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Nov 5, 2015

AstraZeneca cancer drug may not be so fast getting to market

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca’s keenly awaited cancer immunotherapy drug durvalumab may not get to market as quickly as first hoped but the company said on Thursday it was more confident than ever in its oncology development pipeline.

The British drugmaker is running a lung cancer trial known as ATLANTIC that is due to produce results by the end of this year and could, in theory, support a submission seeking accelerated U.S. approval in the first half of 2016.

Nov 5, 2015

AstraZeneca lifts 2015 forecasts despite tough times

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca lifted its full-year forecast for revenue and earnings on Thursday as Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said the group was showing resilience, despite eroding sales of some of its top-selling medicines.

Shares in the drugmaker, which fought off a $118 billion takeover attempt by Pfizer last year, rose 3 percent in early trading.

Nov 4, 2015

Case for testing cancer in blood builds, one study at a time

CHICAGO/LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Two new studies published
on Wednesday of patients with breast and prostate cancers add to
growing evidence that detecting bits of cancer DNA circulating
in the blood can guide patient treatment.

Enthusiasm is building for “liquid biopsies,” which offer a
non-invasive alternative to standard tissue biopsies and are
expected to be a multibillion-dollar market.

Nov 4, 2015

Novo weighs options before crucial Victoza heart study data

LONDON (Reuters) – Novo Nordisk is considering options ahead of key heart safety data for its diabetes drug Victoza and could run a further clinical study if necessary, the Danish company’s research head said on Wednesday.

The outcome of Novo’s current cardiovascular trial, known as LEADER,┬áhas become critical following the unprecedented success of Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance pill in slashing deaths in diabetics with heart risk.

Nov 3, 2015

GSK aims to file up to 20 new drugs for approval by 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline said on Tuesday it had the potential to file up to 20 new drugs for approval before 2020 as it seeks to revitalize a portfolio hit by falling sales of best-selling inhaled lung treatment Advair.

Seven of these products could reach the market before the end of decade, it added.

Nov 2, 2015

Shire to buy Dyax for $5.9 billion, still wants Baxalta

LONDON (Reuters) – Shire Plc (SHP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has agreed to buy Dyax Corp (DYAX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for about $5.9 billion to gain access to the drug developer’s late-stage experimental treatment for a dangerous inflammatory disease that can block breathing.

The deal is the latest in a string of purchases by the acquisitive Dublin-headquartered company, which is also seeking to buy Baxalta (BXLT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to establish itself as the world leader in medicines for rare diseases.

Nov 1, 2015

Drugged up: GSK, Roche and Sanofi to set out their stalls

LONDON (Reuters) – Three of Europe’s top drugmakers – GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Sanofi – face health checks this week at high-profile presentations designed to show they can overcome looming market threats.

The unusual confluence of investor days comes at a testing time for the $1 trillion-a-year global drugs industry, as deal-making sweeps a sector facing mounting competitive pressures.

Oct 30, 2015

Valeant severs ties with controversial pharmacy distributor

By Ben Hirschler and Shivam Srivastava

(Reuters) – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is to sever all ties with pharmacy business Philidor Rx Services in the wake of criticism over the relationship between the two closely associated companies.

Valeant and Philidor, which has helped to drive sales for the Canadian drugmaker, have come under fire after influential short-seller Citron Research said Philidor was being used to create “phantom accounts” and inflate Valeant’s revenue. Valeant has denied any wrongdoing.

Oct 30, 2015

Valeant cuts ties with beleaguered pharmacy Philidor

Oct 30 (Reuters) – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International
is to sever all ties with pharmacy business Philidor Rx
Services in the wake of criticism over the relationship between
the two closely associated companies.

Valeant and Philidor, which has helped to drive sales for
the Canadian drugmaker, have come under fire after influential
short-seller Citron Research said Philidor was being used to
create “phantom accounts” and inflate Valeant’s revenue. Valeant
has denied any wrongdoing.

Oct 28, 2015

Don’t bank on U.S. drug price rises, warns GSK boss

LONDON (Reuters) – Pharmaceutical companies cannot depend on ever increasing prices in the United States and will need to find a new balance between incentives for innovation and access to medicines, according to the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

High drug prices have come under fierce political fire recently in America, the industry’s biggest and most profitable market, with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton attacking “excessive profiteering”.

    • 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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