Spotlight On... Can fast-growing Eliquis overtake J&J's Xarelto? Bristol-Myers' execs think so; Europe green-lights AZ lung cancer med; Takeda plots Japanese OTC spinoff; and more...

Eliquis, a new-age anticoagulant that once dragged well behind analysts' expectations, has seriously picked up the pace lately, rocketing to the top of Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) sales charts. And company execs don't expect it to stop there. As CEO Giovanni Caforio put it on last week's Q4 conference call, its recent performance puts the company "well on our way" to passing by a pair of hefty competitors in Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Bayer's Xarelto and Boehringer Ingelheim's Pradaxa. More from FiercePharmaMarketing

@FiercePharma: NCI's Cancer Centers join in HPV vaccination push. FierceVaccines story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: FDA hands Wockhardt and Ipca more disappointing news. FiercePharmaManufacturing article | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: Witty is SO DONE with these spinoff questions. | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> AstraZeneca's ($AZN) Tagrisso (osimertinib) won expedited European approval for EGFR-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer; it was approved by the U.S. FDA in November. Release

> Takeda plans to spin off its Japanese consumer healthcare business. Release

> Sun Pharmaceuticals discounted its new copycat version of Novartis' ($NVS) Gleevec by 30% to the brand, hoping to make big inroads in the market for leukemia treatments. Report

> Drug companies are likely to launch seven blockbusters in 2016, according to a new analysis. Report

> China fined 5 domestic drugmakers almost 4 million yuan ($608,000) for price-fixing, saying they colluded to support the price of allopurinol, used to treat gout and kidney disease. Report

> The AIDS Healthcare Foundation sued Gilead Sciences ($GILD), accusing the company of holding back its next-gen TAF drug--now on its way to FDA approval--to allow a previous drug, tenofovir, to reap more sales. Report

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI: At Baxter, Covidien's Almeida looks to cut costs, fuel innovation and do smaller acquisitions. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: Updated w analyst info: Stryker to buy disposable device maker for $2.8B to reduce hospital-acquired infections. More | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: Diagnostics overlooked as 'first line of defense' for Zika virus. Story | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Growing interest in stroke-treatment devices highlighted by Abbott's latest deal. More

> Next 'blow up' for Theranos? The company's latest legal hire: NYT. Story

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Gene therapy pioneer James Wilson uses CRISPR/Cas9 to target liver disease. FierceBiotechResearch article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Editas and BeiGene break biotech's IPO drought and stoke hopes of a turnaround. Report | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Wow. I see why everyone thinks this new  ad is so disturbing. Watch | Follow @DamianFierce

> Enyo Pharma gets a $24M funding boost for hep B cure candidate. Story

> Gilead execs tick off its three top areas of M&A interest. Item

> Yale entrepreneur Rothberg rounds up $40M for a biotech upstart. Article

Pharma Marketing News

> Biogen sees new Tecfidera buzz as DTC, marketing push kicks in. More

> With all eyes on Alcon, Novartis plots DTC ad push, new marketing spend. Story

> BMS expects fast-growing Eliquis to take the lead over Xarelto, Pradaxa. Article

> Gilead's hep C meds keep churning, but execs see need for deals as U.S. sales slow. Item

> Prevnar's 2015 sales surged to $6B-plus on new FDA approval in adults. Report

Biotech Research News

> Investigators at The Hutch draw up a new battle plan for metastasis. Story

> Researchers discover fusion protein that promotes cancer via three distinct ways in pediatric brain tumors. More

> Gene therapy pioneer James Wilson uses CRISPR/Cas9 to target liver disease. Article

> U.K. scientists get a green light to modify human embryos. Item

> Boston Children's team finds potential new melanoma drug target using zebrafish. Report

Vaccines News

> Pfizer's vaccine sales leap in 2015 thanks to Prevnar 13. More

> Merck, J&J, Pfizer consider joining Zika vaccine race. Report

> NCI's Cancer Centers join in HPV vaccination push. Story

> UT Southwestern team creates new drug that could aid in vaccine development. Item

> Sanofi's Brandicourt mulls pulling the plug on Merck JV: Bloomberg. Article

And Finally... Teen girls with Type 1 diabetes are at higher risk of an eating disorder, with some skipping insulin doses to lose weight. Report

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