And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is jammed with activities, starting with a celebration of ancient rituals, tidying up the Pharmalot campus and catching up on sundry chores. And what about you? This is a splendid time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. You could kill time by scavenging at yard sales. Or party like it’s 1999. Whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. See you soon …
Valeant Pharmaceuticals is finalizing a contract to hire Joe Papa, who currently runs Perrigo, as its next chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Perrigo board, however, must allow Papa to violate a noncompete clause in his contract. Valeant is seeking a replacement for Michael Pearson, who has presided over a stunning reversal of fortunes for the beleaguered drug maker.
AstraZeneca (AZN) hopes to compile genome sequences and health records from up to 2 million people over the next decade, Nature writes. The drug maker is teaming with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Center and Human Longevity, which was founded by Craig Venter, and plans to use data from 500,000 participants in its own clinical trials, as well as medical samples gathered over the past 15 years. AstraZeneca is also collaborating with the Institute for Molecular Medicine, Finland as part of the deal.
The US Supreme Court on Monday will hear an important patent case about speedometers, but the impact on prescription medicines could be substantial, STAT writes. At issue is a relatively new procedure for reviewing patents called inter partes review, which are controversial and can affect the product life cycle — and, therefore, the pricing — of medicines, according to briefs filed by trade groups representing drug makers and insurers.
The new Novartis (NVS) heart failure drug, Entresto, is finding a warmer reception among European governments than in the United States, Bloomberg News tells us. Securities analysts cut their sales estimates for Entresto over the last three months amid weak demand for the drug in the US because physicians are reluctant to prescribe the drug thanks to resistance from insurers.
The German government is considering limiting the price that drug makers can charge the country’s health care system for their latest medicines, the Wall Street Journal informs us. For a long time, Germany has long allowed insurers to pay full price for the newest drugs for up to a year following regulatory approval. The government did so to encourage pharmaceutical firms to make those new drugs available quickly in the country.
China will grant four global drug makers priority-review status to launch new hepatitis C treatments in the country, the Wall Street Journal tells us. The companies — AbbVie (ABBV), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a joint venture between Janssen Pharmaceuticals and a local drug maker — are the first foreign manufacturers to win this status since China two months ago sought to hasten approvals for drugs to treat hepatitis, AIDS, and other diseases.
Two former McNeil Consumer Pharmaceuticals employees filed a lawsuit claiming the health care company wrongfully fired them for complaining about sanitation issues, the Penn Record reports. The former employees were involved in manufacturing over-the-counter medications to treat intestinal illnesses. They alleged the company used contaminated equipment and did not follow required record-keeping methods.
The US Food and Drug Administration has granted orphan status to an experimental GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) cannabis-derived drug for treating tuberous sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disorder, Reuters says.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is supporting use of Sanofi’s prostate cancer drug Jevtana following a second cost-effectiveness appraisal, Pharma Times reports.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals received three “observation” notices from the US FDA concerning manufacturing issues at one of its plants, the Economic Times tells us.