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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Automation, portable manufacturing and finding the right partner: Industry vets discuss the coming gene therapy wave

During this week’s Fierce Biotech Cell & Gene Therapy event, there were times when the opening panelists sounded like TV marriage counselors Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura.  “If you’re going to be in this relationship for years, there has to be an understanding that there’s some give and take across the board when things don’t go […]

Pfizer strong-armed governments in COVID-19 vaccine supply talks, report says

Pfizer is playing a leading role in producing vaccines against COVID-19, but new documents released by Public Citizen shine a light on the company’s aggressive tactics when negotiating supply deals.  In draft and final deals with the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and other countries, Pfizer retained rights to “silence” governments and “throttle supply” in an effort to “maximize […]

AstraZeneca’s Soliris needs a 97% to 98% discount in myasthenia gravis, ICER says

It’s well known that AstraZeneca’s Soliris, at more than $650,000 per year before discounts, is one of the most expensive drugs in the U.S. After the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) looked at the drug’s profile in myasthenia gravis, the organization has serious concerns about its cost. How serious? ICER thinks Soliris should […]

On heels of GBT Oxbryta campaign, ad agency launches pharma comms division, Riester RX

Independent advertising and public relations agency Riester helped create the first TV commercial for a sickle cell disease drug in the U.S. last summer, and it’s eyeing a lot more pharma work in the future.  The Phoenix-based company has just spun out a new division, Riester RX, focused solely on pharma and biotech communications. To […]

WHO plots multibillion-dollar campaign to buy COVID-19 antivirals for $10 per course: Reuters

Almost immediately after Merck reported impressive data for its COVID-19 pill, questions about pricing and access started swirling. It turns out officials at the World Health Organization are already working through those issues with a multibillion-dollar international effort. The agency wants to buy 28 million courses of COVID-19 antiviral pills for low- and middle-income countries at $10 […]

Boehringer’s interchangeable tag for Humira biosim is a ‘landmark’ win for the field: analyst

Even after many biosimilar players inked patent settlements with Humira maker AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim held out to challenge AbbVie’s “patent thicket” in court. Although Boehringer eventually settled, the company’s copycat has now scored an “interchangeable” designation—a landmark development that shows it could be a formidable competitor, one analyst writes. Boehringer on Friday said its drug […]

Regeneron, Novo Nordisk, Lilly and AbbVie stake claims on September’s list of top TV ad spenders

Call it a tale of two therapeutic fields. Immunology treatments and diabetes drugs together dominated September’s list of top spenders on TV ads, with four brands in each category. Once again, Regeneron and Sanofi claimed the lead in ad spending for the month as they continuing pumping up ads for Dupixent in eczema and asthma, according to […]

Pandemic launch woes: Esperion cuts 40% of workforce, goes all in on cholesterol drug’s outcomes trial

Just as Esperion’s cholesterol sister meds Nexletol and Nexlizet launched at the start of the pandemic, pharma marketing went virtual. As its cash dwindles, the company is reaching for the ax. Esperion is cutting 40% of its workforce, or about 170 employees, to reduce costs by at least $80 million a year in 2021 and […]

Revance’s Botox rival turned away by FDA after inspectors flagged manufacturing ‘deficiencies’

Despite a pandemic delay and an FDA warning about quality control and record-keeping problems at a production site, Revance insisted it was optimistic the agency would approve its would-be Botox rival as recently as last week. Turns out the FDA had other plans. Late Friday, the FDA turned away Revance’s application for its frown-line injection DaxibotulinumtoxinA […]

Keytruda maker Merck rolls web series to illuminate triple-negative breast cancer and Black women

Maimah Karmo was barely in her thirties when she found a lump in her breast. Her doctor dismissed her as too young and too healthy to have breast cancer. But Karmo knew her body—and she persisted until she was given a biopsy that revealed TNBC. Black women know they need to advocate for themselves when it comes […]

Fierce Pharma Asia—Takeda’s cell, gene therapy deals; BMS-BeiGene Abraxane brawl

Takeda is investing more in cell and gene therapy through new deals with Poseida Therapeutics and Immusoft targeting liver and neurometabolic disorders, respectively. BeiGene’s Abraxane China licensing deal with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Celgene is falling apart amid manufacturing problems and a legal battle. And more. 1. Billions club: Takeda taps Poseida for 2nd $1B-plus gene therapy […]

Novo Nordisk teams with CVS Health on obesity support program ahead of Wegovy DTC launch

As Novo Nordisk gears up to disrupt the obesity market with its newly approved weight-loss drug Wegovy, it is teaming with retail pharmacy giant CVS Health on a new education and nutrition coaching program for people taking anti-obesity meds. The program, offered both virtually and in person, builds on existing nutrition coaching services CVS already […]