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Rise and shine, folks, another day is unfolding before us. Already, the shortest of our short people has left for the local schoolhouse and the official mascots are well into a deep snooze. We, however, are wide awake thanks to a few cups of stimulation. You might as well join us, since there is much to do. On that note, time to get cracking with this list of tidbits. Hope you have a productive day and drop us a line when something snazzy happens …

Concerns about spending on orphan drugs are overblown, NPR Shots says, citing a study in Health Affairs. Spending in the US hit $15 billion in 2007 and $30 billion in 2013, a rise from 4.8 percent of total drug spending to 8.9 percent. The study projects orphan drug spending will remain stable as a proportion of total drug spending, although other reports estimate orphan drugs will account for 20 percent of worldwide drug spending by 2020.

GW Pharmaceuticals, which is developing marijuana-based epilepsy treatments, is working with Morgan Stanley after other drug makers approached it about an acquisition, Reuters reports. Its Epidolex drug is in late-stage clinical trials and could receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration as soon as next year. One Wall Street brokerage estimates annual sales could exceed $800 million.


Pfizer has hired Ole Isacson, a Harvard Medical School professor and a well-known expert in neurodegenerative diseases, as its new chief scientific officer for its neuroscience research division in Cambridge, the Boston Globe tells us. Isacson, who will report to Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s president of worldwide research and development, will replace Michael Ehlers, who left Pfizer to take a top executive position at Biogen earlier this year.

Germany’s Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care says Eisai’s liposarcoma treatment Halaven has no additional benefit compared with established comparable therapies, the European Pharmaceutical Review tells us. A final decision, however, is not expected until December. Meanwhile, Eisai expressed bewilderment at the decision.


The US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations plans a “preliminary inquiry” into Mylan Pharmaceuticals’s pricing of the EpiPen device.

Pfizer has taken an undisclosed stake in a new University of Pittsburgh spinout, the third Pitt biotech outfit in recent years to quickly spark investor interest, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes.

Biogen launched its biosimilar version of Remicade in the UK, the third such competitor to the blockbuster treatment, according to PMLive.

AMRI plans to cut its workforce as a result of acquiring Prime European Therapeuticals, according to InPharma Technologist.

Indoco Remedies says the US FDA inspected its Goa, India, plant and issued six observations due to violations of good manufacturing norms, the Economic Times says.

Retrophin disclosed positive results from a mid-stage study in which patients with a rare kidney disease responded to treatment with an experimental drug at more than twice the rate of those given a control drug, TheStreet reports.

India’s Sun Pharmaceutical and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma will distribute and market 14 prescription drugs in Japan that Sun recently acquired from Novartis, LiveMint writes.

Avara Pharmaceutical Services is buying a UK manufacturing facility where AstraZeneca made ingredients for Crestor and Seroquel, InPharma Technologist says.