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Aug 13, 2015

GSK hopes big clinical trial can breath new life into lung drug

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline is banking on a major clinical trial to revive its flagging respiratory medicine business, with billions of dollars of sales riding on a positive result.

Data from the so-called SUMMIT study, designed to show GSK’s Breo can prolong lives of patients with chronic lung disease, are expected as early as next month, nine years after a similar study with GSK’s older drug Advair failed by a whisker.

Aug 12, 2015

GSK shuts U.S. plant due to bacteria, no supply disruption seen

Aug 12 (Reuters) – Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline temporarily
closed a North Carolina factory on Tuesday after testing at a
cooling tower found bacteria that causes deadly Legionnaire’s
disease.

The Legionella bacteria were discovered during routine
inspections at the site in Zebulon, N.C., the company said.

Aug 10, 2015

Shire steps up drive to get Baxalta talking after $30 billion bid

LONDON (Reuters) – Shire (SHP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Flemming Ornskov is stepping up his campaign to get Baxalta (BXLT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to the negotiating table as he pushes the benefits a $30 billion takeover offer to the U.S. biotech company’s shareholders.

He has a fight on his hands, with investors in newly listed Baxalta arguing he must pay more, although one person close to the Dublin-based drugmaker said there had been “encouraging feedback” from shareholders on the logic of the tie-up.

Aug 10, 2015

Shire CEO steps up drive to get Baxalta board talking

LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Shire Chief Executive
Flemming Ornskov is stepping up his campaign to get Baxalta
to the negotiating table as he pushes the benefits a
$30 billion takeover offer to the U.S. biotech company’s
shareholders.

He has a fight on his hands, with investors in newly listed
Baxalta arguing he must pay more, although one person close to
the Dublin-based drugmaker said there had been “encouraging
feedback” from shareholders on the logic of the tie-up.

Aug 6, 2015

Britain raps Pfizer over huge jump in epilepsy drug price

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog has accused Pfizer and Flynn Pharma of breaching UK and European law by ramping up the cost of an epilepsy drug, given to more than 50,000 British patients, by as much as 2,600 percent.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its provisional view was that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma each abused a dominant position by charging “excessive and unfair” prices for phenytoin sodium capsules.

Aug 6, 2015

China gets tougher for Western drugmakers

LONDON, Aug 6 (Reuters) – The Chinese market is getting
tougher for Western pharmaceutical companies as Beijing bears
down on a rising healthcare bill and prices come under pressure.

The country, which has overtaken Japan as the world’s second
largest market for prescription medicines after the United
States, has drawn major investment from global drugmakers in
recent years — but growth rates are now slowing markedly.

Aug 6, 2015

Britain raps Pfizer over inflated epilepsy drug prices

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog alleged on Thursday that U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Flynn Pharma had breached competition law by ramping up the cost of an epilepsy drug used by more than 50,000 British patients.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its provisional view was that Pfizer and Flynn Pharma each abused a dominant position by charging “excessive and unfair” prices for phenytoin sodium capsules.

Aug 5, 2015

Shire seen having to sweeten $30 billion offer to win Baxalta

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Shire Chief Executive
Flemming Ornskov will need to dig deeper in his pocket if he
wants to win U.S. biotech company Baxalta.

The Danish doctor running the London-listed drugmaker from
offices in Massachusetts is not taking the easy option with his
$30 billion run at Baxalta.

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.

    • 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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