Rise and shine, everyone, another busy day is on the way. Happily, we are greeted this morning by a delightfully shiny sun enveloping the Pharmalot campus, where a decided quiet has descended now that our short person has left for the local schoolhouse and the mascots are snoozing. As for us, we are quaffing cups of stimulation and reading the to-do list. We trust you are in similar straits. So here are some tidbits. Have a great day and do stay in touch …
Sanofi will try to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus, which is the strongest commitment made so far by a major vaccine producer to fight the disease, Reuters reports. The move comes a day after the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency due to its suspected link to underdeveloped brains in some babies, as STAT tells us. And Germany’s Genekam developed a diagnostic assay, Telesur says.
Meanwhile, Sanofi and Merck may end a long-standing joint venture to sell vaccines in Europe, because revenue is declining, the product pipeline is not promising, and Sanofi is reorganizing operations, Bloomberg News writes. Each drug maker holds half of the venture, so unraveling the arrangement may cause snags. The venture generated revenue of about $330 million in the first six months of last year and supplied almost half of Europe’s flu vaccines.
A generic version of the Gleevec leukemia drug became available in the United States this week at about 30 percent less than the brand-name medicine sold by Novartis, NPR tells us. The price for one pill climbed to $179.93 in 2014 from $92.74 in 2010, and the price at which Sun Pharmaceuticals is making it available brings the cost back in line with 2013 pricing. However, some wholesalers and insurers will pay different prices depending upon negotiations.
A federal appeals court ruled that four patents related to OxyContin are invalid, which may pave the way for other drug makers to sell a generic version of the Purdue Pharma painkiller, Reuters tells us. Right now, so-called authorized generics, which are exact copies of the brand-name drug authorized by Purdue, are the only generic versions of OxyContin that are available.
Sanofi plans to cut more than 500 jobs in France as part of a global reorganization, Bloomberg News writes, a move that we first telegraphed in this recent post.
Index Ventures is spinning off its biotech portfolio into a new $1 billion business with backing from Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline, according to Reuters.
A partisan split in the US Senate may threaten its ability to pass the 21st Century Cures Act and speed drug approvals, according to STAT.
In a bid to become a leading provider of point-of-care testing, Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay $5.8 billion to acquire Alere, a diagnostic-test company, The Wall Street Journal reports.
IPCA Laboratories says the US Food and Drug Administration issued it a warning letter due to quality-control problems at three of its Indian plants, Reuters says.
The UK’s Royal Statistical Society issued a statement saying it has “clear statistical reservations” about a study in France that left one patient dead and others hospitalized last month, and urged authorities to release more trial data.
AbbVie boasts it will “prevail” with its new biosimilar strategy, despite competition that erodes worldwide sales and despite patent challenges to its best-selling Humira treatment, InPharma Technologist writes.
An experimental therapy that Eagle Pharmaceuticals is developing to treat exertional heat stroke was placed on a regulatory fast track in the US, Pharma Times says.