Pharmaceutical & Biotech News and Insights



Recent Hirings
Here are some of the newly announced additions to company's throughout the industry. Rohan Palekar was named CEO of Avanir Pharmaceuticals. Syndax Pharmaceuticals has named Allan Shaw Chief Financial Officer. Dr. Craig Granowitz was named Chief Medical Officer at Amarin Pharmaceuticals On another note, Johnson & Johnson is cutting 3,000 jobs to save $1 billion to help its lagging medical devices business. Additionally, Nephron is laying off 250 employees in Orlando between March 18 and April 1. Click here to learn more about what these executives have to offer in their new roles. ... 
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Acorda buys Biotie for $363M
Acorda Therapies has made a statement that it is serious about Parkinson's disease. In late 2014, they purchased Civitas Therapies in an attempt to expand into Parkinson's. This week, they have taken this a step further with a $363 million dollar purchase of Biotie Therapies, a Finnish Biotech and Pharma company. With this purchase, Acorda acquires another Parkinson's treatment, tozadenant, which is close to a Phase III trial and looks to be on target for review in late 2018. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Setback for Teva's MS drug
Based on new data, Teva was advised to stop using the highest dose of its drug, laqinimod, used to treat symptoms in multiple sclerosis. The high dose of the drug has been associated with cardiovascular risks in two clinical trials. Laquinimod is Teva's follow up to its MS therapy Copaxon, which lost patent protection last year. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Merck denied by FDA panel
Merck's Vytorin and Zetia are both currently approved to reduce cholestrol LDL levels. In an effort to expand the usage of these drugs Merck asked the FDA for a label update following an 18,000 patient Improve-It study that showed a reduction in the rate of heart attacks and strokes in patients with coronary heart disease. The FDA reviewers voted 10-to-5 against approval noting that even though there was a small reduction in elderly and diabetic patients, the benefit was too small to warrant the approval. Click here to view entire article. ... 
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A look back at top Biotech stories of 2015
As 2015 comes to an end, here is a look back on some to the top happenings in the Biotech industry. From Turing Pharmaceuticals raising the price of an old drug by 5,000% to Genocea's herpes vaccine meeting its goals in a Phase II trial there was plenty of exciting news throughout the year. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Pfizer and Allergan to merge
Pfizer and Allergan have agreed to a $160 billion dollar merger that will create the world's biggest pharmaceutical company. Pfizer's Ian Read will serve as CEO and Allergan's Brent Saunders will serve as president and chief operating officer. The deal will be completed as a reverse merger with Allergan buying Pfizer. This will ensure that Pfizer's tax rate will drop from 25% to around 17-18%. Click here to learn more about this merger. ... 
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Regeneron continues to grow
Regeneron announced on Thursday that it plans to expand its New York campus and add about 300 jobs. This is in addition to a 1,200 employee expansion this year with 945 of those new positions located in New York. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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New Leaders
Here are some of the newly announced additions to company's throughout the industry. Insys has appointed the company's chairman and founder, John Kapoor, its new CEO. Juno Therapeutics appointed former vice president and general manager of Amgen Oncology, Robert Azelby, its new Chief Commercial Officer. Jounce Therapeutics appointed former chief medical officer at Promedior, Dr. Elizabeth Trehu, its Chief Medical Officer. Click here to learn more about what these executives have to offer in their new roles. ... 
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Eli Lilly shuts down global clinical study
Shares of Eli Lilly dropped 10% on the news that the company is shutting down its global Phase III study. The trial's lead drug, evacetrapib, is meant to avert heart attacks and strokes by blocking the protein CETP. The clinical trial had enrolled over 12,000 patients in 37 countries. Click here to read the entire article. ... 
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Merck's Keytruda gets FDA approval
Merck received an accelerated approval for its drug used to fight advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Keytruda's approval is for patients whose cancer has progressed after other treatments and who have tumors that express a protein called PD-L1. Lung cancer is the most common form of the disease and second in the United States advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Click here to view the entire article ... 
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