Pharmaceutical & Biotech News and Insights



BARDA funding Zika vaccine
We are only scratching the surface of the long term effects of the Zika virus. Currentyly many companies are diligently working to create a vaccine to prevent the disease all together. To date, The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) have committed $433 million in funds to fight the Zica virus. Most recently awarding Sanofi Pasteur $43 million to help fund Phase II development of its Zika vaccine, named Zika purified inactivated virus (ZPIV). If the Phase II testing is successful, BARDA could give another $130 million for further studies. Click here to read more about the Zika vaccine research. ... 
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Pfizer wants black-box warning removed
Pfizer is fighting to have the black-box warning due to neuropsychiatric side effects removed from its stop-smoking drug Chantix. Recently, Pfizer completed an 8,000 patient study comparing Chantix to GSK's Zyban and to nicotine patch therapy. The study included patients with and without a history of mental illness. It concluded that the drug did not significantly increase the risk of neuropsychiatric side effects. However, FDA scientists aren't so quick to agree with the results. They cited inconsistencies in the data-collection methods and the characterization of some side effects of the medication. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Allergan's CEO says no big price increases
In a time when pharmaceutical companies are raising rates multiple times a year and with double and triple digit increases, Allergan's CEO, Brent Sounders, has said they will limit price increases. When they do increase prices, it will be just once a year and the increase will be in the single digits. This is welcomed news as many pharmaceutical companies have been under fire recently for skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Mylan to launch a generic to EpiPen
It has been an interesting week for Mylan who last week raised the cost of its 2-pack of EpiPens to an astonishing $600. The company received immediate backlash from patients, doctors and congress. After refusing to reduce the price, Mylan last Thursday offered $300 in EpiPen out-of-pocket assistance at the pharmacy for patients. Now the company has announced it plans to launch a generic in the upcoming weeks. The cost of the generic 2-pack would be $300. While this is welcomed news, it does not help all the families who have already had to purchase high priced pens for their children who are heading back to school or explain why the cost of the pens have increased from $100 in 2009 to $600 just 7 years later. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Pfizer to close four distribution sites
Pfizer has seen significant revenue increases from its $15 billion buyout of Hospira last year. Q2 earnings show an 11% increase in revenue. With this good news, comes a little bit of bad news as Pfizer also announced that it will close the legacy distribution centers that were part of last year's buyout. Centers will close in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and King of Prussia, PA. Distribution from those sites will move to centers in Memphis and Pleasant Prairie, WI. When all is said and done, just over 100 jobs will be lost. Click here to view this entire article. ... 
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Allergan plans new US Headquarters in New Jersey
Allergan was eyeing a move to Lansdale, PA but has decided to relocate its US headquarters to Madison, NJ. The plan includes combining its Parsippany location with three other operations throughout the state to help the company better collaborate and be more efficient. The new location in Madison used to house Pfizer before it was sold 2014. The renovations and move is expected to be done by the end of 2017. This will keep over 1,000 jobs in New Jersey and create nearly 300 more. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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A new manufacturing and distribution center is coming to NJ
A new manufacturing and distribution center is coming to East Windsor, NJ. Aurobindo Pharma USA, an Indian drugmaker, has purchased 90 acres on Windsor Center Drive and plans to build a new facility that will eventually employ 400 to 500 individuals. In addition, Aurobindo is spending $31.7 million to turn a medical facility in Durham, NC into a manufacturing site. This site will have about 275 workers. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Another example of how far technology has come!
GlaxoSmithKline Plc will be conducting a rheumatoid arthritis study using Apple's Inc.'s ResearchKit. The company has created an app that will use the phone's censors to allow them to track motion of the study's participants. GSK hopes to track the mobility of 300 people over a 3 month period. Additionally, they will be asked to input information regarding physical and emotional symptoms. If the trial is a success, it could increase the pharmaceutical industry's desire to use Apple products for future research. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Companies have increased prices on top-selling medications in Q1
Despite the public outcry and congressional discussions from Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant's drug price increases last fall, many companies followed suit and have raised prices on their top-selling medications in the first quarter of 2016. Even though there have been many complaints, this has led to increased profits. Price increases in big-selling medications were so common in the first quarter that Wall Street Journal found more than two-thirds of the 20 largest biopharma companies used the move to grow sales. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Biologics exclusivity may be reduced
In 2009, President Obama proposed decreasing the exclusivity of biologic drugs from 12 years to 7 years. In the years since, federal efforts to control drug pricing have failed due to a deadlocked Congress. Biological products often represent the cutting-edge of biomedical research but are often quite pricey. U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. John McCain have joined forces and are introducing the Price Relief, Innovation and Competition for Essential Drugs (PRICED) Act. "Far too many Americans are being unfairly burdened by the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs," Sen. McCain said. "It's simply unacceptable that patients have to worry about filling a prescription because they can't afford to pay for it." Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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