The working week is nearing an end. And what a week it has been. So many interesting developments, yes? Still, there is much to do. Like you, we have deadlines, projects and a few ideas. All of which means that today is a good day to get cracking. Here are a few items to help you on your way....
A federal appeals court upheld a jury's finding that Wyeth wasn't liable in the case of an Arkansas woman who got breast cancer after taking the Prempro hormone-replacement therapy, the Associated Press reports. Helene Rush sued the drugmaker in 2005. In her appeal, Rush claimed the jury received improper instructions and that a federal judge allowed improper expert testimony while disallowing expert testimony for Rush. The jury last year ruled in favor of Wyeth.
Sepracor is shifting its $300 million creative advertising account for the Lunesta sleeping pill to Kaplan Thaler Group from McCann Erickson Worldwide following a review, according to Advertising Age. Sepracor spent $298 million on US measured media in 2006, and $230 million between January and September 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The drugmaker is in the midst of pursuing an expansion of the Lunesta franchise abroad. Last year, alliances were struck with Glaxo and Eisai for international marketing.
AstraZeneca may cut 244 jobs at its research facility in Alderley Edge in the UK, The Manchester Evening News writes. The site is used to research a number of future treatments including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs. The announcement comes as the drugmaker reported a disappointing earnings report. AstraZeneca employs 5,000 in Cheshire at sites in Alderley Park and at a manufacturing site in Macclesfield. Some 3,500 of the jobs are involved in scientific research, with many employees recognised as key researchers in their fields.
Two shareholders have accused Lilly execs and directors of recklessly disregarding risks posed by illegal Zyprexa marketing tactics, the Associated Press writes. Lilly spokesman Phil Belt calls the lawsuit "groundless." Settling thousands of patient lawsuits over the drug has cost Lilly more than $1 billion over claims the drugmaker failed to warn about the potential for diabetes or weight gain. Lilly also could pay more than $1 billion to state and federal governments resulting from a a separate investigation.
The European Commission approved Novartis' Galvus diabetes pill, paving the way for launches in Europe. The move had been expected. Novartis received a positive opinion from European health authorities in December on Galvus after it made changes to prescribing recommendations following liver safety concerns, Reuters notes. But Novartis may not sell Galvus in the US, where the FDA has repeatedly delayed approval.
Novartis will propose Ann Fudge, former Young & Rubicam chairman and ceo, as a new board member at its annual meeting, the drugmaker says. Fudge also serves on the General Electric board and on the board of overseers of Harvard University. Novartis board members proposed for re-election are Ulrich Lehner, Alexandre Jetzer, as well as Pierre Landolt and Peter Burckhardt.