News

Merck's Keytruda bests BMS' Yervoy in head-to-head melanoma trial

Advantage Merck in the melanoma immunotherapy race. The U.S.-based company says its PD-1 drug Keytruda met its goals in a head-to-head study with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy (ipilimumab), dealing a blow to that company's growing immunotherapy franchise.

UPDATED: GlaxoSmithKline tags 180 sales-and-admin jobs for cutting in NC

Last year, GlaxoSmithKline announced plans to slim down its Research Triangle Park, NC-based operations, chopping 900 jobs. Now, it's telling state officials that almost 200 workers are heading for the door.

AbbVie's $21B buyout puts Pharmacyclics execs in line for $4B payoff

Pharmacyclics CEO Robert Duggan would add $3.5 billion to his already substantial wealth, if and when AbbVie's $21 billion buyout goes through. But considering Duggan's record, a multibillion-dollar payoff is to be expected. It's the other executives and directors--who together qualify for more than $575 million--who could inspire M&A envy.

FDA lets Lilly's long-acting Zyprexa off the hook in patient deaths

The FDA says it won't recommend new limits on Eli Lilly schizophrenia med Zyprexa Relprevv after almost a year of investigating the deaths of two patients 3 to 4 days after they received injections.

Regeneron chief nabs $42M, but he'll have to pay his own club fees this year

Regeneron chief Len Schleifer has topped the ranks of biopharma's highest-paid skippers for the past couple of years now, and though his salary may be rising still, being CEO doesn't quite come with all the perks it used to.

Jury: Boy didn't prove J&J drug caused his breast growth

Johnson & Johnson won a split decision in Philadelphia court Friday, in the latest Risperdal lawsuit to go to trial. A jury decided that J&J did fail to warn doctors that the antipsychotic drug could cause breast development in boys, Reuters reports.

UPDATED: Daiichi Sankyo starts layoff drive with 16% cuts at HQ

Times have been tough for Daiichi Sankyo, and they're about to get tougher for some of the Japanese company's U.S. staffers. The drugmaker is cutting its headquarters staff by 16% on Monday, with more layoffs expected in mid-April.

With MenB vaccine Bexsero in hand, GSK aims for a price deal in England

Novartis may have spent 7 months negotiating fruitlessly with the U.K. government over the price of meningitis B vaccine Bexsero, but now that the product is in GlaxoSmithKline's hands, its new owner intends to do no such thing.

Gilead warns of fatal reaction to Sovaldi, Harvoni and heart drug

Gilead Sciences' superselling hepatitis C drugs have hit a speed bump after 9 patients taking either Harvoni or Sovaldi, as well as a common drug for heart arrhythmias, had serious reactions. One of the 9 had a heart attack and died. Three others had to receive pacemakers.

AbbVie CEO pads $16M paycheck with $500K in jet travel

For the first couple of years after AbbVie's debut as an independent pharma company, its CEO, Richard Gonzalez, didn't quite follow in Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White's footsteps compensation-wise, collecting a mere $8 million in 2012 pay. But for 2014, Gonzalez's total compensation amounted to $22 million, according to AbbVie's proxy statement.

FDA hustles on opioid guidance to avoid budget meddling

The FDA is rushing to complete guidance on abuse-deterrent opioids before the end of June because if it doesn't, Congress has promised to take away $20 million in money for salaries and expenses in the FDA Commissioner's Office and give it instead to its criminal investigations unit to fight drug diversion.

Biogen Alzheimer's drug reignites excitement

The success of Biogen Idec's closely watched antibody targeting beta amyloid proteins in Alzheimer's disease is again bringing some excitement to a category that has defeated earlier enthusiasm as drugs have failed in trials.

Hedge fund patent challenges are growing by the numbers, and drugmakers aren't happy

Generics makers aren't the only ones filing challenges to pharma patents anymore. Hedge funds are doing it, too, and it's got drugmakers on edge.

Merck KGaA to tap Oschmann as new CEO, sources report

Merck KGaA is the latest company to join Big Pharma's recent round of executive musical chairs. The German drugmaker is promoting deputy chief executive Stefan Oschmann to replace current CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley as the company's top dog.

Judge says Novartis can launch biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen

Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez was a bit dismissive about the immediate impact of biosimilars when his company became the first to get one approved in the U.S. But Amgen didn't see the biosimilar of its blockbuster Neupogen in quite the same light and tried to stop its release. Unfortunately for the company, a federal judge denied Amgen's request for a temporary injunction.

GSK's Breo for asthma? FDA panel says yes--but only in adults

Good news for GlaxoSmithKline: An FDA panel of experts says the efficacy and safety data for blockbuster wannabe Breo support the asthma indication it's gunning for in adults 18 and older. When it comes to children aged 12 to 17, though? The panelists aren't having it.

Sanofi's Shantha prepared to deliver 37M doses of long-delayed pediatric vaccine

Sanofi's Indian affiliate, Shantha Biotechnics, says it's ready to deliver 37 million doses of its low-cost pediatric pentavalent vaccine, Shan5.

Departed Salix execs score $47M with Valeant buyout

Valeant wasn't the only one that scored a win when Salix Pharmaceuticals agreed to its $173-per-share buyout offer. Two former Salix execs--who left the company recently amid inventory issues--will make a pretty penny on the deal as well.

Big Pharma's market cap stars of 2014: Lilly, AbbVie, AstraZeneca

Who can resist a numbers match-up? Not us, obviously. Even better when the winners are a bit unexpected. Today, it's market cap, courtesy of EvaluatePharma and its annual state of the industry report.

Sanofi's diabetes franchise one step closer to U.S. Lyxumia launch

Sanofi can go back to the FDA with Lyxumia. The French drugmaker got good news from a cardiovascular outcomes study, required by the FDA before it would approve the diabetes drug.