Business briefs: Pfizer, BMS, CMS, Sanofi

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Pfizer is shutting down its Little Island plant in Cork, Ireland, the Irish Times reported Wednesday. The company told the paper that the 136 Little Island employees will not be relocated to its Ringaskiddy plant, and blamed generics for lower demand. Adding heft to this claim is a PharmaTimes report that generic Lipitor has saved Britain's National Health Service around $1.5 million a day, putting it on track to save around $7.7 billion this year. PharmaTimes notes that a generic 28-pack of 10mg pills costs just under $3, while the branded version runs to almost $20.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is putting money behind heart failure treatments, reported Bloomberg, citing a presentation by Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson. The company also told investors that it was continuing to explore the Alzheimer's space and may sell off its experimental migraine treatment, currently tagged BMS0927711. Bloomberg noted that BMS is wholly dependent on pharmaceuticals, with no fallback, such as an animal health division, to lean on. The company has made some regulatory headway in the HCV race, but recent quarterly earnings continue to reflect the patent cliff's impact, with sales off 27% compared to the same period last year.

Senators voted in a new Centers of Disease Control head, Marilyn Tavenner, with a 917-7 vote Wednesday, reported ModernHealthcare. Tavenner has been acting head since 2011 and told Senators last month that the agency would be run “like a business” and she would keep an open-door policy if she were confirmed.Tavenner's backing included law makers from both parties, among them House Majority leader Eric Cantor.

LabStyle Innovations is looking to give Sanofi's iBGStar smartphone blood glucose meter some competition. MobiHealthNews reports that the Israel-based company has raised $10 million for Apple and Android-compatible device and includes a nutrition guide, logbook and insulin calculator among other tools. MobiHealth said the company plans to launch in Europe first, and then file an FDA 510(k) application this year.

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