So far, the 2014 pharma deal blitz has continued right on into 2015. And cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics could be the next company to keep it going.
Here's a new threat to Lucentis, the eye drug from Roche and Novartis. British doctors are calling for the National Health Service to routinely use Roche's cancer med Avastin to treat patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, rather than the much costlier Lucentis.
Going against the advice of its independent experts, the FDA approved Novartis' new blood cancer drug for patients with particularly deadly forms of multiple myeloma, looking past some serious safety issues and concerns about the drug's supporting data.
Pennsylvania's Merganser Biotech raised a $28 million A round with the help of Novartis Venture Fund, paying the company's way as it homes in on iron-related diseases.
Over the past year, Novartis has struck a pair of deals in Israel, snagging an option to buy Gamida Cell and a stake in BioLineRx.
The board of directors at GlaxoSmithKline voted to approve the last phase of a three-part deal with Novartis, transferring GSK's cancer drug portfolio to Novartis Healthcare Pvt, its Indian arm. Distribution rights were ceded in exchange for acquiring the Swiss-based company's vaccines portfolio.
Whatever GlaxoSmithKline learned about GlycoVaxyn in the two years since they inked a collaboration deal, it must have left the pharma giant feeling confident about the technology. GSK says today that it will scoop up the Swiss biotech, which is working on new vaccines for bacterial infections, for $190 million in cash.
A 13% jump in the number of compounds in development at AstraZeneca has seen it leapfrog Pfizer ($PFE) to claim fourth place on Citeline's list of the biggest development pipelines. The switch means European Big Pharma companies occupy the top four spots, with GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Roche taking the podium positions.
India's Cipla argued before the Delhi High Court against the Novartis patent for its Onbrez (indacaterol) COPD drug, saying the patent need not be honored because the Swiss drugmaker was not working it in the country and has licensed it to Lupin instead.
SINGAPORE-- Japan plans to temporarily suspend Novartis' pharma business in that country, according to media reports. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's order will last about 15 days and will cite repeated violations of failure to report adverse events properly, the Japan Times says.