News

New obesity meds 'pretty safe,' but some side effects bear watching: AdverseEvents

An analysis by AdverseEvents shows the new generation of obesity meds are holding their own, safety-wise. Still, postmarketing data flag some serious cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric side effects that are worth monitoring, the healthcare informatics firm says.

Genzyme's Cerdelga success bodes well for Fabry prospect

Sanofi's Genzyme is testing an oral drug for Fabry disease, which would go up against its own Fabrazyme if and when it wins approval. But the company knows a thing or two about bringing new pills to market while keeping sales of older drugs intact.

CF specialists up in arms about $259K price for new Vertex med Orkambi

Vertex had a pretty good idea that drug pricing critics wouldn't be so keen on its $259,000-per-year tag for cystic fibrosis med Orkambi. And sure enough, less than three weeks after the combo med won the FDA's green light, the pushback is here.

Drugmakers like Gilead, Mylan and Novo--not Big Pharma--are job creators

With a couple of exceptions, including 12% job growth at AstraZeneca, little changed last year when it came to Big Pharma's employment numbers. But drop down to midtier players and the employment picture changes significantly, both in terms of how many jobs were added last year, and in one very notable case, how few.

Nonprofit snags $5.2M grant to investigate U.S. drug pricing

As drug costs continue to rise, payers and the public are calling for more transparency in how Big Pharma sets its prices for new meds. The benefits of the drugs do not outweigh their costs, some groups say, and more needs to be done to make sure companies are pricing accordingly. Now industry watchers have a new ally, as a nonprofit nabbed $5.2 million in private funding to investigate drug pricing in the U.S.

 

Should J&J break up? Get ready for a new round of debate

Johnson & Johnson has heard the advice before: Split up and reap the benefits. This time, it's CNBC's Jim Cramer making the call, and he figures the sum of J&J's parts would be 50% bigger than the whole is now. And he thinks an activist investor might step in and give J&J a push in that direction.

Bristol-Myers' next-gen HIV med gets FDA 'breakthrough' designation

Bristol-Myers Squibb nabbed a "breakthrough" tag from the FDA for its next-gen HIV therapy aimed at patients who become resistant to the drugs now in use.

Amgen's Neupogen won't face Novartis biosim till September: court

Novartis' Sandoz may have the first FDA-approved biosimilar in Zarxio, but it doesn't have permission to launch--and it won't be getting that until September, the country's top patent court ruled Tuesday.

Novartis CEO predicts a pharma pricing squeeze from insurer M&A

Worried that health insurers' urge to merge will put even more pressure on your prices? You're in good company. Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez agrees.

Horizon hikes Depomed offer to $2B in bid for 'friendly' deal talks

Don't get Horizon Pharma wrong. It intends to pursue Depomed as an M&A target whether the California company likes it or not. But it would prefer for Depomed to like it--and in an effort to spur a "friendly, negotiated transaction," it's raising its bid.

Actelion's Opsumit growth heralds smooth switch off aging Tracleer

Actelion has been prepping its new pulmonary arterial hypertension drug Opsumit to pick up the slack once the aging Tracleer goes off patent in November. And Opsumit seems poised for the job, raking in promising second-quarter numbers and prompting the company to boost its full-year guidance.

Novartis looks past dim Q2 results to new Glatopa, Entresto launches

Currency hits and a lagging devices business forced down a Big Pharma's second-quarter sales and profits. No, we're not talking about Johnson & Johnson, though the same was true of the U.S.-based health giant. This time, it's Novartis, whose Alcon eye unit proved a drag on strong pharma and generics performance.

Bayer homes in on €10B plastics IPO with plans for summer roadshow

Bayer is gearing up to spin off its plastics unit and become a life-sciences-focused company, and as part of that prep, it's going on an investor roadshow to seek feedback on its plans.

New long-acting Baxalta med bests Advate in hemophilia A

Newly independent Baxalta relies heavily on hemophilia sales, particularly its top-selling Advate. As competition heats up in that market, the company has something new to brag about.

Study stopped early as BMS' Opdivo bests Afinitor in kidney cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb can brag about another success with immunotherapy Opdivo. A late-stage study in advanced kidney cancer will be stopped early, after a monitoring committee flagged improved survival results for Opdivo, compared with the Novartis treatment Afinitor.

Vast majority of consumers want Medicare to negotiate drug prices

President Obama has support for his idea that Medicare needs the power to negotiate drugs prices. The vast majority of consumers think it is a good idea as well.

India expands drug pricing with caps for two antibiotics

India has fought long and hard for more price caps on essential medicines in the country, with a parliamentary committee in April lobbying for expanded government price control despite pushback from Big Pharma. Now, as part of its latest crusade, the country is extending price caps for two more antibiotics and setting new prices for branded meds.

Sanofi preps for 'profitable' dengue vaccine rollout in 20 countries

With more than $1.5 billion in development costs and 20 years of research on the line, Sanofi is getting revved up to launch its world-first dengue vaccine later this year. And if the company's predictions are correct, the shot will not only be a big deal for patients in the developing world--it'll be a highly profitable product to boot.

Eisai turns North Carolina facility over to Biogen as it continues its cost-cutting

Eisai has been whittling down its U.S. workforce as part of broader cost-cutting moves in the face of a tough patent cliff go. Now the Japanese drugmaker will trim another 135 people from its payroll with the sale of a manufacturing facility in North Carolina to drug development partner Biogen.

Amgen's Blincyto puts leukemia patients in remission, building its case for a new FDA nod

Amgen's working to expand the label of cancer-fighter Blincyto, and on that front, it's got some solid new data to help it make its case.