While FiercePharma's newsletter went on hiatus over the winter holidays--and industry news slowed to a pace suitable to hibernation-friendly weather--we didn't spend all our time skiing and drinking cocoa. Some certifiably big news broke last week. The long-awaited approval of Pfizer ($PFE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) Eliquis, for one thing. Here's more on that story, and several other holiday highlights.
> Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer finally won the coveted FDA approval of their blood thinner Eliquis. The question now is, with two warfarin alternatives already on the market, can Eliquis still reach its potential for $5 billion in peak annual sales? The drug also won approval in Japan. Report | Report
> For the first time in four decades, the FDA approved a new treatment for tuberculosis, getting the nod on the last day of the year. Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Sirturo won the agency's blessing for use in patients with multidrug-resistant TB, a growing problem, but one that J&J doesn't expect to offer huge sales potential. Report
> It is another swing and a miss for Mylan ($MYL). Twice now, the generics maker has struck out at FDA in efforts to snatch away Ranbaxy Laboratories' 180-day exclusivity on a drug. The first time was for a generic of Pfizer's Lipitor; this time it's a generic version of Novartis' ($NVS) Diovan--a version that has yet to reach the market. Report
> Sanofi ($SNY) has apparently struck a deal to buy some piece or pieces of Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) McNeil unit. As Bloomberg reports, the two companies have won antitrust approval for the deal--whatever it is. Report
> Novo Nordisk ($NVO) is wrestling with the FDA over its long-acting insulin, Tresiba, in the U.S., but has found believers in Japan. Regulators there have given initial approval to Novo's Ryzodeg, a combo of Tresiba and its fast-acting insulin NovoRapid. Japan approved Tresiba, or degludec, in September, becoming the first country to do so. Report
> Depomed ($DEPO) chalked up a couple of much-needed wins in its ongoing fight to protect its shingles pain drug Gralise from generic competition. Two drugmakers--Watson Laboratories and Par Pharmaceutical--backed away from their proposed Gralise copies, leaving Depomed with three generic dragons still to fight. Report
> Another counterfeit drug may have made its way into the U.S. through Canada. The FDA warned 350 medical practices that what they believed was Allergan's ($AGN) wrinkle remover Botox was unauthorized and could be counterfeit. Report