Keeping tabs on pharma: Thermo Fisher Scientific expands into European cell and gene therapy market and AI smartphone application automates big data testing

Find out how an AI-advanced powered software product can transform any smartphone in an easy-to-use lateral flow test reader

Add bookmark

For the past few months, Pharma IQ has been publishing a round-up of updates in its Keeping tabs on Covid-19 series, which dives into new research, treatment options and innovative solutions coming out of the pharma industry as it plays a vital role in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Extending the Keeping tabs series, Pharma IQ will now also be presenting a bi-weekly update on new trends evolving out of the pharmaceutical landscape. This week we dive into how the industry is planning for growth in cell and gene therapy and expanding the use of new software applications.

Thermo Fisher Scientific expands manufacturing capacity for growing demand for cell and gene therapy

Thermo Fisher Scientific has completed the acquisition agreement to purchase Henogen S.A., Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business in Belgium for approximately €725m (£877m)  to expand its capabilities for cell and gene vaccines and therapies.

Novasep’s viral vector manufacturing business provides contract manufacturing services for vaccines and therapies to biotechnology companies and large biopharma customers. With two locations in Seneffe and Gosselies, Belgium, Novasep’s viral vector business offers more than 7,000 square meters of clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity.

Michel Spagnol, president and CEO of Novasep, said: “Thermo Fisher is an outstanding partner for our viral vector business and its future development. Our diverse customer base will benefit from the combination of our viral vector services capabilities with the scale and capabilities of Thermo Fisher. Our employees will bring deep expertise to an organization that shares our commitment to providing ground-breaking new medicines to patients.”

Michel Lagarde, executive vice president of Thermo Fisher, said: “Novasep’s manufacturing capabilities in Europe complements our four development and manufacturing sites in North America. It brings an incredibly talented team with more than two decades of experience across a broad range of viral vectors. The combination will benefit our global customers seeking support and capacity in the region, as well as European customers bringing new medicines to patients inside and outside of Europe.”

AI smartphone application can read big data analysis from lateral flow tests in under two seconds

Sensyne Health, a clinical AI technology company, has launched a new smartphone application called MagnifEye to automate, accelerate and improve reading big data analysis from lateral flow diagnostic results to provide standardized results.

MagnifEye uses deep-machine learning artificial intelligence (AI), which draws on the research developed at Sensyne over the past two years, and applies its learnings to analyze medical images and big data from clinical results across large patient populations.

The software application was built in response to the demand generated by the Covid-19 pandemic for accurate and standardized reading of lateral flow tests to observe disease spread across large populations and the big data analysis of results in real time.

The company claimed MagnifEye can be quickly trained to read and analyze individual lateral flow tests in under two seconds and has applications for testing human and animal health in areas including cancer, infectious disease and fertility, as well as plant pathogen and environmental testing. The AI software can be used as a standalone smartphone application or incorporated into third-party web or native software applications.

Paul Drayson, CEO of Sensyne, said: “Applying clinical AI to medical imaging has been an important research and development focus for Sensyne since formation and the company has developed world-class deep learning AI capabilities in this area and has a collaboration with Bayer in the field of machine vision.

“Diagnostic testing has seen rapid progress over the past year, accelerated by responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been working on developing a general capability to automate the reading of lateral flow tests in response to demand from commercial test manufacturers and healthcare providers,” Drayson added.

Tap into pharma’s $100bn digital transformation opportunity by attending Pharma IQ’s webinar with Merck. Find out how to construct a digital-enabled business model to enhance your digital transformation journey and accelerate digital data strategies to improve pharma development.