Company news: Endo, Lundbeck, Lilly

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David Holveck's five-year run as Endo Health's President and CEO is nearing its end. The company announced Thursday that Holveck will be retiring next year. Holveck will vacate his office and his seat on the board once the company has picked a successor, or by the May 2013 shareholders meeting, whichever comes first. At the same time, the company said it was dialing back its 2013 revenue guidance and said it will probably not meet its projected Q4 targets. Jefferies analyst Corey Davis said in his Thursday research note that the changes make sense. Davis said the Street hadn't believed the "previous guidance numbers were achievable.” Davis also said the CEO hit all his set targets but “it seems the right time for change.”

Market research publisher, Decision Resources, noted that a Cancer Pain report by Pharmcore expects the industry for cancer pain medications to jump $5.2 billion by 2021 among the G7 countries. Decision Resources also said that although therapies are in the pain pipeline, it expects denosumab “will gain blockbuster status in the cancer pain market” in just three years, pulling in share from the “rapidly eroding biophosphonate class” as well as benefitting from a high price.

News from the pipeline:
  • Lundbeck scored a $50 million milestone payment from Takeda, with the Wednesday announcement that the FDA has accepted its new drug application for the antidepressant vortioxetine, reported Reuters, which also noted that the expected review date is around October 2013.
  • Janssen has also penciled-in a meeting with the FDA, which accepted the application for its diabetes combination drug which mixes canagliflozin and metformin, reported MedCity News. Canagliflozin helps  block glucose reabsorption by the kidneys, and metformin decreases the amount of glucose the liver makes.
  • Lilly announced Thursday that it is walking away from one of its Phase III studies of its experimental drug tabalumab. The discontinued study was among RA patients and was meant to gauge the drug's impact on structural progression among patients with an inadequate response to methotrexate therapy. Lilly cut the study after a scheduled futility analysis found that insufficient efficacy. The company said other trials, such as the one for systemic lupus erytematosus, will proceed.
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