News

Meet Baxalta, the pharma spinoff Baxter plans to unleash in 2015

When Abbott Laboratories told the world that its spun-off pharma business would bear the AbbVie moniker, there were the usual marketing-speak explanations. Includes the name of its former parent. Adds a syllable that evokes a particular-and-desirable image--in AbbVie's case, life itself. Apparently, Baxter International liked that approach. The Chicago-based healthcare company says it's calling its pharma spinoff-to-be Baxalta.

Takeda preps to launch Orexigen's obesity drug Contrave as Novo's Saxenda looms

Yesterday, Orexigen won FDA approval for its obesity drug Contrave, but with a "black box" warning on side effects. And patients could have yet another weight-loss choice, as a panel of FDA advisers meet today to weigh Novo Nordisk's rival drug, Saxenda.

Analysts: Pfizer execs say they're locked-and-loaded on tax inversion, and open to targets

Pfizer needs a tax inversion deal. Without one, it can't properly compete with overseas companies, simple as that. And if AstraZeneca doesn't want to play, Pfizer is willing to look elsewhere. Even if "elsewhere" means a generics company.

Free speech, PhRMA? Not in this off-label marketing case, feds say

The pharma industry's free speech stand in a whistleblower lawsuit against Millennium Pharmaceuticals? Not so fast, says the Department of Justice. The First Amendment doesn't protect speech that spawns illegal conduct, federal prosecutors say in their own brief in the case.

Big Pharma's patent cliff losses spawn $239B savings on 2013 drug spending

How much, exactly, do generic drugs save in U.S. healthcare costs? It's a figure that's been growing over the past decade, and 2013 was no exception, a new report says.

Mylan challenges Big Pharma's clot fighters with $300M Arixtra buy

Generics maker Mylan has been laying out billions over the last 12 months for M&A. Now, it has inked a deal for a single drug: Arixtra, an injectable blood thinner that fights clots in the legs and lungs.

Wake up, Ackman tells Allergan's board. He has a 50%-60% chance of replacing you

In a Tuesday letter, activist investor Bill Ackman urged Allergan's directors to listen to what Valeant's putting on the table and assured them that they could still "rescue" their reputations by taking over leadership from CEO David Pyott, Reuters reports.

With $1M gene therapies coming, research pioneer and CVS plot new payment route

New technologies have inspired a wave of biotech startups developing gene therapies. Now, one of the field's leading lights is worried about sticker shock for the treatments working their way down the pipeline.

Merck's Frazier disses tax inversion strategy, at least for Merck

Tax inversion deals--buying a controlling share in a sizable company to shave a corporate tax rate--are all the rage among pharma players. But to Ken Frazier, doing a mega deal just to pull off tax inversion doesn't make sense, at least not for Merck.

NICE to bypass drugmakers in search of data to support pricey drugs

The U.K.'s drug price watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, says that from now on, NICE will request clinical trial data directly from European regulatory authorities whenever it feels a company isn't providing adequate information to make sound coverage decisions, according to a statement.

The pressure's on Novo's marketing force as FDA nod for liraglutide nears

Novo Nordisk may be nearing the regulatory finish line with an obesity-fighting dose of liraglutide, up for debate by the FDA's advisers this week.

Teva CFO: We're looking to grow sales, not slash and burn costs

On Monday, Teva CFO Eyal Desheh told listeners at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference in New York that the Israeli drugmaker has no new plans for major job cutbacks.

Judge: Merck must fight claims that it lied about mumps vaccine benefits

Merck tried to block two lawsuits claiming it lied about the efficacy of its mumps vaccine--but the pharma giant couldn't stop them. A federal judge in Pennsylvania refused to dismiss the lawsuits, filed by a pair of whistleblowers and a group of doctors and payers. Next stop: Trial.

Feds eyed GlaxoSmithKline's Chinese consumer biz for bribery, too

GlaxoSmithKline may have a bigger problem in China than previously thought. Before news about potential corruption in its pharma business surfaced, U.S. officials were already looking into possible bribery in its consumer healthcare unit. And so was GSK.

NICE says 'too pricey' to Celgene's Abraxane combo for pancreatic cancer

The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdogs are cracking down on expensive cancer treatments yet again. This time the ax is falling on Celgene, which learned today that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) won't back the company's drug Abraxane to treat metastatic pancreatic cancer.

The top 10 best-selling multiple sclerosis drugs of 2013

Want a surefire way to shake up a drug market? Introduce new medication options that make it easier for patients to manage their disease. MS drugmakers would know; their market is all of a sudden...

FTC takes after AbbVie, Teva for pay-for-delay deal on AndroGel

Even as the FDA is questioning the widespread use of testosterone-boosting drugs for men, the Federal Trade Commission has sued AbbVie and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for keeping a generic of one out of their reach for years. It is one of the first actions brought by the FTC since the Supreme Court last year said that so-called pay-for-delay deals are not inherently illegal.

Europe opens up big new market for Roche's RA therapy RoActemra

Roche just won access to a larger market for its RoActemra treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

U.K. watchdogs hope to tap social media for drug-safety purposes

Now, it's U.K. drug regulators who are devising plans to eavesdrop on social media. But unlike the FDA, which plans to monitor the world of online sharing to see whether its communications are hitting their targets, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency plans to search for drug safety info.

Sales layoffs may be ahead as Hospira loses fight against Precedex generics

Hospira's reprieve from generic Precedex competition was short-lived. The U.S. district court that temporarily stopped Precedex generics has now decided to let the copycats roll. And that could mean Hospira will soon be sharpening its job-cutting ax.