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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

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DURECT Pain Med Fails Phase III

DURECT Corporation announced that its Posimir (SABER – Bupivacaine) for post-surgical pain failed a Phase III clinical trial.

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Celgene Ends Two Phase III Trials

Celgene is scrapping a late-stage Crohn’s disease drug it acquired in a $710 million deal three years ago following an interim data analysis.

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FDA teams with medical companies in Puerto Rico to tackle shortages

The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the agency was working with several pharmaceutical and medical device companies in Puerto Rico to prevent shortages of medical products in the United States as it joins a massive effort to help rebuild the island that was ravaged by Hurricane Maria.

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Short on staff: Nursing crisis strains U.S. hospitals

Hospitals nationwide face tough choices when it comes to filling nursing jobs. They are paying billions of dollars collectively to recruit and retain nurses rather than risk patient safety or closing down departments, according to Reuters interviews with more than 20 hospitals, including some of the largest U.S. chains.

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Astellas and Universal Cells Announce Collaboration Utilizing Universal Donor Cell Technology

Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Universal Cells Inc. have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement to research, develop and commercialize a novel cell therapy for an undisclosed indication. The collaboration will utilize Universal Cells’ Universal Donor Cell technology to create cell therapy products that can be administered to any recipient without the need for Human Leukocyte Antigen matching.

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Merck cyber attack may cost insurers $275 million: Verisk’s PCS

Insurers could pay $275 million to cover the insured portion of drugmaker Merck & Co.’s loss from a cyber attack in June 2017, according to a forecast by Verisk Analytics Inc.’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.

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White House says rollback of Obamacare must be part of short-term fix

A senior White House aide said U.S. President Donald Trump would demand steps toward repealing Obamacare in any healthcare legislation, comments that cast doubt on the prospects for a short-term bill to shore up insurance markets.

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AstraZeneca Inks R&D Deal With Ramaswamy’s Roivant for Hush-Hush Indication

Vivek Ramaswamy’s parent company, Roivant Sciences, inked a development deal with Swiss-based AstraZeneca. The deal appears consistent with Ramaswamy’s business model – acquire cast-off compounds from big pharmaceutical companies at bargain-bin prices and convince investors to invest in developing them.

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Pfizer Takes Stake in Rhythm Pharmaceuticals

Pfizer snapped up a small percentage of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on treating rare genetic disorders that lead to obesity.

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Boehringer Ingelheim partners with TARGET PharmaSolutions to Progress NASH Research

TARGET PharmaSolutions Inc. – a real-world clinical data company – and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH entered into a multi-year strategic partnership for TARGET-NASH, a longitudinal observational study that evaluates patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

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Imprimis Pharma to take on Allergan’s Restasis with cheaper product

Shares of Imprimis Pharmaceuticals sky-rocketed as much as 91.1 percent after the company said it would offer a cheaper option to Allergan’s dry eye disease medicine Restasis.

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China biotech’s ‘coming out party’ masks long road ahead

Investors are betting on China’s potential to feed the global pharmaceutical pipeline, putting a multi-billion-dollar price tag on a handful of stocks, even as the country struggles to close a huge R&D gap with the West.

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FDA approves Gilead cancer gene therapy

U.S. regulators approved a new therapy for a type of lymphoma, which was developed by Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Kite Pharma.

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Novo Nordisk wins U.S. backing of new diabetes drug

Novo Nordisk will take aim at Eli Lilly in the growing diabetes market after an advisory panel to the U.S. FDA gave the green light to its semaglutide drug.

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Ignyta Stock Booms on Promising Mid-Stage Lung Cancer Data

Ignyta updated results from its STARTRK-2 clinical trial of entrectinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), causing company stock to jump about five percent before settling down.

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Visterra Inks $1B Deal With Vir Biotechnology

Two weeks after securing more than $46 million in financing, Visterra struck a deal worth up to $1 billion with startup Vir Biotechnology.

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Lilly, CureVac Strike $1.8B mRNA R&D Pact

Eli Lilly signed an R&D collaboration deal with CureVac that could total up to $1.8 billion to develop and commercialize up to five possible cancer vaccines.

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Cancer drug prices rising far faster than inflation

The prices of injectable cancer drugs – even older medicines around since the 1990s – are increasing at a rate far higher than inflation, researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Trump backs away from Senate deal on stabilizing Obamacare

President Donald Trump Backed away from a bipartisan deal from two U.S. senators to stabilize Obamacare by restoring subsidies to health insurers, one day after signaling his support for the plan.

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Allergan ruling casts doubt on tribal patent strategy

A U.S. judge’s ruling invalidating Allergan Plc’s patents on its blockbuster $1.5 billion dry-eye medicine Restasis has cast doubt on the company’s novel strategy to enlist a Native American tribe to help shield those patents from challenge by generic drugmakers, legal experts said.

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