News

Novo Nordisk blueprints its obesity R&D push in Seattle

Novo Nordisk has made it official: The Danish drugmaker is making a full-fledged go at obesity R&D, looking to build a Seattle hub and hire some investigators as it expands its research palate.

Lew's tax rules prompt AbbVie to weigh financing for Shire deal

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew hasn't scared Big Pharma away from tax inversion deals altogether. But his new rules limiting the benefits of pharma's latest M&A strategy are having some tangible effects already.

EU panel backs slew of new drugs and uses, boosting Lilly, AZ, Novartis, Gilead and more

When Europe's drug approval gatekeepers meet, they often tick off recommendations for some key Big Pharma products. This week, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use backed a whopping 15 new meds and 3 new indications.

Valeant adds activist shareholder Ubben to board as Allergan takeover bid heats up

In yet another sign that it's not about to abandon its hostile bid to buy Allergan, Valeant has named activist investor Jeffrey Ubben to its board. Ubben is chief executive officer of ValueAct Capital Management, Valeant's second-largest shareholder and a new supporter of the Allergan deal.

Judge tosses RICO claims over AbbVie's Humira, AndroGel copay cards

AbbVie may be under fire from the Federal Trade Commission for delaying AndroGel generics, but it won't have to face racketeering claims over its generics-fighting sales tactics.

Sovaldi's nosebleed price reflects a trend, not an exception to the rule

Gilead Sciences' $84,000-per-treatment-course hep C drug Sovaldi reached blockbuster status twice over in the course of a single quarter. But instead of an aberration, a new report suggests it is a reflection of a trend that has been going on for 5 years and looks to be the new normal.

Actavis agrees to keep making original version of its Alzheimer's drug for a while

Actavis has been switching patients from the original version of the Alzheimer's treatment Namenda IR, which is going off patent, to its new once-a-day version. But the New York Attorney General was not impressed with its plan to just quit making the original version, and now Actavis has agreed to produce it for a couple more months to settle a lawsuit the AG filed this month.

AstraZeneca unloads discontinued injectables to specialty generics maker IGI

Talk about selling off old products. AstraZeneca has unloaded 18 drugs it no longer sells to specialty generics maker IGI Laboratories. Apparently, IGI thinks it can profit from reintroducing meds that weren't worth the trouble for a drug giant.

Pfizer preps its case for FDA pulling Chantix's black-box warning

The FDA polished up the official label on Pfizer's stop-smoking drug Chantix earlier this week. It was a victory for Pfizer, the payoff from several studies testing the drug for psychiatric side effects. Essentially, the new label will include study data suggesting that patients using the drug might not be at a greater risk of psychiatric problems after all.

Teva closing up women's health unit Theramex, thanks to lousy Zoely sales

We've seen what happens when a big drug goes generic. Plants close, sales reps lose their jobs. As the impending shutdown of a Teva Pharmaceutical Industries unit shows, the same is true for an on-patent drug flop.

Hail GSK's chairman-to-be Philip Hampton: It's a tough job ahead

It's official: GlaxoSmithKline tapped Royal Bank of Scotland chair Philip Hampton to take the reins as chairman.

Hey, Big Pharma: When the feds swoop in, be nice. It worked for Shire

Shire and the U.S. Justice Department have come to terms: The Ireland-based drugmaker agreed to pay $56.5 million to settle a variety of alleged marketing violations. So far, so familiar, given the long list of pharma companies that wrapped up similar investigations.

Copay coupons get the Inspector General treatment

The HHS Inspector General's office says the fine print isn't enough to safeguard against Medicare recipients' coupon use. Drugmakers have to do more--or risk violating antikickback laws.

Overseas limits on J&J's Olysio use might signal trouble back home

Johnson & Johnson pessimists are already worried that Olysio will have a short, happy, busy life and an all-too-sudden end.

GlaxoSmithKline soon to name RBS chair Hampton as next chairman

The folks looking for a switcheroo at the top of GlaxoSmithKline may get their wish by the weekend. Sources tell Sky News that GSK is set to name a new chairman to replace Christopher Gent: Philip Hampton, now chairman at Royal Bank of Scotland and a widely reported frontrunner for the GSK job.

Oh, what a tangled web of pharma M&A, starring Pfizer, Actavis, Allergan and Salix

Anyone else feel like we need a mind map to keep track of the incestuous M&A talks going on in pharma right now?

BMS will get cozy and collaborative at new U.S. campus

The U.S. drugmaker will build a new campus in New Jersey for about 2,500 that it promises will pump up "collaboration, creativity and innovation," much as Biogen Idec, Novartis and others have done before it.

Hamburg called on to resign for FDA's approval of Zohydro

The FDA approved opioid painkiller Zohydro nearly a year ago as a med to provide relief for those with chronic pain. But the drug has been nothing but 11 months of aggravation for the agency and its leader, Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who is now being called on to resign by organized anti-addiction groups who say the FDA has contributed to an epidemic of abuse in the country.

Ackman threatens Allergan with lawsuit if Salix deal is sealed

The ongoing attempt by Allergan to thwart a Valeant takeover by bulking up with an acquisition of its own has officially turned nasty. On Tuesday, activist investor William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management sent a letter to Allergan threatening to sue the company if it goes ahead with its plan to buy Salix Pharmaceuticals--a deal that reportedly could exceed $10 billion.

GSK says risk is low from vaccine-contaminated water released into Belgian river

GlaxoSmithKline has been working with Belgian officials after "human error," resulted in 45 liters of cleaning liquid contaminated with poliovirus to get dumped into a city sewer system and subsequently into the Lasne River.