News

Apparently confident AstraZeneca CEO socks $3.4M into company shares

Pascal Soriot has raised the stakes on AstraZeneca's turnaround. The chief executive plunked down $3.4 million to buy more of his company's shares. 

Allergan trots out buybacks, deals and cuts in new offensive against Valeant buy

Allergan CEO David Pyott last week said his goal was to give shareholders "most of what they want" to keep them on his side of a takeover battle with Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Now, Allergan is trying to do just that, weighing a share buyback as part of a larger plan to dodge the Canadian pharma's hostile advances.

New highest-paid CEO: United Therapeutics chief collected $38M in 2013

A few weeks ago, we published our annual list of highest-paid biopharma CEOs. Now, we're saying whoops! Sitting at the top of our list was Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer with $36.27 million in 2013 compensation. But United Therapeutics chief Martine Rothblatt should have had that spot.

Novartis Japan unit faces another criminal charge in data-manipulation scandal

Last month, Japanese authorities arrested an ex-Novartis employee who allegedly manipulated trial data later used to promote the blockbuster blood pressure med Diovan. But now, it looks as if he may not be the only one paying the price.

Roche to Cochrane: Critical Tamiflu study made 'fundamental mistakes'

Back in April, a study conducted by the nonprofit Cochrane Group suggested that the $2 billion worth of Roche's Tamiflu and other flu fighters stockpiled by the U.S. and the U.K. has essentially amounted to money thrown down the drain. Now Roche is fighting back, claiming the Cochrane researchers failed to include all the relevant data and furthermore didn't seem to understand how Tamiflu works.

India's suffering generics industry hires DC consultant to burnish its image

Indian generics makers have turned to a Washington, DC, consulting firm run by Ron Somers to counter its tarnished image as bad press from plant bans has put its standards into question.

Wanted: Marketing strategy for MannKind's long-time-coming inhaled insulin

MannKind's third-time's-the-charm win on its inhaled insulin Afrezza isn't the finish line for the long-suffering company.

Novartis pulls EMA app for new Tasigna use, but wins new NICE nod for Gleevec

As blood cancer wonder-drug Gleevec ages, Novartis is trying to build out indications for follow-up Tasigna. After an up-and-down week for the pair, the Swiss pharma is now short a potential Tasigna label expansion, thanks to a snag in Europe. But a change of heart for the U.K.'s cost watchdog on Gleevec may give the franchise a boost.

Allergan's poison pill can't stop Valeant from calling shareholders to a vote

Valeant has cleared another hurdle in its quest to buy Allergan. The key next step: a special shareholders meeting, where Valeant will try to shake up the company's board and overturn its acquisition defenses to get a $53 billion deal done.

Sex, bribes and videotape: Clandestine video of GSK exec adds to China scandal

Last year, as the GlaxoSmithKline bribery probe was heating up, a British P.I. and his wife appeared on Chinese television, wearing handcuffs and prison orange. Word was, their sleuthing firm, ChinaWhys, had been working for pharma companies. Their alleged crime: collecting private information on Chinese citizens.

Shire CEO's buyout plans thwarted when AbbVie came calling

Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov is none too happy about AbbVie's repeated attempts to buy his company for $46 billion. Shire has snubbed AbbVie's advances three times since April, and under U.K. takeover rules, the Chicago company has until July 18 to make another bid or leave the Irish company alone. Problem is, AbbVie's ongoing pursuit is preventing Shire from making acquisitions of its own--a goal the company had been pursuing aggressively.

With Shire takeover bid, AbbVie looks to succeed where Pfizer failed

AbbVie may be working with some of the same advisers who worked on Pfizer's so-far-failed play for AstraZeneca. But after three rejections from target Shire--the latest totaling about $46.5 billion--it's not about to make Pfizer's same mistakes.

Vertex could snag 250 more Kalydeco patients with EMA nod

Back in February, the FDA green-lighted Kalydeco to treat cystic fibrosis in patients with one of 8 distinct gating mutations, dramatically swelling the orphan drug's patient pool.

Eliquis scores DVT/PE recommendation in Europe

Right now, Eliquis, the new-age clot-fighter from Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, is in third place in a three-horse race. But as it tries to catch up to rivals Pradaxa and Xarelto--not to mention the $3-billion-per-year sales forecasts analysts slapped on it in its early days--a new recommendation for expanded use in Europe should give it a boost.

UPDATED: Sanofi's Lantus empire imperiled as EU recommends Lilly, Boehringer biosimilar

Sanofi's Lantus is not only the best-selling diabetes drug in the world; it is one of the best selling drugs in the world with $7.6 billion in 2013 revenues. But the foundation for this juggernaut is starting to crack. The EU Friday recommended approval a biosimilar of Lantus developed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim.

EU backs Roche's Avastin for hard-to-treat ovarian cancer

The EU Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) handed down a positive ruling on Roche's blockbuster Avastin, recommending that the European Commission approve the drug for use in women with ovarian cancer that's resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy. 

UPDATED: Ranbaxy's generic of Novartis blockbuster Diovan approved for launch

The long-delayed and highly anticipated launch of generic Diovan is on the way, which is a bummer for Novartis and a huge boost for Indian drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories. It is also validation for the decision by Sun Pharmaceutical's owner, billionaire Dilip Shanghvi, who struck a $3.2 billion deal to buy Ranbaxy despite its years of FDA entanglements over quality issues.

Sanofi tiptoes toward selling some older products

Back in April, Sanofi was said to be considering some spring cleaning, weighing a sale of older products to make room for the bolt-on deals CEO Chris Viehbacher wants to make. Sanofi appears to be heading down that path; the pharma giant is in the "very early stages" of weighing a sale of its older meds, Reuters sources say.

Republicans back generic industry's fight against FDA labeling rule

Two Republican lawmakers are supporting the generic industry's fight against the FDA's proposed rule on product labeling.

Eli Lilly's anti-takeover superpower? A shield forged by Indiana lawmakers

Eli Lilly & Co. won't be needing pepper spray to fend off unwanted suitors. That's not because it lacks charm or offers few attractive assets, Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson says. A quirk in Indiana law protects the drugmaker from hostile takeovers.