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Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are just fine, thank you. A bright shiny sun is warming our Pharmalot campus, which is rather quiet now that the short person has left for the local schoolhouse and the mascots are snoozing in their respective corners. As for us, we are quaffing cups of stimulation – our flavor today is Pumpkin Spice, which is in keeping with the season, for those who care. Meanwhile, here are the tidbits. Hope you have a smashing day and do drop us a line when you have something juicy to share.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals stock plunged in after-hours trading yesterday because the company discontinued development of its rare-disease treatment revusiran following unfavorable trial data. But “based on available information, our bias is that the matter is limited to revusiran and we do not believe overall potential of the RNAi platform (for drug development) is meaningfully impacted,” writes Needham analyst Alan Carr.

Biotrial, the company that ran a study in France in which one man died and four were injured last January, has opened a new research facility in Newark, NJ, NPR tells us. It may be a hard sell to drug makers. “How does a potential customer look at this?” says Jack Reynolds, a pathologist who runs a small drug company and has worked for many others. “Not very well, that’s for sure. In this business, credibility and reputation are really important.”


New fees of up to $360,000 will be charged to drug makers by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for assessing the value of each new drug, Regulatory Focus says. NICE chief executive Andrew Dillon argues the measure is fair because his agency “has to make millions of pounds available to put [new drugs] into practice, frequently when relatively little is known about their use in ‘real world’ settings.”

UnitedHealth Group customers filed a lawsuit claiming the health insurer defrauded them by setting up a system that secretly overcharged for prescription drugs, Bloomberg News reports. The overcharges were “improper and illegal” since the insurer is already paid to provide prescriptions through insurance premiums, according to the suit, which also charges the company clawed back excess payments from pharmacies to improve its bottom line.


Teva Pharmaceutical signed an exclusive deal to sell two Celltrion biosimilars that are being developed for the US and Canadian markets. The agreement covers biosimilar versions of Rituxan, which is used to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, among other ailments, and the Herceptin breast cancer treatment.

Merck will cut 112 jobs as it closes a facility in Miami Lakes, Fla., next month, according to this notice filed with state officials.

Teva Pharmaceutical plans to sell Actavis Generics in the UK and Ireland to Intas Pharmaceuticals subsidiary Accord Healthcare for $764 million, PharmaTimes writes.

Insmed bought the rights to an experimental early-stage respiratory drug from AstraZeneca in a deal worth $150 million, according to Reuters.

Patients who take Xarelto may be more likely to have serious bleeding events than patients who take Pradaxa, MedPage Today reports, citing a study by FDA staff in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published an evidence summary on the use of Gilead’s Truvada for HIV prevention pill, PharmaTimes reports.