Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, April 22

US healthcare start-ups raked in a record $3.9 billion in venture capital in the first quarter of 2015
US healthcare start-ups raked in a record $3.9 billion in venture capital in the first quarter of 2015

There's still no link between vaccines and autism, yet another study concludes. Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association found no link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination and autism in 95,000 children. Of those children, 2% also had an older sibling with an autism spectrum disorder. The study's publication follows an outbreak of measles at Disneyland in California last year that ultimately affected 159 children in 18 states, The Guardian reported.  

US healthcare start-ups raked in a record $3.9 billion in venture capital in the first quarter of 2015. The new high is due to a “strong market for initial public offerings, growing confidence in the success of drugs in clinical trials and acquisitions,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Biotech investment received the largest share of funding, bringing in $2.14 billion during the first three months of the year.

Biosimilars are already driving down drug prices overseas. Norwegian drugmaker Orion Oyj slashed the price of its biosimilar version of arthritis medicine Remicade (originally marketed by Johnson & Johnson) by 69%, Bloomberg News reported. Hospira, who has also licensed Remicade, said the markdown will “prove too massive to sustain,” according to the news service. Steinar Madsen, a medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, told Bloomberg: “The price is so low everybody is switching. We can't throw money out the window with more expensive Remicade.”

A recently approved AstraZeneca ovarian cancer drug, Lynparza, may have additional uses in prostate cancer, according to new data presented at the American Association of Cancer Research's annual meeting. Chief investigator Johann de Bono of Britain's Institute of Cancer Research told attendees that 16 out of 49 men with advanced prostate cancer responded to the drug—14 of whom had “detectable DNA repair mutations,” according to Reuters.

Perrigo's board unanimously rejected Mylan's takeover bid valued at $30 billion in the wake of Teva's $40 billion proposal to acquire Mylan. Mylan previously stated it is not interested in being acquired and cited its plan to take over Perrigo. Pharmacists are concerned whether generic consolidation could ultimately raise the prices of generic drugs to untenable levels for consumers, according to Bloomberg News. The chairman of the National Community Pharmacists Association told the news service that if Teva and Mylan were to combine, the combined company “would control such a significant portion of the resources that they would be able to dictate price in the market and everybody would be forced to respond to that.”


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