Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was refreshing and invigorating, because the unforgiving routine of meetings, deadlines, and what-not has returned. You knew this would happen, yes? We find the best way to cope is to grab a cup of stimulation. Be kind to your neurons. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Have a productive day and do drop us a line when you hear something interesting …
Pfizer agreed to buy Anacor Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth about $5.2 billion in order to gain control of an experimental eczema treatment. The Anacor drug, which regulators are scheduled to decide by January whether to approve for marketing, could have peak annual sales of $2 billion, according to Pfizer, which added that about 18 to 25 million people in the US suffer from the condition.
Roche sued the Drug Controller General of India and another drug maker, Hetero Drugs, in hopes of blocking biosimilar versions of its Avastin cancer treatment, The Economic Times reports. Patient advocates complain the move is part of a plan to block competition, while the drug maker maintains its legal challenge is an effort to ensure patient safety.
The price of naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, continued to rise over the past two years, despite efforts by lawmakers to lower the cost and widen availability, Politico tells us. For instance, the list price of Kaleo Pharma’s auto-inject version rose from $575 to $3,750 per two-dose package since 2014. Health officials complain that generic versions cost pennies in other countries and could be had for under $1 in the US not long ago.
Thousands of cancer patients in the UK are at risk of missing out on the most innovative treatments, a group of charities warned, Pharma Times tells us. In an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the heads of several leading cancer charities argue that allowing the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to continue with its existing methods for recommending coverage will prevent effective therapies from becoming available.
Bayer halted a trial of a drug for combating idiopathic interstitial pneumonia after a higher death rate was seen in patients treated with the drug compared with a placebo, PMLive writes. The drug is already sold to treat inoperable chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, or CTEPH, but Bayer was quick to stress there is no indication the drug may be unsafe in its approved uses.
Editas Machine will get up to $5 million from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation over three years to discover and develop a gene editing approach to treating the disease, The Boston Business Journal tells us.
Sanofi plans to nominate eight people to replace the Medivation board and has already indicated it would appeal directly to shareholders to support its $9.3 billion bid, CNBC reports.
Teva Pharmaceuticals, which is seeking regulatory approval for its $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan’s generics business, is attracting bids for assets in the UK, Ireland, and Iceland, Bloomberg News reports.
Biogen will provide $62.5 million in research funding over the next three to five years to a pair of gene therapy pioneers at the University of Pennsylvania, Xconomy says.