Week of March 14, 2022

This week we highlight patent infringement claims, ongoing manufacturing expansion, underrepresentation of pregnant women in clinical data, and the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us genomic study. Each week we highlight five things you need to know about in the life sciences industry. Here’s the latest.

A few companies have sued Pfizer and Moderna claiming patent infringement in development of their COVID-19 vaccines. In this case, Alnylam says its original patent covers “a breakthrough class of cationic biodegradable lipids used to form lipid nanoparticles that carry and safely deliver.” The companies are not seeking to halt vaccine production but are seeking damages.

An Indian drug maker has partnered with a U.S. physician and philanthropist to build a $50 million drug manufacturing facility in Akwamu, Ghana. The facility will manufacture medicines to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, malaria and pain. This is one of several manufacturing expansions we’ve seen in Africa over the past year.

Pregnant women are significantly underrepresented in clinical trials. As a result, approximately 90% of prescription medications have little to no information on fetal safety. This article explores this challenge and possible paths forward.

The NIH’s All of Us study is a diversity-focused health and genetics study aiming to enroll 1 million volunteers in the United States to collect and share their genomic data. The study recently released the whole genomes of approximately 100,000 participants. The data will be shared with approved researchers and institutions via a cloud-based platform.

Thermo Fisher is set to expand its bioanalytical labs in the greater Richmond, Virginia area. The expansion will cost an estimated $97 million. Thermo Fisher’s president of analytical services stated that “this expansion will provide additional capacity for existing analytical capabilities in the immunochemistry and chromatography space, in addition to supporting our continued growth in vaccines and cell and gene therapy work.”

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