News

Novartis marks 235 admin jobs for deletion amid companywide restructuring

Novartis is ticking off another 235 boxes on its job cuts list. The Swiss drugmaker plans to lay off 215 administrative and support staff in New Jersey by the end of June, and another 20 in similar positions elsewhere in the U.S., the Star-Ledger reports.

Roche cancer drugs Perjeta and Kadcyla drive strong Q1 results

Swiss drug giant Roche has hit the ground running in 2014, announcing today that quick uptake of its new cancer drugs helped drive first-quarter sales up 5% year-over-year in constant currencies to 11.5 billion Swiss francs ($13 billion).

Novartis backs away from once-ambitious RNAi research

Novartis is shuttering a large part of its once-ambitious RNAi research effort in Boston, FierceBiotech has learned.

Lupin recalls more Suprax on purity problems, adding to Indian pharma's quality questions

In the latest black eye for India's pharma industry, Lupin is recalling some 10,000 bottles of its Suprax antibiotic in the U.S. The pills fell short of standards for purity, the FDA said in a statement on its website.

Big Pharma tries to short-circuit France's move toward biosimilar substitution

Late last year, French legislators quietly slipped a measure into the country's 2014 budget legislation that would allow pharmacists to substitute inexpensive biosimilar drugs for pricier biotech brands. While not a full-out assault on branded biologics, it would make France the first European country to substitute the cheaper drugs, and the pharma industry is doing everything it can to derail that move before France's Administrative Supreme Court decrees it into effect.

Polish prosecutors hit GlaxoSmithKline with third round of bribery charges

GlaxoSmithKline has now hit a trifecta in bribery investigations: First China, then Iraq, and now, Poland. According to the BBC, a former GSK sales rep says the company was trading cash for prescriptions in the country in a wink-wink sort of way, by disguising the script incentives as speaking fees.

New attention disorder could equal a big new ADHD drug market. But is it legit?

There could be a new attention disorder on the block in the future--one that could open up a new patient pool for ADHD drugmakers Eli Lilly, Shire and others. But with pharma critics adept at pointing fingers at companies for "disease-mongering," it's one that could open up a new round of controversy, too.

U.S. lawmakers join Lilly's attacks on Canada's patent attitude

U.S. lawmakers have asked the U.S. Trade Representative's office to put Canada on a "priority watch list" because it has invalidated patents on drugs made by Eli Lilly and others.

Biotech stock tumble stumps analysts

Nobody quite knows why the Nasdaq biotech index sank another 5.6% on Thursday. Analysts do know that the drop came the day after the index jumped 4.1%, also inexplicably, which has added to their confusion.

Vivus needs more than boardroom shuffling to keep up with Arena's Belviq

One pre-First Manhattan Co.-settlement Vivus director standing for re-election at the company's annual meeting, that is. The Mountain View, CA-based drugmaker announced Tuesday in a regulatory filing that J. Martin Carroll, Mark Logan and Robert Wilson would not seek to retain their board positions.

Daiichi Sankyo lays out road map for Ranbaxy deal with Sun

Daiichi Sankyo today released its road map for the $3.2 all-stock Ranbaxy deal with Sun Pharmaceutical and the mile markers it sees to completion. It also provides some idea for drugmakers with products facing Ranbaxy generics of how quickly its revamp by Sun might put them in peril.

EU takes up testosterone drug review on cardio worries

The FDA has been reviewing testosterone drugs since January of this year on concerns over their cardiovascular safety. Now, its across-the-pond counterpart is following suit, embarking on its own review following worrisome study data.

Second drug spending report predicts double-digit increases coming

In case anyone missed the latest forecast, drug prices were up last year and are going to continue to grow, perhaps at double-digit rates in some cases. The outlook comes from the second pharmacy benefits management report to be released in three days, this one from CVS Caremark following Express Scripts' missive on Tuesday.

PhRMA defends Gilead's pricey Sovaldi as docs look forward to more hep C choices

Ever since Gilead's $1,000-per-day hepatitis C pill Sovaldi stormed the market late last year, the company has been under pressure from legislators, insurers, and patient advocacy groups to lower its price. Now, doctors are weighing in on the debate.

Natco looking to block Indian patent for Gilead's Sovaldi

India may now be taking compulsory licensing one step further, with domestic Natco Pharma asking the country's patent office to deny Gilead Sciences protection on its brand-new hep C treatment in the first place.

Hamburg to PhRMA: If you don't have quality, the rest doesn't matter

A strong regulatory agency and the patient confidence it inspires are essential for both patients and the industry as a whole, Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher said Thursday. And while the FDA has made recent strides in restoring the patient trust the agency depends on, Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says it still has some work to do.

AbbVie joins peers in Middle East with Saudi Arabia plans

Its deal for Arab Pharmaceutical Product Company (Arabio) to manufacture Humira and other drugs in the kingdom is seen as a significant advance in the country's ability to manufacture biologics.

Hospira wins Herceptin patent suit in U.K., paving way for biosim

Hospira is one step closer to selling a Herceptin biosimilar in Britain. The U.S.-based drugmaker persuaded a U.K. court to overturn two Roche patents on the drug. And that means, as of now, Herceptin (trastuzumab) could be open to biosim competition when its main patent expires July 28.

Reckitt may top Novartis, Sanofi in $12B race for Merck consumer unit

With a final bid deadline looming, Merck & Co.'s consumer health unit still has several big-name pharma suitors. But Reckitt Benckiser, the Irish consumer specialist, may end up snatching the prize, Bloomberg reports.

UPDATED: Cochrane study: Stockpiling Tamiflu, Relenza was $2B 'thrown down the drain'

Just weeks after Roche released data backing its claim that its hit drug Tamiflu saved lives during the H1N1 swine flu epidemic of 2009, a new study finds no evidence that the product stops the spread of the flu or reduces its complications.