News

Fresh off Novartis consumer deal, GSK slices off 350 workers to hit cost-squeezing targets

Now that it's teamed up with Novartis' consumer health unit to form an industry-leading joint venture, GlaxoSmithKline's OTC business is bigger than ever. But its payroll is about to get smaller, with 350 layoffs hitting the operation.

Shire's bid to block Lialda copies hits another snag

Shire shares slumped Thursday after a U.S. Appeals Court denied its latest attempt to fend off generic versions of its ulcerative colitis treatment Lialda. The drug is one of Shire's top sellers--and the case is one of the first reviewed under a U.S. Supreme Court patent-law ruling.

Novartis asks court to take the brakes off Neupogen biosim

Last month, a U.S. appeals court blocked Novartis' biosimilar version of Amgen's blockbuster Neupogen while the companies worked out a patent dispute. Unsurprisingly, though, Novartis wants that ban lifted, and now it's asking the court to do just that.

Australia lambasts Big Pharma for paying tiny taxes on multibillion-dollar revenue

The Australian government is cracking down on some of the industry's top drugmakers by calling on companies to explain their tax-paying behavior in the country.

Merck's 'landmark' Zetia data hits NEJM, giving a boost to all LDL-fighting meds

The nitty-gritty on Merck & Co.'s Zetia outcomes trial is now revealed--and it's not just good news for the cholesterol-fighting drug and its combo-pill sister Vytorin. It's good for all high-powered cholesterol meds.

Jury sides with Merck and its execs in gender-bias case

Merck & Co. won the day in a gender discrimination suit on Tuesday, as a federal jury found that former employee Kerri Colicchio failed to prove she was discriminated against because of her pregnancy.

Can Boehringer's Stiolto beat the plague of payer arm-twisting on respiratory meds?

Makers of respiratory drugs have been cutting prices as they vie for prime formulary positioning with payers. Boehringer's Spiriva has already taken a sales hit as a result, but now, the German pharma is hoping new combo med Stiolto can turn things around.

Roche unchallenged at top of cancer sellers, but Celgene could fight Novartis for No. 2

Roche has been at the top of the heap in oncology sales for years--and it's no wonder, what with its top-selling triumvirate, Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin. The Swiss drugmaker racked up more than $25 billion in cancer last year, and its closest challenger, Novartis, managed less than half of that.

AZ's Soriot lashes out at U.K.'s refusal to pay for first-in-class cancer drug

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot, under pressure to boost the U.K. company's financials after thumbing its nose at a $100+ billion takeover by Pfizer, is sniping at U.K. regulators for refusing to pay for a new ovarian cancer treatment that the U.S. and Europe have approved.

Endo plans $1.75B stock sale to help cover Par buy

Endo hasn't quite wrapped up its $8 billion deal for generics maker Par Pharmaceutical, recently agreeing to a loan package to speed things along. Now, the drugmaker is hoping to move one step closer to the finish line by launching a $1.75 billion stock sale.

Teva shops for bigger Mylan stake in deal-forcing power play

Teva already has a 1.8% stake in deal target Mylan--a share that prompted Mylan Chairman Robert Coury to accuse it on Monday of breaching U.S. antitrust laws. But the Israeli drugmaker's response may be to pad that stake even further.

Tumor tests for immuno-oncology drugs need some work, cancer experts say

Drugmakers are quick to cite results from tests for new immuno-oncology meds, with companies screening for biomarkers in tumors to see which individuals would benefit from the drugs. But the tests are not always reliable and could leave out a subset of patients who are a good fit for the drugs, according to researchers.

Roche, Novartis and Bayer snag NICE OKs

The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness gatekeeper, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has bestowed its favor on a crop of new drugs, granting nods to contenders from Roche, Novartis and Bayer.

Is Pozen prepping to sell out? Sudden CEO exit, new Irish subsidiary hint yes

Pozen has had its share of woes in recent months: Manufacturing problems at its contract supplier tanked new drug applications twice in a row, and Big Pharma partner Sanofi bailed on their development deal for the new-and-improved aspirins.

Mylan deal target Perrigo bags GSK, Novartis consumer meds

Lately, Perrigo's shown it would rather be the acquirer than the acquired--and it continued down that path Tuesday.

Mylan challenges Teva to put up a bid--or shut up and let it buy Perrigo

Clock's ticking, Teva, as far as deal target Mylan's concerned. The Israeli drugmaker needs to either "stop playing games" and turn its $40 billion approach into a formal bid--or walk.

Hep C drug tourism has begun as patients seek Harvoni, Sovaldi overseas

Everyone from individual patients on up to pharmacy benefits managers has been scheming about how to get Gilead's Harvoni and Sovaldi at the lower prices available in other countries--as low as 1% of the U.S. sticker price, Bloomberg notes.

Look for orphan drugs to keep fueling M&A, Moody's says

Orphan drugs are attractive to make thanks to premium pricing prospects, limited competition and regulatory perks. But those factors also make them attractive to buy, and they'll continue to spur M&A activity in the biopharma field, Moody's predicts.

Top oncologist joins chorus of pricing critics in high-profile ASCO speech

Pharma types are getting a wee bit defensive about critics' attacks on cancer drug prices, if response to FiercePharma's recent coverage is any indication. But the criticism just keeps on coming, even as drugmakers work with payers behind the scenes on mutually acceptable pricing deals.

UCB reportedly gets bids for Kremers Urban unit from Cipla and Lupin

After having to call off a $1.5 billion deal last year to sell its U.S.-based generics business, Belgium's UCB has new bidders for the unit that reportedly includes India's Cipla and Lupin.