News

AstraZeneca scores a victory in pay-for-delay Nexium case

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court slapped the industry with an unfavorable pay-for-delay verdict, ruling that consumers have the right to challenge brand-name drugmakers' patent settlements with generics companies. Now, in what could become a bellwether case for the industry, AstraZeneca scored a victory federal court as a jury found that the company's deal with Ranbaxy Laboratories to delay a generic launch of its heartburn med Nexium was not anticompetitive. 

 

Merck adds heft to hospital biz with $9.5B Cubist buyout

Merck & Co. is betting almost $10 billion on beefing up its antibiotics business. The U.S. drugmaker said it agreed to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $102 per share, or about $8.4 billion, plus $1.1 billion in net debt, for a total transaction value of $9.5 billion. The buyout is part of Merck's plan to zero in on its most promising businesses and scale back the rest.

Sanofi Chairman says French tax burden a killer for attracting execs

Sanofi Chairman Serge Weinberg, who must replace Chris Viehbacher after ousting the outspoken CEO, has publicly expressed his own exasperation with France, saying its high taxes have made it hard to attract talent.

Long-acting Copaxone to launch early next year in Europe, Teva says

Teva has already surprised analysts with the success it's had converting patients from multiple sclerosis star Copaxone to a new, long-acting version. And now, the company is preparing to take the med to Europe.

With Pfizer on the loose, traders worry Actavis-Allergan M&A saga isn't over yet

With a months-long hostile pursuit from Valeant and failed talks to buy North Carolina's Salix, Allergan had already been on an M&A roller coaster this year before finally agreeing to sell itself to Actavis last month. And options traders, for one, are afraid the ride's not over yet.

More turmoil in top ranks of Sanofi's diabetes business

Weakening sales in Sanofi's U.S. diabetes franchise are not only hammering its top line, they're roughing up its executives ranks. Shortly after former CEO Chris Viehbacher got canned, in part, for an unexpected announcement about how diabetes drug sales would be soft next year, a vice president of sales in the U.S. left Sanofi.

Reckitt CEO, nearing spinoff, thinks he can outdo Big Pharma in consumer health

As shareholders gear up to vote on Reckitt Benckiser's plan to spin off its ailing pharma division, company execs are gearing up to double down on consumer health. And though a handful of pharma heavyweights are targeting the field with renewed focus, the British OTC giant believes it has the edge.

GSK changes its tune, plans to hold on to aging drug portfolio

GlaxoSmithKline has long weighed a sale of some of its established drugs, planning to hive off $3 billion worth of older products to slim down its sagging portfolio and make room for fast-growing drugs. Now the company is changing its tune, announcing today that it will hold on to its aging products.

 

Incyte's Jakafi gets a boost with FDA nod for bone marrow disease

Analysts in March foresaw Incyte's Jakafi easily topping the blockbuster mark when it met its goals in a Phase II trial in certain patients with a rare type of bone marrow disease. Now, with the FDA's official green light, it's time for Incyte to get working on turning those predictions into reality.

Ranbaxy now faces product bans in Europe

Six years after the FDA banned products from a Ranbaxy Laboratories plant in Dewas, India, the European Commission and Germany have restricted imports of sterile drugs from the facility.

GSK makes deep job cuts as Advair sales crash fast

Even after going off patent in some markets, the sophisticated inhaler device for GlaxoSmithKline's Advair made it difficult to copy, protecting sales of the asthma drug. But with copies and competition now eating away market share, and payers demanding deep discounts, what Advair is giving GSK is grief, including the loss of at least 900 sales and research jobs in the U.S.

Analysts: Avanir could have scored higher bids--but now, its hands may be tied

Avanir, which agreed to sell itself to Otsuka earlier this week for $3.5 billion, may have been able to snag another price, some analysts figure. Problem is, it may too late to do anything about it.

Bayer and J&J push back against consolidation of Xarelto suits

Bayer and Johnson & Johnson are fighting a consolidation of lawsuits over their top-selling anticoagulant Xarelto, months after patients filed suit in the U.S. accusing the companies of downplaying the drug's risks.

UPDATED: Sanofi, Viehbacher accused of kickback scheme in whistleblower suit

In October, the Sanofi board fired CEO Chris Viehbacher. Now, a whistleblower lawsuit claims that part of Viehbacher's undoing was tied to a massive kickback scheme directed through consultants that was used to juice sales of diabetes meds in the States.

Astellas' Xtandi to challenge J&J's Zytiga in the EU with pre-chemo OK

After ringing up a key U.S. approval in September to threaten Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga, Astellas' Xtandi now has what it needs to ramp up its market-share battle in the EU, too.

Sanofi unveils plan to save French R&D site that Viehbacher wanted to discard

Chris Viehbacher had planned to cut Sanofi's costs in France, in part by shuttering an R&D site in Toulouse. Now Sanofi plans to pay German company Evotec to take over the operations there.

Pfizer believes a dose of confidence will help it sell biosimilars

As drug prices climb and expensive newcomers inspire payers to get creative to contain costs, a window is widening for meds that can drive efficiency for healthcare systems and address consumers' needs. That's where biosimilars come in--or so Pfizer figures.

Actavis cuts 200 U.S jobs, perhaps providing a glimpse of what is in store at Allergan

California's Allergan desperately wanted to avoid a hostile takeover by Valeant, fearful it would ravage its R&D operations in favor of its marketing oriented approach to the business. So it turned to Actavis as a white knight. But Actavis is also known to cut jobs with impunity to make deals pay and Allergan need look only a few miles down the road for proof of that as Actavis prepares to lay off 200 at it operations in Corona, CA.

Will buyers go after Mylan once it inverts? Don't count on it, analyst says

As Mylan gears up to close a $5.3 billion deal to buy a chunk of Abbott's generics business and shift its tax base to the Netherlands, some investors are speculating it could itself become a target for another stateside company looking for a tax inversion. But to that, Sanford Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson says they shouldn't hold their breath.

AstraZeneca pay-to-delay could cost it and the industry billions of dollars

The U.S. Supreme Court last year refused to side with the industry in so-called pay-to-delay deals. Instead it pulled back the insulating legal blanket the industry had been wrapped in, ruling the deals must be fought on a case-by-case basis. Now AstraZeneca is first up to see how juries will respond, facing potentially billions of dollars in damages if it loses.