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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

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 […]

Merck bags imperfect immunotherapy first with Keytruda cervical cancer approval

Merck & Co. is adding yet another immuno-oncology first under Keytruda’s belt. But the breadth of the win comes out less than ideal. The FDA has backed Keytruda’s use alongside chemotherapy, with or without Roche’s Avastin, for treating patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer but only for those whose tumors express the PD-L1 […]

Bristol Myers Squibb is nixing BeiGene’s Abraxane deal in China amid manufacturing woes. Is their cancer rivalry really to blame?

A partnership between Bristol Myers Squibb and BeiGene on the chemotherapy Abraxane in China has quickly deteriorated since a manufacturing-related marketing hold last March. Now, the U.S. pharma is scrapping the deal—much to the Chinese partner’s disagreement. BMS and its Celgene unit alerted BeiGene last week that they are withdrawing Abraxane’s China rights from a basket […]

Healthcare marketing firm Relevate Health unveils brand refresh to highlight digital focus

With fewer sales reps in the field and limited opportunities to engage with doctors face-to-face amid the pandemic, more pharma companies are turning to digital marketing to fill the gaps.  So the timing was perfect late last year for Ohio-based healthcare marketing firm Relevate Health Group to power up its digital offerings by acquiring Arteric, […]

Novartis exec says COVID exposed pharma manufacturing weaknesses. Here’s how he plans to fix them

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged companies in all industries, but by and large the pharmaceutical supply chain has held up. Now, more than a year into the crisis, Novartis’ top supply chain exec Steffen Lang recently reflected on what went well—and what the future of pharma manufacturing might look like. Since the start of last […]

Johnson & Johnson, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines work as intended, FDA staff say ahead of high-stakes booster meeting

Millions of people who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been eligible to get a third booster dose for weeks, but those who received the other FDA-authorized shots have been waiting to see whether they’ll need another dose. They’ll soon have answers. FDA vaccine advisors are set to meet Thursday and Friday to discuss the prospect of giving […]

Bristol Myers Squibb engaged in Acceleron buyout talks but couldn’t justify the price: report

Even though Acceleron sold itself to Merck for $180 per share last month, the company evaluated other options before pulling the trigger. One of those options was seeing whether Bristol Myers Squibb would be interested in a deal, Bloomberg reports.  After Merck submitted its first offer to buy Acceleron for $160 per share back in […]

Olympian joins Eli Lilly to level the field for health inequity in breast cancer

U.S. Olympian and American high jump record-holder Chaunté Lowe is putting the same amount of passion and grit into helping level the playing field for Black women with breast cancer as she does with her sport. Lowe, a breast cancer survivor herself, joins Susan G. Komen and Eli Lilly in a new multiyear collaboration to fight […]

Eli Lilly’s Verzenio snags first-in-class FDA approval for early breast cancer. But limited label poses a challenge

As a late entrant in the breast cancer race, Eli Lilly has leapt ahead of rivals Pfizer and Novartis with a first-in-class FDA approval. But a patient population restriction is adding what Lilly Oncology chief called “a legitimate challenge” to the launch. The FDA has greenlighted Lilly’s Verzenio, used in tandem with endocrine therapy, to treat […]

Pharma saw huge reputation gains in the last year. It should make sure not to squander them, expert says

If it seems the pharmaceutical industry is in the press more these days amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the drug pricing battle in Washington, D.C., that’s because it is. But while the industry has faced decades of negative sentiment among Americans, more people are coming around to see pharma’s point of view, new Harris Poll […]

Merck started its Acceleron pursuit at $160 per share, but CEO Davis balked at paying more than $180

Merck’s new CEO Robert Davis has big shoes to fill after taking the reins from Kenneth Frazier at the start of July. Just two weeks into his tenure, though, his company was already in talks for its first M&A deal under the new helmsman, a securities filing shows. Merck unveiled its proposed $11.5 billion Acceleron buyout […]

Viatris to close former Novartis site in California in January, lay off 75

Viatris has been busy with cost cuts over the last year, including shuttering a plant in West Virginia that had served as a staple of its community. Now, a former Novartis plant in California—which Mylan had planned on closing even before officially becoming part of Viatris—is winding down operations. In a notice to California authorities, Mylan said […]