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Azar says drug pricing a top priority

Alex Azar – a former drug industry exec who Republicans nominated to run the Department of Health and Human Services – promised to lower drug prices that he said are too high, saying he would look at abuse of patent laws that delays generic competition.

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Auris Abandons Hearing-Loss Drug After Phase III Flop, Stock Sinks

Auris Medical Holding’s HEALOS Phase III clinical trial of AM-111 for acute inner ear hearing loss failed to meet its primary endpoint.

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UK approves world’s first OTC Viagra

Pfizer’s big-selling erectile dysfunction drug Viagra was given a green light for sale without a prescription in Britain, the first country to grant it over-the-counter status.

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Tens of thousands dying from $30 billion fake drugs trade, WHO says

One in 10 drugs sold in developing countries is fake or substandard, leading to tens of thousands of deaths with many of them of African children given ineffective treatments for pneumonia and malaria, health officials said.

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Merck KGaA, Pfizer’s immunotherapy fails in gastric cancer trial

Germany’s Merck KGaA suffered a setback in the development of the company’s key cancer immunotherapy Bavencio, which failed in a trial to prolong lives in gastric cancer patients when compared with standard chemotherapy.

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Takeda moves ahead in Zika race with launch of vaccine trial

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical moved ahead in the race to develop a vaccine for the mosquito-borne Zika virus, with the start of a clinical trial program backed by the U.S. government.

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Kyowa Hakko Kirin Announces FDA Acceptance for Filing and Priority Review Designation of Mogamulizumab’s Biologics License Application

Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. Ltd. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review the Biologics License Application for mogamulizumab to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) in patients who have received at least one prior systemic therapy, and has granted Priority Review status.

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Europe’s HIV epidemic growing at alarming rate, WHO warns

The number of people newly diagnosed with HIV in Europe reached its highest level in 2016 since records began, showing the region’s epidemic growing “at an alarming pace,” health officials said.

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Merck Plots 950-Job R&D Hub in London

Merck & Co. plans to move its European clinical operations to central London and bring in 150 new scientists and 800 additional staff.

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Israel’s Protalix to Slash 20 Percent of Workforce

Share prices for Protalix Biotherapeutics were up more than 3 percent this morning after the company reported positive results from its Phase I/II open label extension trial of pegunigalsidase alfa, PRX-102, for the treatment of Fabry disease. Despite that positive news on its pipeline, Protalix is reportedly set to terminate 50 employees, which amounts to about 20 percent of its workforce.

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June 2019 Focus: Payer access, biotech/biopharma, DTC, rare diseases, and more!

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