Pharmaceutical & Biotech
News and Insights
Wellpepper wins the Alexa Diabetes Challenge sponsored by Merck
Merck sponsored an Alexa Diabetes Challenge with at $125,000 prize for the first place finisher. They had 96 submissions from researchers, software companies, startups and healthcare providers, which were tapered down to five finalists. These finalists then presented their ideas live to an audience and panel of judges in late September. The winner was Wellpepper who designed Sugarpod, a voice-enabled diabetes care plan. This allows users to use their voices to complete daily tasks, from recording blood sugar levels and mealtimes to tracking their medication adherence. Wellpepper also created a porotype scale to use in conjunction with the diabetes care plan that can scan and record images of patient's feet. Leading to earlier detection of foot ulcers, the leading source of amputations form people with diabetes. Click here to view the entire article ...
Merck's Keytruda receives stomach cancer approval
The good news keeps rolling in for Merck's Keytruda. After receiving 3 FDA approvals in May, Merck has just received the go ahead for the treatment of two types of recurrent or advanced gastric cancer. Patients must have already received at least two prior rounds of therapy. Click here to view the entire article. ...
New CEO for Teva
After a seven month search, Teva has a new CEO, Kåre Schultz who is coming over from Lundbeck. Schultz joined Lunbeck since 2015 and was instrumental in the company's turnaround. Teva, recently announced it would be laying off 7,000 people, had indicated it was looking for a leader with a high level of cost-cutting experience. Within a year of Schultz's arrival at Lundbeck, profits were exceeding expectations, and revenue was on the rise, too. Schultz will be relocating to Teva's home country, Isreal. Interim CEO Yitzhak Peterburg will step down when Schultz arrives. Click here to view the entire article. ...
Gilead to purchase Kite Pharma
Gilead Sciences has announced an $11.9 billion buyout of Kite Pharma which includes the biotech's promising CAR-T treatment Axi-Cel. In the last year, Kite and Axi-Cell have moved into a leadership position with only Novartis ahead on the push to market. As CAR-T technology nears the market, the cost of the treatment has yet to be determined. Novartis will likely have to set numbers first as its CAR-T medication CTL019, which received FDA backing in June, is positioned to reach the market ahead of Kite. The Kite and Novartis medications are also up for two different rare disease indications, with Kite's FDA action date being November 29th. Click here to read the entire article. ...
10 years of biopharma rumors and deals
Enjoy a look back at 10 years of rumors and deals in biopharma and how they changed the industry landscape. Whether big or small, bidding contests or smooth transactions, some have worked well while others not so much. Click here to view the entire article. ...
Roche’s MS drug, Ocrevus, is generating millions
In its first quarter on the market, Roche's MS drug, Ocrevus, has generated $200 million. This has caught the market by surprise given the fact that Roche priced the drug at a 25% discount compared to other MS drugs on the market. Ocrevus is used for the treatment of two forms of multiple sclerosis. The figures are so good that Roche had decided to raise its 2017 forecast. Click here to view this entire article. ...
IBM Watson and Novartis to team up on the fight against breast cancer
IBM and Novartis are teaming up to improve care and outcomes for breast cancer patients. In a statement from Novartis, the company will bring its breast cancer knowledge, while IBM will contribute its data analytics and machine learning chops. The collaboration will use real-world data to better understand the expected outcomes of various breast cancer treatments. The tools that IBM markets help oncologists make treatment decisions for cancer patients and assist the matching of patients to clinical trials. Meanwhile, Novartis who markets four breast cancer drugs, has a number of candidates in its pipeline. Click here to read the entire article. ...
California bill may stop speaking fees and ban pharma gifts
If passed, a state-level bill, sponsored by Mike McGuire, would put an end to most drugmaker payments to physicians. Physicians can still be paid for conducting clinical trials but restrictions would be put in place for traveling and entertaining, speaking and consulting fees and free dinner. According to ProPulica data, California doctors racked up more than $1.4 billion in payments and gifts in 2014, a figure larger than any other state's total. Click here to view the entire article. ...
Changes for manufacturers of codeine and tramadol
After nearly 50 years of studying the side effects of the pain medications codeine and tramadol, the FDA is now taking action against their manufacturers. The will mean major label changes on prescriptions containing codeine and tramadol for children. Both drugs are opioids which can cause breathing problems in children. They have advised against the use of codeine to treat pain or coughs or tramadol to treat pain in children under 12. It also said nursing mothers should steer clear of the drugs. Click here to read the entire article. ...
GSK investing in Rockville site
GSK plans to invest $139 million into its Rockville, Maryland site to expand bulk drug capacity by about 50%. This comes as news that the US demand for Benylsta, its drug to fight lupus is growing and a pending approval of a new formulation later this year. Click here to view the entire article. ...
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