Biography for Eric Palmer
Eric Palmer, Senior Editor
Eric Palmer is a business and technology journalist with more than three decades of prize-winning experience as a reporter and editor with daily, weekly, monthly and online publications. He was healthcare reporter for The Kansas City Star before becoming deputy business editor for the daily newspaper. He spent eight years as editor of The Kansas City Business Journal, which had a strong emphasis on the healthcare industry. On the personal side, he is an avid fly fisherman, cooks and collects wine, and likes to travel with his family. Eric is based in Kansas City and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles by Eric Palmer
When California biotech Amgen picked up Onyx Pharmaceuticals a year ago for $10.4 billion to get its hands on the multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis, investors were wondering what the future would hold for the world's largest biotech. CEO Robert Bradway at least partially answered that question Tuesday saying the company would ax 15% of its workforce.
The string of pharma M&A deals fueled by the lure of cutting taxes continues and Midwest-based Hospira is now said to be about to take the plunge. Its vehicle of choice is the medical nutrition business of France's Danone, which sources say it is negotiating to buy in a deal that could run to $5 billion.
Merck is going through a complete makeover, buying and selling units at a rapid pace. And some of its employees are getting caught in its "out with the old and in with the new" philosophy. Now 600 sales reps have been told their services are no longer needed
Nexavar, the blockbuster cancer drug sold by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, has failed again in a trial for a new indication.
A Johnson & Johnson exercise in creative problem solving has paid off for doctors and patients who rely on its ovarian cancer drug Doxil, availability of which has been uncertain for years. Its Janssen unit has accumulated a significant supply after assuming manufacturing at Boehringer Ingelheim plant that otherwise was closed down at the end of the year.
Gilead Sciences, which this week got FDA approval for its new blood cancer drug Zydelig (idelalisib), has now gotten a recommendation for its use in Europe. But competitor Imbruvica from Johnson & Johnson, which got a head start in the U.S., also received a nod from EU authorities today.
Gilead Sciences' juggernaut, Sovaldi, keeps on rolling along despite the pushback from payers, politicians and health officials over the high price of the hepatitis C cure. It racked up another $3.5 billion sales in the second quarter, on top of the nearly $2.3 billion in the first, a sum that made it the fastest drug launch ever.
GlaxoSmithKline says its three-part deal to sell and combine assets with Novartis should wrap up in the first half of next year and is now turning its attention to selling off some of its established drug portfolio, a category which took a 40% sales hit in the U.S. and 10% in the EU in Q2.
Gilead Sciences got to the market first with an interferon-free oral hepatitis C fighter, a category projected to hit $20 billion in sales by 2020. Its Sovaldi has been racking up unprecedented sales, and a raft of litigation, as other drugmakers look for a way to get a piece of that action.
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has urged India's drugmakers and regulators to get on board with international quality standards, while promising close cooperation from its expanded office there. But efforts are being hampered by the exit of top officials.