And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Once again, our agenda is quite modest. Beyond tidying up around the castle and hanging with our short person, we plan to help the Pharmalot ancestors celebrate a milestone. And what about you? The election is nearing; have you placed your bets? The great outdoors beckon, so why not pick a few apples? Or you could simply plan the rest of your life. Whatever you do, be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon …
A federal judge ruled that a lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago, which accuses several drug makers of falsely marketing opioid painkillers, can proceed. The city alleges the companies downplayed risks and improperly encouraged prescribing, which cost the city $13 million unnecessarily. The companies being sued are Purdue Pharma, Endo International, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and Allergan, although Pfizer struck a deal.
A campaign by Insys Therapeutics to allegedly market its Subsys opioid painkiller for unapproved uses is being blamed for the death of a 32-year-old woman, STAT writes. The painkiller, which is only approved for treating cancer pain and contains fentanyl, was prescribed to Sarah Fuller, who suffered from fibromyalgia and had back and neck pain. And an Insys sales rep was in the room when her doctor suggested she switch to Subsys from another medicine.
Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wants Mylan Pharmaceuticals to provide more details about a confidential settlement of a patent lawsuit with Teva Pharmaceuticals, which was seeking to sell a rival to EpiPen, Regulatory Focus says. Murray also wants more information about a petition that Mylan later filed with the Food and Drug Administration to try to delay Teva from selling its device. Here is her letter.
Horizon Pharma agreed to pay $65 million to Express Scripts Holding to settle a lawsuit in which the drug maker was accused of failing to pay rebates for three of its medicines, Reuters tells us. Separately, Horizon says it signed a rebate agreement with Prime Therapeutics, another pharmacy benefits manager, to secure formulary placement for the same three drugs that were the subject of the lawsuit — Duexis, Vimovo, and Rayos.
Amgen is buying a 4.5 percent stake in Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and will collaborate on developing gene-silencing therapies for heart disease, Reuters reports. Initially, Amgen will pay $56.5 million, but could later make another $617 million in milestone and equity payments. Arrowhead focuses on ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi), which looks to silence certain genes to curb the production of disease-causing proteins.
ImmunoGen is cutting 65 jobs, or 17 percent of its workforce, in hopes of saving about $11 million annually, as part of a strategic review, the Boston Globe writes.
The UK’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence rejected the use of Eli Lilly’s Portrazza to treat non-small cell lung cancer, even though the drug maker offered a discount, Pharmafile tells us.
Intra-Cellular Therapies reported its lead candidate had a similar rate of effectiveness to a placebo in a late-stage trial in schizophrenia patients, the Wall Street Journal says.
Roche’s Genentech signed an exclusive licensing deal with Hanmi Pharmaceuticals for rights to an experimental cancer drug, according to PharmaTimes.