Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was enjoyable and refreshing — you were due, yes? — because the usual routine of deadlines, meetings, and the like has now returned. This was inevitable, though. So why not join us as we cope with a few cups of stimulation. And as always, we are here to help you along with some tidbits — and you can also sign up for a newsletter, too. So have a great day and keep in touch …
Valeant Pharmaceuticals is overhauling part of its management team. The beleaguered drug maker hired Novartis (NVS) veteran Christina Ackermann as general counsel and executive vice president and Scott Hirsch, a portfolio manager at the Citadel Investment Group hedge fund, as senior vice president for business strategy and communications. Several other execs are being promoted, and the longtime investor relations head, Laurie Little, is leaving.
A new asthma pill from Novartis demonstrated significantly decreased symptoms, improved lung function, reduced inflammation, and repaired the lining of airways, PharmaTimes reports. The rate in asthma patients taking the pill, which is called, fevipiprant, fell from an average of 5.4 percent to 1.1 percent over 12 weeks, according to study results that were published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
A tax loophole used by Gilead Sciences (GILD) facilitated a threefold increase in untaxed offshore profits that reached $28.5 billion in 2015, the Irish Independent writes, citing a submission with the US Securities and Exchange Commission by Americans for Tax Fairness. The consumer group also suggested the drug maker might face a big tax assessment in the event of a European Commission investigation into tax arrangements similar to a probe into Apple (AAPL).
An obscure federal regulation known as a 10b5-1 plan allows insiders to buy and sell shares as long they set up the trades in advance, but some say execs can still game the system, according to STAT. In theory, the plan prevents an exec from profiting off information not yet made public, but researchers who have examined thousands of such trades have shown they consistently outperform the broader market.
Merck won another indication for its Keytruda immunotherapy as the US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for treating head and neck cancer, PharmaTimes says.
Chinese regulators issued new proposals to revamp drug registration rules that could stymie or promote innovation, according to BioCentury.
India’s Department of Pharmaceuticals is considering adding the maximum retail price to bar codes to ensure that companies adhere to pricing, the Business Standard reports.