J&J opens up conversations around depression in the LGBTQ+ community with new campaign – Endpoints News

Johnson & Johnson wants to normalize the discussion around depression – especially for people in the LGBTQ+ community. Its new “Depression Looks Like Me” campaign is launching with content created for, by and about people who identify as LGBTQ+.
The work includes the newly debuted J&J’s Janssen website with resources including a directory of LGTBQ+ friendly healthcare professionals and trained counselors. It also includes social media posts that reference stats such as, “The LGBTQ+ community has higher rates of #depression than the general population,” with links to the site. J&J is also partnering with The Mighty health communities to drive awareness of the campaign.
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Remarkable advances in cell and gene therapy over the last decade offer unprecedented therapeutic promise and bring new hope for many patients facing diseases once thought incurable. However, for cell and gene therapies to reach their full potential, researchers, manufacturers, life science companies, and academics will need to work together to solve the significant challenges facing the industry.
Two months after Atara Biotherapeutics hit the hold button on its lead CAR-T 2.0 therapy following a patient death, putting the company under the watchful eye of the FDA, its Big Pharma partners at Bayer are bowing out of a $670 million global alliance. And the move is forcing a revamp of Atara’s pipeline plans, even as research execs vow to continue work on the two drugs allied with Bayer 18 months ago, which delivered a $60 million cash upfront.
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Even after Utah-based Clene failed to hit its primary endpoints for its ALS drug last year, the state of Maryland is putting its money at least behind Clene’s manufacturing facility.
The Maryland Board of Public Works has finalized a $3 million, 60-month loan facility with Clene Nanomedicine. The loan was provided by the state’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program within the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
At ASCO 2021 in June of last year, SQZ Biotech showcased a glimpse of its unorthodox cell therapy manufacturing tech. And on Wednesday, the Watertown, MA, company announced that its first-generation system showed comparable or better performance than a conventional clean-room-based manufacturing process.
The study was non-clinical. Clinical trials are expected by the first half of 2023.
SQZ’s device opens up a temporary window by cell-squeezing to deliver cargoes into cells. Its average processing time was less than six hours per batch, which is more than half the time than conventional methods. The company is planning to use the technology in its first red blood cell derived program for celiac disease. That IND is set to be submitted in the first half of 2023, the company said.
Last week, Taiwan-based CDMO Bora Pharmaceuticals announced that it acquired Eden Biologics. Now, it says that purchase has helped established Bora Biologics, expanding into the biopharmaceutical market.
The acquisition of the company’s assets, which are located in the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park in Taiwan, is helping Bora build its presence in the biopharma world by expanding production capacity of cell lines for the production of protein drugs. It will also improve the quality control and inspection specifications, as well as cell bank generation. The facility has four 500-liter bioreactors that have been approved by European and Taiwanese regulators.
Big Pharma has been slowly but surely warming up to the potential of digital therapeutics, as evidenced by Sanofi inking a deal two months ago with DarioHealth. And on Thursday, another Big Pharma will take a look at the space in what it deems as simply the next step in an ongoing partnership.
Icelandic biotech Sidekick Health announced the launch of its digital therapeutics product specifically geared for atopic dermatitis Thursday alongside Pfizer, its Big Pharma partner who collaborated on the indication. CMO and co-founder Saemundur “Sam” Oddsson told Endpoints News that this is not the first time that Pfizer and Sidekick Health have worked together — in fact, it is the fourth digital therapeutics product that the pair have co-launched.
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As the global number of confirmed and suspected monkeypox cases continues to slowly climb, one country is trying to get a head start on potential vaccine stocking.
Bavarian Nordic signed a contract with an undisclosed European nation to supply its smallpox vaccine in response to new cases this month, the company announced Thursday morning. The continent saw its first monkeypox case confirmed about two weeks ago, with both the UK and Portugal seeing cases, according to the Washington Post.
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Gilead Sciences’ $100 million pledge to fight the HIV epidemic in the southern US states helped boost the biopharma to the top of an annual philanthropic giving list. The 19th annual study by Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) put Gilead at the top ahead of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the first time since the study began.
Total charitable giving for 2020 was $707 million which, while just a 1% increase over the year before, is still the highest amount to date, said Sarah Hamilton, FCAA director of operations. FCAA tracks cash grants to external organizations for HIV research, treatment and other programs and does not include big government or public health funding or in-kind contributions from pharma companies.
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Since the first experimental Duchenne gene therapy programs came about, the space has proven rife with safety issues and patient deaths in clinical trials. Pfizer and three biotechs now think they’ve found a reason why.
The four companies suggested there may be a “class effect” causing the adverse events in Duchenne gene therapies, they wrote in a new study. They specifically highlighted how side effects in five patients across three trials, who all showed muscle weakness with cardiac involvement, were “strikingly similar.”
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