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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Fierce Pharma Asia—Takeda-CSL COVID fail; Daiichi Sankyo’s new 5-year plan; Legend-J&J CAR-T filing

Takeda and CSL closed their COVID-19 alliance after their plasma-derived therapy failed a phase 3 trial by the National Institutes of Health. Daiichi Sankyo laid out its five-year plan covering fiscal 2021 to 2025, featuring nearly $6 billion in sales from cancer drugs. Legend Biotech and Johnson & Johnson wrapped up a rolling submission of their […]

FierceMadness winner GSK ViiV’s Dovato collage campaign draws complete picture of people living with HIV

People with HIV are more than their diagnosis, of course. However, GlaxoSmithKline’s ViiV figured out a creative way to get that message across in its Dovato DTC campaign—and nabbed the #FierceMadness advertising competition title for 2021. Not only popular with Fierce Pharma voters, the campaign proved effective. Total brand awareness, both aided and unaided, was up […]

Did pharma overshoot digital sales rep calls? Study charts decline in effectiveness

A year after the pandemic forced pharma reps to switch from in-person to digital sales calls, most visits are still virtual—and the industry is seeing mixed results. The good news is that in-person pharma sales calls are now in demand by physicians. Last month, 44% of healthcare professionals said face-to-face sales visits are their preferred […]

GSK’s ViiV Healthcare continues cabaret campaign to engage and inspire HIV community

GlaxoSmithKline’s ViiV Healthcare is hosting its second virtual cabaret event in five months, and while that may seem like a bit of sparkly fun, it’s really about inspiring and engaging the community—especially now. ViiV’s “Meeting the Moment” cabaret is again hosted by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum drag queen Ongina, and it features a mix of talent from the HIV […]

‘Very stressed’ Serum Institute asks government for $400M vaccine production boost

With its production capacity “very stressed,” the world’s largest producer of vaccines is seeking relief from its government. The Serum Institute of India has requested a grant of more than $400 million to beef up production of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The investment would allow SII to increase output from around 70 million doses per month to […]

BeiGene’s massive biologics plant in China wins first commercial manufacturing nod

BeiGene is taking over manufacturing for its China-approved PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor thanks to a new approval for a massive biologics factory.  The China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) gave BeiGene the green light to start commercial manufacturing of the monoclonal antibody tislelizumab from the plant in Guangzhou. Work will kick off immediately, BeiGene said in a release. Until now, the company has […]

Merck’s Keytruda, on the heels of a first-line kidney cancer win, targets earlier, post-surgery use

Merck & Co.’s Keytruda already bears an FDA nod for use alongside Pfizer’s Inlyta as a first-line treatment for advanced kidney cancer. Now, it has shown it can be used even earlier, following surgery. Keytruda monotherapy topped placebo at extending the time patients with early renal cell carcinoma lived without their disease coming back after surgical […]

AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot tagged with new warning in EU, highlighting rare blood clot risk

Europe’s drug regulator has been probing cases of rare blood clots in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recipients since mid-March—and now it has confirmed a possible link. The agency stressed that the benefits of the shot still outweigh the risks. Unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the vaccine, the European […]

Cannes Lions Health goes virtual, giving up on a live show this year

The Cannes Lions Health ad festival is officially going digital for 2021. After opening registration in January for in-person attendance in the south of France in June, the healthcare advertising-and-creativity festival hit the reality of the ongoing pandemic. COVID-19 cases are rising again in France, and while vaccination efforts are ramping up, only healthcare workers, people ages 70 […]

J&J scores backing from Chamber of Commerce, PhRMA and more in Supreme Court appeal of $2.1B talc verdict

Johnson & Johnson has ginned up major support in its quest to challenge a $2.1 billion verdict over claims that its talc-based powders cause cancer.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups on Monday pressed the Supreme Court to review the verdict, taking aim at the merging of 22 plaintiffs’ cases and the damages J&J was subsequently […]

More relief for Dupixent as FDA pushes back Lilly, Pfizer eczema decisions on safety concerns

Sanofi and Regeneron can breathe two more sighs of relief for their fast-growing drug Dupixent in atopic dermatitis. The FDA postponed its rulings on Eli Lilly and Incyte’s Olumiant and Pfizer’s Xeljanz in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis by three months, the drugmakers said Wednesday. Both decisions are now expected early in the third quarter. The announcements came […]

Ionis lays off majority of Akcea staff, expands Sobi Tegsedi deal

After taking Akcea inhouse last year, Ionis Pharmaceuticals is laying off 70% of the staff. The move comes as Ionis expands an earlier deal with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) to now distribute rare disease med Tegsedi in North America. Ionis had already struck a deal in December with Sobi to distribute Akcea’s Tegsedi and Waylivra […]