News

Novartis ready to start its engines for 'most exciting launch' in company history

Pharma executives tend to be circumspect when they talk about drug launches. After all, we've seen CEOs predict big things, only to be assaulted later by a pitchfork-toting mob. Plus, there's the don't-jinx-it school of thought. Apparently, neither worry applies to Novartis pharma chief David Epstein--at least when he's talking about the company's new heart failure drug LCZ696.

Exelixis axes 70% of workforce after failed foray into prostate cancer

Cancer drugmakers often work to expand the labels for their marketed products by testing them in different types of the disease. But that doesn't always go so well, which can take a hefty toll on smaller companies, as San Francisco-based Exelixis now knows all too well.

Cipla's Advair copy gathers steam with rollouts in Germany, Sweden

Glaxo, say hello to another Advair rival in Germany and Sweden. Monday, Indian generics maker Cipla rolled out its copy of GSK's respiratory behemoth in the two European countries, and the company's CEO says more are on the way.

GSK investors call for chairman's head after sorry Q2, bribery probes

GlaxoSmithKline Chairman Christopher Gent says he'll step down at the end of 2015. But thanks to sweeping corruption allegations and a languishing stock price, shareholders want change at the top now, the Sunday Times reports.

Key Adcock stakeholder defends thwarted CFR merger

In February, after months of transcontinental controversy driven by shareholders, Chile-based CFR and South Africa's Adcock Ingram abandoned their planned $1.2 billion merger. A few months later, Abbott swept in and bought CFR for $3 billion. Now, Adcock shareholder Public Investment Corp. (PIC), which owns 25.5% of the company, is forced to defend its opposition to the CFR deal, thanks to poor quarterly results at Adcock.

Are specialty pharma CEOs worth their salt?

Specialty drugmakers often find their treatments scrutinized, with critics wondering if they're worth their sometimes high price tags. But what about their CEOs?

Rumor mill churning as possible Pfizer/AstraZeneca Round 2 approaches

Rumors about a potential new phase of the Pfizer/AstraZeneca takeover saga just won't go away, with all the talk giving the U.K. pharma's share price a lift this week.

Boehringer Ingelheim still being dogged by Ben Venue plant

Boehringer Ingelheim is finding it difficult to get the stink of the troubled Ben Venue Bedford, OH, operations off its shoes. It closed the site last year and sold it last month but is still having to recall products produced there that might be contaminated.

Bloomberg: Sale of OTC specialist Omega could top $5.3B with bids from Bayer, Sanofi

What's an OTC drugmaker worth in the race to the top of the consumer healthcare space? Potentially more than $5.3 billion, if that drugmaker is Belgium's Omega Pharma.

Takeda and Lilly remain on the hook for $9B Actos award

Legal experts have insisted there is no way that a $9 billion punitive damage award against Takeda Pharmaceutical and Eli Lilly for hiding Actos risks can stand. But the two companies are still sweating that one out after a federal judge refused to throw out the verdict and its mammoth award on Thursday.

FDA says Aegerion has satisfied its demands over chatty CEO

Comments by Marc Beer, CEO of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, got the company slapped with an FDA warning letter for exaggerating the benefits of its cholesterol-lowering drug Juxtapid during a television appearance on CNBC's "Fast Money" program. Beer had nothing to say Wednesday when the company announced the FDA had closed the matter out, satisfied with the "corrective actions" the company had taken.

FDA clears Glaxo Ebola vaccine for speedy human trials

GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine candidate for the deadly Ebola virus is ready to roll in human trials.

Mylan, Momenta, Sandoz join assault on Teva's new-and-improved Copaxone

After trying nearly everything in its power to protect lead product Copaxone from early generic competition, Teva just received some news it least wants to hear: Copycats are going after its new, long-acting version of the drug, too.

Novartis takes a cue from GSK, Biogen with wide-open spaces in new Aussie HQ

Did GlaxoSmithKline fuel a trend when it unveiled that open-concept, super-fluid new building in Philadelphia's Navy Yard? We've seen several new pharma developments take the same tack. And now, Novartis has gone the same way with its planned Australian HQ in Sydney.

Cost watchdogs bar Boehringer, Lilly's diabetes med Jardiance--for now

Just as Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim's new diabetes drug Jardiance hit store shelves in the U.S., cost-effectiveness watchdogs in the U.K. were considering whether to give it their blessing. The verdict as of Thursday morning? Nay.

Valeant, Ackman score a chance to force Allergan to an earlier showdown

Don't send out any save-the-dates for that Allergan special shareholder meeting just yet. Valeant has won a request for an expedited trial over the timing of the meeting, a key step in its $50 billion hostile takeover plans.

U.K.'s cancer drugs fund gets £160M--and power to push for lower prices

The U.K. has a workaround for expensive cancer drugs that its cost-effectiveness gatekeepers don't approve: a special fund to pay for those therapies, provided doctors jump through the hoops required to gain access.

PhRMA jumps into Integrilin off-label case, free-speech arguments at the ready

Since a U.S. circuit court decided the First Amendment protected a pharma sales rep from off-label marketing charges, the free-speech arguments have multiplied in cases across the country, testing that Second Circuit decision in other regions.

Sanofi brings Japan exec to U.S. to fill empty pharma chief's shoes

Sanofi has a new North American chief. The French drugmaker has slotted Jez Moulding into the slot Anne Whitaker suddenly vacated a few weeks ago. He'll head up the North American pharma business after serving as SVP of the company's Japan and Pacific operations.

Study sounds alarm on sleep-aid ingredient zolpidem

Sleep aids have landed in the safety spotlight recently, with regulatory agencies lowering dosages on some meds to ease side effect worries. But overmedication has its own set of risks, and a new study says those resulted in a doubling of emergency department visits between 2005 and 2010.