September 23rd, 2022 | 11:28 CEST
Defence Therapeutics, Amazon, BioNTech - Innovative technologies for health
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Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.
Defence Therapeutics - Platform technology in the fight against cancer
Pharmaceutical industry insiders know that the shorter the development cycles for new drugs become, the faster there is revenue-generating growth potential through sales. It takes an average of 13 years to develop a drug. The average cost of developing a new innovative drug is up to EUR 2.6 billion. Especially in cancer treatment, it can therefore be too late for many patients until a new drug to relieve their symptoms receives its approval.
In order to shorten this development time without compromising quality, the Canadian biotech company Defence Therapeutics offers an innovative platform technology specifically for oncology. "Accum" is the name of the platform that helps improve biologic drugs. It is used in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.
Defence Therapeutics focuses on specialized cell nucleus research to solve a major problem in vaccines and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). When a target cell binds and internalizes an antigen or ADC, the complex becomes entrapped in small vesicles called endosomes. These endosomes eventually undergo a maturation phase until degradation. The entrapment of endosome lysosomes is often problematic and severely limits the efficacy of these types of therapies.
Defence Therapeutics' Accum-Enhancer formulation improves intracellular delivery of biological therapeutics by bundling the process to increase therapeutic efficacy. Defence Therapeutics owns all rights and patents to the proprietary platform solution. Its unique technology can thus accelerate drug development against breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma and skin cancer (melanoma). The stock currently stands at EUR 1.24, analysts at Barron's issue a buy recommendation.
Amazon - In-house care division closes down
One of the world's largest and most successful platform technology operators is still Amazon. Also in Seattle, Amazon is trying its hand at the lucrative health sector. Just recently, Amazon talked about taking over the US telemedicine provider One Medical from San Francisco for USD 3.9 billion. One Medical operates 182 GP practices. Users can book virtual or in-person doctor treatments around the clock for a fee. One Medical also works with over 8,000 businesses whose employees can use the physician network. At the moment, the deal is under regulatory scrutiny.
On the other hand, Amazon has closed its own Care division. Amazon Care, a telehealth startup from Amazon, was designed to help patients. According to ratings, reviews and patient interviews, the project has been a great success. However, that does not seem to be the case for the startup's actual customers - businesses. In an email to his staff, Neil Lindsay, Senior Vice President of Amazon Health, said that Amazon Care "is not a complete enough offering for the large enterprise customers we have been targeting".
By the end of 2022, all ambitions to run its own patient record and physician service will expire. How does that fit together? In a memo to employees announcing the closure of Amazon Care, their executive indicated that the Company had not satisfied its enterprise customers washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/08/19/amazon-care-patient-safety-concerns. That could also be related to the tech giant's fast-paced, frugal approach to health care - an approach that former employees had previously criticized. Medical professionals hired to provide care were reported to sometimes have conflicts with the Company because of that approach, according to an Amazon spokesperson, who says the Company will "continue to work with industry stakeholders as part of this transition" even after Amazon Care closes.
In healthcare, there is no shortcut to sequential steps, only a way to shorten the timeframes of each step, as Defence Therapeutics is doing.
BioNTech - Israel launches vaccine with adapted Omicron compound
With a presumed 329.5 million vaccine candidates down, the BioNTech share slides 8.6% this week. US President Joe Biden unceremoniously declared the Corona pandemic over. Health officials continue to view the current pandemic as a serious public health threat. Thousands of people are newly infected with the virus every day, which could lead to an increase in the number of infections in the coming fall and winter months.
On Thursday, Israel started the vaccination campaign against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The vaccine doses from BioNTech and Pfizer are specifically tailored to the mutant variant, which has recently been very common in Israel. Israel led the world in vaccinating its 9.5 million residents against coronavirus last year. In a very short period of time, more than 60% of the population had been vaccinated with at least two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by the fall. More than 4.5 million Israelis have received a third dose of the vaccine, but only slightly more than 800,000 have received the fourth and final vaccination to date.
Whether demand will increase with the adjusted vaccine remains in question. Israel has always taken a lead role as a nation in the fight against the coronavirus. While the World Health Organization has still classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, the end of the crisis appears to be in sight. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement last week. BioNTech has other drugs in the pipeline that will be used in the fight against cancer, among other things.
Size and money are not decisive criteria for success in the healthcare industry. It requires relevant experience and expertise to understand and improve the complex interrelationships. Defence Therapeutics is an expert company. The team has deep experience in oncology and is well versed in drug development cycles. Those interested in learning more can ask Dr Moutih Rafei, Vice President R&D, questions at the Virtual II Forum on September 27. Click here to register for free. The proprietary platform solution enables the Company to shorten production runs without sacrificing quality, especially in oncology. Cancer is another milestone for BioNTech. In the pipeline lie products in the fight against prostate cancer, skin cancer and malignant ovarian cancer. Now that the Corona pandemic is coming to an end, the Company should be on the starting blocks with new diversified drugs. US platform giant Amazon, on the other hand, still seems to be searching for the golden nugget in the healthcare industry. Although its own service Amazon Care is closing, there is still interest in acquiring telemedicine provider One Medical.
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