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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Pfizer strong-armed governments in COVID-19 vaccine supply talks, report says

Pfizer is playing a leading role in producing vaccines against COVID-19, but new documents released by Public Citizen shine a light on the company’s aggressive tactics when negotiating supply deals.  In draft and final deals with the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and other countries, Pfizer retained rights to “silence” governments and “throttle supply” in an effort to “maximize […]

WHO plots multibillion-dollar campaign to buy COVID-19 antivirals for $10 per course: Reuters

Almost immediately after Merck reported impressive data for its COVID-19 pill, questions about pricing and access started swirling. It turns out officials at the World Health Organization are already working through those issues with a multibillion-dollar international effort. The agency wants to buy 28 million courses of COVID-19 antiviral pills for low- and middle-income countries at $10 […]

Regeneron, Novo Nordisk, Lilly and AbbVie stake claims on September’s list of top TV ad spenders

Call it a tale of two therapeutic fields. Immunology treatments and diabetes drugs together dominated September’s list of top spenders on TV ads, with four brands in each category. Once again, Regeneron and Sanofi claimed the lead in ad spending for the month as they continuing pumping up ads for Dupixent in eczema and asthma, according to […]

Fierce Pharma Asia—Takeda’s cell, gene therapy deals; BMS-BeiGene Abraxane brawl

Takeda is investing more in cell and gene therapy through new deals with Poseida Therapeutics and Immusoft targeting liver and neurometabolic disorders, respectively. BeiGene’s Abraxane China licensing deal with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Celgene is falling apart amid manufacturing problems and a legal battle. And more. 1. Billions club: Takeda taps Poseida for 2nd $1B-plus gene therapy […]

Merck bags imperfect immunotherapy first with Keytruda cervical cancer approval

Merck & Co. is adding yet another immuno-oncology first under Keytruda’s belt. But the breadth of the win comes out less than ideal. The FDA has backed Keytruda’s use alongside chemotherapy, with or without Roche’s Avastin, for treating patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer but only for those whose tumors express the PD-L1 […]

Bristol Myers Squibb is nixing BeiGene’s Abraxane deal in China amid manufacturing woes. Is their cancer rivalry really to blame?

A partnership between Bristol Myers Squibb and BeiGene on the chemotherapy Abraxane in China has quickly deteriorated since a manufacturing-related marketing hold last March. Now, the U.S. pharma is scrapping the deal—much to the Chinese partner’s disagreement. BMS and its Celgene unit alerted BeiGene last week that they are withdrawing Abraxane’s China rights from a basket […]

Novartis exec says COVID exposed pharma manufacturing weaknesses. Here’s how he plans to fix them

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged companies in all industries, but by and large the pharmaceutical supply chain has held up. Now, more than a year into the crisis, Novartis’ top supply chain exec Steffen Lang recently reflected on what went well—and what the future of pharma manufacturing might look like. Since the start of last […]

Johnson & Johnson, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines work as intended, FDA staff say ahead of high-stakes booster meeting

Millions of people who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been eligible to get a third booster dose for weeks, but those who received the other FDA-authorized shots have been waiting to see whether they’ll need another dose. They’ll soon have answers. FDA vaccine advisors are set to meet Thursday and Friday to discuss the prospect of giving […]

Merck started its Acceleron pursuit at $160 per share, but CEO Davis balked at paying more than $180

Merck’s new CEO Robert Davis has big shoes to fill after taking the reins from Kenneth Frazier at the start of July. Just two weeks into his tenure, though, his company was already in talks for its first M&A deal under the new helmsman, a securities filing shows. Merck unveiled its proposed $11.5 billion Acceleron buyout […]

Supernus strikes $400M+ Adamas buyout as its top drug heads toward the patent cliff

As Supernus’ top drug inches toward the patent cliff, the central nervous system-focused drugmaker has struck an M&A deal to quickly expand its portfolio of marketed medicines.  In a $400 million buyout, Supernus is paying $8.10 per share to buy CNS drugmaker Adamas Pharmaceuticals. With the deal, Supernus gets rights to Gocovri, the first and only FDA-approved drug […]

Sanofi, GSK, Pfizer and Boehringer must face Zantac class-action lawsuits, court rules

Even after the global Zantac recalls of 2019 and 2020 and the associated controversy, the courtroom saga over the medicine’s risk is just getting started. This week, branded drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim lost an attempt to escape class-action lawsuits over their marketing of the decades-old drug. In a federal court in Florida, […]

Neurocrine raises a new monument to mental health in pandemic resilience campaign

Neurocrine Biosciences has turned to the arts before to raise mental health awareness, and the latest iteration of its “Monumental Moments” campaign does it again. For Mental Illness Awareness Week, Neurocrine unveiled a new, specially commissioned sculpture—”The Hug” by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada—at Lincoln Center in New York City. Rodriguez-Gerada and Neurocrine Biosciences presented the nearly […]