News

Top Sanofi U.S. exec departs amid struggles in diabetes franchise

According to an internal memo obtained by The Wall Street Journal blog Pharmalot, Whitaker is leaving for "another opportunity."

J&J oncology vet takes the helm at foundering Dendreon

Struggling Dendreon has named a new CEO in W. Thomas Amick, a longtime Johnson & Johnson vet.

More scary hep C cost estimates: Medicare Part D to take a $2.9B-plus hit next year

A new study has quantified the financial hit from Gilead's pricey hep C wonder drug Sovaldi, at least where Medicare Part D is concerned: Sovaldi and its next-gen brethren could hike Part D spending by billions of dollars next year alone.

Eyeing consumer health, Meda nabs Italy's Rottapharm in long-sought $3B deal

Meda has staunchly refused every takeover bid that's come its way. But that doesn't mean the Swedish drugmaker isn't interested in M&A. It just prefers to be the buyer. Meda says it's agreed to buy the family-owned Italian drugmaker Rottapharm for about 21.2 billion kronor ($3.1 billion), with an eye on its consumer health offerings.

AstraZeneca CEO trumpets Q2 victory as troops fortify against Pfizer's return

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot talked to analysts and reporters for hours Thursday, touting his company's unexpectedly strong second-quarter results. And they were worth touting. But make no mistake: Soriot's remarks were meant for a different audience.

What's the gleam in Sanofi CEO's eye? Could be Q2--or a canny PCSK9 maneuver

See Sanofi's second-quarter results? You'll notice a spark of new life at the French drugmaker, which hiked its forecast for the year, thanks to stalwart diabetes meds, fast-growing rare disease products, an emerging markets recovery, and solid action in consumer health.

Novartis apologizes for lax business practices in Japan as side-effects scandal widens

Facing its second scandal in as many months, Novartis' Japanese unit has issued an apology for failing to disclose side effects of its drugs Tasigna and Gleevec, which are used to treat leukemia.

Craving respiratory dominance, AstraZeneca inks $2.1B deal for Almirall's lung meds

AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $875 million up front--and up to $2.2 billion total, with milestones--for Almirall's respiratory portfolio. The deal brings a couple of marketed drugs, and a list of pipeline meds that includes a combo drug Almirall is developing with U.S.-based Forest Laboratories.

Will he or won't he? Pfizer CEO scouts big deals, but 'silent' on AstraZeneca rebid

No news isn't good or bad for Pfizer deal-watchers. It's just no news. Anyone hoping for a halfway-clear idea of CEO Ian Read's next buyout move was disappointed after Tuesday's second-quarter earnings call with analysts.

Doom for combo meds? Express Scripts, CVS dump Horizon Pharma two-in-one drugs

When do rising drug prices not equal rising sales? When payers step in to control costs--and that's exactly what they've been doing.

Want to claim a name? FDA needs your input on locking down brand monikers

Advertising experts have a few tricks up their sleeves when concocting a drug's proprietary name--like Zytiga, Xtandi and Xeljanz--that might thrust the product to success. Now, the FDA is looking for ideas about allowing drugmakers to reserve these names in advance--with a few rules.

Amgen makes deep job cuts to position itself for post-Enbrel world

When California biotech Amgen picked up Onyx Pharmaceuticals a year ago for $10.4 billion to get its hands on the multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis, investors were wondering what the future would hold for the world's largest biotech. CEO Robert Bradway at least partially answered that question Tuesday saying the company would ax 15% of its workforce.

A $635M win-win deal boosts Pfizer in vaccines, slims Baxter for spinoff

Looks like Pfizer's finally getting the vaccines expansion it's been hankering for. The company agreed to pick up Baxter's marketed vaccines portfolio for $635 million, building up its own business as the Illinois healthcare company slims down for a pharma unit spinoff next year.

Bayer nabs new OKs for Eylea, Stivarga as top meds skate past forecasts

In March, Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers boldly predicted that the company's 5 new drugs--including the blood thinner Xarelto and the macular degeneration treatment Eylea--would help his company achieve 8% annual sales growth through 2016. Judging from the company's second quarter results, Bayer is well on its way to making good on that goal.

China sets trial date for GSK-tied investigators, says it will be 'open'

China will try two private investigators tied to GlaxoSmithKline's operations there in just over a week on charges of illegally purchasing personal information about Chinese nationals, a Chinese court said. And according to state news agency Xinhua, all are welcome to attend.

J&J, Pharmacyclics celebrate yet another nod for leukemia med Imbruvica

Johnson & Johnson's new blood cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib) is on a roll. The FDA just armed the drug with a new indication in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, adding to a series of regulatory nods.

Don't get too excited, investors: GSK has no near-term plans for consumer health spinoff

Let GlaxoSmithKline be clear: It's open to spinning off its consumer healthcare division at some nebulous point in the future. But it's not happening anytime soon.

Beyond the Q2 numbers, three big questions for Pfizer

Pfizer beat analyst expectations for earnings. That's not as positive as it sounds, and it's certainly not the whole story.

Merck beats Q2 earnings estimates, but mostly on cost-cutting

Merck surprised Wall Street analysts today when it announced that its net profit in the second quarter jumped to $2 billion from $906 million in the same period a year ago, and that it was raising the lower end of its income forecast for 2014. But it's not exactly time to pop out the champagne corks and declare a successful turnaround.

AstraZeneca rolls out preemie newspaper ads to fight Synagis limits

Drugmakers cheer when influential doctors' groups revise treatment guidelines to include new drugs. But as AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit knows, those groups can backpedal.