Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, November 13
Actavis is looking to buy embattled Botox maker Allergan. Bloomberg reports that the companies are looking at what appears to be a $60-billionish buyout, but are currently divided over around $3 billion Allergan wants and what Actavis is willing to offer. Allianz Global Investors analyst John Shroer tells Bloomberg the move would effectively shut down Valeant's attempted hostile takeover because “I don't think that Valeant can outbid Actavis.”
AstraZeneca is working on an antidote for its bloodthinner Brilinta. Reuters reports that the London company's effort “could give Brilinta an edge among drugs that block platelets in the blood, since there are no approved products to counteract their effects.” This effort, which AstraZeneca says is in the pre-clinical trial stage, is similar to that of Boehringer Ingelheim, which is testing a Phase-III antidote for its bloodthinner Pradaxa.
Merck's cholesterol-fighting drug has a naturally occurring equivalent. Bloomberg reports that researchers at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital found that there are mutations that can interfere with the body's process of pulling cholesterol from food and injecting it into the bloodstream. They also found that people with these mutations had lower levels of “bad,” or LDL, cholesterol, and a heart attack risk that was 53% lower than those without these mutations. Going natural has its limits: Bloomberg notes that they occur in around 1 in every 650 people.
Amgen expects to share “diverse data exploring the potential clinical utility” of its experimental cholesterol-fighting PCSK9 evolucumab at next week's American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago. The company handed the drug over to the FDA for review this summer, giving it a lead time in paperwork terms, but Sanofi and Regeneron are poised to narrow the lead if they attach a $67.5 million priority review voucher to their PCSK9 candidate, alirocumab, when they submit it to the FDA later this year.
The FDA handed an extended indication for Johnson & Johnson's long-acting anti-psychotic Invega Sustenna (paliperidone palmitate) to include use as a monotherapy or adjunctive treatment for schizoaffective disorder. It is the first and only FDA-approved monthly monotherapy medication for schizoaffective disorder.