News

As legislator rails on potential Valeant-Allergan deal, Wall Street lines up to fund it

It remains to be seen whether unconventional M&A tactics from Valeant's takeover partner, Bill Ackman, will help the pair get a deal for Allergan done. But in the meanwhile, one lawmaker is putting heat on the SEC to consider revising the rules that allowed them.

Bayer's Nexavar misses another study endpoint, this time for breast cancer

Nexavar, the blockbuster cancer drug sold by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, has failed again in a trial for a new indication. 

J&J builds 9-month supply of Doxil with creative problem solving

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's Zydelig, J&J's Imbruvica will go toe-to-toe in EU with nod for CLL

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.

With Shire deal in the bag, Humira leap helps AbbVie hold its own

AbbVie may have just struck a deal with Shire in order to diversify beyond its top drug, Humira. But that doesn't mean the drug isn't steamrolling.

Still reeling from China bribery probe, GSK faces corruption scandal in Syria

The British company said Thursday that it had received an email containing allegations from a whistleblower pertaining to bribes paid by GSK's consumer healthcare operation in Syria before it was shut down amidst the country's civil war in 2012.

Bristol-Myers beats profit estimates, thanks to strong Yervoy, Eliquis numbers

Bristol-Myers Squibb's melanoma drug Yervoy and clot-fighter Eliquis helped boost its earnings past analyst forecasts, with $333 million in profits on $3.9 billion in revenue.

Roche's breast cancer franchise keeps delivering, with huge jumps for Perjeta, Kadcyla

Blame a strong Swiss franc on any falling sales and profits Roche put up in the first half of 2014, the company said Thursday. The Swiss pharma's cancer drugs certainly didn't cause the decline, with newcomers Perjeta and Kadcyla helping power the group with especially noteworthy revenue gains.

BMJ targets Pradaxa safety, scolding Boehringer, FDA and EMA alike

The BMJ has set off a kerfuffle--and a Twitter campaign--over the safety of Boehringer Ingelheim's blockbuster anticoagulant Pradaxa.

Can Gilead break into cancer? With Zydelig approval, it gets its chance

Armed with a brand-new FDA approval for its blood cancer drug Zydelig (idelalisib), Gilead will take on the oncology market.

Eli Lilly's Q2 profit sags on patent expirations but beats (low) expectations

Eli Lilly said 2014 would be an extraordinarily challenging year, and judging from its second-quarter earnings, that prediction wasn't wrong. Lilly's revenue dropped 17% to $4.9 billion in the second quarter, largely because the company lost its patent protection on two of its biggest blockbusters: the anti-depressant Cymbalta, which once brought in nearly $5 billion in sales annually, and osteoporosis drug Evista, previously a $1-billion-a-year hit.

Payer pushback aside, Sovaldi, and so Gilead, has another huge quarter

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.

$9.9M 'golden hello' awaits Shire chief Ornskov at new AbbVie post

When AbbVie buys out Shire for nearly $55 billion in a deal the two companies agreed on last week, there will be no golden parachute awaiting Shire chief Flemming Ornskov. Instead, there's a signing bonus in order: The helmsman will pocket just under $10 million for staying on with the combined company in a new role.

Pfizer looks to boost Harmonet contraceptive in Asia via loverly brand site

If someone asked who you'd turn to for relationship advice, chances are you wouldn't say Pfizer. But that could change.

Pricey hep C drugs plus thrifty payers equal thorny consequences for patients

We've heard plenty from payers looking to limit access to Gilead Sciences' pricey new hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi. What's the downstream version of that story? Doctors frustrated by reimbursement rejections and patients denied access to a potential cure.

Biogen hikes its forecast as zippy Tecfidera fuels big profits

For Biogen Idec's second quarter, multiple sclerosis star Tecfidera blew analysts' estimates out of the water, as it's been wont to do. But it wasn't Tecfidera alone that helped the Massachusetts biotech trounce sales estimates by about $250 million.

GSK slimming further as sales fall on Advair competition

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.

Judge refuses to toss off-label Revlimid marketing lawsuit against Celgene

Thanks to a recent court ruling, a former Celgene sales rep's off-label marketing lawsuit will go forward. The rep, Beverly Brown, claims the company pushed its multiple myeloma drugs Thalomid and Revlimid for uses not approved by the FDA--and a judge says she's produced enough evidence to justify a trial.

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.