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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: March, 2012

POSTED: Friday, March 30, 2012, 5:51 AM

GlaxoSmithKline leaders in research and development presented more specifics Thursday about their relatively new (2008) process for organizing and funding the company's search for new drugs.

The investor event was held in London, where GSK is based, but it was webcast on the company site.

GSK has employees in Center City and suburban Philadelphia.

POSTED: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 9:25 AM

The mergers-and-acquisitions market has been slow for the last couple years, but two possible mergers are in the pharmaceutical air.

Actually, as colleague Mike Armstrong always notes, there are no mergers. One company buys another and gets to make the rules.

Anyway, multiple reports says that Roche is trying to buy Illumina and Bristol-Myers Squibb is trying to buy Amylin.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 8:31 AM

Pfizer said in July that it was shopping its animal and nutrition units to determine what price it could get for them, all under the usual heading of increasing shareholder value.

Those were two of Pfizer's more profitable units. Some might think it odd that the company, which has cut R&D in search of profits, would sell already profitable units.

Anyway, the discussion has continued and Goldman Sachs pharmaceutical analyst Jami Rubin sent a note to clients suggesting a larger breakup of Pfizer might occur. She based that observation on a recent conversation with Pfizer CEO Ian Read, according to Bloomberg. That story is here.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 7:17 AM

The last week was not good for AstraZeneca profits derived through Seroquel as courts on both sides of the Atlantic said patents giving market exclusivity to the company's top-selling antipsychotic drug were invalid.

AstraZeneca is based in the United Kingdom, but has a big facilities in Wilmington and Newark, Del.

A federal judge in Washington on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by AstraZeneca against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in which the company sought to overturn the FDA's approval of a generic form of the drug. That means the generic version can be sold immediately.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 6:55 PM

A Texas judge Tuesday approved the $158 million settlement between Johnson & Johnson and the state of Texas over allegations that J&J's Janssen subsidiary illegally promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal through the Medicaid program.

Before Travis County District Judge John Dietz banged the gavel in Austin for the last time in this eight-year case, lawyers for the company, state and whistle blower Allen Jones argued over how the money should be divided.

Whistle blowers often get between 10 and 30 percent depending on a variety of circumstances.

POSTED: Monday, March 26, 2012, 7:11 AM

A trial is scheduled to start Monday in Little Rock, Ark., in which the state of Arkansas will try to prove that Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceutica subsidiary illegally promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal for unapproved uses and did not sufficiently divulge negative side effects.

According to the Associated Press story, which is below, the two sides were negotiating a settlement, but talks ended Friday.

Sometimes, talks resume.

POSTED: Friday, March 23, 2012, 8:16 AM

Nearly 70 percent of pharmaceutical leaders say that the business model for companies selling drugs is broken and needs remodeling, according to a survey conducted by Booz & Co., and Philadelphia's National Analysts Worldwide.

The biggest challenge facing pharma companies is pricing pressure brought on by governments facing tight budgets. The logical next biggest challenge is the need to justify why a drug is better than the industry standard.

The full survey report is here.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 8:45 AM

Pennsylvania Bio, the trade association representing Pennsylvania’s life science industry, held its annual awards dinner Tuesday night at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, with Infrascan Inc., named as the recipient of the first PA Bio Patient Impact Award.

Infrascan created a noninvasive and portable means of detecting intracranial hematoma, according to Pennsylvania Bio.

Other winners, previously announced, include:

  • President’s Service Award: Jennifer Miller, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP.
  • Scientific Achievement Award: Amy Jessop, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Public Health and Director of HepTREC, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
  • Clarkston Scholarship: Alexander Brown, sophomore, Lehigh University.
  • Schoemaker Leadership Award: Warren V. “Pete” Musser, longtime chairman and CEO of Safeguard Scientifics.
  • Baldino CEO Award: Steve Tullman, CEO of Ceptaris Therapeutics.
  • Federal Official of the Year (Senate): Pat Toomey (R-PA).
  • Federal Official of the Year (House): Patrick Meehan (PA-07).
  • State Public Official of the Year: Rep. Scott Petri (R-178)
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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