News

Glaxo socks more cash into immunotherapy bet

Last year, GlaxoSmithKline traded away most of its cancer assets to Novartis in exchange for the majority of the Swiss drugmaker's vaccines portfolio. But it's not out of the area altogether, and now, it's sweetening a deal with oncology partner Adaptimmune.

Turing, Valeant hiked prices for max profits, then scrambled to quash the bad PR: Documents

Later this week, former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli and interim Valeant CEO Howard Schiller will appear before Congress to answer for their companies' mammoth price increases. They'll also have to answer for the methods they used to draw attention away from those hikes.

Big price hikes widespread in pharma, with dozens doubling last year: Bloomberg

Lately, the spotlight has turned on Valeant and Turing Pharmaceuticals when it comes to the drug-pricing debate. But the price-hiking strategy goes far, far beyond that pair of drugmakers.

UPDATED: Pfizer Q4 beats on Prevnar surge, but 2016 guidance disappoints

Pfizer posted fourth-quarter earnings that satisfied investors and analysts. But its guidance for 2016? Not so much.

Purdue loses a battle in war against OxyContin generics

It's bad news for Purdue Pharma but good news for generics makers such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. A federal appeals court affirmed a lower court's decision to toss out some Purdue's patents for its top-selling pain drug OxyContin, further opening the door to cheap knockoff versions of the med.

UPDATED: Sanofi sharpens job-cutting ax with 500-plus in France

Sanofi is starting its latest round of job cuts with more than 500 in its home country. According to media reports, almost 300 open R&D jobs won't be filled, with another 250-plus cuts hitting Sanofi's commercial operations and corporate offices.

New data boosts Novo against Sanofi in insulin-market fight

Novo Nordisk has some new data in hand that could help a safety advantage make its way onto the label of new drug Tresiba--and win it points against heavyweight rival Sanofi. In a recent study, the med hit its primary endpoint, cutting the number of hypoglycemic events by 30% compared with the French drugmaker's Lantus. 

Gilead scheduling meet-up with Massachusetts AG over hep C pricing: Globe

Gilead Sciences is scheduling a meeting with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey after last week's threat of legal action against the company. And though some legal experts doubt Healey's standing in a court fight over Gilead's high prices on hep C drugs, the AG's office apparently sees some backing for the idea.

Don't blame industry trends for Sandoz's slide, analyst says. But biosimilars? Maybe

Last week, Novartis' Sandoz unveiled weak numbers, blaming them on broader generics-industry trends. But at least one analyst isn't convinced that's the culprit.

Novartis braces for multibillion-dollar generics hit as Gleevec copies launch

It's a dark day at Novartis. Sun Pharma rolled out its copycat version of Novartis' blockbuster cancer drug Gleevec, setting the Swiss drugmaker up for a big hit to 2016 sales.

Was Allergan's CEO simply touting a Texas plant expansion--or nudging watchdogs on Pfizer merger, too?

Allergan's $160 billion inversion merger with Pfizer and its attendant whacking of U.S. taxes has raised some hackles in Washington. Now, Allergan seems to be offering a bit of sugar to make the tax-avoiding medicine go down by talking about doubling employment at its flagship plant in Texas.

Roche sees no 'short term' pricing pressure for company's cancer drugs: Reuters

Don't expect Roche's cancer drugs to get caught in the crosshairs as payers ratchet up the pressure on drug prices, the company's head of pharmaceuticals, Daniel O'Day, told Reuters.

Merck sets $54K list price for hep C combo as it preps for battle with Gilead, AbbVie

Industry watchers have long been speculating on how Merck would take on heavyweights Gilead and AbbVie when it priced its new hep C regimen. And now, they have their answer: Undercut them. Big-time.

Struggling Eisai gets FDA approval for cancer drug Halaven for liposarcoma

Japan's Eisai got a much-needed boost on Thursday when the FDA approved its cancer drug, Halaven, for treatment of liposarcoma for patients in which the cancer has advanced to the point where surgery is not an option.

Angered by Walgreens deal, Express Scripts blocks access to Valeant's Glumetza

PBM giant Express Scripts has long been a leader in the fight to tamp down drug prices, and now, it's using its formulary power to freeze out a diabetes drug from controversial Valeant.

UPDATED: Amgen beats in Q4 as established drugs come through

Amgen had a steady stream of significant new drug approvals in 2015, like the FDA nod for its Repatha which is in a new class of cholesterol fighters that are expected to generate significant sales. But Repatha and several others are too early in their launch to register separately on the sales line, and it was growth in sales of Amgen's tried-and-true drugs that allowed the biotech to breeze by analyst expectations.

Strong Q4 showings for AbbVie abroad offset Humira, Viekira stumbles at home

Over the past couple of quarters, AbbVie investors have bristled at the sight of top-seller Humira missing expectations outside the U.S. In Q4, though, the world's best seller rebounded outside its home country, topping predictions to help sales and profits stay generally in line despite a rough U.S. quarter for hep C drug Viekira Pak.

Gilead Sciences' John Martin stepping out of CEO role after two decades, is replaced by John Milligan

John Martin, who has led Gilead Sciences through two decades of incredible growth and more recently significant controversy over the pricing it is hep C cures, is stepping up and out of the CEO role. President John Milligan has been named CEO as Martin moves up to the executive chairman of the board.

Celgene boosts Q4 sales by 24% on stalwart Revlimid, up-and-coming Otezla

Celgene's fourth-quarter sales grew by 24% to $2.5 billion, taking full-year revenue up to $9.25 billion, a 21% hike; it's expecting another sales leap for 2016--albeit slightly smaller--with a forecast of $10.5 billion to $11 billion. Its new drug Otezla chipped in $183 million for the quarter. 

Bristol-Myers immunotherapies soar, but Eliquis haul tops the charts

Bristol-Myers Squibb has been riding high thanks to its lead in the ultrahot immuno-oncology space. But in Q4, it wasn't just its cancer stars that pitched in to help revenue beat expectations.