Senior Correspondent, London
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Mar 21, 2014

Gilead offers Egypt new hepatitis C drug at 99 pct discount

CAIRO/LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – Gilead Sciences,
facing mounting criticism over the high price of its new
hepatitis C pill Sovaldi, has offered to supply the medicine to
Egypt at a 99 percent discount to the U.S. price.

While the drug will still cost $900 for a 12-week course of
treatment, that is a fraction of the $84,000 charged for a
course of treatment in the United States.

Mar 21, 2014
Mar 20, 2014

Quality woes point to generic drugs shake-out: Novartis

BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – Recent manufacturing problems in India suggest some makers of generic drugs will struggle to compete in the face of a rising quality bar, pointing to a likely a shake-out in the low-cost sector, according to Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research).

Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said the Swiss group’s Sandoz unit – a world leader in making cheap off-patent medicines – was well placed to thrive in an era of tougher standards. Others, however, would not be able to upgrade and stay competitive.

Mar 20, 2014
Mar 20, 2014

Indian quality woes point to generic drugs shake-out – Novartis

BASEL, Switzerland, March 20 (Reuters) – Recent
manufacturing problems in India suggest some makers of generic
drugs will struggle to compete in the face of a rising quality
bar, pointing to a likely a shake-out in the low-cost sector,
according to Novartis.

Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said the Swiss group’s Sandoz
unit – a world leader in making cheap off-patent medicines – was
well placed to thrive in an era of tougher standards. Others,
however, would not be able to upgrade and stay competitive.

Mar 20, 2014

Novartis CEO reshapes drugmaker for ‘brutal’ new world

BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – Novartis Chief Executive Joe Jimenez is taking a hard look at the drugmaker’s smaller businesses as he reshapes the company for what he expects to be a “brutal” new era in healthcare spending.

At least one of the three sub-scale units – animal health, vaccines and over-the-counter medicines – is not expected to make the cut, he told Reuters in the clearest indication yet of how the review is progressing.

Mar 20, 2014

GSK cancer vaccine fails again but testing continues

March 20 (Reuters) – An experimental cancer vaccine from
GlaxoSmithKline has failed in a second test – this time
against lung cancer – but the British company said it still
hoped to identify a sub-group of patients in which it would
work.

Thursday’s news that the MAGE-A3 therapeutic vaccine did not
help patients with non-small cell lung cancer in a late-stage
study is a further blow to the high-risk, high-reward project
after a similar setback in melanoma in September.

Mar 18, 2014
Mar 18, 2014
Mar 18, 2014

Rivals race to develop new biotech asthma drugs

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) – Rival firms are racing to
develop injectable biotech asthma drugs for patients with severe
disease who don’t respond well to traditional inhalers, in
pursuit of a new market worth a possible $7.5 billion.

Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, the leader in asthma
treatments since launching its Ventolin inhaler in 1969, is in
the vanguard but faces competition from the likes of Roche
, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Teva
.

    • 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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