Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, October 31, 2013, 4:22 AM
AstraZeneca's campus in Wilmington, Del.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca said Thursday that its profit declined 18.4 percent in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.

AstraZeneca is based in London and has facilities in Wilmington and Newark, Del. The company has cut jobs worldwide and in Delaware in recent months but there was no mention of new layoffs in the report issued Thursday morning before the London Stock Exchange opened.

A link to the press release, with the numbers, is here. The company has conference calls with reporters and analysts scheduled for later Thursday.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 7:23 AM
Jeremy Levin has stepped down as CEO of Teva

 The turmoil at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., reached a new high Wednesday morning when the company announced that Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Levin "has agreed" with the board of directors to step down.

Levin was hired on Jan. 1, 2012 and didn't start until May of 2012. The company is based in Israel, but has big operations in suburban Philadelphia. Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh will take over as interim CEO.

Teva's statement is here:

POSTED: Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 8:19 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 30, 2012 file photo, boxes of the drug Relpax, made by Pfizer, are displayed in Surfside, Fla (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee, File)

Drugmaker Pfizer, Inc., said Tuesday that its profit fell 19 percent in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.

Based in Manhattan with a big operation in Collegeville, Pfizer cited generic competition as the main cause of declines in revenue and profit. A link to Pfizer's press release and numbers is here.

Pfizer has been re-organizing in hopes of improving efficiency. Part of that was spinning off its animal health unit, Zoetis, which was completed in June.

POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2013, 11:59 AM

PhillyPharma is a team player. Inquirer team leaders recently asked for help with other chores. We'll resume more frequent posting as soon as possible.

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POSTED: Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 9:43 AM

Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary were defending the company and the drug Topamax in trial that began Tuesday in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

In the Bloomberg News story (link here), the attorney for a Virginia woman said J&J had put the woman and her child at risk because of the side effects related to the drug that was prescribed to treat the woman's migraine headaches. In the story, April Czimmer blamed Topomax and Janssen for her son’s cleft palate and lip and claimed Janssen negligently failed to inform patients about its risks until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered stronger warnings in 2011. The attorney said this was among the first of 134 Topomax suits in Philadelphia.

Like most big drug companies, J&J faces thousands of lawsuits in state and federal courts filed by people who say they or their children were harmed by the company's drugs.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 9:36 AM

The shifting landscape of American health care - for good or bad, depending on your opinion, status, employer, and particular changes - was evident Tuesday when one of the Philadelphia region's larger private employers, Johnson & Johnson, reported financial results for the third quarter of 2013.

The health-care giant had increased sales and profits, but also greatly increased the money set aside to pay pending legal bills, and warned of possible layoffs in a local division because people are postponing elective surgery to repair knees, hips, and backs.

J&J's sales of $17.6 billion and profits of $3 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 30 were higher than the same period of 2012. The figures were boosted by the introduction of patent-protected and profitable prescription drugs. The company's stock, $89.92 at Tuesday's close, has risen more than $20 in the last 12 months. That helps many people, including those who don't know that the stock is in their pension or 401(k) plan. Like drugmakers Pfizer and Merck, J&J is among the 30 companies used to calculate the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 8:24 AM
Johnson and Johnson (AP Photo)

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson reported increases in sales and profit in the third quarter of 2013, but also said it increased the money it set aside to deal with legal bills.

Indications are that J&J and the Justice Department are getting closer to finalizing an agreement related to allegations of improper marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. J&J also faces patient lawsuits related to multiple products.

J&J is headquartered in New Brunswick, N.J., and has multiple operations around Philadelphia.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 7:26 AM
AstraZeneca offices in England. The firm also has facilities in Delaware.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca said Tuesday that it has bought Spirogen, a privately-held biotech company that focuses on so-called "antibody-drug conjugate" technology that is used in oncology. AstraZeneca will pay $200 million up front and then $240 more if Spirogen products reach development and commericial milestones.

AstraZeneca is based in London, with a planned move to Cambridge, but has a big operation in Wilmington and Newark, Del.

AstraZeneca made the purchase through its subsidiary MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm.

About this blog
David Sell blogs about the region's pharmaceutical industry. Follow him on Facebook.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Reach David at dsell@phillynews.com.

David Sell
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