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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Jazz clinches Rylaze green light in 2 blood cancers, including the most common cancer among children

Jazz Pharmaceuticals, well known for its narcolepsy blockbuster Xyrem, is banking on new drugs to generate about half of its revenue by 2022, CEO Bruce Cozadd said earlier this year. Six months on, the Dublin-based company has added another cancer med to its list of offerings. The FDA Thursday approved Jazz’s blood cancer therapy Rylaze as […]

Moderna taps Ogilvy for first chief brand officer as marketing plans await full FDA approval

As Moderna preps a marketing strategy for its COVID-19 vaccine—in fact, its only commercial product—it is hiring its first-ever chief brand officer. Kate Cronin joins this month from Ogilvy Health, where she was global CEO. While Moderna is running at full speed with vaccine sales, manufacturing and distribution, its emergency use authorization limits its marketing and brand efforts. […]

Roche and Biogen-sponsored SMA walk events roll on virtually through the pandemic

While the spinal muscular atrophy treatment (SMA) market heats up with competitors and researchers continue to work on new drugs, its support community keeps rolling along—literally. Leading organization Cure SMA has been bringing families together and raising awareness through its Walk-n-Roll events for 20 years. The COVID-19 pandemic forced changes, but Cure SMA got creative. The group condensed the […]

Biogen’s $56K price tag on Aduhelm? Think again, ICER says, calling for discounts of around 90%

Even though Biogen’s Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm scored a hotly debated, wide-labeled FDA nod earlier this month, the treatment still isn’t worth more than a mere 15% of the annual $56,000 list price the company is charging, a prominent U.S. drug cost watchdog argues.   The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) said in a […]

Amid rush of scandals, Eli Lilly settles sex discrimination, harassment suit with former lobbyist

Just three months after a former Eli Lilly lobbyist charged the company’s top brass with repeated sexual discrimination and undue retaliation in a bombshell lawsuit, the company has settled the case out of court. Sonya Elling, a longtime biopharma lobbyist who worked in Lilly’s government affairs operation, first sued the company back in March, alleging a high-level […]

Bayer’s gene therapy CDMO Viralgen cuts ribbon on first phase of $142M viral vector expansion

Viralgen, the gene therapy CDMO coined by Bayer’s Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, is wading into commercial waters. The Spanish contractor on Wednesday said it cut the ribbon on the first $83 million piece of its new factory in the Basque Country, Spain. Viralgen, which specializes in adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors—the engineered viruses used to deliver gene therapies—has been helping customers […]

Fujifilm’s multibillion-dollar expansion spree rolls on with $850M capacity boost in U.S., U.K.

Fujifilm’s contract manufacturing ambitions are swelling—again—to the tune of $850 million. The cash infusion is just the latest in a multibillion-dollar spending spree for the manufacturer. Angling to grow capacity for biologics such as gene therapies and vaccines—including those for COVID-19—the company will plug 90 billion Japanese yen (around $850 million) into its CDMO arm Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies. […]

Aurinia awards grants to amp local lupus awareness among underserved groups

Aurinia Pharmaceuticals’ recent launch in lupus nephritis hit the ground running and now is expanding with local efforts. The pharma today awarded $50,000 in grants to five lupus-focused organizations across the U.S. to work with underserved populations. Research shows that Black and Hispanic systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have more severe disease than white patients, higher […]

Eyeing $600M in peak sales, Scynexis preps ambitious launch for antifungal Brexafemme

Eyeing the outskirts of blockbuster land with its newly minted antifungal, Jersey City’s Scynexis is hitting the gas with a drug launch into a massive and largely deserted field. The new drug, Brexafemme, will land on pharmacy shelves in August at a U.S. wholesale acquisition cost of $475 per course, Scynexis’ chief commercial officer Christine […]

Moderna locks up Spikevax name in Europe, joins Pfizer’s Comirnaty in wait for official brand approval in U.S.

Spikevax it is. Moderna has earned European Medicine Association approval for the brand name of its COVID-19 vaccine, even as it awaits an FDA decision. With last week’s official nod in the EU, Moderna’s Spikevax joins Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty and AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria with European brand-name approvals. None of the names is approved in the U.S., though, because the vaccines […]

AbbVie’s Rinvoq marches toward blockbuster ulcerative colitis nod even as JAK delays drag on

AbbVie has pegged much of its post-Humira hopes on its next-gen immunology med Rinvoq, which now appears one step closer toward what could be a $2 billion indication in ulcerative colitis.  The Chicago-based pharma said on Tuesday that its rheumatoid arthritis drug “significantly” topped placebo at helping moderate to severe ulcerative colitis patients reach clinical remission after a […]

GSK and Vir, navigating early antibody pitfalls, tout delta variant-busting data for latecomer sotrovimab

While several vaccines now stand tall in the fight against COVID-19, therapies—and antibody drugs in particular—have had a decidedly tougher time. Saddled with access issues and beset by fast-emerging variants, firstcomer Eli Lilly has recently been forced to rethink its tactics. Now, GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology are applying those lessons to their solo agent sotrovimab. Backed by […]