News

Avastin nabs second-in-a-row priority review, this time in ovarian cancer

Last week, it was priority review for cervical cancer. This week, it's the fast track for difficult-to-treat ovarian cancer.

Cost-conscious payers are eyeing higher prices on diabetes drugs

A time-honored technique for boosting drug sales is simple: Raise prices. Lately, plenty of drugmakers pressed by patent-cliff losses have done just that. But some notable price hikes on diabetes drugs may be backfiring with payers. With diabetes costs taking double-digit increases--and expensive newer meds launching--insurers are tightening restrictions on drug use.

News flash for biopharma bosses: More than half your employees want to leave

Biopharma employee looking for a new job? You're not alone. In fact, you're not even in the minority, a new report says.

Do testosterone meds boost heart attack risks? FDA asks advisory panels to weigh the data

The FDA has zoomed in on testosterone products for the cardiovascular risks they might pose to consumers, even slapping a new warning on their official labels. Now, the agency has called a special advisory committee meeting to probe two trials that flagged an increased risk of heart attack in men using the meds.

Valeant-style cost cuts create win-win for Allergan shareholders, analysts say

With Monday's announcement that Allergan would chop jobs and cut research, Valeant says its acquisition target is taking a page from its own playbook. Allergan says it's just doing what it can to create value for shareholders. Call it what you want: According to analysts, the move is a win for Allergan investors--whether a deal gets done or not.

Touting a Q2 beat and strong Opsumit launch, Actelion CEO dismisses takeover chatter

In the wake of AbbVie's $55 billion purchase of Ireland's Shire, which should slash the company's tax rate by more than a third, analysts are abuzz over which foreign company will be next on Big Pharma's buy list. Among the targets: Switzerland-based Actelion.

JAMA: Hep C drugs could add $300 to every American's insurance premium

The payer panic over the cost of Gilead Sciences' pricey-and-wildly-successful hepatitis C drug Sovaldi has been well documented. But now, one of the two biggest pharmacy benefits managers in the U.S. says the debate over Sovaldi's $1,000-per-pill price is a symptom of a bigger anxiety.

Gilead litigation says claims by Merck, AbbVie on Sovaldi are patently wrong

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.

Defensive Allergan plots 1,500 job cuts, hikes forecast to fight off Valeant

Allergan's pulled back the veil on the restructuring it's hoping will lure shareholders away from Valeant's $53 billion hostile buyout bid. Among the blueprints: laying off 1,500 employees, or 13% of its global workforce--and leaving room for some potential acquisitions.

Pharma peer pressure makes tax-friendly M&A targets the new must-have

Talk about peer pressure. First, a couple of U.S. drugmakers pull off trans-Atlantic deals that shift their official HQs and lower their tax rates. Next, some bigger names go for the same tax-inversion strategy. Now, investors want to know why every drugmaker isn't jumping in.

Roche CEO: No appetite for expensive megadeals here

Not every drug chief wants to ride the wave of M&A sweeping through pharma. Example: Roche CEO Severin Schwan, who says he'll stay in the shallows.

Animal health companies not exempt from FDA marketing regs, either

The FDA issued Paris-based AB Science a warning letter regarding its Kinavet-CA1 canine drug, intended for mast cell tumors in dogs, for allegedly boasting its off-label uses without approval.

Top officials at FDA's India office bolt after less than a year

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.

Valeant wants Allergan shareholders to see growth at Bausch & Lomb

Valeant, which is trying to overcome resistance from the management of Allergan for its $53 billion buyout offer, has filed a new presentation with the SEC in preparation for an investor meeting.

FedEx indicted for delivering drugs to addicts from illegal web pharmacies

FedEx has received a special delivery from the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), a 15-count indictment accusing it of being the delivery vehicle of choice for a certain kind of drug dealer. If convicted, the agency says FedEx could face penalties of $1.6 billion.

AbbVie finally gets Shire, its low tax base and enough new drugs to protect its future

With a bid reaching nearly $55 billion and some goodies for the top execs, AbbVie was finally able to get Ireland-based Shire to surrender its independence, a portfolio of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and rare disease drugs, and its low Irish tax base.

China allows trial of investigators of GSK sex-tape scandal to go public

China has abruptly changed course on its plans to prosecute private investigator Peter Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng in a closed trial. Now Humphrey and Yu, who were arrested last summer as part of China's investigation of bribery charges involving GlaxoSmithKline, will be tried in a public proceeding.

Ackman to Allergan shareholders: Valeant's offer won't last forever

Valeant may be offering $53 billion for Allergan now. But that bid might not be on the table by the time 2015 rolls around, Bill Ackman, head of Valeant takeover partner Pershing Square Capital Management, told the Botox maker's shareholders on a webcast Thursday.

New scrutiny for GlaxoSmithKline after news of 2001 bribery-related housecleaning in China

GlaxoSmithKline's bribery woes in China apparently go back a bit further than the $489 million scandal that broke last summer. The U.K. company has acknowledged that it fired about 30 staffers in its China vaccines business in 2001 after turning up evidence of corruption.

Salix scores another FDA green light with approval for angioedema med Ruconest

In its second FDA nod this week, Salix Pharmaceuticals won the go-ahead for Ruconest, its first-in-class treatment for a rare genetic disease, hereditary angioedema.