Five things for pharma marketers to know: Tuesday, October 18, 2016



1. Pfizer said it will begin selling Inflectra, its biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson's Remicade, in late November. The drug will be sold at a 15% discount to Remicade's wholesale acquisition cost. J&J reported global sales of $4.5 billion for Remicade in 2015.

2. Johnson & Johnson reported 9% growth in sales in the third quarter of 2016, compared to the same quarter last year. The company's sales were bolstered by growth of its autoimmune franchise, which includes Remicade, Simponi, and Stelara. J&J CFO Dominic Caruso told investors that the impact of Pfizer's Remicade biosimilar is expected to be “modest.”

3. The Medicines Company announced positive top-line results for its experimental PCSK9 inhibitor, PCSK9si, which allows patients to receive a dose only twice a year. The drug is now expected to move into Phase-III trials. Sanofi's and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' PCSK9, Praluent, is dosed every two weeks while Repatha, the PCSK9 marketed by Amgen, is dosed once a month.

4. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) urged the Department of Justice to reject a proposed settlement with Mylan over its misclassification of the EpiPen as a generic drug in the Medicaid prescription drug program. “The proposed agreement is a shadow of what it should be — lacking real accountability for Mylan's apparent lawbreaking,” he said in a statement.

5. Vice President Joe Biden urged Congress to approve funding for the “cancer moonshot” initiative the Obama administration announced earlier this year. Biden said the initiative has already lead to the collection of large amounts of genetic data and research into potential environmental causes of cancer. (WSJ)