Big Pharma has been getting it from all sides lately over drug pricing, with companies such as Valeant taking most of the heat as lawmakers, presidential candidates and the public weigh in on the issue. But now Eli Lilly and Merck are joining Valeant in the hot seat as the U.S. Department of Justice probes the companies over how they report prices to government-funded drug programs.
Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen speaks of stingy payers and global competition in the world diabetes market, while Sanofi told investors its diabetes drug sales will fall through 2018. But none of this has deterred insulin specialist Novo, which today kicked off one piece of a huge production buildup that all told will add more than 1,200 jobs to the drugmaker.
Drug R&D is a tough business. The odds are almost always against success, and the price to be paid for being wrong is cruelly high. That said, it did seem a little harder than usual this year to...
Now that the theory of CETP inhibition has failed three giant late-stage tests, Merck says it will soldier on with one final, huge push for its cholesterol drug anacetrapib. But it's adding in a futility analysis, due by the end of the year, which could force a quick exit. And execs are clearly backing away from their earlier, and much more bullish, expectations.
John Lechleiter, chairman, president and CEO of Eli Lilly, and other executives on the third-quarter earnings call remained upbeat on Japan in the coming quarters, but provided no color on the expanded collaborations in China with Innovent and Yabao that have caught recent attention in Asia.
Eli Lilly beat earnings estimates for the third quarter, ringing up EPS of $0.89 versus the $0.76 analysts were expecting. Sales were nearly in line with expectations, coming in at $4.96 billion and driven partly by the company's animal health unit, where sales rose 33% year over year to $778.8 million.
AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly are taking their immuno-oncology collaboration a few big steps forward, with Lilly lining up a new series of combination studies matching its cancer therapies with AstraZeneca's big PD-L1 program for durvalumab (MEDI4736).
Eli Lilly had nowhere to go but up at the beginning of this year, with patent expirations for top sellers Cymbalta and Evista taking a bite out of revenues and sending earnings spiraling downward. But CEO John Lechleiter promised that key meds would help lift the company out of its sales funk, and at least in Q3, the helmsman's pledge rang true.
Yabao Pharmaceuticals said it has signed a second agreement to co-develop Eli Lilly's sodium-glucose linked transporter inhibitor (SGLT1) as a treatment for diabetes. This is the second collaboration between the two companies, following on from a 2014 agreement to co-develop another Lilly drug.
Trulicity was late to the next-generation diabetes treatment party, so Eli Lilly knew its launch would have to be different.