Pharmaceutical & Biotech News and Insights



Amazon puts plan on pharmaceutical sales hold
Amazon has put its plan to sell pharmaceutical drugs on hold. For months they have been trying to get hospitals to come on board with their plan but due to Amazon's lack of a proper cold-chain logistics plan, they are hesitant. Amazon is still moving forward with other healthcare projects. More news to follow. Click here  to view the entire article. ... 
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Shire agrees to deal with Servier
Shire has agreed sell its oncology business to Servier, based in France, for $2.4 billion deal. Servier will gain an immediate presence in the US with products such as Oncaspar, which Shire acquired from Baxalta. Shire will now focus on rare disease. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Promising results for Roche
After a December announcement that Roche's Tecentrig, Avastin and chemo together had cut patients' risk of cancer worsening and death, they have just released more survival data. Roche has revealed that in a phase 3 trial, the two meds, combined with chemo, had beaten out an Avastin-chemo combo at prolonging lung cancer patients' lives. The trial, focused on previously untreated non-small-cell lung cancer patients, showed that the survival benefit extended across various subgroups, and it was seen in patients with tumors expressing varying levels of PD-L1. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Alka-Seltzer Recall
Bayer, for a second time in less that a year, has issued a recall on certain Alka-Seltzer Plus packages that were sold in Kroger, Walgreens, CVS and Walmart stores after February 9th. The company stated that these packages may contain the wrong ingrediants and cause "serious health consequences". Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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FierceMadness - 2018 Drug Name Tournament
When filling out your basketball brackets, have a little pharma fun with this FierceMadness 2018 Drug Name Tournament. Click here to view the bracket. ... 
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Olympics Pharma ad breakdown
According to data from real-time TV ad tracker iSpot.tv, fifteen prescription drug brand ads ran 221 times on national TV during the February run of the PyeongChang games on NBC. This represented 4.1% Spend Share of the Voice for all ads running during the Olympics. The top three ads came from Merck and Pfizer. Merck spent $11.3 million on cancer drug Keytruda. Meanwhile, Pfizer at the Olympics spent $10.9 million on commercials for its metastatic breast cancer treatment Ibrance and another $8.3 million on a Xeljanz XR spot for its rheumatoid arthritis indication. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Hepatitis C launches have dominated the last two decades
When looking back on the last two decades of drug launches, Hepatitis C medications have been the most successful. Multiple sclerosis, cancer and eye disease have as well with launches in the last few years. All-in-all there are five Hep C medications in the top 10, with the top three coming from Gilead Sciences. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Phase 3 results are promising for Aimmune
California based biotech company, Aimmune, has presented strong phase 3 trial data for its peanut allergy treatment, AR101. The 12-month study, which enrolled nearly 500 children who are intolerant to peanut protein showed promising results. Each child was randomized to receive AR101 or placebo. After a 22-week dose escalation phase, participants continued to take 300mg a day of peanut flour AR101 or placebo until the end of the study. More than 2/3 of the patients on AR101 tolerated 600mg (about two peanuts or a small bite of a peanut butter sandwich) or more of peanut protein compared to only 4% in the control group. There are, however, some concerns with the safety data as about one-fifth of the participants dropped out of the study siting adverse events such as GI issues and systemic hypersensitivity as the reason for leaving. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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Amgen’s tax savings means new jobs and new biologics plant
Time and size were determining factors in Amgen's decision to build a new plant in Singapore several years ago. Now that they have put next-generation bio-manufacturing technologies into place, they will be able to build a facility with a smaller footprint in about 18 months. Motivated by US tax breaks, they plan to invest up to $300 million to build the plant and hire about 300 new workers. Expect more details on location in the second quarter of 2018. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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FDA fast track status for Zika Vaccine
Takeda has been awarded fast track status for their vaccine for treatment of the Zika virus. Currently, there are no approved vaccines or drugs against the infection, which can cause microcephaly and other congenital brain abnormalities in infants born to infected mothers. For Takeda, the designation means more frequent interactions with the agency and eligibility for accelerated approval and a priority review. Click here to view the entire article. ... 
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