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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

GenScript embraces automation at its first cell, gene therapy manufacturing US site

GenScript rolled out its first cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility in the U.S. As the Chinese CDMO and CRO sets its sights on speeding up production in developing new vaccines, the 50,000-square-foot facility marks GenScript’s first automated plant in the the country. The $13 million facility will provide a tenfold increase in capacity. To be located near the company’s […]

Merck refiles $11.5B Acceleron deal with the FTC. Is extending the antitrust review period the real reason?

Merck & Co.’s $11.5 billion bid for Acceleron Pharma is hitting a delay just as activist investors threaten to derail the deal altogether. Merck has withdrawn its notification of the Acceleron buyout and intends to refile it Monday, the company said Friday. Merck made the move to provide the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with […]

Novo Nordisk casts Queen Latifah in TV-themed awareness campaign for obesity

Novo Nordisk takes a page from three popular TV genres—medical drama, ’90s sitcom and procedural crime show—by casting actress Queen Latifah in a new video series awareness campaign that aims to change minds about obesity. The first video opens with the rushing of a gurney through a hospital corridor as Queen Latifah, clad in scrubs, asks […]

AbbVie’s Vraylar turns in mixed results in depression, but pharma decides to file for approval anyway

AbbVie’s antipsychotic Vraylar could get a major boost from a potential expansion into depression. But like some other late-stage contenders, the drug’s clinical results fell short of a home run. Vraylar, used as an adjunctive treatment to existing antidepressants, significantly outdid placebo in a phase 3 trial, AbbVie unveiled Friday. But additional results are complicating […]

Pacira panel takes on uncomfortable women’s health topics to help women

Pacira BioSciences wants women to lead the conversation surrounding managing  their pain—even if it’s a little embarrassing. In mid-October, the biopharma hosted “The Future is Female” virtual panel discussing the usually hushed-toned topics of pelvis and sexual pain, intimacy after cancer and postpartum recovery. Moderator Beth Battaglino, CEO of Healthy Women, an educational health website […]

Fierce Pharma Asia—Takeda’s GammaDelta buy, FDA warning letter removal; Fujifilm’s massive North Carolina plant

Takeda has exercised an option first penned in 2017 to acquire U.K. T-cell therapy expert GammaDelta Therapeutics. The Japanese pharma has also resolved an FDA warning letter regarding its Hikari, Japan, plant, which will make Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine for the country. Fujifilm Diosynth has started construction of a massive biologics plant in North Carolina, with a […]

Sanofi’s €10B sales target for Dupixent? The ‘megabrand’ is more than halfway there, exec says

Shortly after Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson joined the company in 2019, he laid out an ambition to invest as much as necessary to turn the Regeneron-partnered antibody drug Dupixent into a megablockbuster. Two years later, Sanofi is well on its way. Dupixent turned in more than 1 billion euros in U.S. quarterly sales from July to […]

In midst of ADHD drug launch, Supernus taps ’90s sitcom actress for awareness campaign

Television actress Holly Robinson Peete used to clash with her then-teenage daughter Ryan about cleaning her room and leaving other chores undone. She initially chalked it up to typical mother-daughter conflict. “I didn’t recognize the signs of ADHD in her,” said Peete, whose daughter, now 24, was eventually diagnosed at age 14. “It presents itself […]

Johnson & Johnson inks $297M opioid deal with Texas as national deal faces holdouts

Johnson & Johnson and the United States’ three top drug distributors already agreed to a national opioid settlement worth $26 billion. But because that deal has yet to be finalized, the pharma giant is moving forward with a separate deal with Texas. In a new settlement that’s “consistent with the terms” of the nationwide deal, J&J agreed […]

Teva’s Austedo, struggling from a pandemic slowdown, needs huge gains to meet 2021 projections

As Teva battles generic pricing pressures and copycats to its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, the company has a lot riding on its ability to juice up sales of Austedo for tardive dyskinesia (TD) and migraine med Ajovy. Austedo is struggling amid the pandemic slowdown, but execs see reasons for optimism in the final quarter of the […]

As Lilly gears up for key 2022 launches, Trulicity, Taltz and more drive solid growth

While Eli Lilly’s Alzheimer’s disease hopeful donanemab stole most of the headlines for the drugmaker on Tuesday, the company’s stable of approved drugs continued on their growth path. The company posted a double-digit sales increase in the third quarter and is getting ready for some highly anticipated launches. Lilly’s diabetes medicine Trulicity, immunology blockbuster Taltz, breast […]

Alexion children’s book series aims to help parents talk to kids about life with a rare disease

When Rachel Pegram’s adult sons were younger, she often missed their soccer games and other school functions because of her generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG), a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness. Although she explained her illness and treatment to her boys, now 19 and 21, she’s not sure how much they really grasped when […]