And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? As you may recall, this is our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is modest, but we do look forward to spending time with our short people, one of whom has been away, picking a few apples and manicuring the Pharmalot grounds. And what about you? ‘Tis the season to enjoy the outdoors, such as a ride in the country. You could catch up with friends. Or simply plan the rest of your life. Whatever you do, be safe. Enjoy and see you soon…
Bernie Sanders, who regularly lambasts drug makers, has rejected a $2,700 campaign donation from Martin Shkreli, who is the object of national scorn for raising the price of a life-saving medicine by 5,000 percent, Stat reports. Shkreli says he hoped to meet with Sanders, but a Sanders spokesman said, “We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed.” The money is being donated to a health clinic.
The FDA declined to approve an AstraZeneca fixed-dose combination of its Onglyza and Farxiga diabetes drugs, dealing a blow to a key part of the drugmaker’s strategy, Reuters writes. The agency wants more clinical data. Last year, during its defense against a $118 billion takeover attempt by Pfizer, AstraZeneca predicted the combination could generate peak annual sales of $3 billion, out of total diabetes revenue of $8 billion expected by 2023.
Who is the most highly rated chief executive in the world? The number one spot goes to Lars Rebien Sorensen at Novo Nordisk, according to The Harvard Business Review. He captured the top spot partly because the drug maker has a laser-like focus on diabetes, which has driven up sales and the stock price. But his standing also reflects Novo Nordisk’s deep engagement with social and environmental issues, which now factor in to the calculations.
Pfizer management met with the Gloucester, Ma., police chief in their first talks over steps needed to fight opioid addiction, The Gloucester Times reported. Details weren’t disclosed. The police chief posted contact info for chief executives of several drug makers on Facebook recently, urging the public to contact them directly and express their outrage over opioid addiction. Meanwhile, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker introduced legislation to allow doctors to hold people involuntarily for treatment and limiting patient supply of opioid painkillers.
PTC Therapeutics suffered two setbacks for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug. A study found the treatment failed to help boys with the muscle-wasting disease walk better in a final-stage clinical trial. And in the UK, the cost-effectiveness government watchdog declined to recommend the drug, which is already approved for use there, because it wants more data confirm a benefit and justify the cost, Pharma Times writes.
Massachusetts has won a third of all U.S. seed stage funding for biotech from 2009 to 2013 – more than $761 million, writes Bloomberg News, citing a report from PwC and the National Venture Capital Association.
Low-income cancer patients are much less likely to participate in clinical trials than their more affluent peers, Reuters writes, citing a study in JAMA Oncology.
ZMapp, an experimental drug that was used to treat Ebola patients during last year’s outbreak received orphan designation from European regulators, MedCity News tells us.Print This Post