SANOFI CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE WITH CEO SEARCH

Barring a last-minute breakthrough, drugs firm Sanofi’s Chairman Serge Weinberg may have to acknowledge in his results presentation next week that the hunt for a new CEO is not going well, Reuters reports. At least three potential candidates in a narrow field have turned their back on the job heading France’s largest company. The manner ...

MYELOMA SALES DRIVE EXCELLENT 2014 FOR CELGENE

Celgene has posted another impressive set of financials for the fourth quarter, driven by strong performances of its multiple myeloma drugs Revlimid and Pomalyst, pharmatimes.com reports. Adjusted net income rose 29 per cent to $840 million, while sales increased 19 per cent to $2.06 billion. Revlimid (lenalidomide), which is also approved for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), ...

FDA GRANTS FOURTH APPROVAL FOR BLOOD CANCER DRUG IMBRUVICA

The FDA has expanded approval of J&J and Pharmacyclic’s Imbruvica for patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, a rare indolent type of B-cell lymphoma, pharmatimes.com reports. The approval, the first by the FDA specifically for WM, represents the fourth indication for Imbruvia (ibrutinib) since its initial approval in November 2013 for mantle cell lymphoma patients who received ...

VALEANT GAIN LICENCE TO DENDREON’S PROSTATE CANCER VACCINE PROVENGE

Bankrupt drug maker Dendreon has reached a stalking-horse deal with Canada’s Valeant to sell the worldwide rights to its cancer vaccine, Provenge, and certain assets for $296 million, Reuters reports. The deal is subject to higher and better bids and extended the bid deadline to 10th February for interested parties to participate in an auction, ...

FDA APPROVES HIV PILLS FROM BMS AND J&J

The FDA has approved two fixed-dose HIV pills that combine protease inhibitors, one made by BMS and the other by J&J, both with a boosting agent produced by Gilead, Reuters reports. BMS said its drug, Evotaz, is a once-daily pill containing Reyataz, also known as atazanavir, a protease inhibitor, with the booster cobicistat. J&J’s once-daily ...

STRONG RESULTS FOR BIOGEN DRIVEN BY MS DRUG TECFIDERA

Biogen has posted 4Q14 results which show that sales of its oral multiple sclerosis pill Tecfidera have comfortably passed analyst forecasts, pushing net profits up 46 per cent, pharmatimes.com reports. Earnings came in at $882.6 million, while revenues increased 34 per cent to $2.64 billion. The biggest earner was Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), bringing in $916.0 ...

NOVO NORDISK CEO UNCONCERNED BY US PRICING PRESSURES

Novo Nordisk does not expect pressure on prices for its drugs in the US, the world’s largest pharma market, CEO Lars Rebien Sorensen told reporters on a conference call on 29th January, Reuters reports. “We only see flat to slight positive development to our pricing in the US,” Sorensen said. French drug maker Sanofi blamed ...

ABBOTT CEO NOT WORRIED BY STRONGER DOLLAR

Abbott’s CEO is not worried about the stronger dollar, telling analysts on 29th January that his company will better withstand its painful effects than rivals due to its European factories and growing sales of nutritional products, medical diagnostics and medical optics, Reuters reports. “We are just not vulnerable to the Euro and a lot of ...

VERTEX’ KALYDECO BEING DENIED TO PATIENTS WITH RARE CF IN UK

Patients with a rare form of cystic fibrosis in England and Wales are currently being denied access to Vertex’ “life-changing” treatment Kalydeco (ivacaftor) on the NHS, even though it has regulatory backing and is already used for the most common mutation of the disease, pharmatimes.com reports. Kalydeco is currently ‘routinely’ available to around 360 patients ...

GOVERNMENTS AND NGOS TO MEET IN MARCH TO REBUILD EBOLA-HIT NATIONS

Governments and international organisations plan to meet in March to work out how to rebuild three West African nations whose economies have been shattered by Ebola, a UN envoy said on 29th January, Reuters reports. The number of newly detected cases of Ebola virus infection has been dropping sharply in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia ...