News

GSK, Novo earn top marks getting their meds to poor, but more work lies ahead

Big Pharma earned gold stars in 2014, as the industry's top drugmakers did more to get their meds to patients in the world's poorest countries. But despite recent progress, companies still have room to grow in R&D and distribution, the Index notes.

UPDATED: Has Allergan failure weakened Valeant CEO's M&A hand?

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson upheld his reputation as a disciplined bidder when he refused to top Actavis' $66 billion bid for Allergan. But now that his company has nothing to show for the past 7 months, has its dealmaking reputation taken a hit?

AstraZeneca's anti-Pfizer growth promises? At least one big investor is buying

When Pfizer and Merck KGaA announced their big immuno-oncology deal Monday, market watchers immediately started extrapolating. The tie-up means Pfizer won't come back for another try at AstraZeneca, some say. But others figure that there's still a solid chance of Pfizer, round two.

Actavis' merger cost-cutting isn't Valeant-style. But it's still $1.8B

With the excitement over Actavis' white-knight swoop-in for Allergan out of the way, it's time to take a closer look at the transaction--and how it compares with Valeant's proposed Allergan tie-up.

Valeant and Allergan's wining-and-dining shows pharma's faith in doctor influence

Payers may be grabbing the spotlight as script gatekeepers, but if the recently concluded takeover fight between Valeant and Allergan is any indication, doctors are still extremely influential--and companies still believe they can be influenced.

Generics makers, execs face potential criminal charges in U.S. pricing probe

After months of percolating discontent about generic drug price hikes, the U.S. Senate is hauling drugmakers to a hearing this week. But the real threat lies at the Department of Justice, which is likely considering criminal prosecution for price-fixing and other antitrust violations, Law.com reports.

Actavis officially steals Allergan from Valeant with $66B buyout

With Actavis and Allergan's deal agreement, the Botox maker is getting what it's wanted for months--a way to thwart hostile bidder Valeant. And Actavis? It's getting a glimpse of a future that holds $23 billion in annual revenue, and that would officially punch its ticket into Big Pharma.

FDA Commissioner to talk drug safety with top Chinese officials

While in China for the International Summit of Heads of Medicines Regulatory Agencies, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will meet with top Chinese regulatory officials about working cooperatively on drug and food safety.

Reckitt ready to set pharma free in December spinoff, dubbed Indivior

Reckitt Benckiser announced over the summer that it would spin off its pharma unit to shed some extra weight. Now, the British consumer goods company is moving forward with its slimdown regimen, planning to list the addiction control-focused unit on the London Stock exchange before the end of the year.

Surprise: Merck's cholesterol combo Vytorin hits goal in long-awaited outcomes trial

Merck & Co.'s cholesterol drug Vytorin hit its goal in a long-awaited outcomes trial, beating solo statin therapy at cutting cardiovascular risk. It's a vindication for the company, which endured a storm of criticism about an earlier trial in which Vytorin fell short.

Actavis ready to leap into Big Pharma with $64B bid for Allergan

A months-long pursuit of Allergan may be about to come to a close for Valeant and activist investor Bill Ackman--but not with the results they were hoping for.

Roche's Avastin wins FDA green light in ovarian cancer

Roche's Avastin is now two-for-two on converting recent FDA priority review designations into label expansions. Just three months after the cancer giant nabbed the agency's blessing for use in cervical cancer, regulators have approved the drug in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for platinum-resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer.

Actavis could make out big time with FDA's knock to Mallinckrodt, Kudco drugs

While the industry is fixated on whether Actavis will save Allergan from a hostile takeover by Valeant or whether Pfizer might be sizing up a run at Actavis, there was a development Thursday that holds huge upside potential for Actavis. That was the FDA's decision to reclassify Mallinckrodt's Concerta generic as not making the grade in equivalence.

Stada CEO 'happy' to take 40% pension cut. Sound foreign, U.S. pharma chiefs?

Here's something you don't see in the U.S.: The chief exec of Germany's largest independent pharma has agreed to a pension cut worth about 40%--a change he says he was "happy" to consent to.

Reuters: Apollo interested in GSK's entire $3B package of mature drugs

GlaxoSmithKline has long explored a sale of some $3 billion worth of its older drugs, planning to shed products by geographic region to meet buyers' interests. Now, the company could have a more enticing offer on its hands as private equity firm Apollo Global Management is planning to bid GSK's entire portfolio of drugs, rather than snatch up businesses by region, people familiar with the process told Reuters.

Another Pfizer run at AZ? Unlikely, Reuters' sources say. But keep an eye on Actavis

With Pfizer's eligibility to bid again for AstraZeneca nearing, the drug giant seems unlikely to make another run at its one-time target, industry-watchers say. But that doesn't mean it isn't prepping a run at someone else.

EMA director Rasi sidelined by complaint from colleague who wanted his job

For three years, Guido Rasi has been Europe's top pharma regulator, moving aggressively to restore the image of the European Medicines Agency. But his future there is now in doubt, sidelined by a colleague who was miffed that he was not picked for the job himself, the Financial Times reports.

New Bristol-Myers biologics plant promises 400 jobs for Ireland

With drugs like Yervoy and Sprycel leading its comeback and a pipeline filling up with more biologics, Bristol-Myers Squibb needs someplace to make them, and Ireland will get the prize--an investment of nearly $1 billion and the 400 jobs that will come with it.

Why are M&A hedge funds gun shy? Blame AbbVie for killing its Shire deal

AbbVie can count this among the consequences of canceling its Shire buyout: Deal-focused hedge funds are losing investors.

Pfizer, Gates Foundation team up on low-cost injectable contraceptive

Pfizer inked a deal with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to roll out a long-acting contraceptive in 69 of the world's poorest countries.