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And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Besides catching up on reading and naps, we look forward to spending time with our short people, one of whom returns from a tower of learning, and promenading with the official Pharmalot mascots. And what about you? Tax time is nearing, of course. You could place bets on the upcoming presidential race, which has remarkable entertainment value. Or simply plan the rest of your life. Whatever you do, have a grand time, but be safe. See you soon …

A decade ago, doctors in Japan would not listen when Ono Pharmaceutical would tout its immunotherapy for cancer, but chief executive officer Gyo Sagara said he received numerous apologies when Opdivo was approved by regulators, Bloomberg News writes. “They found the treasure of the century,” Fumiyoshi Sakai, a health-care analyst with Credit Suisse, told the news service about the $150,000 drug, which is marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Sanofi is accelerating work on a Zika vaccine and has assembled a team of more than 80 in-house experts to start preclinical tests in animals this spring, Reuters reports. Assuming regulators cooperate and provide fast-track clearance, the first studies will likely be conducted in humans next year. The World Health Organization estimates at least 15 companies and academic groups are researching vaccines.


Moody’s Investors Service lowered its outlook — from positive to stable — for the pharmaceutical industry, the Associated Press tells us. Except for the new immunotherapy treatments for cancer, drug makers have been hurt by slower-than-expected uptake for many medicine that are anticipated to eventually generate annual sales in the billions of dollars.

Erich Spangenberg, the famed patent troll who works with Kyle Bass to challenge pharmaceutical patents, writes in IPWatchdog that the head of the US Patent & Trademark Office is hiding something.


Novo Nordisk reported that clinical study results showed that its Victoza diabetes treatment significantly reduced the risks of major adverse cardiovascular events, Reuters says.

Tianyin Pharmaceutical, an active ingredients maker, failed to file its financial results with the NYSE despite agreeing to a compliance plan in January, InPharma Technologist reports.

The Kentucky Senate passed legislation that will allow pharmacists to dispense biosimilars in place of biologics without having to notify the doctor in advance, WKMS says.

An experimental BioMarin Pharmaceuticals treatment helped young children with CLN2 disease, a form of Batten disease, maintain the ability to walk and talk over one year, TheStreet tells us.

The Alaska Permanent Fund, the state agency that manages oil investments, is aggressively pumping money into biotechs, according to Bloomberg News.

The pharmaceutical industry should boost spending to educate consumers about the existence of clinical trials in order to increase participation, Outsourcing Pharma writes, citing a new report.

A long-term analysis of GlaxoSmithKline’s Benlysta demonstrates low rates of organ damage progression in patients with moderate-to-severe SLE over five years, Pharma Times writes.

Sanofi’s Genzyme unit plans to start a late-stage trial of a new treatment for Pompe disease by June based on promising results of an early-stage trial, the Boston Business Journal reports.