May 17, 2020

Novartis anti-inflammatory drug could prevent heart attacks

Novartis
heart disease
heart attack
pharmaceutical
Jonathan Dyble
2 min
Heart disease
Swiss drug company Novartis has taken the innovative approach of developing an anti-inflammatory heart drug that has been proven to be effective in curb...

Swiss drug company Novartis has taken the innovative approach of developing an anti-inflammatory heart drug that has been proven to be effective in curbing heart attacks and similar health problems.

Current heart-related medicines have often focused on cholesterol and blood pressure levels. However, Novartis may have made a breakthrough with its new drug named Canakinumab.

A study that was conducted using the drug included 10,000 high risk patients across 39 countries, with both a history of heart attacks and a high level of interleukin-1β.

The results showed that of the 1,400-reported heart-related health incidents that occurred throughout the period of study, patients receiving the highest Canakinumab dosage recorded 14% fewer than the placebo group.

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With cholesterol having had some but not complete success in reducing heart attacks in patients, Novartis’s new drug could go some way in solving the missing piece of the puzzle.

"These data are a significant milestone because they show that selectively targeting inflammation with ACZ885 (Canakinumab) reduces cardiovascular risk and that ACZ885 may also be an important immuno-oncology therapy targeting IL-1ß for lung cancer," said Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer at Novartis, Vas Narasimhan.

"We look forward to submitting the CANTOS data to regulatory authorities for approval in cardiovascular and initiating additional phase III studies in lung cancer."

The drug does carry the potential threat of side effects such as increased risk of infection, with the anti-inflammatory medication naturally reducing the body’s immune response. Another drawback is that it is unlikely to be a 100% cure and will be expensive with treatment, expected to cost in the region of $64,000.

However, it does provide an alternative to those who suffer from heart problems who have failed to find a solution in existing cholesterol-controlling drugs.

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Jun 22, 2021

Bachem turns 50 - a timeline

pharma
supplychain
peptides
medication
3 min
As Bachem turns 50, we take a look at the company's history

Bachem, a supplier to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. We take a look at the Swiss company's history.  

1971 - beginnings

Bachem is founded by entrepreneur Peter Grogg in Liestal, a small town near Basel in Switzerland. Grogg started the firm with just two employees, and with a focus on peptide synthesis - peptides are composed of amino acids that have a variety of functions treating health conditions such as cancer and diabetes. 

1977 - 1981 - early growth

Bachem moves its headquarters to the Swiss town of Bubendorf, with eight employees. In 1978 the company produces peptides for use in medicines for the first time. In 1981 production capacity triples and the workforce grows to 150. 

 1987 - 1996 - worldwide expansion

The company expands into the US with Bachem Bioscience, Inc. in Philadelphia. To strengthen its presence in Europe, Bachem opens sales and marketing centres in Germany in 1988. 

Further sales centres open in France in 1993. By 1995 the company employs 190 people. In 1996 it acquires the second largest manufacturer of peptides in the world and forms Bachem California with a site in Torrance. 

 1998 - 2003 - Bachem goes public

Bachem company goes public and lists shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Further acquisitions include Peninsula Laboratories, Inc, based in California, and  Sochinaz SA, a Swiss-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients.  By 2001, the company has 500 employees and sales reach 141 million CHF.

In 2003 the organisation is given a new legal holding structure to support its continued growth, which remains in place to this day. 

2007 - 2013 - acquisitions

Bachem acquires a brand by Merck Biosciences for ready-to-use clinical trial materials and related services. 

In 2013, together with GlyTech, Inc. Bachem announces the development of a new amino acid that can help to treat multiple sclerosis, with a world market of more than $4 billion. 

In 2015 it acquires the American Peptide Company (APC), which becomes integrated into Bachem Americas. 

2016 - 2019 - a global leader

In 2016 the group opens a new building dedicated to R&D projects and small series production in Bubendorf. With a total of 1,022 employees, the workforce exceeds the 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history. Sales are over the 200 million mark for the first time at 236.5 million CHF.
Bachem expands into Asia with the establishment of a new company in Tokyo called Bachem Japan K.K. 

By 2019 Bachem has a growing oligonucleotide portfolio - these are DNA molecules used in genetic testing, research, and forensics. It is hoped this will become a significant product range in the future. 

2020 - COVID-19

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachem secures its supply of active ingredients, and even increases it in critical areas. Sales exceed the 400 million Swiss franc mark for the first time, and  272 new employees are hired.  

2021 - a milestone anniversary

Bachem celebrates its 50th anniversary and position as a global leader in the manufacture of peptides. While it  remains headquartered in Bubendorf, the company employs 1,500 people at six locations worldwide. In the next five years there are  plans to continue expanding. 

Commemorating the company's anniversary, Kuno Sommer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Bachem's exceptional success story from a small laboratory to a global market leader is closely linked to Peter Grogg's values, and has been shaped by innovation, consistent quality and cost awareness, as well as by entrepreneurial vision."

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