Senior Correspondent, London
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Feb 27, 2015

Sanofi diabetes drug Toujeo wins EU green light, pricing in focus

LONDON (Reuters) – French drugmaker Sanofi’s new Toujeo diabetes drug has been recommended for approval in Europe, two days after being cleared for sale in the United States, regulators said on Friday.

The positive decision from experts at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had been expected and paves the way for the long-lasting insulin product to be marketed soon in Sanofi’s chosen first European markets, Germany and Britain.

Feb 27, 2015

Nikon pushes into medtech with 259 million pounds Optos acquisition

LONDON (Reuters) – Nikon (7731.T: Quote, Profile, Research), the 98-year-old Japanese company best known for its cameras, has agreed to buy British retinal imaging firm Optos (OPTS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) for 259.3 million pounds as it moves into the medical sector.

Nikon has previously said it intended to enter the medical sector to leverage its optical technologies and the Japanese group sees buying Optos as an important step in that long-term growth plan.

Feb 27, 2015

Nikon pushes into medtech with $400 mln Optos acquisition

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Nikon, the 98-year-old
Japanese company best known for its cameras, has agreed to buy
British retinal imaging firm Optos for 259.3 million
pounds ($400 million) as it moves into the medical sector.

Nikon has previously said it intended to enter the medical
sector to leverage its optical technologies and the Japanese
group sees buying Optos as an important step in that long-term
growth plan.

Feb 27, 2015

AstraZeneca to carve out antibiotic R&D into separate firm

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Drugmaker AstraZeneca has
decided to carve out its early-stage antibiotic research by
creating a stand-alone subsidiary company, as it sharpens its
focus on other therapy areas.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said last year he was looking
to partner or sell its anti-infective business, which is no
longer viewed as a core area for the British drugmaker.

Feb 26, 2015

GSK’s new chairman Hampton to take charge in May

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline said on
Thursday that its chairman-designate Philip Hampton would take
charge of Britain’s biggest drugmaker from May 7, marking an
earlier transition than initially anticipated.

Hampton, who chairs Royal Bank of Scotland, was
named as the pharmaceutical company’s next chairman last
September, but GSK said at the time he might not take up the
position until Sept. 1, 2015, if he could not be released from
other commitments.

Feb 26, 2015

Sanofi diabetes drug awaits imminent EU green light

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Sanofi’s new Toujeo
diabetes drug is on track to receive a potential green light
from European regulators this week, building on a U.S.
regulatory approval awarded on Wednesday.

Toujeo is a more potent follow-up to the French drugmaker’s
top-selling Lantus insulin product, which accounts for a fifth
of group sales, and the new drug is pivotal to Sanofi’s diabetes
business as Lantus faces loss of patent protection.

Feb 26, 2015

FDA postpones key hearing on biosimilar copy of blockbuster drug

Feb 26 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has
postponed a crucial meeting of an advisory committee to consider
a cheap version of a top-selling drug for rheumatoid arthritis
and Crohn’s disease, which had been scheduled for March 17.

The U.S. regulator said in a statement on its website late
on Wednesday that the hearing was postponed “due to information
requests pending with the sponsor of the application”.

Feb 25, 2015

Biosimilar copies of blockbuster drug launch in major EU markets

LONDON (Reuters) – Cheap versions of a top-selling drug for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease are being launched across major European markets in an important advance for a new type of medicines known as biosimilars.

The products from South Korean firm Celltrion and its partners Hospira and Mundipharma will compete with Remicade, the original branded drug from Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co.

Feb 6, 2015
Feb 5, 2015
    • 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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