Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, March 30
UnitedHealth Group will acquire pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran in an all-cash deal worth $12.8 billion. The insurer will pay a 27% premium on Catamaran's share price, according to The New York Times. Catamaran will be combined with UnitedHealth's own pharmacy business, OptumRx. Catamaran's chairman and chief executive, Mark Thierer, will take the helm of OptumRx.
Sanofi launched its basal insulin Toujeo Monday. The drug, approved February 25, is the heir apparent to the Paris-based drugmaker's Lantus, one of the best-selling insulins. Toujeo will face competition from Novo Nordisk's Tresiba in early 2016, Reuters reported.
Novartis formed an alliance with biotech drugmaker Aduro to launch a new immuno-oncology research group. The duo plans to investigate the STING pathway that, when activated, is believed to initiate “broad innate and adaptive immune responses in tumors,” Novartis explained in a release. Novartis will pay $200 million upfront to Aduro. Aduro will be responsible for commercial activities in the US; Novartis will lead commercialization in the rest of the world.
Teva bought Auspex Pharmaceuticals for $3.2 billion, a 47% percent premium to Auspex's stock price, the Associated Press reported. Auspex's lead product, SD-809, has completed a Phase-III trial for treatment of chorea (an abnormal involuntary movement) in Huntington's disease. The drug is also being investigated for treatment of involuntary movements in other neurological disorders, such as Tourette's syndrome and Tardive Dyskinesia.
Horizon Pharma purchased Hyperion Therapeutics for $955 million in cash. The deal will expand Horizon's portfolio by adding two orphan drugs, Ravicti and Buphenyl, both of which treat urea cycle disorder. The two generated combined sales of $144.4 million in 2014. Horizon now markets seven products, according to The Wall Street Journal.