Global Pharma Briefs: News from Sanofi, Otsuka, and bluebird bio

By Miranda Greenberg -

June 10, 2021

A roundup of news from Canada (Fusion Pharmaceuticals), France (Sanofi), Japan (Otsuka), and the US (bluebird bio).

Canada

Fusion Pharmaceuticals Partners for New Radiopharma Mfg Facility
Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-based clinical-stage bio/pharmaceutical company, entered into a 15-year lease agreement with Hamilton, Ontario-based McMaster University to build a 27,000-square-foot radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

The facility, to be built by McMaster and equipped and validated by Fusion, will be designed to support manufacturing of the company's pipeline of targeted alpha therapies (TATs). Fusion expects the manufacturing facility will be operational by early 2024.

In conjunction with the execution of the lease agreement, Fusion has entered into a services agreement with its long-time partner, the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, to provide services relating to certain aspects of the validation of the new manufacturing facility.

Source: Fusion Pharmaceuticals


France

Sanofi Launches Global Employee Share Ownership Plan
Sanofi has launched Action 2021, its global employee share ownership plan to demonstrate the commitment of Sanofi and its Board of Directors to involve all employees in the future development and results of the company.

In 2020, the employee share ownership plan, open to around 90,000 employees in 72 countries, saw its overall uptake rate exceed 36%. Nearly 90,000 current or former employees of the company are direct or indirect shareholders of Sanofi and hold approximately 2.8% of its capital.

Source: Sanofi


Japan

Otsuka Introduces CO2-free Electricity for All Mfg Facilities in Japan
Otsuka Holdings has completed introduction of CO2-free electricity at all manufacturing facilities of its five subsidiary companies in Japan.

Derived from renewable energy sources that do not produce CO2 emissions, CO2-free electricity, which includes carbon-neutral electricity utilizing certificates equal to renewable energy that does not emit CO2, has been introduced at domestic manufacturing facilities in Japan of Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Taiho Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Chemical, and Otsuka Foods.

Adoption of CO2-free electricity at manufacturing facilities, which tend to produce a higher volume of CO2 emissions, began in July 2019. The recent adoption of CO2-free electricity at the Taiho Pharmaceutical Inuyama manufacturing facility in Aichi Prefecture, Japan completes the introduction of CO2-free electricity at all 23 manufacturing facilities of five Otsuka subsidiary companies in Japan. The company says the goal of a 30% global reduction by 2030 is the focus of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions

In addition to CO2-free electricity, proactive efforts to reduce CO2 emissions include: optimization of energy use through adoption of self-consuming solar power generation, cogeneration, and other fuel conversion system. These combined efforts are predicted to result in a 41% reduction in CO2 emissions during fiscal year 2021.

Source: Otsuka


US

FDA Lifts Clinical Hold on bluebird bio’s Gene Therapies
bluebird bio, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based clinical-stage gene-therapy company, reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted the clinical holds on the Phase I/II and Phase III studies of LentiGlobin (betibeglogene darolentivec), a gene-therapy for treating sickle-cell disease (SCD), and the Phase III studies of betibeglogene autotemcel (beti-cel) gene therapy for adult, adolescent, and pediatric patients with transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT).

The company says it is working with study investigators and clinical trial sites to resume all study activities as soon as possible (as reported on June 7, 2021).

Source: bluebird bio