Pharmaceutical & Biotech News and Insights



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. ... 
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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. ... 
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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. ... 
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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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Biogen shares jump about 4%
In December, Biogen's drug, Spinraza, was approved to treat a rare infant disease. In the first quarter of 2017, the drug has generated more revenue than expected, raising the company's stock about 4%. Sprinraza is the first drug approved to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a leading genetic cause of death in infants. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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FDA approves 12 new drugs in Q1
In recent years the FDA has averaged between 6 and 10 new drugs in the first quarter of the year. This year they have endorsed 13 and approved 12 new drugs including Ocrevus from Roche and Dupixent from partners Sanofi and Regeneron. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Teva receives FDA approval
Teva has just received FDA approval for Austedo, a medication to treat chorea, the involuntary, random and sudden movements that occur in about 90% of patients with Huntington's disease. The orphan drug is just the second green-lighted for chorea treatment and the first-ever deuterated product to win the FDA's favor. Teva plans on pricing the drug at less than half of its competitor Xenazine. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Adverse event reports on the rise
Since 2004 the adverse events reports filed with the FDA have risen five-fold with 1.2 million reports filed in 2015. This news comes on the heels of the new administration promising to speed up the time it takes drugs to get to the market. Even though rates are increasing the FDA has pointed out that not all events reported are directly related to the cause of the drug and the FDA says the data should not be used to estimate a drug's risk. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Amgen's patent fight may push Praluent off the market
Due to an ongoing patent fight, Sanofi and Regeneron's cholesterol drug, Praluent, is gradually losing its market share to Amgen's Repatha. For the week of January 20, Repatha's prescription total hit 3,231, ahead of Praluent's 2,859, Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal reported in a Monday note. The 53%-to-47% ratio is the largest weekly gap since themiddle of last year, the analyst wrote. The fight over the patent comes from the claim that Sanofi and Regeneron knowingly stepped on Amgen's patents when developing Praluent. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Eli Lilly to cut 485 jobs
Due to disappointing EXPEDITION3 trial results, where Alzheimer patients with mild to moderate levels of the disease showed no significant improvements compared to the placebo group, Eli Lilly has decided to lay off 485 employees. Most of the layoffs are in the Alzheimer's unit with the remaining in the animal health division. Click here to read this entire article. ... 
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