Sanofi Drops COVID mRNA Vax

Sanofi is not moving forward with its COVID mRNA vaccine, but will still explore  other mRNA vaccines.

Despite the fact that the French drugmaker reported positive findings on its Phase I and II clinical studies, Sanofi will not continue developing an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, due to the success of Moderna and the Pfizer BioNTech duo. Sanofi would only be able to enter the market at the end of 2022, by which time enough mRNA COVID vaccine doses could be produced for the entire global population. The company will, however, continue developing a COVID vaccine via the traditional protein-based method with its partner GlaxoSmithKline. The recombinant vaccine may also serve as a booster shot for those who received any vaccine; one that can be kept in a standard fridge at primary doctor’s offices. Clinical trials for this vaccine are still ongoing.

Since studies found positive immune responses in their mRNA vaccine, Sanofi will shift its mRNA platform to focus on vaccines for other pathogens, first targeting influenza. Sanofi’s Global Head of Vaccine R&D Thomas Triomphe told STAT News that the company “will now accelerate its work on a previously announced mRNA vaccines ‘center of excellence,’ a project whose goal is not only to develop mRNA vaccines and therapeutics to use in ordinary times, but to be ready to produce vaccines when the next pandemic hits.” Sanofi has manufactured 30 million doses of the vaccines so far for Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson as a pandemic effort.

Intouch Group Releases New Affiliate

Intouch Group keeps growing with its most recent addition to its affiliates, Intouch Market Access. The eighth affiliate will contain services to help brands ensure that patients and providers have unencumbered access to vital therapies and diagnostics. It applies timely insights, cutting-edge strategies, and modern marketing discipline to provide programs focused on removing barriers to physicians prescribing treatments, and that encourage and support patients managing their therapy.

“With more than a dozen Market Access clients, a rapidly growing team, and the profound impact of payers no longer being contested, Intouch believed it was the right time to bring this offering to the forefront,” said Boris Kushkuley, President, Commercial and Consulting Services, Intouch Group, in a statement.

The new affiliate builds upon Intouch’s Market Access service offerings that first appeared in 2016, still ensuring that clients’ products are fully accessible in the industry.

Relevate and Arteric Combine

Relevate Health is the new company born from combining Relevate, a data-driven marketing products and services communications firm, and Arteric, a digital marketing consultancy using proprietary AI and machine learning. Relevate Health now offers a full range of healthcare professional digital marketing engagement services for pharmaceutical and biotech brands.

“Today is a defining moment for our organization, moving forward with one name and mission under Relevate Health,” said CEO Jeff Spanbauer. “Our mission is to create life-changing healthcare engagement, and this takes a lot of data and marketing expertise to ensure the communications are delivered in a relevant way. Our combined capabilities together in Relevate Health will allow us to continue to drive high performing programs with drama-free delivery for our clients.”

Syneos Health Makes Two Acquisitions

Alistair Macdonald is CEO of Syneos Health, which recently acquired both StidyKIK and RxDataScience.

The global biopharma solutions organization acquired StudyKIK, a leading clinical trial recruitment and retention company using cutting-edge technology. With this, Syneos Health will offer accelerated patient enrollment and retention; extensive patient population-based insights; improved site, sponsor, and physician experiences; and reduced patient burden, to continue providing insight-driven solutions. StidyKIK has proven able to accelerate patient enrollment in clinical trials and currently manages more than 1,000 indication-specific patient community groups, supporting over 3,800 research sites across the globe. As an added benefit, the platform encompasses more than six million patients through social media, speeding access to patients who traditionally would not have participated in clinical trials.

“StudyKIK’s patient-first focus, combined with their innovative enterprise platform, helps to advance our goal of bringing best-of-breed insights and technology-enabled solutions to biopharma customers, sites, and patients,” said Alistair Macdonald, CEO, Syneos Health. “We are excited to welcome the StudyKIK team to the Syneos Health family. Together we’ll accelerate product development by improving stakeholder experiences, realizing efficiencies in patient recruitment, engagement, improved access, and diversity.”

Additionally, Syneos also announced the acquisition of RxDataScience, a leading healthcare-focused data analytics, data management, and artificial intelligence company. RxDataScience further scales Syneos Health’s data science abilities, adding new capabilities and deep knowledge in data engineering and management, and advanced enterprise analytics that accelerate the time to commercialization for products and customer performance, with the potential to significantly shorten clinical trials and modernize medical affairs and commercial programs.

“This acquisition boosts our ability to deliver strategic insights and technology-enabled solutions that address our customers’ most complex data challenges,” Macdonald said in a statement. “Combining our end-to-end services and deep behavioral and therapeutic expertise with their AI and data-science capabilities will generate customer strategies to accelerate product development and time to market.”

MoonLake Sets Sights on Psoriasis Drug

MoonLake is developing a new treatment that could compete with Novartis’ Cosentyx.

MoonLake Immunotherapeutics focuses on developing novel therapies for inflammatory skin and joint diseases and is planning to release a plaque psoriasis drug to compete with Novartis’ Cosentyx. Having received $230 million in funding for phase II clinical trials, MoonLake is reporting higher efficacy than Cosentyx for treating moderate to severe psoriasis. The company’s sonelokimab is based on nanobodies rather than traditional antibodies, which are found naturally in llamas and other camelids. The nanobody is more targeted than antibodies as it only needs one domain to recognize its target molecules.

MoonLake is taking on the well-established Novartis drug which has approval for multiple psoriasis indications. The intention is to use the new funds to push sonelokimab through clinical trials and then submit the drug to the FDA for further conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, ankylosing spondylitis, or radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, and hidradenitis suppurativa.

Connelly Partners Health Launched

The independent agency, Connelly Partners, launched a new dedicated health practice agency, Connelly Partners Health, to work in life sciences, medtech, and healthcare organizations. Healthcare marketing industry veteran Stephen Piotrowski will lead the new initiative as Managing Director. CP Health will work with clients through a process that leverages anthropology, data, and technology to uncover what audiences want and guide brand strategy, creative, and integrated execution.

“As people have become increasingly active and more engaged in their healthcare, truly improving engagement requires a deeper understanding of your customers’ actions, behaviors, and preferences,” said Piotrowski. “Too often the focus is skewed towards the disease with the person being overlooked. What drew me to Connelly Partners is it’s differentiated approach that gets at the heart of today’s challenges by prioritizing humanity and connecting insights about what makes us human to clients’ brands.”

Piotrowski has over 30 years of patient and healthcare professional marketing experience across oncology, rare disease, ophthalmology, vaccine, and device areas and in managing successful U.S. and global product launches.

Amulet Capital Partners Acquires Remedy Health Media

Amulet Capital Partners, LP, a middle-market private equity investment firm focused exclusively on the healthcare sector, acquired Remedy Health Media, a leading digital health platform that serves patients, caregivers, and HCPs through a family of trusted health information websites.

Remedy CEO Michael Cunnion, said, “Amulet’s healthcare experience is a perfect strategic complement for our growth strategy, and new funding will allow us to accelerate our impact with the audiences we serve through content investment, new product development, and the addition of new brands.”


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