Global Briefs: Novartis, Moderna, Fujifilm & More

A roundup of news from Novartis, Moderna, Fujifilm, and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Novartis To Cut 400 Jobs in India
Novartis India Limited (NIL) has signed an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a Hyderabad, India-based pharmaceutical company, for select established medicines. The agreement will result in the reduction of approximately 400 employees at NIL due to redundancies.

The agreement combines the manufacturing and development expertise of NIL with the sales and distribution strengths of Dr. Reddy’s.

Novartis has a large footprint in India with over 10,000 full-time employees. Since January 2020, Novartis has hired more than 1,600 employees in India and says it is planning to continue this hiring program in 2022.

Source: Novartis India

Moderna To Expand in Asia with Four Additional Subsidiaries
Moderna plans to expand its commercial network in Asia and Europe with the addition of four new subsidiaries in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and with plans to establish a commercial presence in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden. The moves are designed to support the delivery of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics locally.

This expansion comes as the company continues to scale up the manufacturing and distribution of its COVID-19 vaccine and future mRNA vaccines and therapeutics.

Source: Moderna

Fujifilm Launches Life-Sciences Investment Fund
Fujifilm Corporation has launched a life-sciences strategic investment fund, managed by the Life Sciences Corporate Venture Capital (LS-CVC), a newly established group within the Fujifilm’s Life Sciences Strategy Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

Fujifilm is initially investing 7 billion yen ($60 million) to start the fund, targeting biotechnology investments, primarily through partnerships with early-stage companies globally.

In addition to this new fund, the LS-CVC is also taking the company’s prior life-science investment portfolio under management, which has had investments in regenerative medicine, cell therapeutics and drug-discovery research products.

In April 2021, Fujifilm established the Life Sciences Strategy Headquarters to plan and promote a strategy to accelerate business growth in the life sciences. The Headquarters currently manages several business divisions within the fields of bio/pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing, iPS cell-derived products, and industrial cell culture media.

As part of the Life Sciences Strategy Headquarters, Fujifilm Life Science Strategic Business Offices in the US and in Europe will take on the role of approaching early-stage biotech companies for developing funding deals for partnership with Fujifilm.

Source: Fujifilm Corporation

FDA Aims at Developing Non-Opioid Alternatives for Pain Management
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a draft guidance to provide recommendations to companies developing non-opioid alternatives to manage acute pain.

The draft guidance, Development of Non-Opioid Analgesics for Acute Pain; Draft Guidance for Industry, describes the agency’s current thinking about three aspects of non-opioid analgesic drug development for acute pain: 

  • types of drug development programs that may be appropriate to generate data needed to support an indication for the management of acute pain; 
  • potential use of claims in labeling regarding the elimination or reduction of opioid use and the data needed to support those claims; and 
  • potential use of the FDA’s expedited programs to support the development program. 

The FDA is accepting public comments on the draft guidance documents until April 11, 2022.

Source: US Food and Drug Administration