Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, June 11

An FDA panel endorsed Amgen's PCSK9 inhibitor with an 11-4 vote
An FDA panel endorsed Amgen's PCSK9 inhibitor with an 11-4 vote

An FDA advisory panel endorsed Amgen's experimental cholesterol-lowering medication Repatha with an 11-4 vote, but panel members said the 12-week study period supporting the application may be too short, reported The Wall Street Journal. The panel endorsed Sanofi and Regeneron's PCSK9 inhibitor Praluent the day before. The FDA is expected to review the drugs later this summer.

An experimental treatment developed by Dyax Corp. for hereditary angioedema, a rare disease, could loosen Shire's hold on the market. Bloomberg Business reported that early clinical trial results indicate Dyax's pipeline treatment DX-2930 may work better than Shire's Cinryze, which costs $630,000 a year. Bloomberg said Dyax's results could make the company an acquisition target for companies looking to expand their position or establish a foothold in the orphan-disease category.

Allergan received an FDA warning letter because marketing for its Seri Surgical Scaffold indicated the device was approved for breast reconstruction. The mesh is approved to support soft tissue or to reinforce deficiencies, indications the regulator said is distinct from use in breast reconstruction surgery. Actavis's $66-billion acquisition of Allergan closed in March.

Pharmaceutical companies increased their investment in marketing to Hispanics between 2010 and 2014 but the industry's spending is far behind other advertisers pursuing the same demographic, according to the Hispanic marketing trade group AHAA. The survey said pharma's investment in dedicated Hispanic media rose 4% during those four years, representing a media allocation of 2.5%, whereas the allocation among the top US advertisers was around 8.5%.

Briggs Morrison, chief medical officer at AstraZeneca, unexpectedly jumped to a privately held pharmaceutical company, reported The Wall Street Journal. The Journal was not able to identify the company but an AstraZeneca spokesperson said it is located in New Jersey. Morrison was a top R&D executive and was considered key to rejuvenating AstraZeneca's pipeline, reported the Journal.


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