Leaner, Meaner R&D

Erik Greb PharmTech editorA sizeable chunk of Big Pharma’s sales will fall off the dreaded patent cliff before the year is out. Patent expirations will allow competitors to market, and patients to buy, generic versions of branded drugs. A renewed focus on discovering and developing new therapies would seem to be the obvious solution for Big Pharma. Yet at least one observer predicts cuts in research and development (R&D) spending throughout the industry. Read more »

Echoes of Avandia

Erik Greb PharmTech editorBig Pharma companies with weak pipelines likely envy the makers of generic drugs, whose profits stand to increase as innovators’ drugs lose patent protection. But business for generic-drug manufacturers is not necessarily simple. In fact, a lawsuit to be heard by the US Supreme Court shows that these companies may face significant risks, even if they play by the rules. Read more »

Success Is Unlikely on sanofi’s Terms

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThere was no joy in Paris, at least at sanofi-aventis (Paris) headquarters, on Friday. When the company’s offer to acquire Genzyme (Cambridge, MA) at $69 per share expired that day, fewer than 1% of the biopharmaceutical company’s outstanding shares had been tendered. In response, sanofi extended its deadline to January 21, 2011 without modifying the terms of its offer. Why should the company expect a different result in six weeks’ time? Read more »

How Drugmakers Could Earn Patients’ Thanks

Erik Greb PharmTech editorThanksgiving provides a valuable opportunity for us to remember the ways in which we are fortunate. But these days, our high rate of unemployment is making many Americans feel like they have fewer blessings to count. A recent survey shows that economic worries also are taking a toll on our health. Read more »

Of Genes, Coal, and the US Government

Erik Greb PharmTech editorBiopharmaceutical manufacturers have successfully patented isolated DNA molecules for some time. The Biotechnology Industry Organization recently described these patents as critical tools that enable the research and development of new biotech therapies. A new development in a federal court case, however, could redefine what legitimately can and cannot be patented. The court’s decision could have ramifications for all biopharmaceutical manufacturers. Read more »

Eli Lilly: the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Everyman

Erik Greb PharmTech editorWall Street analysts gave Eli Lilly (Indianapolis, IN) executives the third degree last Thursday when the company presented its third-quarter results. Lilly’s revenue had increased only 2%, mostly because it had raised its prices. Although demand for its products had stayed flat, the company boosted its profits by 38% mostly through layoffs and cost-cutting measures. The patents on many of the company’s top drugs (e.g., Zyprexa and Actos) will expire in the next few years, however, and no new drugs seem poised to replace them. Analysts wanted to know how Lilly would weather the storm. Read more »

The Future Could Be Needle-Free

Erik Greb PharmTech editorPatients who take biological drugs traditionally have had little choice but to submit to injections. Yet needlephobes should take heart. Several partnerships are developing other ways to deliver large molecules that seem to show promise. Read more »

Sanofi’s Courtship of Genzyme in Limbo

Erik Greb PharmTech editorNow it’s official. Rumors about sanofi-aventis’s (Paris) desire to purchase Genzyme (Cambridge, MA) have stirred speculation for weeks. The French drugmaker laid its cards on the table on Sunday by publishing its offer letter to Henri Termeer, Genzyme’s CEO. Sanofi proposed to pay $69 in cash per Genzyme share, or a total of about $18.5 billion, to acquire the biologics manufacturer. On Friday, Genzyme shares closed at $67.62.

Termeer’s response came this morning. It can be summed up in two words: nothing doing. Read more »

Protection from Patent Dependence

Erik Greb PharmTech editorIn the current economic slump, generic versions of branded drugs have become a bigger thorn in innovators’ sides than before. To safeguard their profits for just a bit longer, many companies have paid generic-drug manufacturers to delay the introduction of their products to the market. US and European authorities have called these arrangements anticompetitive, though, and events on Capitol Hill last week indicate that they might not be tolerated much longer. Read more »

AstraZeneca Versus the European Commission

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeCompanies always want the longest patent protection possible for their products — and with good reason considering the immense costs of R&D. However, some companies go a little too far in seeking patent protection to the point that they may even try to mislead the regulators in order to extend the life of patents. Read more »

« Previous PageNext Page »