Witty, GSK’s Chief Executive, reassured stakeholders that the pharmaceutical company was already experiencing prices cuts of 3% and that it was something they ‘were used to.

Witty stated, ‘We are moving into unpredictable times. Just in the last week, we have seen the government in Greece cut prices by 24% and Germany cut prices by 10%.”

Witty also recognised that these price pressures mean it is even more important that GSK offered “value-for-money propositions on great medicines that make a difference to people’s lives and are priced at a level for government’s to purchase.”

Pharmaceutical investors have recently been focusing their attention to the US, where health reforms are also driving down prices. Not only that but in Greece new regulations have been introduced resulting in cuts of up to 27% for the highest priced pharmaceutical drugs.

However, Citi yesterday stated that GSK had only 21% of sales exposed to potential European drug price action, the second lowest in the sector, “GSK is helped by the high level of sales from vaccines, over-the-counter and also its solid geographic mix.

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GSK Offers to Share Scientific Data to Wipe Out Tropical Diseases

Mosquito

In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have come under increasing pressure to change their approach to providing cheap drugs to people in the developing world. Many have faced fierce criticism for their failure to drop prices for HIV drugs while millions died in Africa and Asia, for defending patents. However, it seems the Chief Executive of GSK, Andrew Witty has a plan to fix this problem.

As reported in the Daily Telegraph, GSK is planning to share scientific data and laboratories in a bid to wipe out tropical diseases, such as malaria.  Andrew Witty, the Chief Executive of GSK who recently spent time in some of the world’s poorest continents, including Africa, said the global pharmaceutical company has a “genuine appetite to change the landscape of healthcare for the world’s poorest people”. In fact, it is estimated that Africa carries 70% of the world’s healthcare burden, but only receives 3% of healthcare resources.

In 2009, GSK announced it would create a patent pool for some of its existing products and not-for-profit-pricing on a variety of drugs for the developing world. In addition, the pharmaceutical giant plans to release 13,500 of its compounds that are believed to have the potential to be developed into new malaria treatments.

GSK will also operate an ‘Open Lab’ scheme whereby the company will open one of its laboratories in Tres Santocs, Spain, for non-GSK scientists to use to investigate treatments for other tropical diseases. The lab will accommodate 60 scientists who will benefit from £4.9m of funding from GSK to help with their research.  Speaking of this innovative ‘Open Lab’ scheme, Witty stated, Speaking before leaving for New York, Mr. Witty said: “Malaria is a dreadful disease which stalks the fields and villages of many parts of the least developed world. It has been an intractable problem for decades. Enormous progress has been made through bed net programmes, for example, but a really effective treatment has been somewhat elusive. We need to enlist the help of scientists around the world and to make it as easy as possible for that brilliant scientist, wherever they are, to find that initial spark that could be the breakthrough.”

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Pharmaceutical Companies Provide Emergency Aid for Victims of Haiti Earthquake

Pharmaceutical companies across the world are gearing up to provide relief to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.  

Novartis:

Novartis is providing the equivalent of over  $2.5 million in immediate emergency aid for victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. They are providing support in the form of financial aid as well as donations such as essential medicines.

Not only this, but Novartis employees the world over are encouraged to make cash contributions to the support effort. Their contributions are to be matched by the company. Speaking of the Earthquake, Dr. Daniel Vasella, CEO of Novartis stated,

“It was with dismay that we learned about the destructive force of the earthquake in Haiti, which has brought such immense suffering to that nation and its people,I would like to express our deepest sympathy for all the people affected and also to assure them of our support. Our experience of providing support in the wake of natural disasters has proven successful, ensuring that we can get aid to the people in need fast and efficiently.”


Abbott

Abbott are set to provide an additional $2.5million in the form funding and donations of pharmaceutical products to humanitatian aid organisations. The company initially provided aid through Direct Relief International and are now looking to work with relief partners even further to ensure the efficient response to ongoing needs for longer-term recovery efforts.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 

GSK have provided medicines valued at $1.4million to the relief effort. These medicines were mainly oral and topical antibiotics, including Bactroban, Zovirax, Augmentin, Ceftin, Zinacef and Zantac.

The company have also committed approximately $408,000 (£250,000) to the British Red Cross to help meet the water and sanitation needs of those affected by the disaster.

 Amgen

The biotechnology company, Amgen, has announced that it will be donating $2million to the Haiti relief effort. The company are also planning to match all staff contributions.

Merck

Merck has announced that it will be making an initial contribution of $350,000 to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief, U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

 

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