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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

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U.S. Senate’s McConnell urges quick action on Obamacare repeal bill

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged quick action on a recently introduced bill to repeal Obamacare and said it had a lot of support.

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Growing Catalent Takes Out Cook Pharmica in $950 Million Deal

Drug delivery company Catalent Inc. struck a deal to acquire privately held Cook Pharmica LLC, a contract manufacturing organization, for $950 million in cash.

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Boston’s Juniper Pharma Suspends Program, Cuts 8% of R&D Jobs and CMO Steps Down

Juniper Pharmaceuticals, after a strategic evaluation, decided to prioritize its resources on the company’s core businesses of Crinone progesterone gel and Juniper Pharma Services. As a result of the changes, Juniper plans to lay off 8 percent of its staff, mostly in the new product research-and-development areas.

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FDA approves GlaxoSmithKline’s triple lung drug

U.S. regulators approved GlaxoSmithKline’s three-in-one inhaler for chronic lung disease, a key new product as the group strives to keep its lead in respiratory medicine.

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FDA Approves XHANCE Spray for Nasal Polyps

Optinose announced that the U.S. FDA approved the company’s New Drug Application for XHANCE for treating nasal polyps in patients 18 years of age and older.

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Johnson & Johnson-Backed Science Project to Create Champions of Science, Challenge Stereotypes

Science needs champions. That is the belief of Johnson & Johnson’s Seema Kumar, vice president of Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication. And that is a belief being harnessed by a new J&J initiative that celebrates the legacy of Dr. Paul Janssen, one of the most prolific scientific innovators of the past century.

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Centron Repositions with New Executive Team

Integrated healthcare communications agency Centron has officially repositioned the company with a new vision, new offering, and new leadership team.

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Costly drugs to weigh on U.S. employers’ expenses in 2018: survey

U.S. employers are bracing for higher health care expenses in 2018 as spending on new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and hepatitis C is expected to rise more than 7 percent, according to consultancy firm Mercer.

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Nabriva’s pneumonia drug succeeds in late-stage trial

Nabriva Therapeutics’ experimental antibiotic lefamulin for CABP met the main goal of a late-stage study.

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Sinks $40 Million Into Immunocore for Infectious Disease R&D

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested up to $40 million in Oxford, UK-based Immunocore. Immunocore is a T-cell Receptor (TCR) company that has largely focused on immuno-oncology, but is making the transition to infectious diseases.

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Kaleido Biosciences Emerges From Stealth Mode With $65 Million and Will be Helmed by Fomer Cubist Exec

Kaleido Biosciences emerged from stealth mode with an additional capital raise, hitting a total of $65 million. In addition, the company appointed Mike Bonney as chief executive officer and chairman of the board.

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Roche Slammed With Partial Holds for Two Combo Cancer Trials

Two Roche drugs were placed on partial clinical hold as the U.S. FDA continues to examine potential dangers of checkpoint inhibitors following deaths associated with Merck’s Keytruda.

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Exclusive: FDA plans new compounding pharmacy policy, agency head says

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the agency is working on a new policy that would encourage more compounding pharmacies to register under a law enacted in the wake of a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak linked to one such company.

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European panel backs Janssen’s psoriasis drug

A European Medicines Agency panel recommended the approval of Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen’s drug guselkumab for treating plaque psoriasis in adults.

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EU agency backs Tesaro’s ovarian cancer drug

A European Medicines Agency panel recommended the approval of Tesaro Inc.’s key drug niraparib for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer.

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Drug industry on tenterhooks as Maryland price-gouging law nears

As U.S. consumer outrage grows over prescription drug prices, state authorities and patient advocates in Maryland are preparing to enforce the nation’s first law designed to punish drugmaker price-gouging.

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Bavarian Nordic Plummets 49% After Cancer Vaccine Flunks Late-Stage Test

Shares of Bavarian Nordic A/S were down more than 49 percent following the failure of the company’s late-stage prostate cancer drug Prostvac.

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Massachusetts’ Flexion Terminates R&D Deal With AstraZeneca

Flexion Therapeutics scrapped an eight-year-old agreement with pharma giant AstraZeneca to develop an end-stage osteoarthritis treatment.

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FDA Approves First Cancer Biosimilar

Amgen, in partnership with Allergan, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its biosimilar for Genentech’s Avastin. The biosimilar Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb) was approved for a broad swath of cancer indications.

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Santhera shares plummet after negative CHMP opinion

Swiss drugmaker Santhera’s shares plunged nearly 60 percent after a European panel recommended against approving one of the company’s drugs to be used in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

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