Sunday, July 13, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, September 16, 2013, 9:04 AM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration put an import alert on medicine produced at the Mohali factory belonging to India-base drugmaker Ranbaxy, which is based in Mumbai and has its U.S. headquarters in Princeton.

The notice is dated Sept. 13 and is posted on the FDA website, with a link here.

The notice means the products can be seized by U.S. authorities without examination. The alert was posted because of concerns about manufacturing problems at the facility.

POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013, 9:12 AM

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Par Pharmaceutical Co., won a federal appeals court patent infringement decision posted Thursday, which - pending FDA approval - will allow the generic drug companies to make cheaper versions of the omega-3 fish oil drug Lovaza, which is sold in the United States by GlaxoSmithKline.

Lovaza is meant to treat high levels of triglycerides, which can be factor in heart disease.

Teva is based in Israel but has its Americas headquarters in North Wales, Montgomery County. GSK is based in London, but has operations in Philadelphia and the surrounding region.

POSTED: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 9:40 AM

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutical subsidiary said Wednesday that it was recalling one lot of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal Consta.

A link to the recall notice in PDF format is here and gets a brief link on the product web site, which is deep within the Janssen web site.

Janssen's statement says the recall was issued "because the product did not meet our standards."

POSTED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 9:19 AM
Pfizer CEO Ian Read

NEW YORK - Pharmaceutical companies have an image problem. They now say they care more about it.

Pfizer collects more money from prescription drugs than any other company on the planet, with 2012 total revenue of $59 billion and net income of $14.6 billion. Finances are part of the dilemma the drugmaker tried to address Tuesday when it invited reporters to its headquarters here to listen to company leaders discuss improvements to research and development of vaccines. Such vaccines can save lives and prevent horrible diseases that can cripple children and ravage societies.

"Frankly, what we do, we believe, is important to society," Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read said in his opening remarks.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 9:44 AM
Dawn Pride, of West Philadelphia, holds up her Advair inhaler that help her with chronic asthma. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)

GlaxoSmithKline's top-selling drug by far is the asthma medication Advair, which accounts for about 20 percent of company revenue. Generic competition got a bit closer to reality on Monday.

Advair is delivered to patients through an inhaler. Besides any existing patents, brand-name drug companies like GSK have hoped that the combination of drug and device would delay U.S. Food and Drug Administration issuance of guidelines for generic manufacturers who hope to make equivalent products.

The FDA issued such guidance on Monday, though the guidance is not final. A link to the technical document is here.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 9:31 AM
Inovio Pharmeceuticals' corporate logo.

Blue Bell-based start up Inovio Pharmaceuticals signed a partnership deal with Swiss-based drugmaker Roche that pays $10 million up front but could yield as much as $412 million if Inovio's prostate cancer and hepatitis B immunotherapy products pan out.

Revenue from the sale of drugs derived from the compounds - an innovative process is also part of the deal - are a long way off. The testing completed has only been on animals.

Roche, which is based in Basel and has operations in New Jersey, will provide research and development support to Inovio. The potentially big payout down the road depends on drugs meeting clinical and then sales milestones.

POSTED: Monday, September 9, 2013, 7:54 AM

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said Monday that it had agreed to sell its nutritional drink brands Lucozade and Ribena to Japan-based Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, for $2.1 billion.

GSK, which is based in London and has operations in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, said in February that it would look for a buyer for the drink brands because it wanted to focus more on its pharmaceutical products. GSK will use the cash to reduce debt.

“Lucozade and Ribena are iconic brands that have made a huge contribution to GSK over the years, but now is the right time to sell them as we increase the focus of our Consumer Healthcare business and execute the delivery of our late stage pipeline of pharmaceuticals and vaccines," David Redfern, GSK's chief strategy officer, said in a statement. "We believe the future of Lucozade and Ribena is in good hands given SBF’s established beverages business, ambitious growth plans and also their recognition of the strong performance and capability of the GSK employees working on these products.”

POSTED: Monday, September 9, 2013, 7:38 AM

Teleflex Inc. was founded in 1943 with a single product - a cable contraption that allowed World War II pilots in Spitfire fighter planes to adjust their radios, even though the radio was behind the cockpit and out of arm's reach. The flexible cable was extended and retracted telescopically, from which the company name was born.

Seventy years later, Teleflex is still headquartered in Pennsylvania - though that will move early in 2014 from Limerick to Wayne - and it still makes strands that help reach into hard-to-reach places. But that's about where the similarity ends, as demonstrated in a modern, global way Thursday.

The company broadcast a live webcast/webinar from the operating room of a hospital in the Netherlands. One of the company's newer catheters - the Rusch EZ-Blocker Endobronchial Blocker - was threaded into the lung of a patient during cardiothoracic surgery. On Friday the patient was recovering normally, the company said.

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

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

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