And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment, too soon, yes? This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is rather busy. We hope to escort Mrs. Pharmalot to a rent party, manicure the campus and celebrate a milestone with our shortest short person. And what about you? Summer is nearly here, which means it’s time to consider getaway plans. And of course, this is a lovely time to enjoy the great outdoors. Or you could make a great, big to-do list just for the fun of it. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy and see you soon …
A growing number of drug makers have entered the race to develop immunotherapies, but one regulator wonders whether too many are focused on the same approach, Reuters tells us. “People should ask themselves … would we be better off spending those resources into looking at more novel drugs?” said Dr. Richard Pazdur, head of the Food and Drug Administration office of oncology products. Latecomers, he suggested, may be relegated to niche status.
Amgen says the outcome for its eagerly awaited trial for gauging the cardiovascular risk of its new PCSK9 cholesterol treatment will be pushed back to the first quarter of next year, CardioBrief reports. The Amgen drug and a similar drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi were approved last summer, but the pricey treatments have not been embraced by payers or doctors in the absence of evidence that the drugs significantly lower cardiovascular risk.
GlaxoSmithKline hopes that bioelectronics can eventually transform its prospects, Bloomberg News says. The plan is to create implants the size of a grain of rice that can be bolted directly onto nerves to treat diseases, complementing or replacing drugs. The drug maker started a $50 million venture fund and so far funded about 100 outside scientists, along with an in-house research team of 30 scientists.
An FDA advisory panel voted 10-to-5 to recommend approval for a Merck drug for treating Clostridium difficile, the most common cause of hospital-associated infectious diarrhea, according to Reuters.
Merck agreed to pay up to $1.25 billion for Afferent Pharmaceuticals, which is developing a treatment for refractory, chronic cough and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with cough, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals is looking at sell Egypt’s Amoun Pharmaceutical to help pay down debt, just a year after buying Amoun’s holding company, Mercury Holdings, for about $800 million, Bloomberg News says.
An experimental chronic migraine therapy being developed by Amgen and Novartis hit its primary targets in a Phase 2 study, PharmaTimes writes.
European Union officials proposed that US and European regulators could accept reciprocal evidence of good manufacturing practices as part of ongoing trade talks, InPharma Technologist tells us.