News

For sale: One Swiss biotech with an antibiotic and a low tax rate

With the FDA insisting on more studies before it will consider approval of its new antibiotic and needing money to pay for them, Switzerland-based Basilea figures it might sell some assets to raise the money.

InterMune takeover talk is tantalizing, but are investors too optimistic?

As InterMune awaits FDA approval for its drug to treat a rare lung disease, reports emerged Wednesday that it has hired financial advisers to weigh takeover bids from the likes of Sanofi and Roche.

Merck's sleep drug suvorexant overcomes hurdles to win FDA approval

Merck scored a muted victory on Wednesday when the FDA approved its insomnia remedy suvorexant at four doses--the largest of which is half what the company initially hoped to be able to market.

The irrational rationale for cancer drug prices, with Novartis' Zykadia as exhibit A

Why do cancer drugs cost so much? We all know the stock answer--because companies need to recoup their development costs. Whether we believe it is something else, as Peter Bach of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes writes in Forbes.

Indian regulators punch up standards as FDA action takes a toll on the industry

Until very recently, no serious consequences had been dealt out by India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), even for Ranbaxy Laboratories, which last year pled guilty to criminal charges in the U.S. for selling subpar drugs. But CDSCO appears to be turning over a new leaf--at least a little.

New era about to dawn: Novartis, and now Celltrion, present biosimilars to the FDA

Biosimilars promise huge potential, with estimates for this decade running from $35 billion to $200 billion and growing exponentially from there. And of course the U.S., being the world's largest pharma market, presents the greatest potential, once someone breaks in and acceptance can be judged.

Sovaldi payer pushback hurting access for opioid treatment patients

Payers have been getting creative as they look for ways to minimize the damage of Gilead's $84,000-per-treatment-course hep C wonder drug Sovaldi to their budgets and bottom lines. Now, some are balking at covering the med for those enrolled in opioid treatment programs.

BMS, Pfizer marketing efforts have Eliquis showing signs of life

Eliquis, the third entrant in the next-gen anticoagulant market, got off to a sluggish start. But now, marketers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer are pulling out all the stops when it comes to promoting the drug and expanding access

Communiqué to sales reps: With today's docs, it's the medium and the message

Almost half of doctors bar their doors to pharma sales reps some way, somehow. What with all the talk about rep access to physicians, that state of things may seem quote-unquote normal. But it's not. Just 6 years ago, the numbers were quite different.

Sovaldi forces Incivek off the hep C market as Vertex calls it quits

Bye-bye, Incivek. Just three years after nabbing the "fastest drug launch ever" award, maker Vertex is discontinuing the hepatitis C med on withering demand. For that, the Cambridge-based company has Gilead Sciences--owner of the new fastest drug launch ever--to thank.

With pharma sales down, AZ Electronic Materials saves the day, or the quarter, for Merck KGaA

Germany's Merck KGaA's pharma side remains weak after several years of cuts and consolidation. It needs to be built back up, perhaps through acquisitions, CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley concedes. Until then, the company is counting on its chemicals and electronics operations to buoy its results.

NICE says social values, along with cost, need to be factored into decisions

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence wants to know what "societal values" should be considered, along with cost and efficiency, when making decisions. Now an appointed group of 30 people have given it that feedback, PMLive reports.

Wockhardt's earnings devastated by FDA bans

With FDA bans in place on two plants, India's Wockhardt saw its profits slip in the first part of this year. But with access to its largest market still severely curtailed, Wockhardt has been unable to get its financial footing and profits went crashing in its last quarter, off 94%.

Brazil fines Merck KGaA $1.8M for alleged generics conspiracy

Conspiring to keep distributors from working with generic drugmakers is a no-no in Brazil, and the country's antitrust regulator is fining Merck KGaA for allegedly doing just that. And while the move harkens back to a meeting that happened 5 years ago, it's reflective of actions taken more recently by regulators in the U.S. and EU.

Valeant's No. 3 shareholder: We don't need Allergan

A top Valeant shareholder isn't saying the company can't win its hostile $53 billion takeover battle for Allergan. It's just saying it doesn't need to.

Boehringer Ingelheim cutting jobs in 15% cost reduction move

Boehringer Ingelheim Monday laid out the bad news about its revenues for the year. Sales were down more than 3% in the first 6 months and will be down in single digits for the year. With no relief in sight this year, the German company is looking to cut costs, starting with positions in its home country.

Syria broadens corruption accusations against GlaxoSmithKline

Last month, a whistleblower sent a letter to GlaxoSmithKline alleging "multiple corrupt and illegal practices" in the company's Syrian consumer health operation before it was shut down in 2012. Now it appears the problems may have extended to GSK's prescription drug business in Syria, which is still in operation.

Denmark's Forward Pharma to launch IP attack on Biogen Idec's MS superstar Tecfidera

Biogen Idec's multibillion-selling multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera is grabbing market share left and right, but Denmark's Forward Pharma says it has a plan to take on the monster seller with its own product.

Boehringer Ingelheim sees drug sales fall, says rest of the year will also be tough

Boehringer Ingelheim is having a tough year with its drug business, seeing more than a 5% fall in sales in the first 6 months. The Germany-based company forecasts revenues will be down for the year as well, but it says by getting its house in order, its finances can improve after that. It has settled some nagging litigation and sold some assets, and it's about ready to launch some newly approved drugs.

Will threats of an inversion crackdown quash pharma's foreign-deal bonanza?

U.S. legislators are threatening to make it more difficult for American companies to take off for a new home in a tax-advantaged country. But what's in store for drugmakers who have already wrapped their own so-called tax inversion deals--and those who are planning them for the future?