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EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ CEO on treating serious eye disorders and female leadership in life sciences

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: EYPT) specializes in creating ocular products for serious eye disorders. The company has developed five FDA-approved sustained-release treatments in ophthalmology. The company’s preclinical development program is focused on drug candidates to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, osteoarthritis and other diseases.

The company was formed in 2018 after pSivida announced acquired Icon Bioscience.

To learn more about the company, we interviewed EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ president and CEO, Nancy S. Lurker, who is also an advisor to Novo Nordisk and serves on the board of directors for the company Aquestive Therapeutics.

In the following interview, Lurker touches on what inspires her as the CEO of EyePoint while also providing advice for women interested in pursuing leadership roles within the life sciences industry.

Nancy Lurker

Preventing bli…

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Pharma’s top 20 R&D spenders in 2020

[Lab image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay]The past year has been an unprecedented time for the pharmaceutical industry.

On the one hand, the pandemic resulted in substantial delays to clinical trials while also forcing sponsors to rethink clinical trial design to protect participants. But on the other hand, the pandemic underscored the importance of the pharma industry in society. 

While the pandemic certainly was a driver for substantial R&D spending in the industry in 2020, a significant expense for many companies last year was licensing fees and other acquisition costs. That trend is not just apparent for Incyte, which tops this list, but also for several other companies in this ranking of 20 firms, which are ranked below based on the percent of revenue they invest in R&D. (To find out the top 50 pharma companies, check out our recently published ranking here.)

Get the full picture from our sister site, Drug Discovery & Development. 

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Pharma’s top 20 R&D spenders in 2020

[Lab image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay]

The past year has been an unprecedented time for the pharmaceutical industry.

On the one hand, the pandemic resulted in substantial delays to clinical trials while also forcing sponsors to rethink clinical trial design to protect participants. But on the other hand, the pandemic underscored the importance of the pharma industry in society. 

While the pandemic certainly was a driver for substantial R&D spending in the industry in 2020, a significant expense for many companies last year was licensing fees and other acquisition costs. That trend is not just apparent for Incyte, which tops this list, but also for several other companies in this ranking of 20 firms, which are ranked below based on the percent of revenue they invest in R&D. (To find out the top 50 pharma companies, check out our recently published ranking here.)

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CureVac and GSK announce promising preclinical data for next-gen COVID-19 vaccine 

As CureVac (NSDQ:CVAC) awaits European authorization for its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, it is conducting preclinical research on a second-generation vaccine candidate known as CV2CoV, which it is developing with GSK. 

In a study involving rats, the new mRNA vaccine candidate yielded high levels of antigen and strong neutralizing antibody titers after the first vaccination. 

Tübingen, Germany–based CureVac also said the vaccine candidate led to high levels of antibodies against several variants of concern, including B.1.1.298, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351.

“To successfully fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the long term, we will need different vaccines, and we need to be able to respond effectively to emerging variants,” GSK Global Vaccines President Roger Connor said in a statement. 

CV2CoV uses a new mRNA platform than CureVac’s first COVID-19 vaccine candidate known as CVnCoV. The new platform intends to bolster intracellular mRNA stability and translation to y…

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Abbott recalls pacemakers that may short circuit

(Image courtesy of Abbott)

Abbott is recalling certain pacemakers that may short circuit because they can allow moisture inside, according to the FDA.

The recall covers 61,973 Assurity and Endurity pacemakers manufactured by St. Jude Medical and distributed from April 2015 to February 2019. (Abbott acquired St. Jude in 2017).

A small number of devices from that time frame have experienced problems when moisture got inside the device, the agency said. The moisture can cause an electrical short, which may lead to:

Get the full story on our sister site, Medical Design & Outsourcing.

 

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United, Abbott partner to use rapid COVID-19 test for international travel

Abbott’s BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card [Image courtesy of Abbott]United Airlines and Abbott announced a collaboration to use the latter’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 home test to make international travel more seamless.

Recent CDC guidelines permit travelers to self-administer a rapid antigen test under the real-time supervision of a telehealth service and use the verified negative result to board an international flight to the U.S., according to a news release.

The collaboration will combine Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 test and the NAVICA app to provide testing and make international travel to the U.S. safer and easier for travelers amid the ongoing pandemic.

“We appreciate the private sector proactively helping travelers have access to easy, reliable COVID-19 test options,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said in the release. “Comprehensive testing that is easy, rapid, accurate and trusted is a fundamental strategy for preventin…

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Butterfly Network revenue up nearly 44% in Q1 — but shares still down

Three months after becoming a publicly-traded company, Butterfly Network (NYSE: BFLY) reported growing revenue and narrowing losses in Q1.

The handheld ultrasound system company, however, also projected losses of –$135 million to –$155 million in 2021, just a bit better than the –$162.7 million lost in 2020. Butterfly Network said today that it expects full-year revenue of $76 million to $80 million, representing 64% to 73% growth year-over-year.

Investors reacted by sending BFLY shares down more than –16% to $9.37 apiece by late afternoon trading today. MassDevice‘s MedTech 100 Index, which includes stocks of the world’s largest medical device companies, was up slightly.

