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FDA approves expanded use of Bristol-Myers’ skin cancer drug

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the expanded use of its cancer drug, Opdivo, to treat an additional form of advanced skin cancer. Opdivo, first approved in December 2014, raked in worldwide revenue of $467 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30. The drug has been approved for […]

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Novartis heart failure medicine Entresto wins EU approval

The European Commission has approved Novartis’ Entresto drug for the treatment of adult patients with symptomatic chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, the Swiss drugmaker said on Tuesday.   Entresto is the first new drug in decades for helping patients whose lives are in danger because their hearts cannot pump blood efficiently. Analysts estimate […]

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Docs, and patients, should remember to use generics

(Reuters Health) – Prescribing generic medicines instead of brand name drugs whenever possible cuts costs, improves patient adherence and improves health outcomes, according to a new recommendation from the American College of Physicians. “Generic medications are cheaper and patients are more likely to get those prescriptions filled,” said Dr. Amir Qaseem of the American College […]

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Bristol-Myers signs deal with U.N. group for generic hepatitis C drug

A United Nations-backed organization working to cut the price of HIV drugs said it had signed a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co to allow generic versions of the company’s hepatitis C drug to be sold in 112 low- and middle-income countries. The drug, Daklinza, is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. Hepatitis […]

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Novartis AG Fesses Up to Valeant-Like Pharmacy Scheme in $390 Million Settlement

BASEL, Switzerland – Novartis AG (NVS) will pay $390 million to settle a civil lawsuit related to the kickback payments to specialty pharmacy companies that distributed the drugs Exjade and Myfortic, Novartis announced Friday. The settlement, which is between Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation (NVS), a U.S. subsidiary of Novartis AG, will be paid to both the […]

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AstraZeneca Sells Crohn’s Drug Rights to Perrigo for $380 Million

AstraZeneca enters into agreement with Perrigo for rights to Entocort in the US Divestment  further sharpens focus on three main therapy areas Agreement follows ex-US divestment of Entocort in July 2015   23 November 2015 AstraZeneca today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Perrigo Company plc for the divestment of US rights […]

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Pfizer Marries Allergan in $160 Billion Deal With Pfizer’s Read to Stay as CEO and Chairman

After three weeks of speculation New York-based Pfizer Inc. (PFE) announced today that it was merging with Dublin, Ireland-based Allergan plc (AGN). Board members for both companies unanimously voted Sunday to approve the deal, which will have a total enterprise value of about $160 billion.   The deal will be a stock transaction of about […]

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Roche buoyed by early data on atezolizumab in advanced melanoma

Swiss drugmaker Roche released on Monday what it called encouraging early data on cancer drug atezolizumab in combination therapy for treating a form of advanced melanoma.   A phase Ib study of atezolizumab (MPDL3280A), used in combination with the BRAF inhibitor Zelboraf for previously untreated BRAFV600 mutation-positive inoperable or metastatic melanoma, showed adverse events were […]

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Bumper haul of expensive new drugs heads to U.S. and Europe

Drug companies have brought a host of expensive new medicines to market in the United States and Europe this year, figures show, another bumper haul for an industry often accused of over-charging. Drug prices are set to be a major issue in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election next year, with Democratic candidate Hillary […]

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Pfizer-Allergan Talks About a $3-4.5 Billion Break-Up Fee, Making Allergan the Buyer Instead

Yesterday’s announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department of rules changes to make tax inversions more difficult, might stop the pending Pfizer Inc. (PFE)-Allergan, Inc. (AGN) deal, but insiders are indicating it may be structured differently to avoid those changes. Predominantly, there is speculation that instead of Pfizer acquiring Allergan, the deal will be structured in […]

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Sanofi, AstraZeneca swap compounds in new twist on open drug R&D

French drugmaker Sanofi and Britain’s AstraZeneca said on Friday they had agreed a direct exchange of 210,000 chemical compounds from their respective libraries in a new twist on the drive to boost open innovation. In a bid to increase the number of leads for new medicines, and save both time and money, pharmaceutical companies are […]

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Embattled Valeant (VRX) to Offer Cash and Stock to Keep Anxious U.S. Employees

LAVAL, Quebec – Embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) is offering stock and cash incentives in an effort to keep key employees from jumping to another company, Reuters reported this morning. A Valeant spokesperson told Reuters that approximately 70 employees “below the executive level” have been offered incentives to stay with the company. It is […]

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UK cost watchdog turns down Amgen’s new cholesterol drug

Amgen’s new injectable cholesterol drug Repatha has been turned down for use on Britain’s state health service, underscoring a worldwide debate about the value of such pricey medicines. Repatha belongs to a potent new class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors that are extremely effective at lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol. But the National Institute for […]

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Global drug spending to hit $1.4 trillion in 2020: IMS

Global spending on medicines will reach $1.4 trillion in 2020, driven by increased healthcare access in emerging markets and high-priced new drugs for cancer and other diseases, according to a forecast by IMS Health released on Wednesday. That is up from about $1.07 trillion this year, representing a compound annual growth rate of 4 to […]

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U.S. doctor group calls for ban on drug advertising to consumers

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers, saying the ads drive patients to demand expensive treatments over less costly ones that are also effective. The influential doctors’ group said the new policy reflects physicians’ concerns that marketing spending on a proliferation of […]

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Depomed Acquires U.S. Rights to Late-Stage, First-in-Class Pain Product from Grunenthal

NEWARK, Calif., Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Depomed, Inc. (NASDAQ: DEPO) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the U.S. and Canadian rights to cebranopadol and its related follow-on compound from Grünenthal GmbH (“Grünenthal”). Cebranopadol is a novel, first-in-class analgesic in development for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic nociceptive […]

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AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso to cost $12,750 for a month’s supply

AstraZeneca’s new lung cancer pill Tagrisso, which won early U.S. approval on Friday, will cost $12,750 for a month’s supply.   A company spokeswoman said on Tuesday the wholesale acquisition cost was comparable to other targeted oral lung cancer therapies, such as Pfizer’s Xalkori and Novartis’ Zykadia. AstraZeneca has previously said it believes Tagrisso could generate […]

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How Vertex’s Long-Term $500K Gamble Paid Off with a $30 Billion Return

November 17, 2015By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff   Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) presents an unusual business model one that has been the focus of a Harvard case study. In short, in 2001 the company took a relatively small grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and spun it into a highly successful development program. […]

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Alcoholism drug can wake up dormant HIV to be killed, study finds

Scientists seeking a cure for the AIDS virus have made an unexpected discovery with a drug designed to combat alcoholism which they say could be a critical part of a strategy to “wake up” and then kill dormant HIV hiding in the body. The drug, branded as Antabuse but also sold as a generic called […]

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FDA approves J&J drug for advanced multiple myeloma

U.S. regulators have approved an experimental treatment from Johnson & Johnson that may offer hope to multiple myeloma patients who have run out of other options against the blood cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday said it had approved Darzalex (daratumumab) for patients who had already undergone at least three prior standard […]

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