HMRC Latest R&D Processing Times

As of 9 May 2022, HMRC are dealing with SME R&D claims received on or before 31 March 2022 and RDEC claims received on or before 25 March 2022.

Summary

27th June 2022

  • Polio is back — but this could be its last stand rather than a revival – The Times
  • Bristol Myers must face $6.4bn lawsuit over delayed cancer drug – Reuters
  • Ipsen to acquire US-based Epizyme for $247m – Dow Jones
  • Long delays for surgery ‘will trigger public health crisis’ – The Times
  • Covid-19: BioNTech/Pfizer say Omicron-targeting boosters elicit strong immune response – Financial Times
  • Redx presents encouraging preclinical data on the potential of porcupine and ROCK inhibitors to tackle cancer-associated fibrosis
  • ANGLE: Breakthrough research with Parsortix reveals spread of breast cancer accelerates during sleep
  • Sarepta defuses concerns about Duchenne clinical hold with vow to meet FDA’s request within days – FierceBiotech
  • Covid-19: Johnson faces possible legal action over delay to Covid public inquiry – The Guardian
  • Covid-19: Sanofi-GSK Covid vaccine found effective against Omicron – Financial Times
Tom Whipple and Kat Lay of The Times reports that there has never been a worse time to be a polio virus, in spite of the news this week, scientists think we could be on the cusp of the greatest global health achievement since the eradication of smallpox: the extinction of a disease. “We are very, very close,” says Dr Kathleen O’Reilly, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It may not have felt that way this month but, she said, “it’s small numbers, tiny pockets of disease”.The Times >>
Jonathan Stempel of Reuters reports that a US judge refused to dismiss a $6.4bn lawsuit accusing Bristol Myers Squibb of delaying its Breyanzi cancer drug to avoid payments to shareholders of the former Celgene, which the drugmaker bought for $80.3bn in 2019. US District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan rejected Bristol Myers’ claim that it was never properly notified about its alleged default on its merger obligations by UMB Bank, the trustee representing the former Celgene shareholders.Reuters >>
Joshua Kirby of Dow Jones reports that Ipsen said that it has reached an agreement to acquire US oncology drugmaker Epizyme for a cash consideration of around $247m. The French biopharmaceutical company will, through a subsidiary, offer $1.45 for each outstanding share in Epizyme, along with a contingent value share. Epizyme’s board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction and recommended it to shareholders.Dow Jones >>
Shaun Lintern of The Sunday Times reports that surgery waiting lists will triple by 2030, triggering a “population health crisis”, unless there is a huge increase in NHS capacity. Experts from Birmingham University have said efforts to reduce hospital backlogs are not enough and that it is “impossible” for the existing frontline workers to tackle increasing waiting lists. The most in-depth analysis of the challenge facing hospital waiting lists in England has revealed 4.3m people need invasive surgery or procedures such as endoscopy.The Sunday Times >>
Jamie Smyth and Hannah Kuchler of the Financial Times report that Pfizer and BioNTech’s Omicron-targeted Covid-19 vaccines elicit a strong immune response, significantly outperforming their previous vaccine at tackling the most prevalent variant, according to new data. The US drugmaker and its German partner said they plan to discuss the data with global regulators, who meet next week for talks about co-ordinating a switch to new vaccines which target the Omicron strain of the virus.Financial Times >>
Redx announced that two presentations were delivered at the inaugural Extracellular Matrix Pharmacology Congress (ECM) in Copenhagen, 23-25 June. The presentations highlighted novel preclinical research performed by the company and academic collaborators. Dr Richard Armer,  Redx’s Chief Scientific Officer, said: “The encouraging data sets presented at ECM demonstrate the potential of our proprietary molecules to address hard-to-treat cancers and fibrotic diseases, including cancer-associated fibrosis.”Redx >>
ANGLE announced that a study used Parsortix to investigate the impact of sleep on the release of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in preclinical models and 30 patients with breast cancer. ANGLE CEO and founder Andrew Newland said: “We are delighted to report on this ground-breaking research which furthers the understanding of the metastatic process. Pharma companies in discussion with ANGLE are showing increasing interest in investigating not only CTCs but also the associated immune cells particularly when both cell types are found in the same cluster.”ANGLE >>
Nick Paul Taylor of FierceBiotech reports that Sarepta Therapeutics has successfully defused concerns about a FDA clinical hold on one of its Duchenne muscular dystrophy clinical trials. After initially plunging, the biotech’s share price stabilised when it reassured investors it could satisfy the regulator’s requests “in the next few days” and convinced analysts of the likelihood of a speedy resolution. Sarepta disclosed a FDA clinical hold on a study of SRP-5051, a successor to Exondys 51 that is designed to increase tissue penetration and therefore efficacy.FierceBiotech >>
Robert Booth of The Guardian reports that Boris Johnson is facing possible legal action over a delay to the start of the Covid-19 public inquiry, which campaigners fear could lead to evidence being destroyed. The prime minister pledged in parliament that the statutory inquiry into the UK’s handling of the pandemic, which has so far resulted in 196,977 fatalities with Covid on the death certificate, would begin by spring. But Downing Street has yet to finalise the terms of reference.The Guardian >>
 Hannah Kuchler of the Financial Times reports that Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have reported promising results from trials of their Covid-19 vaccine, which has proved to be particularly effective against the Omicron strain of coronavirus. The vaccine targets the original and the Beta strains of coronavirus but was also tested against the more recent Omicron variant. When used as a first dose, it demonstrated a 64.7% efficacy rate against symptomatic infection overall in adults, and was 72% effective against infections caused by Omicron.Financial Times >>

Upcoming Events

  • European Academy of Neurology Congress, Vienna (25-28 June)
  • World Health Care Congress, US (27-30 June)
  • ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer, Barcelona (29 June- 2 July) 
  • World Orphan Drug Congress, Boston (11-13 July)

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