News

Sanofi turns to Boehringer Ingelheim to beef up its biologics production

Sanofi and Regeneron are hard at work on a number of promising monoclonal antibodies, but Sanofi needs more manufacturing capacity to produce them. Instead of building its own like some of its peers, the French company has struck a deal to tap into a Boehringer Ingelheim plant in Germany.

Gilead's Sovaldi the latest casualty in India's patent crusade

India's intellectual-property police nixed a key patent on Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, opening the door for cheap generic copies from domestic drugmakers such as Natco Pharma. It's the latest blow to a multinational drugmaker's ambitions in India, which remains one of the fastest-growing drug markets in the world.

UPDATED: Boehringer weighs $2B-plus sale of U.S. generic biz as part of slimdown regimen

Boehringer Ingelheim has been struggling under the weight of slumping sales and patent expirations for some of its top products, shedding jobs and unloading assets to lighten its load. The German company could be set to slim down further, as it considers selling its U.S.-based generics unit for up to £2 billion ($2.33 billion) to focus on developing new drugs.

World's first inactivated Sabin polio vaccine approved by China FDA

China's FDA has awarded marketing approval of the world's first Sabin strain inactivated polio vaccine, marking a milestone as well for the Institute of Medical Biology of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Armed with Pegasus win, AstraZeneca targets another sales boost for Brilinta

Soon after CEO Pascal Soriot took over at AstraZeneca in 2012, he declared Brilinta to be a big opportunity for growth. That was a surprise, given the blood thinner's laggardly sales since its 2011 launch. But Soriot put cash on the table to back up his hunch, with plans for big outcomes studies, stepped-up advertising, and an expanded cadre of sales reps.

Drug adherence gets a boost from gamification, new study says

Racking up points for filling prescriptions or taking home prizes for sticking with meds might sound like a far-flung concept. But according to a new study from HealthPrize Technologies, the technique actually works. 

With hep C price deals made, Express Scripts eyes PCSK9 meds--and then cancer

Now that Express Scripts--and rival CVS Health--have cost-slashing exclusives with hep C drugmakers, the activist PBM says it's ready to take on the forthcoming class of cholesterol-fighters known as PCSK9 inhibitors, too.

German cost gatekeeper spurns Gilead's Zydelig for CLL

Gilead Sciences was dealt a stinging blow from Germany's price watchdog IQWiG over its cancer-fighting drug Zydelig (idealisib), as the cost-effectiveness gatekeeper found the drug has no added benefit for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia compared with existing therapies.

Big Pharma vs. 'growth pharma'? Let Actavis chief detail the differences

SAN FRANCISCO--Actavis may be a big pharma now that it's joining hands with Allergan, but it's not a Big Pharma, CEO Brent Saunders insists. The merger partners are taking the term "growth pharma" and running with it as they set out to differentiate themselves from the industry's slow-growing stalwarts.

UPDATED: JPM: Glaxo ready to shift off Advair; BMS isn't afraid of Merck; Roche eyes combos and M&A

SAN FRANCISCO--Here's a game to play at the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Attend presentations by executives at Big Pharma, Big Biotech, and slightly less big biopharma companies, hoping to hear something new and different they're willing to say in public. Here's the latest from FiercePharma's notebook.

Shire's deal for NPS hasn't curbed its M&A appetite

Shire's M&A wheelhouse is still churning after its $5.2 billion buyout of NPS Pharmaceuticals. CEO Flemming Ornskov told Bloomberg that the Dublin-based company's recent acquisition won't prevent it from making more deals in the future--especially where rare disease drugs are concerned.

Thanks to hep C pricing war, Gilead, AbbVie both score spots on Prime's coverage list

Better late than never? Try better late than early for Prime Therapeutics, which has scored deals on both sets of hepatitis C drugs. As Bloomberg reports, Gilead Sciences and AbbVie each offered prices low enough to justify putting Harvoni and Viekira Pak on its preferred formulary.

JPM: Sanofi touts Toujeo prospects; Celgene eyes 22% sales hike; Valeant amps up DTC, sales hiring

When the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference rolls around, it's always a case of so much news, so little time (and space). So, we're collecting some of the bigger stories here.

England's Cancer Drugs Fund cuts 25 approvals from list of covered meds

England's Cancer Drugs Fund unveiled its final list of cuts for covered meds, axing 25 cancer treatments to make room for new products and save an estimated £80 million ($121.3 million) a year. 

Merck CEO Frazier credits Keytruda success to slim-down strategy

SAN FRANCISCO--With Keytruda, Merck has a first-in-class, highly promising cancer treatment that it's already preparing to submit to the FDA for a lucrative label expansion. But the drug wouldn't be where it is today had the pharma giant not jumped on pharma's slim-down bandwagon, CEO Ken Frazier told a group at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Is once-skeptical J&J coming around on pharma's breakup craze?

SAN FRANCISCO--Johnson & Johnson has been pretty quiet over the past couple of years as it's watched its Big Pharma peers slim down like there's no tomorrow. But now, it seems the pharma giant may be coming around to the idea--or so CEO Alex Gorsky said Monday at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Roche bets $1.2B on Foundation Medicine with deal for majority stake

Roche is throwing the full weight of its global rep and more than $1 billion behind Foundation Medicine's ambitious sequencing technology, designed to tailor cancer treatment to particular patients and guide development of new cancer drugs.

Ambitious Actavis joins JPMorgan news fray with Street-beating EPS

Actavis' fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 results won't be available until the middle of next month, but in the meantime, investors should expect big things, the company said Monday.

Pharma calls for NICE overhaul as special cancer drugs fund nixes meds

Last week, British officials unveiled plans to toss out certain meds from the Cancer Drugs Fund, which covers drugs rejected by the country's cost-effectiveness gatekeepers. Now, the industry is calling for an overhaul in the way pricey cancer drugs are evaluated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

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.