Senior Correspondent, London
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Aug 4, 2015

New analysis underscores improving pharma R&D productivity

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Drug industry productivity is
continuing to improve, with a bumper haul of new products being
launched and companies proving more successful in the final
stages of clinical testing, according to a new analysis.

Data from Thomson Reuters published on Tuesday showed the
number of innovative medicines, or new molecular entities,
launched globally in 2014 hit a 17-year high of 46, up from 29
in 2013.

Aug 3, 2015

Analysis – New cocktails to test limits of cancer drug pricing

LONDON (Reuters) – New cancer drug cocktails set to reach the market in the next few years will test the limits of premium pricing for life-saving medicines, forcing company executives to consider fresh market strategies.

The growing reluctance of governments and private insurers to fund very expensive drugs – even remarkably effective ones – points to a showdown as manufacturers mix and match therapies that harness the immune system to fight tumours.

Aug 3, 2015

New cocktails to test limits of cancer drug pricing

LONDON (Reuters) – New cancer drug cocktails set to reach the market in the next few years will test the limits of premium pricing for life-saving medicines, forcing company executives to consider fresh market strategies.

The growing reluctance of governments and private insurers to fund very expensive drugs – even remarkably effective ones – points to a showdown as manufacturers mix and match therapies that harness the immune system to fight tumors.

Jul 31, 2015

After Merck success, work goes on with other Ebola vaccines

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – Scientists and drug companies
will continue to research the potential of alternative Ebola
vaccines, despite a shot from Merck and NewLink Genetics
proving 100 percent effective in a trial in Guinea.

Experts said on Friday different kinds of vaccines were
needed that might be better suited for different population
groups.

Jul 30, 2015

AstraZeneca beats profit forecasts, helped by external deals

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) revenue fell by a smaller-than-expected 7 percent in the second quarter, as income from selling rights to medicines offset generic competition to older drugs and a strong dollar.

The drugmaker increased its revenue forecast for the year and said it now expected a low single-digit percentage decline, against mid single-digit previously, while core earnings are still expected to increase at a low single-digit rate.

Jul 29, 2015

Exclusive: GSK faces new corruption allegations, this time in Romania

LONDON (Reuters) – Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which was fined a record 3 billion yuan ($483 million) for corruption in China last year and is examining possible staff misconduct elsewhere, faces new allegations of bribery in Romania.

GSK confirmed it was looking into the latest claims of improper payments set out in a whistleblower’s email sent to its top management on Monday. A copy of the email was seen by Reuters.

Jul 29, 2015

GSK flags up pipeline as HIV drugs help it beat profit forecasts

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline moved to reclaim its prowess as a research powerhouse on Wednesday by flagging up dozens of new drugs and vaccines in development, as demand for new HIV medicines helped it beat quarterly profit forecasts.

Strong sales of Tivicay and Triumeq validated GSK’s decision in May to keep its HIV business, rather than spinning it off, and offset a further slide in revenue from lung drug Advair and lower group profit margins following a major business overhaul.

Jul 29, 2015

GlaxoSmithKline beats profit forecasts despite Advair hit, lower margins

LONDON (Reuters) – A further slide in sales of lung drug Advair and lower profit margins following a business overhaul hit GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in the second quarter, although core earnings per share fell by a less than expected 9 percent.

The drugmaker recently sold its marketed cancer drugs to Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and bought the Swiss group’s vaccines, while increasing its consumer health business through a joint venture.

Jul 27, 2015

New heart drugs come in more expensive than expected

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Two of the most anticipated new
heart drugs to be launched in recent years have been priced well
above analyst expectations, fuelling the debate about whether
modern medicines cost too much.

Praluent, made by Sanofi and Regeneron
Pharmaceuticals, and Entresto from Novartis
are both treatments that represent significant advances for
millions of patients at risk of serious heart problems.

Jul 24, 2015

AstraZeneca chases biosimilar Avastin drug with Japanese group

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca is dipping its toe in the biosimilars market, as a way to make future cancer drug cocktails more affordable, by linking with a Japanese group to develop a copy of Roche’s blockbuster medicine Avastin.

Its new 50/50 joint venture with Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics (FKB) will work on a copycat version of Avastin, which is currently used in a range of solid tumors and also has potential to be given alongside new immunotherapy treatments.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Hirschler is European pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare correspondent, based in London. Previously, he was in charge of British company news and before that was posted to Johannesburg, covering the economic challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa."
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