Merck announced that data from across its multiple sclerosis (MS) portfolio will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2019 Annual Meeting, 4–10 May 2019 in Philadelphia, United States. Merck will present a total of 20 abstracts (18 posters and two platform presentations), including data on Mavenclad (cladribine tablets), the investigational therapy evobrutinib (an oral, selective Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) inhibitor) and Rebif (interferon beta-1a), as well as findings from the patient perceptions initiative by MS in the 21st Century.
“The wealth of data to be presented at AAN 2019 highlights our continued progress across our portfolio of marketed products and investigational agents in multiple sclerosis,” said Luciano Rossetti, Head of Global Research & Development for the Biopharma business of Merck. “We are very proud of our commitment to further the understanding of multiple sclerosis and enhance our clinical development program to meet the needs of patients.”
Key Mavenclad data will include:
- Post-hoc analysis of the Clarity Extension study to examine the durability of no evidence of disease activity-3 (NEDA-3) in relapsing MS (RMS) patients receiving cladribine tablets
- Integrated analysis of pooled long-term safety data of cladribine tablets in patients with MS collated from the Clarity, Clarity Extension, Oracle-MS studies and the Premiere registry
- A new analysis of the speed of onset of the MRI effect is presented. At 3 months the effect on new inflammatory lesions was apparent in the Oracle-MS study. In the same study consistency in clinical outcomes was observed across different patient subgroups defined by patient and disease characteristics at baseline
- Abstracts from the Oracle-MS study describe the effect of cladribine tablets on early MS
- Results from studies investigating the biological effects of cladribine tablets, including the effect on lymphocyte proliferation, and endothelial responsiveness to tumour necrosis factor and its effect on hematopoietic precursors and immune cells, to offer further insights on the potential mode of action of cladribine tablets
Key evobrutinib data will include:
- Results of analysis of the efficacy and safety of evobrutinib in patients with RMS over 48 Weeks: a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2 study
Key Rebif data will include:
- Investigation from the European Interferon Beta (IFNβ) pregnancy registry and Nordic health study into the prevalence of pregnancy outcomes in IFNβ-exposed women
- Results from the Improve study on the dynamics of pseudo-atrophy in RMS patients treated with interferon beta-1a as assessed by monthly brain MRI
Merck will also be announcing the launch of a new, collaborative MS research network called ‘MS-LINK’ (Leadership and Innovation Network), an initiative that brings together a community of multiple sclerosis stakeholders to form a scientific foundation for sustainable transformation of MS care, with the shared goal of improving patient outcomes.
Multivac sets a course for the future
After more than 18 years as CEO of the Multivac Group, Hans-Joachim Boekstegers will hand over the business on 1 January 2020 to his director colleagues, Christian Traumann and Guido Spix, and bow out of the company. Mr Traumann and Mr Spix will manage the company jointly in future.
Hans-Joachim Boekstegers joined the Multivac Group as CEO on 1 April 2001 and has since played a determining role in driving forward the successful development of the company. Mr Boekstegers was responsible in particular for the systematic expansion of the product portfolio and Multivac’s sales and service network. With 85 of its own subsidiaries, Multivac is today one of the leading manufacturers worldwide of packaging and processing solutions. During this time the company’s turnover was more than quadrupled, reaching some 1.1 billion euros at the end of 2018, and the number of employees rose from 1,600 to around 5,900.
With effect from 1 January 2020 Christian Traumann and Guido Spix will take up dual leadership of the Multivac Group. Mr Traumann will assume responsibility for Sales and Finance, while Mr Spix will become responsible for Technology and Production.
Christian Traumann had been Commercial Head of the Multivac Group since the beginning of 2002, before being appointed as Director and CFO for the Group in August 2008. Guido Spix joined the company as Director in March 2009 and has since assumed the position of CTO/COO.
In order to ensure that there is continuity in Multivac’s strategic direction, the course is already being set with an extended planning phase for the transfer of responsibilities to Mr Boekstegers’s successors. Mr Boekstegers will continue until the end of the year to guide Multivac’s destiny as usual, and he will remain on friendly terms with the company after this period.
New gearbox solution
Efficient conveyor belt drive
New State-Of-The-Art Production
SIG announces further Asia-Pacific expansion
As the Asia-Pacific region continues to be one of the major growth engines for aseptic carton packaging, SIG has announced investment in the region with the construction of a second production plant in Suzhou, China.
To meet current and future customer demand, the new 120,000 square meter plant is expected to be operational in early 2021 and will be situated at the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), close to the company’s existing production facility and Tech Centre. With a total investment of EUR 180 million, the new plant will ensure exceptional delivery on outstanding opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, where most countries continue to grow significantly. The plant is expected to achieve world-class environmental, safety and operational performance right from the start.
The new production facility is testament to SIG’s strong partnership with SIP and the local government, as well as its unparalleled commitment to deliver world-class packaging, service and the most modern solutions to the rapidly growing Asian markets and to China in particular. SIG’s recently opened cutting-edge Tech Centre in Suzhou supports customer collaboration in the development and implementation of innovative product concepts and market-ready packaging solutions.
Across Asia, millions of people are only now starting to consume packaged food and beverages. The rise of new consumers, driven by increasing income, changing lifestyles and new consumption habits, represents a huge opportunity for aseptic carton packaging with its long shelf life without the need of a cooling chain.
At the same time, young and growing populations are adopting modern lifestyles in urban areas, with more on-the-go consumption, an increasing awareness of health and wellness, and a growing demand for high-quality nutritional food and beverage products.
“The food and beverage market in Asia has seen continuous growth and is expected to continue on that path. Our new production plant will ensure we continue to excel at bringing new and exciting product and packaging concepts to market, quickly and efficiently. Together with our Tech Centre close by, the new plant is another pivotal moment for SIG in Asia. We will grow our business in the APAC region, but also expedite true beverage and dairy innovation for our customers, so they can quickly adapt to the changing lifestyle needs of Asian consumers.”
Rolf Stangl, CEO at SIG