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Treatment of age-related macular degeneration

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News, Pharmaceuticals

The age-related macular degeneration (AMD) market has been dominated by big pharma companies and their pipeline candidates are ensuring a share of this lucrative market, in spite of patent expiries of their highly-priced products, according to GlobalData.

Roche and Novartis’ Lucentis (ranibizumab) was the first anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody designed specifically for the treatment of the wet form of AMD. Currently these companies sponsor the highest number of clinical trials to reclaim their top position in the AMD space.

“In recent years Regeneron and Bayer became top sellers in the AMD space with their anti-VEGF, Eylea. However, Novartis is planning to launch its new anti-VEGF, brolucizumab in 2019, while Roche will compensate for its loss through the launch of faricimab, first-in-class bispecific antibody in 2024 designed for the treatment of wet AMD.”

Dr. Edit Kovalcsik, Managing Pharma Analyst at GlobalData

While both Bayer and Regeneron are among the top seven industry sponsors of clinical trials in AMD, neither of these companies have an AMD drug in late stages of development (Phase IIb/ Phase III) and GlobalData expects that they will not launch a new product by 2026.

The current AMD market is rather sparse, comprising of only five available drugs in the US, 5EU, and Japan and four in China. One of the marketed anti-VEGFs, Roche’s Avastin (bevacizumab), is used off-label for wet AMD, mainly due to its vastly lower price-tag.

Kovalcsik continues: “All three anti-VEGF therapies are highly effective to prevent central vision loss; however, major draw-backs include needing frequent intravitreal (IVT) injections, which results in poor compliance and risk of vision loss. Another problem is the price, which healthcare providers have been trying to minimize through the off-label use of Avastin, which is a cancer treatment.”

According to GlobalData’s report: ‘Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Competitive Landscape to 2026′ the AMD pipeline consists of 236 drugs spanning all stages of development. Drugs inhibiting angiogenesis remain the major focus of drug developers for wet AMD as they account for close to 40% of the pipeline.

Kovalcsik explains: “Companies developing new anti-VEGFs are trying to address the burden of frequent IVT injections on the patient and the physician, as well as on the hospital resources. Novartis’ brolucizumab will potentially reduce the dosing frequency for many more patients than currently available anti-VEGF therapies.”

The other form of the late stage of AMD is a dry or athropic form, called geographic atrophy (GA), for which no effective treatments are available, and therefore these patients remain underserved.

Kovalcsik concludes: “The AMD pipeline is strong although the attrition rate is high, particularly in dry AMD, for which all drugs have failed at the clinical stage of development.

“Out of the eleven drugs in late-stage clinical development, only two are being developed for the treatment of GA: Apellis’ APL-2, and Ophthotech’s Zimura. The majority, about 70% of the drugs in clinical stages of development, are designed to treat wet AMD, which leaves plenty of opportunities for developers to come up with effective treatments against GA.”

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Expansion of the Lyon location
Expertise for advanced analysis

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Advanced analysis: Endress+Hauser expands competence center in Lyon. Picture: Endress + Hauser
Advanced analysis: Endress+Hauser expands competence center in Lyon. (Picture: Endress + Hauser)

Endress + Hauser has expanded its center of competence for advanced analysis in Lyon, France. The Group invested 2 million euros in a new production facility and office space to meet the growing demand in the area of advanced process analyses.

From Lyon, around 20 employees support Endress + Hauser sales centers across Europe in the application and sales of advanced analysis technology, with a focus on the project business and after-sales services. Ten sales centers across Europe already have specialists on board to handle this complex field of activity.

Customer-specific manufacturing

The new 630-square-meter production facility will be used for customer-specific manufacturing and the assembly of complete analysis systems. Rounding out the facility are offices, rooms for factory acceptance tests and space reserved for future use. The adjacent 1,500-square-meter office building, which opened in 2017, is also home to the Endress + Hauser France regional sales office. With a total of 7,000 square meters, the property offers sufficient space to grow the location even further.

Strategic focus

“The expansion of the Lyon location allows us to do an even better job of bringing our expertise in the field of process analysis to our customers,” emphasized Matthias Altendorf, CEO of the Endress + Hauser Group, during the dedication ceremony on 17 July 2019. “This is an important strategic goal for us and helps our customers acquire more information from their processes.”

Analysis portfolio expands

Advanced analysis provides immediate information related to material properties and product quality. The company continuously develops its analysis portfolio to provide online monitoring of quality parameters, for example through spectroscopic techniques. This allows customers to reduce time to market and optimize their processes. Customers in industries such as life sciences, chemical, food & beverage and oil & gas can benefit the most from Endress + Hauser’s advanced analysis portfolio.

Advanced technologies

The Lyon location combines the expertise of the firm and its subsidiaries Kaiser Optical Systems and SpectraSensors under one roof. The Raman analyzers from Kaiser Optical Systems are used to examine the composition and material properties of liquids, gases and solids and enable the real-time measurement of product characteristics. SpectraSensors is a leader in the field of TDLAS technology, which can be used to reliably measure trace-level concentrations of gases.

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N-ARPEX
New clutch generation

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Flender-Kupplung-N-ARPEX

Special couplings for particularly demanding applications in the industrial sector. The new clutch generation from Flender: More power. More effectiveness. Cost less.

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Compact industrial barcode printer
Top drawer label printers

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TSC Auto ID Technology EMEA Top drawer label printers
Picture: TSC Auto ID Technology

Space-saving footprint like a desktop printer due to downsized dimensions, but powerful as an industrial printer – TSC’s new ML240P series covers exactly the niche of high demand in the market. Both versatile top-class all-rounders impress with their strong connectivity features and excellent printing quality while being extremely economical and flexible. The two models are equipped with a clear colour display ensuring a high operating comfort.

The thermal transfer printers ML240P and ML340P will be available on the EMEA market from June 2019. In comparison to the already very compact TSC models in this sector the dimensions of this new generation of high-performance industrial label printers have been reduced again significantly.

The intelligent combination of solid metal housing including media spindle, modularized base and modern printing technology enables a permanently steady, low-noise and at the same time highly efficient operation even with demanding applications. The adjustable longlife thermal printhead and self-diagnostic TPH Care mechanism ensure optimal print quality with various label materials. Bad dot detection offers the user peace of mind by alerting them to any pins in the head which might have blown – which otherwise would repeatedly produce unreadable barcodes without any way of noticing before it came to scanning.

The ML240P is available in 203 dpi printing resolution, the ML340P is available in strong 300 dpi printing resolution. Besides comprehensive sensors and modern interfaces, both models in particular also provide the user with a high definition 2.3” colour display with intuitive, customizable operator guidance and six menue buttons as prominent standard features.

Material changes can be realized quickly because the cover can be lifted up entirely. Due to the sophisticated printing mechanism the replacement of printhead and platen roller is possible without the need of tools, saving time and reducing cost of ownership.

With their small footprint of just 818 cm² the new reliable printers can also be used in restricted working environments where space is a premium. The range of applications is not limited for the ML models: The spectrum ranges from use in warehousing and logistics including goods in and despatch to manufacturing as well as to product- and shelf-labelling in retail and labelling of sample tubes and patient wristbands in the health sector.

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