Good morning and welcome to the middle of the week. Getting this far can feel like an accomplishment, yes? So why not continue — the alternatives are bleak, after all — and celebrate with a nice cup or two of stimulation. Your neurons might appreciate a little help. As for us, we will roll in the sidewalks early today to tend to some matters, but meanwhile, here are the usual tidbits. Hope your day goes well and keep sending us those interesting notes …
Orexigen Therapeutics paid $60 million to buy the US rights to its Contrave diet drug from Takeda (TAK) Pharmaceutical and plans to contract with Valeant Pharmaceutical to sell the pill in Europe, Reuters tells us. Orexigen and Takeda developed the drug, but their relationship soured last year after Orexign angered US regulators with an unauthorized release of trial data, which led to the termination of a heart-risk study of the drug.
Eli Lilly has changed the primary endpoint for a late-stage trial of its solanezumab drug, which is being tested in people with mild Alzheimer’s dementia, The Indianapolis Business Journal reports. The move, which came after the drug maker conferred with regulators, sent its stock down, because investors are worried the change will add further risk to an already risky program, diminishing the odds that the drug will receive regulatory approval.
An Indian court granted interim injunctions to Pfizer (PFE) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) on a ban of their cough syrups, The Times of India says. The Indian Health Ministry banned more than 300 fixed-dose combination drugs that have been widely available in the market, alleging there is no “therapeutic justification” for their use and the meds had not received government approval. The government is also examining another 1,700 drugs, The Economic Times says.
Hospitals that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program are angry that the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommended a $300 billion reduction in payments. The program requires drug makers to offer discounts of up to 50 percent on all outpatient drugs — for everything from AIDS to diabetes — to hospitals and clinics that are known as safety net institutions, because they serve indigent populations.
Horizon Pharma gave chief executive officer Timothy Walbert a $93.4 million pay package for 2015, a tenfold jump as the drug maker comes under scrutiny for its pricing and distribution practices, Bloomberg News says.
A Food and Drug Administration panel backed the safety and effectiveness of a stent from Abbott Laboratories for treating patients with narrowing arteries that can lead to heart attack and death, the Associated Press writes.
Cipla invested $3 million in Chase Pharmaceuticals, raising its stake to nearly 17 percent, according to The Economic Times.