Catalent to purchase Paragon Bioservices

Catalent has bought Paragon Bioservices, a contract development and manufacturing organization for $1.2 billion. This is the second major buyout of a gene therapy manufacturer in the last three weeks.

This deal will get Catalent a newly completed commercial-scale manufacturing facility near Baltimore and position Catalent firmly to capture some of the $40 billion gene therapy market.

2018 top 15 pharmaceutical companies by revenue

There aren’t too many surprises in Fierce Pharma’s list of the top 15 Big Pharma companies in 2018. Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis and Merck & Co were listed in the top 5 with Sanofi slipping 2 spots to number 7 and Gilead slipping 3 spots to number 13. Companies moving up the ranking were Bristol-Myers Squibb who moved up from 15 to 12 after buying Celgene. For next year, keep an eye on Takeda who recently purchased Shire.

Astellas provides Phase 3 data

Astellas, a pharmaceutical company, received FDA approval for Xospata in November 2018. This drug is for treatment of adult patients who have relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia with the FLT3 mutation.

On Monday at American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, Astellas released Phase 3 data that showed that patients lived a median 9.3 months after therapy, compared with 5.6 months for those receiving salvage chemotherapy.

Pear Therapeutics raises $64 million

After receiving FDA last month for its prescription software to treat opioid addiction, Pear Therapeutics has posted $64 million in new fundraising.

The reSET-O prescription digital therapeutic for opioid use disorder consists of a 12-week cognitive behavioral therapy program along with outpatient treatment. It includes buprenorphine, a standard medication for opioid addiction, while helping to reinforce positive behaviors through interactive therapy lessons…

Lilly to acquire Loxo Oncology

Lilly has confirmed that it will acquire targeted cancer drug maker Loxo Oncology for $8 billion. This will give the Indianapolis based company the TRK inhibitor Vitrakvi, the first drug approved by the FDA to target tumors according to a genetic abnormality rather than the location of the cancer.

This comes just days after Bristol-Myers Squibb announced its $74 billion acquisition of Celgene.

Bayer restructuring

Bayer announced last week that it will close its hemophilia manufacturing facility in Wuppertal, Germany, and lay off 350 workers. Its recombinant factor VIII production will take place at its site in Berkeley, California. The cuts in Germany come on top of the announced layoffs in October of more than 225 manufacturing workers in Berkeley.