The Galien Foundation Honors Scientific and Humanitarian Excellence

The Galien Foundation awarded outstanding biopharmaceutical and medical research and development at the 11th annual Prix Galien Awards Gala, held in the famous blue-whale room of the American Museum of Natural History. Winners were recognized for innovative products that better the human condition in three distinct categories.

The “Best Pharmaceutical Product” award went to AbbVie and Genentech for Venclexta, a drug therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia that have received treatment before. “Best Biotechnology Product” was awarded to Biogen and Ionis Pharmaceuticals for their spinal muscular atrophy treatment, Spinraza. Finally, INSIGHTEC won “Best Medical Technology” for Exablate Neuro, the first ultrasound device to have received FDA approval for the treatment of essential tremor patients with non-invasive MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy.

And this year’s Pro Bono Humanum Award was accepted by Jason Carter, Chairman of The Carter Center, on behalf of President Jimmy Carter, founder of the center, who numbers among a long line of leaders who exemplify the desire for excellence in pursuit of the common good, and who has always been a driving premise of new medical research. See page 46 for a pictorial of the Prix Galien Awards Gala.

Novartis Buys Advanced Accelerator Applications

Novartis agreed to purchase French-based Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) for $3.9 billion. The acquisition will strengthen Novartis’ oncology presence as AAA will provide the pharma giant with a platform in radiopharmaceuticals, including Lutathera, a first-in-class RLT product for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Lutathera has already been approved in Europe and is currently under review by the FDA.

Outcome Health Partners with Navicent

Outcome Health, a company dedicated to improved patient care and outcomes through technology, and Navicent Health Physicians Group, a network of more than 100 physicians and their medical practices, partnered to focus on improving the cancer patient experience. As a partner, Outcome Health will work with Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health, where patients receive treatment for various cancers, including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and head and neck cancer.

Outcome plans to implement an education platform across the entire patient experience, including waiting areas, exam rooms, and infusion chairs, with the goal of improving patient engagement, adherence to treatment plans, and overall outcomes. They’ll do so via their platform of more than 140,000 waiting room screens, patient tablets, wallboards, and Wi-Fi access points in physician practices that will all allow patients to receive relevant and actionable healthcare intelligence along with contextual advertising in the moments of care.

Parexel and Microsoft Partner Up to Improve Patient Care

Parexel and Microsoft are teaming up to accelerate drug development and help patients connect to new therapies more quickly and efficiently. Parexel offers unique pharma expertise in clinical and regulatory biopharma technology to combine with Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure, intelligence service, and research and development capabilities to bring new therapies to patients more quickly.

As part of the partnership, the companies plan to develop patient-centric technologies and cloud-based services to support clinical research and market access for global life science clients.

Sharecare Gains Big Pharma Support

Jeff Arnold, Co-Founder and CEO, Sharecare

Sharecare, the healthcare platform founded by WebMD CEO, Jeff Arnold, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, is working across the health industry with pharma, hospitals, insurers, PBMs, and government agencies to create a one-stop digital platform that allows people to store, manage, and navigate their personal healthcare information seamlessly and in one place.

Sharecare boasts huge marketing potential, through its partnerships with Dr. Oz and others, including Oprah Winfrey and Sony Pictures Television. Up to $300 million in investments will help pharma companies to create custom marketing programs and content. In one successful marketing campaign, 20% of targeted rheumatoid arthritis patients visited their doctor discussing the brand, after half of those patients had been users of a rival drug.

One Drop Enters the Market to Make Diabetes Care Easier

In an effort to keep up an ongoing dialogue with diabetes patients, One Drop CEO and diabetes patient, Jeff Dachis, appeared on their first TV advertisement. Dachis spoke about why he founded his company and how the sleek, modern convenience of the One Drop system can make managing diabetes less of a chore.

Dachis discussed the compact device’s ability to connect to a smartphone app to store all relevant health information while other One Drop employees with type 1 diabetes discussed its affordability. While the One Drop media plan is in its infancy, Dachis plans to take their steady message of empowerment across media even as networks, messaging, call to action, and pricing may change.

Trump’s Opioid Commission Makes its Recommendations

Back in March, President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Earlier this month, the commission, lead by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, released its final 131-page report, which includes 56 recommendations for how to combat the opioid epidemic. The report was released six days after President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, which will allow for money to be redirected to fight the epidemic.

The recommendations made by the committee include the formation of additional nationwide drug courts, which divert people to addiction treatment facilities instead of prison. Currently, less than 30% of federal districts have drug courts—the committee recommends it should be 100%. Other recommendations include tighter prescribing guidelines and for doctors to attend an education program when it comes time to renew their opioid prescribing licenses. The report also calls for a federally funded, national media campaign that would encourage opioid addicts to seek help. To read the full report, go to http://bit.ly/2zZd92K.

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