News

AbbVie CEO pads $16M paycheck with $500K in jet travel

For the first couple of years after AbbVie's debut as an independent pharma company, its CEO, Richard Gonzalez, didn't quite follow in Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White's footsteps compensation-wise, collecting a mere $8 million in 2012 pay. But for 2014, Gonzalez's total compensation amounted to $22 million, according to AbbVie's proxy statement.

FDA hustles on opioid guidance to avoid budget meddling

The FDA is rushing to complete guidance on abuse-deterrent opioids before the end of June because if it doesn't, Congress has promised to take away $20 million in money for salaries and expenses in the FDA Commissioner's Office and give it instead to its criminal investigations unit to fight drug diversion.

Biogen Alzheimer's drug reignites excitement

The success of Biogen Idec's closely watched antibody targeting beta amyloid proteins in Alzheimer's disease is again bringing some excitement to a category that has defeated earlier enthusiasm as drugs have failed in trials.

Hedge fund patent challenges are growing by the numbers, and drugmakers aren't happy

Generics makers aren't the only ones filing challenges to pharma patents anymore. Hedge funds are doing it, too, and it's got drugmakers on edge.

Merck KGaA to tap Oschmann as new CEO, sources report

Merck KGaA is the latest company to join Big Pharma's recent round of executive musical chairs. The German drugmaker is promoting deputy chief executive Stefan Oschmann to replace current CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley as the company's top dog.

Judge says Novartis can launch biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen

Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez was a bit dismissive about the immediate impact of biosimilars when his company became the first to get one approved in the U.S. But Amgen didn't see the biosimilar of its blockbuster Neupogen in quite the same light and tried to stop its release. Unfortunately for the company, a federal judge denied Amgen's request for a temporary injunction.

GSK's Breo for asthma? FDA panel says yes--but only in adults

Good news for GlaxoSmithKline: An FDA panel of experts says the efficacy and safety data for blockbuster wannabe Breo support the asthma indication it's gunning for in adults 18 and older. When it comes to children aged 12 to 17, though? The panelists aren't having it.

Sanofi's Shantha prepared to deliver 37M doses of long-delayed pediatric vaccine

Sanofi's Indian affiliate, Shantha Biotechnics, says it's ready to deliver 37 million doses of its low-cost pediatric pentavalent vaccine, Shan5.

Departed Salix execs score $47M with Valeant buyout

Valeant wasn't the only one that scored a win when Salix Pharmaceuticals agreed to its $173-per-share buyout offer. Two former Salix execs--who left the company recently amid inventory issues--will make a pretty penny on the deal as well.

Big Pharma's market cap stars of 2014: Lilly, AbbVie, AstraZeneca

Who can resist a numbers match-up? Not us, obviously. Even better when the winners are a bit unexpected. Today, it's market cap, courtesy of EvaluatePharma and its annual state of the industry report.

Sanofi's diabetes franchise one step closer to U.S. Lyxumia launch

Sanofi can go back to the FDA with Lyxumia. The French drugmaker got good news from a cardiovascular outcomes study, required by the FDA before it would approve the diabetes drug.

Daiichi shells out $200M-plus to help AstraZeneca launch Movantik

AstraZeneca has decided not to go it alone on marketing Movantik. Daiichi Sankyo has signed on to help launch the constipation pill--and it's paying a pretty penny for the opportunity.

Bristol-Myers chief's last 'paycheck' as CEO is a doozy at $27M

Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Lamberto Andreotti has had a nice run at the drugmaker, paywise. And as he prepares to move upstairs to the chairman's office--and eventually out the door--he's going out with a bang. Apparently, a $27 million bang.

Actavis job-cutting drive hits 400-plus on Long Island

New-look Actavis--soon to be Allergan--has been undergoing plenty of changes since it agreed in November to shell out $66 billion for the Botox maker. And as it continues to integrate Allergan's ops, it's shaving away at the workforce it inherited from its prior pickup, Forest Labs.

Pernix figures 1 + 1 + 1 equals more than three with new Zohydro salesforce

Pernix Therapeutics is looking for a sales trifecta from the 100 new Zohydro reps it's acquiring along with that pain drug franchise.

Novartis faces more gender-bias claims with $110M Alcon suit

Several years ago, Novartis agreed to pay $175 million to settle a high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit focused on its U.S. sales operations. Now, the Swiss drugmaker faces a new discrimination fight at its Texas-based Alcon unit.

England's Cancer Drugs Fund changes its tune, holds onto Novartis' Afinitor

England's Cancer Drugs Fund is backtracking in its decision to remove certain treatments from its list of covered drugs, agreeing to keep Novartis' cancer med Afinitor for two of the three indications for which it was supposed to be removed.

Gilead to require proof of citizenship to buy Sovaldi in poor countries

Not long after Gilead Sciences' high-priced hep C super drugs Sovaldi, and then combo drug Harvoni, hit the market, the California drugmaker struck deals with 11 generic drugmakers to make cut-rate versions available, and affordable, in 91 developing countries. But Gilead is not as generous as it might seem, Doctors Without Borders claims.

The top 15 pharma companies by 2014 revenue

The names at the very top of our yearly list of biggest pharma companies are no surprise. Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche and Pfizer have headed up the rankings for a couple of years now, albeit in varying order. But toward the bottom of the top 10, there's been a changing of the guard.

Japanese doc testifies about inflating placebo counts in Diovan trial

A Japanese physician testified in a case involving Novartis Pharma K.K. and its Diovan (valsartan) drug for high blood pressure that he falsified a report while participating in clinical trials for marketing approval, sources said.