Helping you make wiser investment decisions

Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

FDA panel questions benefits of Roche’s Tecentriq-Abraxane combo in breast cancer, threatening conditional nod

The FDA kicked off its three-day meeting on accelerated approvals of immuno-oncology drugs by picking apart one of the biggest players in the field, Roche’s Tecentriq, a PD-L1 inhibitor that the pharma giant has been counting on to replace sales lost to biosimilar competition on other blockbusters. A panel of external experts summoned by the FDA […]

Gilead, Merck step in to help India’s drug manufacturers fight surging COVID-19 outbreak

India is in the midst of one of the world’s grimmest COVID-19 outbreaks so far, but for weeks the country has struggled to meet local demand for life-saving drugs and vaccines. Now, drugmakers reliant on India for their own production needs are stepping in to help.  Gilead Sciences on Monday said it would help local manufacturers boost production of its […]

Eli Lilly sales fall short thanks to antibody woes, but its non-COVID meds are fine

The pandemic giveth and the pandemic taketh away.  That was the major takeaway from Eli Lilly’s first-quarter earnings, which reflected plummeting demand for COVID-19 drugs.   While Lilly’s revenue for the period clocked in at $6.81 billion, a 16% increase from the period last year, it fell significantly short of analyst projections from Bloomberg ($7.02B) and […]

Biogen CEO Vounatsos nabs $18M payday amid challenges from Tecfidera generics, pandemic

With Biogen’s big moneymakers under competitive pressures and its closely watched Alzheimer’s disease candidate facing an uncertain future, the drugmaker is navigating a tough stretch. So how did its CEO still garner an $18 million-plus pay package for 2020? Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos’ pay package of $18.66 million for last year includes a $1.5 million salary and another $2.6 million from a performance bonus. However, the […]

Amid impressive growth, Novartis’ blockbuster Entresto falls short in post-heart attack trial

Novartis is banking on a broader label to expand the reach of its blockbuster heart med Entresto, but in patients who’ve suffered prior heart attacks, the drug just hit a setback. In the phase 3 Paradise-MI trial, Entresto missed its primary endpoint to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and heart failure after an acute myocardial […]

Big innovation shift to small pharma? Rookies grab lead in annual poll—and look to stay put

When it comes to pharma innovation, bigger isn’t always better anymore. Nowhere was that more apparent than in IDEA Pharma’s recent annual roundup of pharma’s best innovators for 2021. Three smaller pharma companies landed in the top five—Regeneron, Seagen and Incyte—and two had never before cracked the top 30. Two other smaller companies made the top 30 […]

Emergent CEO sold more than $10 million in stock before scrapping J&J COVID-19 vaccine doses: report

Emergent BioSolutions has faced a number of back-to-back PR crises since production issues at its Baltimore facility placed the company under intense scrutiny. The CDMO’s stock price has tumbled as a result, but it appears CEO Robert Kramer cashed out some of his shares just in time.  Citing SEC filings, Kramer sold more than $10 million worth of […]

AstraZeneca drives biomarker testing with a string of efforts—and a new leader

While the list of biomarker-targeted drugs keeps on growing, diagnostic testing is still behind. AstraZeneca wants to change that—and it’s launched a handful of awareness efforts to make doctors and patients aware of their options. Led by Omar Perez, the company’s new head of medical diagnostic strategy, AstraZeneca is working to drive adoption of biomarker […]

Bayer, intent on its cell therapy ambitions, plots $200M plant at overhauled Berkeley campus: report

Bayer’s cell and gene therapy ambitions have quickly taken flight as the German conglomerate locks up new partners and pumps cash into promising up-and-comers. Now, the company is looking to beef up its cell offerings at the Berkeley campus where it has separately blueprinted a $1.2 billion, 30-year expansion. Bayer has drawn up plans for a […]

Sanofi inks 3rd COVID-19 vaccine production pact, this time helping Moderna with fill and finish work

Moderna, with one of the leading COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, is working nonstop to scale up production. It’s now tapped another manufacturing partner—this time the pharma giant Sanofi—to help with fill and finish duties. Sanofi will perform fill and finish services from its site in Ridgefield, N.J. beginning in September, helping to produce up to 200 million doses. […]

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine wins renewed backing from U.S. experts after probe into rare blood clots

After officials halted Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout in its tracks last week, U.S. vaccine advisers agreed on Friday that vaccinations should resume. Going forward, the shot will carry a warning about rare and severe blood clots, they said. Of the nearly 8 million doses administered, officials identified 15 cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS), CDC vaccine advisers said Friday. Three vaccine recipients who developed TTS have died. All […]

ADC Therapeutics scores FDA approval for anti-CD19 blood cancer med Zynlonta

Multiple new CAR-T medicines against diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have hit the market in recent years, improving prospects for patients and extending the array of available options for doctors. Now, with an FDA approval Friday afternoon, ADC Therapeutics is getting ready to launch the first single-agent CD19-targeted antibody drug conjugate therapy against the disease. ADC Therapeutics scored […]