WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE NEWS…
The Pharmaceutical industry is making strides in areas that were formerly untreatable diseases or diseases that didn’t receive full attention due to real or perceived stigma associated with them. Good work is being done and progress is being made to improve the quality of life and outlook for those people who suffer from these conditions. There are many examples of this type of work and while all are important, here are just three links that I picked to highlight the good work happening daily in the industry.
Boehringer Ingelheim has secured breakthrough therapy designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nintedanib in chronic fibrosing interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) with a progressive phenotype. ILDs comprise more than 200 disorders that could result in pulmonary fibrosis, which causes irreversible lung tissue scarring that affects lung function. A progressive phenotype could lead to a life-threatening condition that is characterized by difficulty in breathing and a drop in the amount of oxygen supplied by lungs to the body. FDA breakthrough status for nintedanib in this indication comes from Phase III INBUILD clinical trial data, where nintedanib slowed the ILD progression rate.
More of this story is available at this link: https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/boehringers-nintedanib-breakthrough-status/
This work is important as these lung conditions are progressive and irreversible. Many of these diagnoses are considered idiopathic meaning that physicians don’t have a good idea as to why they happen. To see new therapies that are successfully slowing the progression of this chronic condition is encouraging at the least and hopeful at best that a treatment or even a cure is possible.
FDA APPROVAL FOR NOVARTIS
Novartis has secured the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the use of its Beovu (brolucizumab) medicine to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Wet AMD is a degenerative eye disease that develops due to excess VEGF protein, which stimulates the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula area of the retina linked to sharp, central vision. Beovu is a humanized single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) designed to block VEGF activation. Inhibition suppresses the abnormal blood vessels growth and the risk of fluid leakage into the retina. The Beovu molecule delivers the highest concentration of the antibody, indicated for a three-month dosing regimen following a three-month loading phase.
More of this story is available at this link: https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/novartis-beovu-fda-amd/
This work is important as these ocular or eye conditions are progressive and irreversible. To see new therapies that are successfully slowing the progression of this chronic condition is encouraging at the least and hopeful at best that a treatment or even a cure is possible. Sounds like a broken record but in difficult to treat diseases, any hope is welcomed.
MENTAL HEALTH IS A THING!
The third example is from a different source and is of a different nature. Mental illness is beginning to gain more attention from the medical community but also work and home communities. As more people recognize the trials and difficulties associated with mental illness, more options for treatment and care emerge not just in medical arenas but also in corporate areas and homelife as well.
At an annual meeting last month, top CEOs announced that their top priorities should be investing in employees, delivering value to customers, and doing business ethically — not maximizing profits.
Addressing mental health concerns fits into that framework. But it’s not as though companies are forgoing cash to address these issues. Pro-wellness initiatives also clearly play well with consumers.
Companies that have implemented mental health initiatives for their employees have reported significant savings on things like healthcare costs. Plus, happy employees are both more productive and more loyal than unhappy ones.
It’s one of those rare cases where profitability and doing the right thing actually line up.
Learn more about World Mental Health Day, including suicide prevention resources, here.
More of this story is available at this link: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/19/the-ceos-of-nearly-two-hundred-companies-say-shareholder-value-is-no-longer-their-main-objective.html
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Dr. Joe Nieusma and the Superior Toxicology & Wellness Team