The u.s. pharmaceutical Gilead moved yesterday into a new step with their antiviral remdesivir in front of the Covid-19, to apply in Europe the urgent approval of the drug, as has already happened in the united STATES. It does so in the midst of the wait, you could pursue a possible merger with rival british AstraZeneca, an operation which should save as a major obstacle to the Government of Donald Trumpwho could object to losing a lab strategically in the midst of the worst global pandemic of the last century.
Speculation continued yesterday about the possibility of a merger with AstraZeneca. On Sunday, Bloomberg announced that AstraZeneca had sounded out weeks ago to its competitor, american in a possible transaction that would result in a pharmaceutical giant of more than 47,000 million euros of turnover, which will become the second best-selling after the swiss firm Roche, and in the largest merger in the history of the pharmaceutical industry.
“Before you even consider the merits of strategic or financial transaction, we anticipate that the Administration of USA will probably try to block any potential acquisition of any biopharmaceutical company important potentially involved in the future therapeutic development in the pandemic”, he reflects with skepticism a report of Citi on the possible operation.
Equally, the british prime minister Boris Johnson you could, for their part, have doubts about the operation as AstraZeneca, in its turn, is one of the companies that are more advanced have the R & D, next to the University of Oxford, on one of the vaccines against the virus Sars-CoV-2.
In the case of AstraZeneca advances its vaccine to slow the pandemic and its product is already the most advanced in testing, specifically between the phase 2 and 3, tested in hundreds of patients, as reflected in the documentation of the World Health Organization (WHO). Until now, the pharmaceutical company that more resources are received from the public sector to develop that product is precisely the british. And its main benefactor is the Administration Trump, who funded this company with 1089 million euros through Research and Development Authority Biomedical Advanced (Barda, in its acronym in English), one of the major public sources of EE UU that stand out for their support to the laboratories.
Different countries with powerful pharmaceutical industries are seeing the strategic need to achieve progress and ensure a future production vaccines and therapies that halt the pandemic, through its devastating consequences on the population and on the economy. In France, few weeks ago jumped the controversy to complain about the Government French of the laboratory to French Sanofi could provide in the future a vaccine before the USA than the country where it has its corporate headquarters.
The contact-making on the part of AstraZeneca to star in the biggest merger in the history in the pharmaceutical sector was taken with caution by the market. The actions of the british were left with 2.6% and in the case of Gilead was received with slight increases at the beginning of the session. CNBC reported yesterday that at present the companies do not maintain conversations.
Gilead would be for AstraZeneca to be strengthened with a highly innovative company with drugs in the field of HIV as Truvada, Genvoya and Biktarvy, in virology in hepatitis C (he was a pioneer with Sovaldi and then Sofosbuvir) or in oncology with the medication of cell therapy Yescarta.
Even so, specialized consultants as Evaluate Pharma doubt of the moment for the assault, because Gilead has risen on the Stock exchange in the year to 18% after five years in which it was left for about 35% of its value by the exhaustion of his first great innovations, the therapies against hepatitis C, which according have been curing to the large bag of sick in the world has caused, as a result, few lower-income in that area.
Citi points out as a possible pathway for the early conversations produced by the relationship between the two main executives of two companies, Pascal Soriot (AstraZeneca) and Dan O’day (Gilead), as they both shared years of working together at Roche and its subsidiary Genentech.
This kind of major mergers are frequent in the pharmaceutical sector due to the interest of laboratories to obtain new portfolios of drugs, especially from the biopharmaceutical. Recently Bristol-Myers Squibb is made with Celgene, AbbVie did with Allergan or the japanese Takeda bought Shire. The own british was born from the merger of the former Astra with the Swedish Zeneca in 1999.
Gilead, meanwhile, continues to make progress in the only therapy approved until now in front of the coronavirus. The European medicines Agency (EMA, its acronym in English) has received an application for marketing authorisation of remdesivir and has begun a formal assessment, as reported yesterday by the agency. “The evaluation of the benefits and risks of remdesivir is performed in a short time period and may issue an opinion in a matter of weeks, depending on the strength of the data presented and if more information is needed to support the evaluation,” the agency said in a statement.
The agency is based in Amsterdam, explains that the term is brief because some data have already been assessed during the first cycle of the ongoing review, which began April 30 and concluded may 15. The agency advances that in the event that the additional data submitted now with the application are sufficient to enable the benefits of remdesivir outweigh its risks in the treatment of Covid-19, will be in contact with the European Commission to support a rapid grant of a marketing authorisation that is valid in all the member states of the EU.
In the case of Spain, once the drug has the european authorization, the Ministry of Health must approve the funding in the National Health System and negotiate with the drug a price of reimbursement.