May 17, 2020

Damages Amount to $2.1 Billion for Teva Pharmaceuticals

2 min
Teva plans to appeal patent court decision
Two billion dollars is a hefty price to pay for manufacturing generic copies of a drug patented by a pharmaceutical company in the U.S., but Teva Pharm...

Two billion dollars is a hefty price to pay for manufacturing generic copies of a drug patented by a pharmaceutical company in the U.S., but Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. is fighting allegations and may have to foot the bill.

The Israeli company is accused of selling generic copies of Protonix, Pfizer Inc.’s wide selling heartburn medication, before its U.S. patent exclusivity expired in 2011.  To cover potential losses, Teva has already booked a $670 million provision for the third quarter of last year.

On Tuesday an annual report Teva filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it estimates the "ultimate resolution of this matter could result in a loss of up to $1.4 billion in excess of the amount accrued."

A June trial is scheduled to investigate Pfizer’s claim for damages in federal court in New Jersey while Teva is moving forward with plans to challenge the court’s decision upholding the validity of the patent protecting rights to Pfizer’s drug.

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"We intend to seek full compensation for the damages caused by Teva's and Sun's infringement of the patent" covering Protonix, Pfizer spokesman Christopher Loder said in a statement. "We look forward to fully addressing all arguments in court during the damages trial."

If Teva is forced to pay damages in full, it will constitute one of the largest amounts relating to the release of an “at-risk” generic drug before litigation pertaining the braded drug’s patent was resolved.

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May 13, 2021

Birdie aims to reinvent elderly care with tech

3 min
We take a look at homecare software startup Birdie, who are aiming to transform elderly care in the UK

British startup Birdie has announced it has raised £8.2 million to invest in innovation and scale up the business. 

The company's announcement is timely as it follows the criticism of the UK government over their lack of a plan for social care, despite acknowledging the sector is in crisis - around a quarter of the UK's home care providers are on the brink of bankruptcy due to a lack of funds and staffing. 

Birdie was born with a mission to  "radically improve the lives of millions of older adults", by using app-based solutions, IoT and machine learning to put preventative care at the forefront.  The company was founded by Max Parmentier,  after experiencing his own frustrations with the care system - his grandfather struggled with the impact of life in a care home, but lacked any other option. 

In 2017 Parmentier partnered with venture builder Kamet Ventures to  set up Birdie, in a bid to fix this problem. Since then, Birdie has partnered with almost 500 providers across the UK, and supports more than 20,000 older people every week. In the past 12 months alone the number of people Birdie supports has got six times greater. 

Birdie’s solution is an app to help care providers deliver more coordinated, personalised and preventative care, by giving them access to digital assessments, medication scheduling and planning tools. By using digital tools to take care of admin, staff have more time to spend with their care recipients. 

The new investment will be used to fund Birdie’s next phase of growth in the UK, as the company scales to meet the rapidly growing demand of the aging population. The company will also invest in product innovation, creating new features to address customer requests.

In addition, Birdie is piloting new care models, including partnering with the NHS to identify COVID-19 symptoms, building predictive pharmacy models with AI, and helping health authorities to detect early warning signs of patients’ health risks.

Internally, Birdie is committed to having a progressive company ethos. All salaries are transparent, and staff work asynchronously to maximise flexibility and equity. Staff members also volunteer in their local community during office hours, and the company offsets all its emissions.

These efforts have led to numerous awards, including having the best SME culture in the UK, an Honorable Mention in the Health category of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards, and innovation in care at the LangBuisson awards. 

“We believe the future of care for older people should be helping them to live at home for as long as possible through the delivery of personalised and preventative care" Parmentier said. 

"Birdie is already the partner of choice for caregivers up and down the UK, and this new funding will help us rapidly increase the number we partner with and what we can offer them - meaning more people benefiting from more affordable, quality care. We’re proud of our mission and the values we embody to pursue it.” 

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