Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, November 14, 2016


1. Johnson & Johnson's sirukumab, its experimental drug for rheumatoid arthritis, delivered mixed results in a Phase-III study against AbbVie's Humira. Some patients reported significant declines in symptoms of the condition while others did not experience substantial improvement. (Reuters)

2. Novartis is reportedly discussing a possible acquisition of Amneal Pharmaceuticals to expand its generics and biosimilars business, according to Bloomberg. Amneal manufactures generic drugs such as acyclovir, which is used to treat herpes,  and gabapentin for epilepsy and pain. (Bloomberg)

3. President-elect Donald Trump appointed Andrew Bremberg to lead his healthcare transition team. Bremberg is currently an advisor to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and previously held roles at the Department of Health and Human Services. (Health IT News)

4. Roche's rheumatoid-arthritis drug Actemra, which is used to treat giant cell arteritis, was more effective in maintaining steroid-free remission than a steroid-only regimen in a Phase-III study. Actemra received FDA breakthrough status for the drug in October. (Reuters)

5. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued new guidance for statin drug use, expanding the group of people who should be considered to take the medication to include individuals older than the age of 40 whether or not they have a history of cardiovascular disease. The U.S. guidelines are more aggressive in recommending the use of statins compared to similar guidelines in other countries. (The Washington Post)