Headlines continue to roll out of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this week in what may be the busiest year yet for news at the not-to-miss meeting. We're keeping track so you don't have to. Here's the latest, including CEO interviews and important updates to yesterday's Regeneron story, our most-read article so far.
Pfizer’s dealmaking over the past few years follows a pattern: It likes buys that bring in new sales, and quickly. And executives say that's a trend they intend to continue. Looking for revenue growth “now or soon,” as CFO Frank D’Amelio said during a Tuesday fireside chat, is still the M.O. And if the company gets to repatriate overseas cash without a tax penalty under President-elect Trump, it'll have some serious firepower, he said. Report
After Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer took Amgen to task for trying to push his company's PCSK9 drug Praluent off the market in a patent dispute, Amgen hit back, saying Regeneron and its partner Sanofi had launched a drug "they had no right to manufacture or sell" and that they'd failed to prove their case in court. Schleifer said Amgen could have waited for the appeal to be heard at the Federal Circuit Court, "the place where these cases are really decided," but didn't. "Is that putting patients first?" Schleifer asked during his JPM presentation. "It’s no small wonder that our industry isn’t beloved, because we talk a lot about putting patients first, but I don’t think people always do." Updated story
Sarepta saw a 21% bump Tuesday after it announced a new, early-stage research deal in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and announced early results from its controversial med for the disease, Exondys 51 (eteplirsen). The drug brought in $5.4 million in Q4, after its fall approval, and 250 patients have started going through the process of winning reimbursement for the drug. Some analysts were unimpressed, however, saying that those numbers fell short of their expectations. Story
When the time comes to launch his company's new atopic dermatitis treatment dupilumab, Sanofi's Genzyme CEO David Meeker has one key objective—and it isn't about sales numbers; he thinks those will take care of themselves. It's about building a rare-disease-style patient community to get the drug to the right patients, and only the right patients. Interview
And on that note, Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt believes the French drugmaker has fixed the issues at a fill/finish plant in France that delayed its experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug sarilumab. Dupilumab is going through that same facility. Brandicourt says Sanofi and partner Regeneron should be back on track with their applications; Regeneron CEO Len Schleifer separately said he's looking for good news with a dupilumab decision later this quarter, thanks to progress already made at the Sanofi plant. Story
Even as Big Pharma interest in cancer vaccine combos surges, Bavarian Nordic is intent on remaining an independent vaccine company, CEO Paul Chaplin told FiercePharma. That's because, he says, it's the “best and most fruitful way” to get the most out of the company's platform in a variety of disease targets. Interview
After raising $45 million in a Series D round in October True North Therapeutics said it is boosting its development plan for TNT009 by starting extra tests in the U.S. and Europe for a rare form of autoimmune hemolytic anemia. It's also looking at TNT009 in additional Complement-driven rare diseases. Release.
Nearly a year after its IPO, CRISPR biotech Editas said it's planning a regulatory filing by year's end for its LCA10 candidate to treat Leber’s congenital amaurosis. This puts it behind Chinese researchers, who in October became the first to test the gene editing tech; it could also put Editas behind U.S. academic researchers. The company touted its near-term pipeline in eye, bone marrow and blood disorders to analysts, as well as plans for "additional alliances." Analysis
Just three months ago, gene silencing specialist Alnylam was pummelled after deaths in a phase 3 clinical trial forced it to abandon its revusiran candidate for hereditary ATTR amyloidosis. Now, it is hoping to file its replacement candidate by the end of the year. Story.
In case you missed it, here's the link to Monday's news roundup.