News

U.S. Attorney asks Novo Nordisk about plant in Denmark

Novo Nordisk says the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts has subpoenaed it for information about potential manufacturing issues at a plant in Kalundborg.

Merck bogged down by slumping sales, but cuts deliver on profits

It has been a roller-coaster ride of a year for Merck, complete with M&A and corporate bloodletting intended to swing the company's numbers northward. Part of the drugmaker's ongoing turnaround plan could be paying off, as Merck announced third quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations. But the company also reported slumping sales of some of its standout products due to hep C competitors and patent expirations, signaling more work in the months to come.

Novartis unloads last piece of vaccines puzzle to CSL for $275M

After a lengthy strategic review and a handful of divestments, Novartis' slim-down effort is finally coming to a close. The company has sold off its flu vaccines business--the only piece of the vaccines unit it hung onto after a multibillion-dollar April transaction with GlaxoSmithKline--to Australia's CSL.

Don't fire me, Sanofi CEO tells board, amid tussle over strategy

Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher has made some big moves since he took the helm in 2008. Now, he may have made one too many. According to a report from the French newspaper Les Echos, Viehbacher's future at Sanofi is in danger, with the French drugmaker's board increasingly unhappy with his decision-making.

Fed up with Allergan obstinance, Valeant CEO says he'd hike bid past $200 a share

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson is apparently sick of Allergan's mantra that his hostile bid "grossly undervalues" the company. While the bid is a good one, he contended in a Monday letter to the Botox-maker, Valeant will hike it further if it needs to--past $200 a share, in fact--and it's time for Allergan's board to come around.

Pfizer turns back Mylan's patent challenge to Sutent

Pfizer execs can sigh with relief now that a federal court has backed the company's patents on kidney cancer drug Sutent. The med has become increasingly important to Pfizer as sales of off-patent drugs have faded, and so it was alarming to the U.S. drugmaker when generics maker Mylan challenged the patent in 2010 and filed to make its own copy.

Yervoy, Sprycel, Eliquis jumps help Bristol-Myers beat Q3 estimates

The patent cliff may still be taking a toll on Bristol-Myers Squibb, but the company's Q3 sales haul was enough to impress analysts thanks to star performances from a few key new products.

EMA favors AstraZeneca's ovarian cancer drug Lynparza that FDA committee dissed

An FDA committee of experts this summer voted overwhelmingly against approval of AstraZeneca's new ovarian cancer treatment. But reviewers for the EMA gave it a nod for use on patients with platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer and BRCA mutations, FierceBiotech reports.

Shire poised to succeed as solo act post-AbbVie with solid Q3 earnings

Shire is riding solo after AbbVie called it quits on its proposed $52 billion acquisition, but the company isn't shedding too many tears. The Dublin-based drugmaker announced third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations, leaving the door open for success post-AbbVie.

What does Pfizer's $11B buyback mean for the chances of an AstraZeneca bid?

Pfizer's $11 billion share buyback, announced late Thursday, gave investors something to focus on, rather than fretting about whether the company would renew its pursuit of AstraZeneca once the required cooling off period lapses in November. But some of them immediately started worrying about whether the buyback meant it was less likely Pfizer would do a big deal.

Actavis primed for another deal, or two, or maybe three

Allergan, Salix and Omega are all reportedly in Actavis' dealmaking sights, but which will the drugmaker go after? With an active M&A track record and deal veteran Brent Saunders at the helm, some analysts think the company could lock down more than one--but it won't necessarily be easy.

U.K. watchdogs back Bayer's Xarelto for heart attack patients

Bayer's Xarelto, which has been cruising along since it joined a new class of warfarin replacement therapies on the market, has faced a rare stumbling block in acute coronary syndrome--an indication the FDA has denied it on three separate occasions. But across the pond, it's picked up a nod in some ACS patients from the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness gatekeeper.

J&J Innovation taps Texas for its latest biotech startup incubator

Johnson & Johnson taking its network of biopharma incubators to Texas in an expansion of its Janssen Labs initiative.

Leaping Soliris sales send Alexion's bottom line soaring

Alexion has had a win-some, lose-some year, what with a pricing challenge in the U.K. and a series of recalls for its only marketed drug. But that drug, Soliris, just keeps on surging. Sales grew 39% for the third quarter, hitting $555 million, and profits amounted to $177 million of that.

Medicines Company sues lawyers for busting Angiomax patent filing deadline

The Angiomax patent saga has a new chapter. Medicines Co. has now sued its law firms, Ropes & Gray and Fish & Neave, saying lawyers busted deadline for a key patent filing, risking premature generic competition for its best-selling anticoagulant.

Eli Lilly continues downward spiral in Q3 as generics slam Cymbalta, Evista sales

Eli Lilly found itself standing at the bottom of a steep slope this year, beleaguered by slumping sales and patent losses for two of its bestselling drugs. The Indianapolis, IN-based company is continuing on its downward spiral, reporting a 16% dip in revenue due to exclusivity losses on anti-depressant Cymbalta and osteoporosis drug Evista.

Celgene's powerhouse Revlimid gets a little Q3 help from new friends Pomalyst, Otezla

Celgene's growth engine Revlimid came through again this quarter. The blood cancer drug's $1.3 billion in Q3 sales--a 19% increase--helped the company hit sales estimates and beat profit expectations. And if a new first-line indication wins FDA approval, expected soon, the drug could take another leap next year.

Cancer survivor's petition pleads with Roche for lower Kadcyla price

Drugmakers are accustomed to grappling with government payers and PBMs over prices. But a pricing fight directly with patients? That's not your everyday occurrence.

New tax rules won't spook Mylan out of Abbott generics buy

A few potential deals have already caved under the weight of new U.S. tax rules that discourage inversion deals. Not Mylan's. The Pittsburgh-based company is pushing ahead with a $5.3 billion plan to buy a piece of Abbott Laboratories' overseas generics business--with a few edits, of course.

Biogen MS superstar Tecfidera misses estimates; hit with first confirmed PML case

Biogen Idec's new multiple sclerosis pill Tecfidera has been on a roll since its launch last year, with more than $1 billion in sales to its credit already. Today, however, the drug hit a couple of speed bumps: Third-quarter sales missed analyst estimates, and the company announced a patient had died after developing a rare brain infection previously linked to MS drugs.