Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? Another busy is unfolding here on the Pharmalot campus, where the shortest of short people has left for the local schoolhouse and the official mascots are taking their third nap of the day. Unfortunately, we are unable to join them, since our to-do list remains rather impressive. So instead, we are quaffing cups of stimulation and keeping busy. We trust that you relate. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest to help you along. Hope you conquer the world today and do keep us in mind for intriguing developments …
More Indian drug makers are pursuing acquisitions, The Wall Street Journal writes. Last year, they reached deals valued at $1.5 billion to buy US firms, according to Dealogic. And since 2010, Indian pharmaceutical companies acquired or agreed to acquire 31 US drug makers. “These are very ambitious moves to go to where the market is,” Dilip Shah, head of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, a trade group, tells the paper.
US federal prosecutors alleged at a hearing that corrupt Chinese government officials offered financial support and may have benefited from a plan to steal trade secrets from a GlaxoSmithKline research facility in Pennsylvania, the Associated Press writes. But defense lawyers argued the feds are exaggerating and that a Chinese company formed by the former Glaxo scientists received standard economic grants.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sent Gilead Sciences a civil investigative demand for documents concerning its hepatitis C treatments, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The move comes one month after she threatened to file a lawsuit if Gilead failed to lower the prices of its drugs. However, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer believes the likelihood that a lawsuit would succeed is “fairly low.”
US, UK, and EU regulators plan to increase the number of inspections in India and are pushing for better cooperation between Indian authorities and companies to overcome quality-control problems, Reuters reports. In response, Indian drug makers say they are working on improving their manufacturing standards by hiring third-party auditors, training their staffs, and automating systems.
AstraZeneca received some vindication for agreeing to pay $4 billion for a 55 percent stake last December in Acerta Pharma after European regulators recommended orphan status for one of its drugs, Reuters writes.
Bayer named Werner Baumann as new chairman of its management board, succeeding current chief executive Marijn Dekkers on May 1, which is earlier than expected, Pharma Times says.
Lupin, which is one of India’s five largest drug makers, is planning to make significant investments in Japan and may look to buy a specialty pharma company, The Economic Times reports.
A Novartis drug for acute myeloid leukemia, PKC412, has been granted breakthrough therapy status by the Food and Drug Administration, PMLive writes.
The FDA approved Pfizer’s Xeljanz XR extended-release tablets for once-daily treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, Pharma Times informs us.