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Feb 10, 2015

Gilead expects big increase in Europeans treated with hep C drug

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc said on Tuesday it expects the number of hepatitis C patients treated in Europe with its Sovaldi drug to increase dramatically this year, and that approvals for the newer combination pill, Harvoni, could come quickly.

The company, which has come under intense criticism in the United States for the high price of its treatments for the liver destroying virus, is negotiating price cuts in Europe in exchange for patient volume promises.

Feb 7, 2015

Anthem warns U.S. customers of email scam after data breach

By Bill Berkrot and Joseph Menn

(Reuters) – Health insurer Anthem Inc on Friday warned U.S. customers about an email scam targeting former and current members whose personal information was suspected to have been breached in a massive cyber attack.

The No. 2 U.S. health insurer said on Wednesday that hackers breached its computer system containing data on up to 80 million people.

Feb 5, 2015

Pfizer’s Hospira deal bets on price spike for specialty generics

NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc’s $15 billion deal to
buy Hospira Inc will allow the largest U.S. drugmaker to benefit
from specialty generic medicines that are commanding far higher
prices than traditional off-patent pills, industry investors and
analysts said.

High demand for many of its injectable sterile drugs,
including outright shortages in some cases, has allowed Hospira
to increase prices in recent years.

Jan 30, 2015

AbbVie expects more than $3 billion in annual hep C drug sales

Jan 30 (Reuters) – AbbVie Inc’s chief executive
said on Friday the company’s new hepatitis C treatment Viekira
Pak has the potential to capture a “meaningful share” of the
U.S. market, where it is competing against Gilead Sciences
.

AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez told investors the company
expects an annualized sales run rate of more than $3 billion by
the end of 2015, which could grow beyond that as more countries
begin using Viekira Pak, which is a combination of several
pills.

Jan 29, 2015

PerkinElmer profit tops estimates on strong newborn screening

Jan 29 (Reuters) – Scientific instruments maker PerkinElmer
Inc on Thursday reported better-than-expected fourth
quarter revenue and profit, helped by strong demand for its
newborn screening tests in developing markets.

The company forecast 2015 adjusted earnings of $2.58 to 2.64
per share, assuming the stronger U.S. dollar will reduce profit
by about 15 cents. Analysts’ estimates are already at the high
end of the range at $2.64 per share.

Jan 29, 2015

Celgene says 2015 off to strong start; key growth drivers in place

Jan 29 (Reuters) – Celgene Corp on Thursday said
early first quarter sales trends indicate the year is off to a
strong start, and that it has growth drivers in place to meet or
exceed its 2015 and long- term forecasts.

Earlier this month, the U.S. biotechnology company issued a
2020 forecast that called for revenue to exceed $20 billion, up
from $7.56 billion in 2014.

Jan 27, 2015

Amgen profit tops expectations on Enbrel sales, tax credit

Jan 27 (Reuters) – Amgen Inc on Tuesday reported
higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, driven by strong
sales of its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel and a
tax credit.

Despite pressure on overseas sales from the strong dollar
that has put a crimp in pharmaceutical company profits, Amgen
reiterated the 2015 forecast it provided in October for adjusted
earnings of $9.05 to $9.40 per share on revenue of $20.8 billion
to $21.3 billion. Analysts are estimating earnings of $9.28 per
share and revenue of $20.87 billion.

Jan 26, 2015

Regeneron/Sanofi cholesterol drug gets FDA priority review

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on Monday said U.S. health regulators accepted its application to review a potent cholesterol drug on a priority basis, potentially giving it the upper hand in a fierce race with Amgen to bring a new medicine from the promising class to market.

Regeneron, which is developing the drug, alirocumab, in partnership with Sanofi, said the target date for a Food and Drug Administration approval decision was July 24, following a six-month review period.

Jan 22, 2015

FDA panel backs Astellas drug for invasive fungal infections

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – A panel of experts on Thursday voted to recommend that U.S. health regulators approve Astellas Pharma Inc’s drug for the treatment of rare, often fatal invasive fungal infections that can target patients with blood cancers.

The Anti-Infective Drugs advisory committee panel voted 11-0 that the Japanese drugmaker had demonstrated sufficient safety and efficacy to support approval of the drug, isavuconazonium to treat invasive aspergillosis.

Jan 20, 2015

Bristol-Myers taps insider Caforio as next CEO

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co on Tuesday said Chief Operating Officer Giovanni Caforio will replace Lamberto Andreotti as chief executive on May 5, in another selection of a long-time insider to lead the company.

Caforio, 50, who has a medical background and led the company’s global oncology operations, will take over Bristol-Myers at a time when it is riding high on its new high-profile cancer drugs that help the immune system fight the disease.

    • 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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