Merck Serono is embarking on a €65 million ($73.5 million) R&D expansion at its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. The investment will fund the construction of a building to house different units of its drug discovery operation, enabling an all-under-one-roof approach Merck Serono is hoping will improve its fortunes.
The biotech arm of Merck KGaA is building a 16,000-square-meter addition to accommodate 200 research staffers, noting that the facility should be ready in 2017.
German cost-effectiveness watchdogs aren't among pharma's favorite people. Since lawmakers instituted a tough price-setting process, state officials have questioned the benefits of one new drug after another--to the point where some drugmakers decided not to launch there at all.
U.K. respiratory drug specialist Vectura picked up a plant last year when it bought Germany's Activaero in a €130 million ($181 million) deal. But Vectura has decided it doesn't need it and will close the facility within a year in a cost-saving move.
In January, Germany's cost watchdog decided that Dendreon's--now Valeant's--Provenge had no added benefit for men with metastatic prostate cancer. But now, it's changing its tune.
It's more bad news for Eli Lilly's Alimta in Europe. After losing a patent fight last year with Actavis in England, the Indianapolis drugmaker has now lost another in Germany, paving the way for knockoff versions of its top drug there.
U.S. drugmaker Mylan, Germany's Stada, India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Unichem Laboratories are among 16 drugmakers who have had dozens of generic meds sidelined by German regulators who raised questions about bioequivalence tests.
Six years after the FDA banned products from a Ranbaxy Laboratories plant in Dewas, India, the European Commission and Germany have restricted imports of sterile drugs from the facility.
Seemingly hand in hand with the U.S., German regulators have banned Ranbaxy Laboratories from exporting the antibiotic cephalosporin to their country following an inspection earlier this year of the company's plant in central India.
Germany's cost-effectiveness gatekeepers have delivered another blow to Eisai over the price of Fycompa. And the verdict, just the drugmaker's latest frustration over the epilepsy drug, has left it "speechless" and "dismayed."