May 17, 2020

Merck invests $107 million into overseas manufacturing

2 min
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Written by Alyssa Clark The popular German drugmaker Merck KGaA recently invested over 80 million euros, which translates to approximately $107, overs...

Written by Alyssa Clark


The popular German drugmaker Merck KGaA recently invested over 80 million euros, which translates to approximately $107, overseas into a foreign manufacturing plant. The plant which Merck chose to work with is based of our Shanghai, China, and the company stated the importance of cultivating the connection between this manufacturing facility and Merck because it stresses the importance of the market for global drug firms.

The facility will produced drugs to treat China’s increasing number of diabetics, thyroid disorders and cardiovascular patients, and will be available online in 2017. Government spending in the healthcare sector is estimated to tripe to $1 trillion by 2020, and this fact alone has prompted firms to invest in Chinese facilities and embrace their own respective joint ventures with local companies.

Since international drug companies have come under serious scrutiny over authorities clamping down on high price premiums, many of them have been caught up in these lumps of allegations and are struggling to clear the name of their company. The British drug company GlaxoSmithKline also has become under investigation recently due to their suspected behavior of funneling up to 3 billion yuan ($492.43) to travel agencies acting as bribes, and also doing the same to doctors and officials to boost drug sales.

Chinese officials have also questioned other companies this year like Novartis AG, AstraZeneca Plc, Sanofi, Eli Lilly & Co, and Bayer AG as well. With the more probing by the Chinese authorities, the drug companies are taking a hit in their respective sales due to the widening amount of inter-industry scandal.

"In 10 years it's conceivable that China will become the largest pharmaceutical market in the world," said Benjamin Bai, Shanghai-based partner at law firm Allen & Overy. "Do you think (drug firms) can afford to get out of China? No, even if it's difficult, they will find a way to adapt."


About the Author

Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global

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Jun 16, 2021

NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment

2 min
NHS and OncoHost to launch clinical trials analysing cancer patients response to immunotherapy

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy. 

The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment.  They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities. 

Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.

OncoHost, an oncology startup,  will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®

“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.

“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient." 

"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”

Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.

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