CEO Frazier expects Merck to be player in hep C market, M&A this year

Merck & Co.'s CEO Kenneth Frazier expects his company to be a player in that lucrative hepatitis C market again with the anticipated approval this month of its hep C candidate. That, along with some M&A deals and growth in oncology should propel the world's fourth largest drugmaker forward for some time, he said this week.

Novartis, not to be outdone by respiratory rivals, inks 'smart inhaler' deal

Respiratory drugmakers have been looking to "smart inhaler" technology to give them a leg up on marketing in a crowded field. And Novartis wants a part of it. 

UPDATED: Takeda snatches Baxalta plant to produce Entyvio in U.S.

Takeda Pharmaceutical CEO Christophe Weber is in the midst of crafting the Japanese company's turnaround, and a piece of that effort is Entyvio, a drug he says should chip in $2 billion at its peak. Weber will soon have a new biologics plant in the U.S. devoted in large part to that drug that will help that effort.

Rapid-fire pharma M&A could stall a bit in 2016: Bloomberg

Pharma M&A is going strong so far this year, with Baxalta and Shire reportedly weighing a $32 billion-plus deal. But don't expect 2016 to best 2015 in terms of dealmaking, according to some industry watchers, who say that rapid-fire pace is likely to slow in the year ahead.

No M&A? No problem, Actelion says as it rolls out $160K-plus Uptravi

Actelion predicts it'll have a difficult time competing against its rivals for M&A targets going forward. But never fear. The company will have plenty to plow into its own development work thanks to its hefty price tag on new pulmonary arterial hypertension med Uptravi, execs said Tuesday.

UPDATED: Former Valeant CFO Schiller to step in for hospitalized CEO Pearson

Last week, Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson, in the hospital with severe pneumonia, took a medical leave of absence. And now, the company is reportedly putting a new chief in his place.

At $48 per share, is Baxalta Shire's best potential move?

It looks like Baxalta and Shire may be the first to keep pharma's red-hot M&A streak going in 2016, with a deal between the two rumored for as early as this week. But not everyone's convinced it's the right move.

Gilead wins speedy FDA review for latest hep C combo

Gilead Sciences already reaps billions from its hep C meds Sovaldi and Harvoni, but the company isn't content to sit back with the status quo. It's prepping a new hep C combo for FDA approval and recently got a boost after the agency granted the med a speedy review.

Teva and Takeda fill in details on new Japan generics JV

Generic powerhouse Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Takeda said last year that they were working a deal to sell generics in Japan, a piece of the market expected to grow significantly as the government pushes off-patent drugs. Now the two have released details about how they will do that.

Lilly falls short of analyst forecasts with 2016 guidance on the 'weaker end'

After patent expirations for big sellers Cymbalta and Evista, Eli Lilly managed to top analyst expectations in the first three quarters last year. But for 2016, the company expects to come in below where Wall Street thought it would be.

Sanofi and MannKind terminate Afrezza partnership

Sanofi and MannKind are calling it quits less than a year after pushing their inhaled insulin Afrezza onto a skeptical market. MannKind said today that the two will wrap up their business dealings on the drug within 6 months.

Zoetis unloading India plant to Zydus as it continues its cost cutting

The world's largest animal health company is moving forward with its pledge to become a little less large. In its second deal in two weeks, Zoetis will sell a production site and some of its products in India to Zydus Cadila as part of its pledge to close 10 plants and cut about 2,500 employees as it strives to improve margins.

Valeant ally Ackman pares down stake for tax savings

Activist investor and one-time Valeant deal partner Bill Ackman has been pretty gung-ho about the Canadian pharma as an investment prospect, even as controversy has battered its shares. Now, though, he's paring down his hedge fund's stake.

Endo hands Stendra rights back to struggling Vivus

Vivus has never had a marketing partner for flailing obesity therapy Qsymia--and now, it's about to be one short for erectile dysfunction therapy Stendra, too. Last week, Endo's Auxilium Pharmaceuticals announced in a regulatory filing that it would be terminating its licensing pact--covering the U.S. and Canada--with the California drugmaker, with an end date of June 30. 

Witty builds case for why 2016 is GSK's pivotal year

2016 is the year that GlaxoSmithKline is supposed to start to show the results of CEO Andrew Witty's turnaround efforts. Well 2016 is here and Witty is expected to show up at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference next week with plans he hopes will convince investors that his efforts to remake the British pharma giant have not been in vain.

Cadila is latest Indian drugmaker to feel sting of an FDA warning letter

The FDA is continuing its efforts to raise the standards of India's pharma industry, closing out the year with a warning to Cadila Healthcare, the company acknowledged in a report to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The citation follows warnings last year for a host of Indian drugmakers including Sun Pharmaceutical, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Mylan's sterile injectable operations in India.

Roche resolves patent war with India's Glenmark over generic Tarceva

Roche is burying the hatchet with India's Glenmark in a patent war over its cancer drug Tarceva, settling outstanding litigation with the company even as it wages a battle with another Indian generics maker over a patent for the med.

Shire could nab Baxalta for $32B this week: Bloomberg

It's taken a months-long pursuit, but Shire is finally reportedly on the verge of nabbing target Baxalta.

Pneumonia-stricken Valeant chief takes medical leave of absence

Last week, Valeant confirmed that CEO J. Michael Pearson had been hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia--and now, he's taking a medical leave of absence.

Brace yourselves: The drug pricing brouhaha isn't dying down

Drug prices were already a sore subject, but the pain grew this fall, when the now-former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals Martin Shkreli unapologetically jacked up the price of a 62-year-old drug by 5,000%-plus--to $750 per pill from $13.50. Unfortunately, that pain is going to continue into 2016.