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Sep 2, 2015

Biogen patent survives challenge by hedge fund manager Bass

By Andrew Chung and Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – In another setback for prominent hedge fund
manager Kyle Bass and his campaign to eliminate some drug
patents, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday
declined to hold a trial on the validity of a patent on Biogen
Inc’s multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera.

Last month the patent office also declined reviews requested
by Bass and his Coalition for Affordable Drugs on two Acorda
Therapeutics Inc patents. The Biogen
patent covered a dosing regimen for Tecfidera, which had $2.9
billion in sales last year.

Sep 1, 2015

Alexion gets EU approval for two drugs acquired in Synageva deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ten weeks after closing its $8.4 billion purchase of Synageva BioPharma Corp, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc on Tuesday announced European approval for two drugs acquired through the deal, both enzyme-replacement therapies for ultra-rare, life threatening diseases.

European health regulators approved Kanuma for patients with lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D), and Strensiq for patients with pediatric-onset hypophosphatasia (HPP). The treatments are awaiting U.S. approval decisions after receiving breakthrough therapy designations from the Food and Drug Administration.

Aug 25, 2015

Perrigo CEO expects shareholders to reject Mylan bid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Perrigo Co Plc’s (PRGO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chief executive expressed confidence on Tuesday that his company’s shareholders will reject rival generic drugmaker Mylan NV’s hostile takeover attempt, and said the offer is not close to what it would take to get a deal done.

Mylan (MYL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shareholders are set to vote on Friday on whether the company should move forward with the Perrigo bid, whose value has declined with the recent market sell-off. If more than half vote “yes,” Mylan plans to take its cash and stock offer directly to Perrigo shareholders.

Aug 7, 2015

Pfizer, Bristol revive cancer drugs that rev up immune system

NEW YORK, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Some of the most heralded new
cancer drugs fight the disease by removing brakes on the immune
system. Now a few leading drugmakers are paying attention to a
second, opposing force: medicines that accelerate the immune
system’s attack.

Pfizer Inc, which is lagging rivals in the lucrative
field of cancer immunotherapies, has been the first to report
early data of an “accelerator” treatment that targets a protein
called 4-1BB. It has at least five other Phase I studies
underway or in planning stages in solid tumor cancers and
lymphomas, which are blood cancers.

Aug 6, 2015

Mylan CEO says does not ‘have to’ buy Perrigo, has other options

NEW YORK, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Generic drugmaker Mylan Inc’s
chief executive said on Thursday that acquiring Perrigo
Co was not a must and that it had other options should
Perrigo successfully fend off Mylan’s $34 billion hostile

“There are alternatives to Perrigo. We believe Perrigo is
the right first step. We like Perrigo, but we don’t have to have
Perrigo,” CEO Heather Bresch said during a conference call with
Wall Street analysts to discuss quarterly results

Aug 5, 2015

CVS strips Viagra, other top drugs, from insurance coverage

Aug 5 (Reuters) – CVS Health Corp, which operates
the nation’s second-biggest pharmacy benefit manager, said that
next year it will exclude an additional 31 prescription
medicines from insurance coverage, including Viagra and widely
used treatments for diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

The 2016 excluded drugs, disclosed on Wednesday, also
include Vivus Inc’s weight loss treatment Qsymia, which
last week was excluded from the 2016 formulary of rival PBM
Express Scripts Holding Co. Vivus officials could not
immediately be reached for comment.

Aug 5, 2015

Perrigo CEO says no easy path for Mylan to acquire company

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Perrigo Co Plc (PRGO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday made a fresh case for rejecting a $34 billion offer from generic drugmaker Mylan NV (MYL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and said Mylan’s recent share price plunge reinforces Perrigo’s intention to remain independent.

Perrigo Chief Executive Joseph Papa, in his first comments on the unsolicited acquisition attempt since Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA.TA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) dropped its pursuit of Mylan in favor of another deal, reiterated that the $205 per share offer substantially undervalues Perrigo.

Jul 30, 2015

Amgen profit tops Street view, boosts full-year forecast

July 30 (Reuters) – Amgen Inc on Thursday reported
higher-than-expected second-quarter profit and revenue, helped
by strong sales of its Enbrel rheumatoid arthritis drug and cost
cutting, and the company raised its full-year forecasts.

Excluding special items, Amgen earned $2.57 per share,
topping analysts’ average expectations by 14 cents, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Jul 30, 2015

Abbott strikes deals with heart valve replacement companies

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday said it would buy a small private company and has invested in another, with an option to buy, as it places bets on the future growth potential of minimally invasive systems to replace diseased heart valves.

Abbott said it has agreed to acquire the equity in Minnesota-based Tendyne Holdings Inc that it does not already own for $225 million plus future payments tied to regulatory milestones. Abbott already had a 10 percent stake in the company worth about $25 million.

Jul 27, 2015

Mylan independence from Teva’s embrace comes with a price

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Generic drugmaker Mylan NV won a reprieve on Monday from its unwanted suitor, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, but now faces an uphill battle to make its own acquisition as its biggest rival just got bigger.

Teva announced a $40.5 billion deal for the generic assets of Allergan Plc after an unsuccessful three-month attempt to bring Mylan to the table.

    • About Bill

      "Based in New York, I primarily cover the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors as well as other publicly traded companies involved in health care. Previously covered a wide range of sports for Reuters."
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