News

Study: Roche's cheaper Avastin just as safe as Lucentis in eye disease

The nonprofit Cochrane Collaboration, which reviews clinical trial data to determine the value of pharmaceuticals, is going after Lucentis, which is used to treat the blinding eye disease age-related macular degeneration.

Mylan, Ranbaxy, others to bring cheap Sovaldi to 91 markets

Cheap Sovaldi is on the way, and it could very well be coming to an emerging market near you. Gilead has ironed out a licensing deal for the hep C wonder with 7 companies--including Mylan and Ranbaxy--and they'll bring low-cost copies to 91 developing countries.

Lilly says with new data, it will seek another approval for Cyramza next year

Eli Lilly has harbored big hopes for its newly approved cancer fighter Cyramza. It expects it to get a string approvals, and with new data in hand, it said it will go to the FDA with an application for colon cancer in the first half of next year.

As America's diabetes problem grows, so do prices on Lilly's Humulin

Since 2007, the wholesale cost for a one-month supply of insulin product Humulin has gone from about $220 to approximately $1,200, MedPage Today reports.

J&J trims pension benefits for new hires

Even drugmakers with steamrolling pharma units need to cut costs sometimes, and Johnson & Johnson fits that bill. To do so, the company will shrink the pension benefits offered to those who are hired--or rehired--after January 1.

Amarin loses a second FDA appeal over omega-3 pill Vascepa

Amarin and its omega-3 pill have struck out with the FDA again. The Irish company said today that the agency has again turned down its appeal to reconsider its clinical data it hoped would help it win a label extension for Vascepa, dealing a new blow to its efforts and its financial well being. This FDA first rejected Amarin's request in January.

With inversion pushback mounting, Akorn eyes bid for UCB subsidiary

The threat of action from lawmakers may have put a damper on pharma's tax inversion frenzy, but it has not stopped the wave of deals that are taking American drugmakers overseas. Next up could be Illinois' Akorn, which is reportedly looking into a bid for Belgian pharma UCB's U.S. subsidiary.

Novo and Orexigen obesity drugs are coming, but will consumers embrace them?

On Thursday, the FDA got advice from an advisory panel that it should approve Novo Nordisk's Saxenda for obesity. Its approval would add to a struggling category a player whose expertise is with doctors treating diabetes, the physicians more likely to prescribe the drugs.

The huge price hike as sales strategy, taken to extremes by Retrophin

How's this for a business plan? Buy an old drug for a rare condition. Raise its price by 20 times. Prepare to reap the sales. What could be wrong with that?

Allergan special meeting could happen with or without Ackman's stake

Allergan had hoped that a lawsuit could potentially prevent Valeant's takeover partner--Bill Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management is Allergan's leading shareholder--from contributing to the 25% investor support threshold needed to call a special meeting. But now, Reuters' sources say, Team Valeant has rallied support from shareholders holding 35% of the company.

Pre-chemo nod for Medivation's Xtandi sets up showdown with J&J's Zytiga

Johnson & Johnson's next-gen prostate cancer pill, Zytiga, has been cruising since it hit the market back in April 2011, but now, it may be vulnerable to market share losses for the first time. The FDA has approved Medivation and Astellas' rival, Xtandi, for use in prostate cancer patients before chemo, giving the pill a head-to-head shot at J&J's blockbuster.

Meet Baxalta, the pharma spinoff Baxter plans to unleash in 2015

When Abbott Laboratories told the world that its spun-off pharma business would bear the AbbVie moniker, there were the usual marketing-speak explanations. Includes the name of its former parent. Adds a syllable that evokes a particular-and-desirable image--in AbbVie's case, life itself. Apparently, Baxter International liked that approach. The Chicago-based healthcare company says it's calling its pharma spinoff-to-be Baxalta.

Takeda preps to launch Orexigen's obesity drug Contrave as Novo's Saxenda looms

Yesterday, Orexigen won FDA approval for its obesity drug Contrave, but with a "black box" warning on side effects. And patients could have yet another weight-loss choice, as a panel of FDA advisers meet today to weigh Novo Nordisk's rival drug, Saxenda.

Analysts: Pfizer execs say they're locked-and-loaded on tax inversion, and open to targets

Pfizer needs a tax inversion deal. Without one, it can't properly compete with overseas companies, simple as that. And if AstraZeneca doesn't want to play, Pfizer is willing to look elsewhere. Even if "elsewhere" means a generics company.

Free speech, PhRMA? Not in this off-label marketing case, feds say

The pharma industry's free speech stand in a whistleblower lawsuit against Millennium Pharmaceuticals? Not so fast, says the Department of Justice. The First Amendment doesn't protect speech that spawns illegal conduct, federal prosecutors say in their own brief in the case.

Big Pharma's patent cliff losses spawn $239B savings on 2013 drug spending

How much, exactly, do generic drugs save in U.S. healthcare costs? It's a figure that's been growing over the past decade, and 2013 was no exception, a new report says.

Mylan challenges Big Pharma's clot fighters with $300M Arixtra buy

Generics maker Mylan has been laying out billions over the last 12 months for M&A. Now, it has inked a deal for a single drug: Arixtra, an injectable blood thinner that fights clots in the legs and lungs.

Wake up, Ackman tells Allergan's board. He has a 50%-60% chance of replacing you

In a Tuesday letter, activist investor Bill Ackman urged Allergan's directors to listen to what Valeant's putting on the table and assured them that they could still "rescue" their reputations by taking over leadership from CEO David Pyott, Reuters reports.

With $1M gene therapies coming, research pioneer and CVS plot new payment route

New technologies have inspired a wave of biotech startups developing gene therapies. Now, one of the field's leading lights is worried about sticker shock for the treatments working their way down the pipeline.

Merck's Frazier disses tax inversion strategy, at least for Merck

Tax inversion deals--buying a controlling share in a sizable company to shave a corporate tax rate--are all the rage among pharma players. But to Ken Frazier, doing a mega deal just to pull off tax inversion doesn't make sense, at least not for Merck.