Biopharmaceutical News-Week20-2014

Biopharmaceutical News #3


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Acquisitions Mergers Joint-ventures

May 13, 2014

Shire has agreed to acquire San-Diego based biopharmaceutical company Lumena Pharmaceuticals for $260 million upfront plus an undisclosed net cash on success fees. The deal will reinforce Shire portfolio in rare-diseases and give them access for rare liver diseases.


Eurofins Scientific, a French-based company, has agreed to acquire ViraCor-IBT, a Missouri-based company, for $255 million. ViraCor-IBT produces diagnostic tests for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctor offices.


May 15, 2014

Boston Scientific announced that it is acquiring Bayer’s AG interventional business for $415 million for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.



May 13, 2014

Mark Reilly, the former Chinese General Manager of GSK and two Chinese colleagues are being charged by the Chinese authorities with corruption for bribing hospitals and doctors, following a one year long probe finding. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and are harsher than many China-based industry insiders and executives had expected.


May 14, 2014

Several pharmaceutical companies are teaming up in order to develop immunotherapy combinations:

 Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celldex did so to assess the safety the tolerability and the efficacy of their investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab and Celldex CD27 antibody varlilumab.

At the same time AstraZeneca biological unit, MedImmune and Incyte also announced a collaboration to test their own immunotherapy drugs, anti PD1-L6 checkpoint inhibitor MEDI 4736 in combination with Incyte’s oral indoleamine dioxygenase inhibitor INCB24360. Oncology and infectious diseases are, for the time being, the only domains where investigational drugs can be tested in clinical settings.


A recent report from IMS Health showed that Abilify (an antipsychotic drug from Otsuka) is the best selling drug in the US with sales of $6.9 billion in the period April 2013 to March 2014. Nexium (a proton inhibitor from Astra Zeneca) ranked second with sales of $6.3 billion followed by Humira (an anti-arthritis drug from AbbVie) with sales of $5.9 billion.


May 15, 2014

AstraZeneca has struck a strategic research agreement with China’s Tianjin Medical University aimed at exploring novel targets against cardiac fibrosis.


Approval of drugs

May 13, 2014

The US FDA has approved Kogenate FS (a recombinant antihaemophilic factor VII), from Bayer Healthcare, for the prevention or decrease of bleeding events in heamophlia A patients.


May 14, 2014

Novartis indicated that FDA had issued a complete response letter (and rejected) the biologics license application for TLX030 also known as serelaxin for the treatment of acute heart failure.


Drugs at clinical stage

May 12, 2014

Eli Lilly’s diabetes treatment, Peglispro, was more effective than Sanofi’s drug Lantus in lowering blood-glucose levels in three Phase III studies. The company plans to file the drug in the US and in EU as a once-day treatment in Q1 2015.


May 13 ,2014

Glaxo heart drug candidate, darapladib fails again in a Phase III clinical study aiming at treating major coronary events.


Author : Jean-Claude MULLER, Special Advisor,Innovation & International Relationship (I&IR)



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