Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was exhilarating and refreshing, because that familiar routine of meetings and deadlines and growing to-do lists has now returned. But you knew this would happen, yes? So time to get cracking. Here are a few items of interest to help you along. Hope you have a smashing day and, as always, please keep us in mind when you hear something interesting …
The first vaccine for treating cholera was approved late last week by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to MedPage Today. The manufacturer, PaxVax, did not disclose the cost, but expects to sell its vaccine at a price comparable to other travel vaccines. The company received a priority review voucher upon approval, as part of the FDA’s neglected tropical disease voucher program, and may consider selling the voucher, BioCentury adds.
The European pharmaceutical industry plans to discuss a shakeup of how companies price their medicines, Reuters reports. The idea is for drug makers to be rewarded for clinical benefits rather than the number of pills sold, according to an internal report prepared by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Association. The paper calls for removing external reference pricing and placing curbs on parallel imports.
Pfizer and Merck are doubling the size of an outcomes study of their joint diabetes medicine to keep apace in the fast-growing market in which smaller competitors already have proven their drugs can lower cardiovascular risks, Bloomberg News writes. The drug makers are developing ertugliflozin for use alone and in combination with Merck’s Januvia, and the trial will be expanded to 8,000 people at high risk for heart disease.
Walgreens formally ended its nearly three-year-old alliance with Theranos, as regulators near a decision on whether to impose sanctions against the blood-testing firm, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move came after the drugstore chain grew frustrated trying to obtain documentation after learning Theranos corrected thousands of blood tests, including many performed on samples collected from patients at Walgreens pharmacies.
Teva Pharmaceuticals has voluntarily halted sales, marketing, and distribution of the Zecuity migraine patch after reports of burns and scars in patients, MarketWatch says, adding that a recall from pharmacies is underway.
New study data found that Novartis’s Jakavi was superior to available treatments for patients with hematological cancer polycythemia vera, which affects around 100,000 people globally each year, PharmaTimes says.
Sanofi said Phase 3 clinical studies of its LixiLan diabetes drug had met their targets, readying it for approval in the United States in August and Europe early next year, Reuters reports.
Dr. Reddy’s Labs agreed to pay $350 million in cash to Teva and Allergan for eight abbreviated new drug applications filed in the US, according to the Economic Times.
Johnson & Johnson recruited a top Zika researcher from Brazil to study the virus at its new JLabs @ TMC, according to the Houston Business Journal.
Agios Pharmaceuticals said an experimental drug raised hemoglobin levels in nine of 18 patients with a rare, inherited form of anemia treated in a clinical trial, TheStreet tells us.