April 2021

Glass half-full? Embattled AstraZeneca CEO Soriot defends COVID-19 vaccine

As the weeks turn to months on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine filing in the U.S., the big question is when. Its answer remains the same: soon. But the next biggest question is, why bother? With U.S. vaccine coffers now overflowing with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots, why is AstraZeneca still planning to file for emergency […]

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Amid JAK safety uncertainty, AbbVie says latest data support its key launch Rinvoq

As AbbVie plans for its post-Humira future, its immunology drugs Rinvoq and Skyrizi are carrying big expectations. However, the drugmaker and its investors been forced to hold their breath while the FDA works overtime to review data on a handful of new indications for Rinvoq.  In response to an FDA request, AbbVie has provided the federal agency

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Novavax hands top execs $106M in stock options as COVID-19 vaccine nears the starting line

Perseverance has paid off for Novavax. Execs for the Maryland company, which is on the verge of bringing its first vaccine to the market in its 34-year history, are reaping the benefits. The company’s proxy statement, which dropped last week, revealed more than $116 million in compensation for the biotech’s top five executives, with $106 million

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AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso, Imfinzi have been slowed by COVID-19, but growth is coming: exec

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may be getting all the headlines these days, but oncology is still the company’s core business. While AZ’s two top-selling cancer drugs showed signs of slowing down, that’s only momentarily, an exec said. EGFR inhibitor Tagrisso brought in sales of $1.15 billion in the first quarter, while PD-L1 inhibitor Imfinzi racked up

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AbbVie CEO summoned to Congress—again—to answer questions on Humira pricing, patenting

Accused of forming a patent thicket around its top-seller Humira and cancer blockbuster Imbruvica, AbbVie has faced repeated pressure from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to lay out its pricing and patenting strategies. With that information now in hand, the committee is putting AbbVie’s helmsman in the hot seat. AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez

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Fierce Pharma Asia—Gilead, Merck help India with COVID; BeiGene’s BTK win; Astellas’ gene therapy loss

Gilead Sciences and Merck offered help to local drugmakers with the production of their antiviral drugs. BeiGene claimed a head-to-head win for its BTK inhibitor Brukinsa against AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson’s Imbruvica in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Astellas took a $540 million write-off as Audentes Therapeutics’ lead gene therapy remains in clinical halt. And more. 1.

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Emergent CEO takes ‘full responsibility’ for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing flubs, but offers little in the way of answers

There were lots of questions for Emergent BioSolutions CEO Robert Kramer after the troubled COVID-19 vaccine maker disclosed first-quarter earnings on Thursday afternoon. But there weren’t many answers. And that was completely understandable considering the state of his company. After all, Emergent is the target of a lawsuit by investors, is under investigation by Congress and may

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Gilead’s $1.5B in remdesivir sales help buoy worse-than-expected declines for mainstay HIV, hepatitis C drugs

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to offer a mixed bag for Gilead Sciences. On the one hand, the biotech has reaped billions on the back of its antiviral treatment remdesivir, which has helped offset worse-than-expected hits to its mainstay HIV and hepatitis C drugs.  As vaccinations pick up and hospitalizations decline, it’s anyone’s guess how long the

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Antiviral drug ‘Clevira’ repurposed for treating mild to moderate Covid-19 patients – ET HealthWorld

Clevira, a drug primarily developed to treat dengue, has been repurposed as supportive treatment for mild to moderate Covid-19 cases, its manufacturer Apex Laboratories Private Limited said on Friday. The drug is effective when taken orally and the dosage is one tablet twice daily after food for 14 days. The drug has also proved to

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Pharma advertising leapfrogged the norm during the pandemic­­—and creativity is flourishing, exec says

What happened to pharma creativity during the pandemic? It got better, says Klick Health Chief Creative Officer Rich Levy. Take TV and video advertising, for instance. Animation, stop-motion, and computer-generated imagery flourished when in-person ad shoots essentially stopped, compelling pharma marketers and their agencies to get more inventive. “The pandemic has allowed us to think in

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