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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? After all, this has been a rather busy few days. In any event, this is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is quite full. We will escort Mrs. Pharmalot to another installment in our “Let’s-see-them-before-they-die” concert series; spend time with our short people, two of whom are returning from distant lands; and tidy up around the castle. But what about you? A holiday break is near, but there is still time to make plans. You could bolster the economy and shop for winter clothes. Or you could plan the rest of your life. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy and see you soon …

Is there really a difference between Martin Shkreli and the rest of the pharmaceutical industry? Representative Rosa DeLauro, who sits on a House Democrats task force on drug pricing, tells STAT the simple is answer: “No.” After all, publicly traded drug makers have the same mission and fiduciary responsibility that Shkreli always emphasizes: making money for shareholders. So drug makers are likely to remain in the crosshairs over pricing practices.

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay up to $1.5 billion to Bristol-Myers Squibb to acquire its early- and late-stage pipeline of HIV drugs, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move will bolster the portfolio of ViiV Healthcare, a joint venture mostly owned by Glaxo that was formed to develop HIV medicines. Pfizer and Shionogi are minority partners. The deal comes just a few months after Bristol decided to drop most virology research.


Gilead Sciences is paying $725 million, and as much as another $1.35 billion in milestones, for rights to a rheumatoid arthritis treatment being developed by Galapagos, BioWorld writes. The deal comes not long after AbbVie walked away from working with the European biotech on the same product, betting its own JAK inhibitor would yield a bigger payday.

The same academic researchers who fail to register clinical trials with a federal database often receive “hefty” payments from drug makers involved in those studies, STAT says. But “it’s not all malfeasance or scandal,” said Dr. Steve Goodman, associate dean of clinical and translational research at Stanford University. “There’s ignorance, difficulty, maybe honest efforts that are improperly applied.”


The European Medicines Agency says its expert panel recommended marketing approval for lung cancer drugs from Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca, Reuters reports. However, approval for the AstraZeneca drug comes with conditions. Separately, a review of a new Merck hepatitis C treatment will occur under a standard timeline, rather than an accelerated time frame, which means a decision will not occur until mid-2016.

Now that Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli was arrested for securities fraud, major pharmacies are working to assure patients that access to Daraprim will not change, Reuters says.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel will review a closely watched Sarepta Therapeutics drug for combating Duchenne muscular dystrophy on Jan. 22, a month before a deadline for regulatory approval.

The FDA delayed by three months its decision on an Intercept Pharmaceuticals drug for treating a rare liver disease that is caused by autoimmune destruction of the bile ducts in the liver, Reuters informs us.

The proposed Pfizer and Allergan merger would create one of the world’s largest advertisers and more than two dozen ad agencies could be affected, Medical Marketing & Media reports.

Samsung is diving into contract manufacturing after winning deals to make biologics for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche Holding, The Wall Street Journal writes.

The former head of Sino Pharmaceutical was acquitted in the United Kingdom on charges of allegedly possessing $9 million worth of stolen drugs in 2007, The Vancouver Sun tells us.