“This year is off to a great start with healthy growth and increased customer excitement about the insights delivered by Butterfly’s unique technology and our potential to advance medical imaging beyond current use cases,” Butterfly CEO Dr. Todd Fruchterman said in a news re…

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Hologic launches $20M women’s health equity initiative

Hologic this week announced an effort to improve healthcare for Black and Hispanic women in the U.S.

Project Health Equality (PHE) will focus initially on how Black and Hispanic women experience healthcare in different regions of the country and on making meaningful, sustainable improvements, according to the Marlborough, Mass.-based company. Hologic’s partners in the $20 million initiative are:

Get the full story on our sister site, Medical Design & Outsourcing.

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Haemonetics plummets on mixed-bag Q4 results

Haemonetics (NYSE:HAE) posted fourth-quarter results today that beat the revenue consensus on Wall Street and missed on earnings estimates.

The company reported losses of -$11 million, or -22¢ per share, on sales of $225 million for the three months ended April 3, for a sales loss of -5.65% compared with Q4 2021.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were 46¢, 21¢ behind The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $222.98 million.

“The pandemic affected fiscal 2021, particularly our plasma business, but cost mitigation efforts coupled with the Operational Excellence Program helped dampen the impact,” CEO Chris Simon said in a news release. “We took meaningful steps to position the company for growth, including the Persona launch, the Cardiva Medical acquisition, various divestitures and the debt refinancing.”

“We remain confident in the strong end-market demand for our products and expect ful…

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BD enrolls first patients in arteriovenous endovascular fistula post-market trial

BD (NYSE: BDX) recently announced that it has begun enrollment for its post-market surveillance study of its WavelinQ arteriovenous endovascular fistula device.

The Connect-AV trial is a prospective, single-arm, open-label study that will follow WavelinQ EndoAVF system patients for 24 months. Its dual primary effectiveness endpoints are the percentage of subjects dialyzing with successful 2-needle cannulation for at least 75% of dialysis sessions over a 28-day period, and subjects who are maintaining primary patency at six months. The primary safety endpoint is freedom from the device and procedure-related serious adverse events for 30 days.

Get the full story on our sister site, Medical Tubing + Extrusion.

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Bose jumps into hearing aid market

(Image courtesy of Bose)

Bose just introduced FDA-cleared, direct-to-consumer hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Users can use a smartphone app to fit, program and control a SoundControl hearing aid without a doctor visit, hearing test or prescription, according to Framingham, Mass.-based Bose. Each hearing aid will retail for $849.95 starting May 18th in five states: Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, with nationwide availability to follow.

Get the full story on our sister site, Medical Design & Outsourcing.

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Alcon inks U.S. selling rights for BlephEx’s eyelid cleaning device

Alcon announced last week that it agreed to a partnership providing it exclusive rights to sell the BlephEx technology and accompanying products.

BlephEx’s eyelid cleaning device and the LashCam iR WiFi camera are set to join Alcon’s Systane iLux technology to meet the ocular surface health needs of patients in an office setting, according to a news release. Alcon picked up the exclusive U.S. rights, effective May 1, 2021.

As a micro-blepharoexfoliation device, the BlephEx handpiece spins a soft, medical-grade micro-sponge along the edge of the eyelids and lashes to remove scurf and debris in a 6-8 minute in-office procedure.

The LashCam iR instantly transmits high-resolution 80X magnification images of eyelid margins and can complement the BlephEx and Systane iLux procedures by allowing doctors to show patients their meibomian gland structure to improve patient education, Alcon said.

”Since launch, Systane iL…

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Cook Medical selling powerful Quanta surgical laser in U.S.

Cook Medical announced that the Litho 150 laser from Quanta is now available in the U.S. through its distribution channels.

Bloomington, Ind.-based Cook Medical said in a news release that the Litho 150 is the most recent product in Quanta’s line of laser systems and it complements Cook’s line of urologic stone management disposables. The system has indications for use in a variety of endoscopic and urological surgeries, including benign prostatic hyperplasia procedures and urological stone management.

Litho 150 also consists of an advanced cooling system that makes the machine run quietly, along with a Virtual Basket pulse modulation feature that allows for fine lithotripsy and minimal stone movement without the need for expensive additional fibers, Cook Medical said.

Additionally, Litho 150 includes the Vapor Tunnel low-energy pulse feature designed to create a vapor bubble between the laser tip and stone to allow for a more powerful pulse …

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Insulet sues Roche over diabetes tech patent

Insulet (NSDQ:PODD) is suing Roche Diabetes Care in the U.K., claiming that Roche prematurely began selling tubeless insulin pumps covered by an Insulet patent three years before that patent expires.

The trial for the lawsuit, filed in August 2020, began this week in the U.K. High Court.

Get the full story on our sister site, Drug Delivery Business News.

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Pharma 50: Here’s how the world’s largest pharma companies are doing

The global pharmaceutical industry held up well during the pandemic, with 10 of the largest businesses only seeing a roughly –3% drop in revenue in 2020. Eight of the 10 even came out ahead.

That’s one of the big takeaways from Drug Discovery & Development’s inaugural Pharma 50, a compilation of data on the largest pharma companies in the world. (Browse data on all 50 companies here.)

Overall, the 50 largest pharma companies brought in $851 billion in sales in 2020. Pharma companies also overcame COVID-19-related clinical trial disruption and staffing hurdles, driving unprecedented R&D advances to introduce novel vaccines and therapies to battle the pandemic. The resulting shift in public perception could benefit the industry for years to come.

One of the most notable achievements involved the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, according to analyst Mani Foroohar at SVB Leerink.

Other achievements, according to Foroohar, includ…

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How PhysIQ is advancing digital therapeutics through its partnership with Janssen

A partnership with J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals is helping PhysIQ advance with its device-agnostic clinical data collection and analysis platform. 

Over the course of the last year and some change, the impact of digital health and the need for it has increased by an immeasurable amount.

Virtual care became the norm after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and, although a return to something resembling “normal” could be on the horizon, those at artificial intelligence–based technology developer PhysIQ see that the landscape has been reshaped since early 2020.

“Digital medicine has been evolving but a lot of what’s been done has been done in an exploratory capacity,” PhysIQ CCO Chris Economos told MassDevice. “COVID-19 has definitely changed that.”

Get the full story at our sister site, MassDevice.

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How PhysIQ is advancing digital therapeutics through its partnership with Janssen

A partnership with J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals is helping PhysIQ advance with its device-agnostic clinical data collection and analysis platform. 

Over the course of the last year and some change, the impact of digital health and the need for it has increased by an immeasurable amount.

Virtual care became the norm after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and, although a return to something resembling “normal” could be on the horizon, those at artificial intelligence–based technology developer PhysIQ see that the landscape has been reshaped since early 2020.

“Digital medicine has been evolving but a lot of what’s been done has been done in an exploratory capacity,” PhysIQ CCO Chris Economos told MassDevice. “COVID-19 has definitely changed that.”

Get the full story at our sister site, MassDevice.

Read more
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Boston Scientific initiates coronary drug-coated balloon study in U.S.

Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) this week launched its Agent IDE trial for its Agent drug-coated balloon.

The U.S. prospective, randomized clinical trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a drug-coated balloon (DCB) in patients with coronary in-stent restenosis in lesions up to 26 mm in length in a coronary artery 2.0 mm to 4.0 mm in diameter.

It will evaluate the 12-month target lesion failure rate, defined as myocardial infarction related to the target vessel, the need for a revascularization procedure or cardiac mortality. The company said at least 480 patients will be enrolled in the study at 40 U.S. sites.

Get the full story on our sister site, Medical Tubing + Extrusion.

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Pharma 50: Here’s how the world’s largest pharma companies are doing

The global pharmaceutical industry held up well during the pandemic, with 10 of the largest businesses only seeing a roughly –3% drop in revenue in 2020. Eight of the 10 even came out ahead.

That’s one of the big takeaways from our sister publication Drug Discovery & Development’s inaugural Pharma 50, a compilation of data on the largest pharma companies in the world. (Browse data on all 50 companies here.)

Overall, the 50 largest pharma companies brought in $851 billion in sales in 2020. Pharma companies last year overcame clinical trial disruption and staffing hurdles to drive unprecedented R&D advances to introduce novel vaccines and therapies to battle the pandemic. The resulting shift in public perception could benefit the industry for years to come.

Get the full story on our sister site Drug Discovery & Development. 

Read more
  • 0

Pharma 50: Here’s how the world’s largest pharma companies are doing

The global pharmaceutical industry held up well during the pandemic, with 10 of the largest businesses only seeing a roughly –3% drop in revenue in 2020. Eight of the 10 even came out ahead.

That’s one of the big takeaways from our sister publication Drug Discovery & Development’s inaugural Pharma 50, a compilation of data on the largest pharma companies in the world. (Browse data on all 50 companies here.)

Overall, the 50 largest pharma companies brought in $851 billion in sales in 2020. Pharma companies last year overcame clinical trial disruption and staffing hurdles to drive unprecedented R&D advances to introduce novel vaccines and therapies to battle the pandemic. The resulting shift in public perception could benefit the industry for years to come.

Get the full story on our sister site Drug Discovery & Development. 

Read more
  • 0

Pharma 50: Here’s how the world’s largest pharma companies are doing

The global pharmaceutical industry held up well during the pandemic, with 10 of the largest businesses only seeing a roughly –3% drop in revenue in 2020. Eight of the 10 even came out ahead.

That’s one of the big takeaways from our sister publication Drug Discovery & Development’s inaugural Pharma 50, a compilation of data on the largest pharma companies in the world. (Browse data on all 50 companies here.)

Overall, the 50 largest pharma companies brought in $851 billion in sales in 2020. Pharma companies last year overcame clinical trial disruption and staffing hurdles to drive unprecedented R&D advances to introduce novel vaccines and therapies to battle the pandemic. The resulting shift in public perception could benefit the industry for years to come.

Get the full story on our sister site Drug Discovery & Development. 

Read more
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