News

Bristol-Myers scores lung cancer survival data on Opdivo as Merck preps for Keytruda filing

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co. rolled out some juicy news about their cancer immunotherapies as the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference got into full swing. And the tit-for-tat press releases turned up the spotlight on one of the most closely watched drug match-ups on the market.

While pharma feasts on M&A, Teva has yet to pick up a fork

Since taking the helm at Teva early last year, CEO Erez Vigodman has expressed interest in bolstering several areas, including emerging markets, biosimilars and complex generics. But so far, he hasn't inked any deals to help his company do it, and judging where his competitors now stand after a feverish year of pharma M&A, it's high time to change that, analysts say.

UPDATED: Shire CEO extends deal drive with $5.2B NPS Pharma buyout

Shire has snapped up NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion, in a deal aimed at beefing up its rare disease portfolio.

Daiichi Sankyo to pay $39M to settle DOJ claims it paid kickbacks to docs

Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo will pay the $39 million to the state and federal health programs, and a whislteblower, to settle claims it paid doctors kickbacks to prescribe some of its drugs, Reuters reports.

Daiichi's Savaysa goes up against next-gen anticoagulant trio in heated market race

What's long been a three-horse race just gained a fourth horse with the FDA's green light for Daiichi Sankyo's clot-fighter Savaysa. With the FDA's Thursday blessing, the drug will now face down a new-age anticoagulant trifecta that's been duking it out in the marketplace for a while now.

Bristol-Myers gets U.K. boost for blockbuster contender Opdivo, weeks after FDA approval

Bristol-Myers Squibb just snagged U.S. approval for its new PD-1 cancer immunotherapy Opdivo, but already is building some momentum for the drug it expects to lead its growth this year. Just two weeks after the FDA gave the melanoma drug an early approval, the U.K.s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has tagged it with designation that could lead to early approval there.

Generics could sink AbbVie below analysts' 2015 estimates

On his company's Q3 conference call back in October, AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez told investors the pharma was in an even stronger position today than before it announced its failed $55 billion merger with Ireland's Shire. But with low-cost competitors ready to sink their teeth into the drugmaker's top products, 2015 adjusted earnings may miss analysts' forecasts.

Gilead Sciences adds fuel to fire in hep C pricing battle with Anthem deal

Gilead is joining forces with Anthem, the biggest provider of health coverage to U.S. businesses, to make Harvoni the primary option for patients, setting the stage for a hep C showdown.

FDA draws line in sand over its orphan drug policies

The FDA says it will abide by a court ruling stating it has to grant orphan drug exclusivity to Depomed's Gralise. But the agency has drawn a line in the sand, saying it does not intend to extend the same benefit to any other drugmakers under the same circumstances.

Court to give speedy answer in Actavis bid to yank old Namenda off market

Actavis is waiting eagerly to find out whether it can move forward with its plans to force patients over to a new, patent-protected version of blockbuster Alzheimer's treatment Namenda. And its waiting period just got shorter.

Drug groups ask Supreme Court to pull constitutionality out from under California drug disposal law

Having been unable to persuade a federal court or an appeals court that a California county's mandate that drugmakers pay for the disposal of unused meds was off base, PhRMA, BIO and GPhA are going to the ultimate arbiter of legal matters, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Valeant's still in the deal hunt, but it can grow 10%-plus without them, CEO says

Last month, rumors swirled that serial buyer Valeant would be swearing off its modus operandi for a little while to focus on cutting down debt in the wake of its Allergan bid failure. But according to CEO J. Michael Pearson, those who expect Valeant to stray from its dealmaking ways have another thing coming.

How much for docs speaking on Eliquis, Xarelto and Pradaxa? $20M and counting

If you've watched television lately, you know that Pfizer and Bristol-Myers have been spending a lot of money on advertising to back their new anticoagulant, Eliquis. So have rival Boehringer Ingelheim, with its Pradaxa drug, and Bayer and Johnson & Johnson with Xarelto.

Hedge fund exec aims new legal weapon at Big Pharma's 'evergreened' patents

As companies, regulators and advocacy groups lobby to bring certain branded products off-patent, a new voice is joining the chorus. U.S. hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, best known for predicting the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, said he plans to challenge questionable drug patents from industry heavyweights.

Big Pharma threatens to sue U.K. fund as officials nix Novartis, Sanofi and Eisai meds

U.K. officials have decided which drugs to toss off the Cancer Drug Fund, which pays for drugs rejected by cost-effectiveness gatekeepers. Reportedly, Novartis, Sanofi and Eisai treatments are among them.

Ad watchdog slaps Novartis for Theraflu cold-fighting claim

Novartis claims its Theraflu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold "starts to get to work in your body in 5 minutes" after taking it. But Pfizer, which sells its own range of cold-fighters, has an issue with that--and so does National Advertising Division.

Express Scripts' Miller lays out manifesto to fight sky-high drug prices

It's no secret that Express Scripts Chief Medical Officer Steve Miller is hankering for some changes in the pharma business. But what many may not know, he told PharmExec, is that he's got a four-point solution to fix what he sees as the industry's biggest problems.

Lilly leans on diabetes, Cyramza in predictions for 2015 growth

Eli Lilly disappointed market-watchers Wednesday with its 2015 forecast, which fell short of predictions that analyst have been tossing around. But Lilly executives said their numbers aren't so different from the Street's; it's just a matter of assumptions.

New study clears Merck's blockbuster Gardasil of MS risk

Good news for Merck: According to a new study, its cash cow vaccine, HPV-blocker Gardasil, isn't linked to an increased risk of multiple sclerosis--or any other similar CNS diseases, for that matter.

Analysts expect M&A frenzy to continue with deals by Pfizer, AbbVie, Valeant likely in 2015

Pharma M&A in 2014 hit a record-breaking $234 billion in announced acquisitions. Actavis led the pack with its $66 billion bid for Botox maker Allergan and $25 billion buyout of Forest Laboratories. But investors and analysts say 2015 could generate as many or more deals, with Pfizer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, AbbVie and Shire expected to be in the mix.