Helping you make wiser investment decisions

Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Seven European countries clamp down on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as safety worries threaten rollout

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has gotten off to a rocky start in Europe—to put it mildly. First, a supply shortfall triggered a public back-and-forth between executives and government officials. Then several countries expressed doubts about how well the vaccine works in people over 65. Now seven countries are raising safety concerns. Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and […]

Dr. Reddy’s pulls hundreds of thousands of bottles of Lipitor generic over impurity fears

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories is in the midst of a large recall of its generic version of Lipitor—and that’s not the only product it’s yanking from the U.S. market.  Dr. Reddy’s Princeton, New Jersey, outfit is pulling hundreds of thousands of bottles of the cholesterol drug atorvastatin calcium in the U.S. due to impurities that turned up […]

Thermo Fisher plots $600M manufacturing boost to meet COVID demand—and its work won’t stop there

With COVID-19 top of mind for many contract developers and manufacturers right now, Thermo Fisher Scientific has blueprinted a manufacturing boost to tackle pandemic work in the short-term—and vastly expand capacity in the years to come.  Thermo Fisher will upgrade its bioprocessing operations with more than $600 million in capital investments, plus at least 1,500 new hires, the company said Wednesday. […]

Bayer unveils first look at its post-Xarelto, post-Eylea life—and it’s better than expected

Investors have long been concerned about the future of Bayer’s pharma franchise, given the upcoming patent cliff facing its bread and butter—heart drug Xarelto and eye med Eylea. Now the German conglomerate is providing a first look at life after those patent expirations, which are expected around 2023. And it looks better than analysts expected […]

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Walmsley’s pay falls to $9.7M as pandemic drags on profits

GlaxoSmithKline managed to notch some wins during the pandemic-challenged year of 2020, but COVID-19 took its toll—not only on the British pharma’s finances, but on CEO Emma Walmsley’s pay, too.  Last year was an “extraordinary and challenging year,” Urs Rohner, GSK’s executive pay committee chair, wrote in the company’s annual report. While GSK’s board was “pleased to see the continued progress” on its […]

Gilead’s CAR-T med Yescarta gets a leg up on Novartis rival with FDA nod in follicular lymphoma

With Bristol Myers Squibb’s approval last month for CAR-T medicine Breyanzi, a third entrant is vying for share in the lymphoma cell therapy arena. But now Gilead Sciences’ Yescarta has scored an approval its rivals can’t yet match.  The FDA on Friday approved Yescarta to treat patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma after at least two prior lines of treatment. It’s the industry’s first CAR-T approval in […]

How might pharma buddy up with Alexa? Bayer Consumer’s first interactive voice ad is food for thought

Alexa, show me the future of drug advertising? Bayer Consumer Health’s first-ever Alexa interactive ad allows consumers to buy an OTC product by talking to the Amazon device—and may foreshadow broader trends in the industry.  The U.K. ad for Bayer’s Berocca Boost, a vitamin and caffeine tablet, is running as a trial during programming streamed by Global, […]

U.S. focus on Pfizer production could delay manufacturing of other COVID-19 vaccines, Serum Institute CEO warns

The U.S.’ move to lock up raw materials and supplies for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could spell trouble for manufacturers working on other shots around the globe.  The world’s largest vaccine maker by volume, Serum Institute of India, sees bottlenecks ahead, thanks to a U.S. law blocking exports of certain materials needed to produce COVID-19 shots. The […]

Roche’s arthritis drug Actemra scores FDA nod in rare autoimmune disease after partial clinical win

Missed the primary endpoint of a clinical trial? No problem. We’ll pick the study apart and approve your drug based on a post-hoc subgroup analysis. That’s what the FDA did in granting Roche’s Actemra a go-ahead in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) associated with the rare autoimmune disease systemic sclerosis (SSc). The approval makes Actemra the first […]

Novartis exec says Kymriah’s ready to square off with Bristol Myers’ new CAR-T rival Breyanzi

With the FDA’s recent approval for Bristol Myers Squibb’s Breyanzi, a new pharma giant is entering the CAR-T lymphoma fray. But with new, impressive real-world data and a global manufacturing expansion under its belt, rival Novartis says it’s ready to rumble. Novartis last year opened CAR-T production sites in Switzerland and France, while a partner opened a […]

A year into Sanofi’s revamp, CEO Paul Hudson collects €11.34M in 2020 pay—including that signing bonus

A few months after joining Sanofi in 2019, CEO Paul Hudson laid out new R&D priorities and cut bait on some operations that weren’t delivering. Then, several weeks later, he shook up management. That revamp began in December 2019. And for the first full year of his effort to revitalize the French drugmaker, the helmsman has collected a […]

CureVac, Novartis team up in latest pandemic vaccine manufacturing collaboration

CureVac has already attracted two Big Pharma partners for its COVID-19 vaccine work, and now Novartis is getting involved. Tübingen, Germany-based CureVac and Novartis have signed an initial manufacturing agreement that’s expected to boost the mRNA biotech’s overall vaccine capacity by 50 million doses in 2021 and 200 million doses in 2022. The partners are […]