Company news: Vivus; Novartis; Haymarket and Monthly Prescribing Reference
An FDA advisory panel endorsed the Vivus diet drug Qnexa with a decisive 20-2 vote Wednesday, a turnaround from the panel's rejection of the drug two years ago. Wednesday's endorsement, however, is not the final word – the FDA will vote on the drug April 17 and the agency has gone against the panel's advice in the past. Approval would make Qnexa the first new prescription weight loss drug to hit the market in 13 years. Wednesday's green light gives Qnexa an edge over Arena Pharmaceuticals and Orexigen Therapeutics who are also seeking second-looks for their previously rejected diet drugs. Bloomberg reports the Qnexa's sales could hit $448 million in 2015. Qnexa has been linked to birth defects and memory loss.
Novartis has appointed Michele Galen Head of Communications. The promotion went into effect last month. Galen's 11 years with the company have included her most recent role as VP, global head, communications and advocacy in Basel as well as VP roles in oncology affairs, communications and external affairs for Novartis Molecular Diagnostics and corporate communications.