In the annals of Big Pharma, 2012 was expected to be the year of all patent-cliff years, with more than a dozen patent expirations. The biggest blockbuster lost patent protection in 2011--Pfizer's Lipitor--but in 2012, a whole list of big sellers would drop. Even the Lipitor damage would hit then, because its patent expired only one month before 2011 ended.
Sanofi ( $SNY ) has picked up a new contract manufacturing client, one willing to pay half the cost of a manufacturing suite to make specialized immunotherapy products.
A flurry of regulatory decisions around the world delivered a big new European approval for Bayer's Xarelto, an FDA nod for Novartis' new antibiotic for cystic fibrosis patients, and a Japanese clearance for Roche's subcutaneous formulation of Actemra.
Now that Big Pharma's 2012 results are all in, the slicing and dicing can start. For your consideration today: the "Freshness Index," as outlined in Forbes . That's the percentage of a company's sales derived from drugs approved within the past 5 years.
Novartis notched an FDA approval on Friday for a dry-powder formulation of an antibiotic that fights a type of bacterial infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).
Celgene has made a move into the resurgent gene therapy field. With a focus on immunotherapies against cancer, Celgene revealed collaborations with a pair of partners on Thursday that highlights increased industry interest in the previously shunned gene therapy field after a series of regulatory and scientific victories in recent years.
Novartis won European approval for its eye drug Jetrea, as a treatment for vitreomacular traction, and the European Medicines Agency also approved a new use for Roche's hepatitis C drug Pegasys.
The fight over drug patents in India is quickly ratcheting up even as other countries are looking at new twists on the model for getting their hands on cheaper drugs.
Add up the top-line R&D spending for the top 10 pharma companies in the world and you'd think that nothing had changed from 2011 to 2012. But you'd be very wrong. Big Pharma's heavy hitters in R&D have a wildly mixed record in a fast-changing field. It will be an interesting year ahead. Here's a look at last year's results, and an analysis of where they point. Read the report >>
The FDA has opened the inside track to Novartis' experimental lung cancer drug, which gained "Breakthrough Therapy" designation that speeds the development and review schedules for new treatments. The Swiss drug giant ($NVS) plans to file for approval the drug, now in mid-stage clinical trials, in early 2014.