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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Fierce Pharma Asia—Takeda’s narcolepsy trial problem, gene therapy pact; human error in Moderna’s COVID vaccine

Takeda’s pipeline has taken a hit as the company reported a safety signal from a midstage narcolepsy program. The Japanese pharma doubled down on gene therapy with a licensing deal with Selecta Biosciences to work on lysosomal storage disorders. Takeda and Moderna have pinpointed how contaminants landed in three lots of COVID-19 vaccines in Japan. […]

Alvotech scores in AbbVie trade secrets case, but the Humira patent fight will stretch into next year

Even as many biosimilar companies await their agreed-upon launch dates for their versions of the world’s bestselling drug—AbbVie’s Humira—Alvotech is still busy battling the drug giant in court. This week, the company scored a big win. In a Wednesday decision, a federal judge in Illinois dismissed AbbVie’s trade secrets theft lawsuit against Alvotech. Previously, AbbVie […]

Pilot launch complete: GlaxoSmithKline’s malaria shot scores WHO backing for wider rollout in Africa

GlaxoSmithKline has spent many years developing and testing its world-first malaria vaccine, but even after a positive recommendation from European regulators in 2015, the shot still isn’t widely deployed. That’s set to change with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) blessing for the vaccine. Wednesday, the WHO recommended a wider use of the shot—known as RTS,S—in children in […]

As Revance nears a potential launch for its Botox rival, AbbVie sues for patent infringement

Revance Therapeutics has traveled a long road to a potential FDA approval for its Botox competitor, including COVID delays that pushed back plant inspections. Now, it faces a new obstacle: a patent lawsuit from drug giant AbbVie. AbbVie subsidiary Allergan on Friday sued Revance, alleging the company’s proposed frown-line injection daxibotulinumtoxinA infringes several Botox patents. An FDA decision […]

AstraZeneca underpaid hundreds of female and Hispanic sales reps, feds say

AstraZeneca already faced one high-profile personnel issue this year in a case that resulted in a $2.4 million jury award for a former sales manager. Now, the company is paying up to resolve allegations of race- and gender-based pay discrimination for hundreds of sales reps. As part of a routine investigation, U.S. authorities found that from October […]

Eli Lilly’s Olympics campaign rewind: Leverage pandemic’s focus on health to assert its brand and assert its point of view

When Eli Lilly signed on to be an Olympic sponsor for the Tokyo Games in 2019, the pandemic was of course yet to come. When COVID-19 did hit, the Games were postponed and the newly busy pharma industry dove into researching vaccines and therapies. But as successful vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments came to market, […]

Is the cancer immunotherapy market up for disruption as AstraZeneca, Regeneron-Sanofi, cheaper Chinese offerings line up?

In the cancer immunotherapy market, Merck & Co. has established its Keytruda as the absolute leader. But AstraZeneca, a partnership between Regeneron and Sanofi plus several Chinese firms and their Western collaborators are all lining up their products for the most desirable piece of the cake: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Some new players are touting […]

Fierce Pharma Asia—Biogen-Eisai’s Alzheimer’s drug filing; Samsung-Roche deal growth; Sunovion-Otsuka neuro pact

Biogen and Eisai hope to follow up on Aduhelm’s approval by seeking an accelerated nod from the FDA for another anti-amyloid Alzheimer’s disease candidate. Samsung Biologics has seen its long-term contract manufacturing partnership with Roche swell in value in the past eight years. Otsuka is licensing four clinical candidates for neuropsychiatric disorders from Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma’s Sunovion. And more. 1. […]

Fierce Pharma awards best-in-class marketing campaigns in 3rd annual contest—and first live event

Argenx’s dive into rare disease myasthenia gravis (MG) swept three categories in the third annual Fierce Pharma Marketing Awards, which were held Wednesday night. Chosen as the best online film or video, best medical conference or event marketing for its premiere event and best consumer website, the trifecta came as a surprise to the winning pharma. […]

Despite rough start, Biogen’s Aduhelm should find footing, analysts say. But don’t expect much in 2021

As Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm makes headlines nearly every day—many covering the drug’s slower-than-expected uptake—one team of biopharma analysts is lowering its 2021 expectations for the med. Nonetheless, despite the drug sputtering out the gate, the team still sees a multibillion-dollar sales opportunity for the company in Alzheimer’s disease. Writing to investors Wednesday, analysts with RBC Capital Markets […]

Merck’s reported $11B Acceleron buy could help it diversify beyond Keytruda, but antitrust hurdles loom: analysts

Merck has emerged as a finalist to acquire Acceleron for around $11 billion. The deal dovetails with the Big Pharma company’s plan to diversify beyond its immuno-oncology megablockbuster Keytruda, but overlapping businesses could attract antitrust scrutiny, two analysts say. Merck is in advanced talks to buy Acceleron in what could be one of the New […]

Kyowa Kirin’s awareness message for physicians goes beyond skin-deep for Poteligeo rare cancer drug

Kyowa Kirin wants physicians to make the link between rare cancers that present on the skin to the blood connection underneath. Its new “Treat the Blood, Treat the Skin” campaign for Poteligeo, which is approved to treat two types of cutaneous lymphomas—mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome—is built on the insight that physicians often think of them as diseases […]