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Mar 6, 2015

Novartis wins approval for first U.S. biosimilar drug

By Deena Beasley and Ben Hirschler

(Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Friday gave a green light to sales of the country’s first copied version of a biotechnology drug, or “biosimilar,” with approval of Novartis’ white blood cell-boosting Zarxio.

The drug contains the same active ingredient as Neupogen, or filgrastim, which logged 2014 worldwide sales of $1.2 billion for manufacturer Amgen.

Mar 6, 2015

Eli Lilly loses Alimta drug patent case in Germany to Actavis

By Ben Hirschler

(Reuters) – Eli Lilly has lost a patent case in
Germany over its blockbuster Alimta lung cancer drug to generic
producer Actavis, hitting the U.S. drugmaker’s future
sales hopes for the medicine.

Alimta generated worldwide sales of $2.79 billion for Lilly
last year, making the medicine its biggest-selling product.

Mar 6, 2015

Copy me: Europe shows U.S. a path to cheaper biotech drugs

LONDON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A revolution is brewing in healthcare with lower-cost copies of complex biotech drugs finally set to reach the United States, nine years after so-called biosimilars were launched in Europe.

The potential for copycats to take business from original biotech brands is grabbing investors’ attention and was a key factor in Pfizer’s recent move to buy injectable drugmaker Hospira for about $15 billion.

Mar 6, 2015

Insight – Copy me: Europe shows U.S. a path to cheaper biotech drugs

LONDON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A revolution is brewing in healthcare with lower-cost copies of complex biotech drugs finally set to reach the United States, nine years after so-called biosimilars were launched in Europe.

The potential for copycats to take business from original biotech brands is grabbing investors’ attention and was a key factor in Pfizer’s recent move to buy injectable drugmaker Hospira for about $15 billion.

Mar 5, 2015

Biotech buys get pharma M&A off to flying start in 2015

LONDON (Reuters) – AbbVie’s $21 billion deal to buy Pharmacyclics shows big pharma’s hunger for new drugs at a time when research at smaller biotechnology companies is driving some of the most promising advances in medicine.

Competition for tomorrow’s blockbuster drugs is now intense, inflating the cost of deals and pushing pharmaceuticals to center stage in overall mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Mar 5, 2015

AbbVie boosts cancer drug pipeline with $21 bln Pharmacyclics deal

March 5 (Reuters) – AbbVie Inc is to buy
Pharmacyclics Inc for about $21 billion, giving it
access to what is expected to be one of the world’s top-selling
cancer drugs and expanding its reach in the profitable oncology
field.

The deal — the latest example of a big drugmaker swooping
on a biotech firm to refill its medicine pipeline — confounds
expectations that Pharmacyclics would sell out to Johnson &
Johnson.

Mar 4, 2015

Bristol’s $1 bln Bavarian deal may signal cancer vaccine revival

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – The idea of using vaccines to
fight cancer has received a shot in the arm from a $1 billion
deal between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Bavarian Nordic
.

The agreement gives the U.S. drugmaker an exclusive option
to the Danish biotech firm’s therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine
Prostvac and signals that such shots may have a bright future
when combined with so-called checkpoint inhibitor drugs.

Mar 2, 2015

GSK and Novartis complete deals to reshape both drugmakers

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and
Novartis said on Monday they had completed a series of
asset swaps worth more than $20 billion that will reshape both
drugmakers.

GSK is forming a consumer health joint venture with
Novartis, while at the same time buying the Swiss company’s
vaccines business and divesting its cancer drugs portfolio to
Novartis.

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.

    • 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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