Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 21, 2016

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1. GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty said that its consumer health business unit can be thought of as its own entity but didn't signal a timeframe for a potential spin off in a Bloomberg Business interview. “At some moment, that thing is going to be big enough to be conceptually thought about on its own," he said. "Whether or not we ever do that, there are 100 different permutations, but for the first time that could be conceptually possible." (Bloomberg)

2. The British drugmaker is also reportedly in talks with Qualcomm. GSK and the mobile technology company are discussing a possible joint venture around medical technology. Qualcomm formed a partnership with Novartis last year to improve the efficiency of its clinical trials. (PharmaTimes)

3. Regulatory setbacks for two drugmakers have muddled the future of prospective treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The FDA rejected BioMarin's application for experimental drug drisapersen questioning its effectiveness last week and also raised queries around the research methodology in a Sarepta Therapeutics clinical trial on Friday. (WSJ)

4. Pfizer was slammed by the FDA's Office of Prescription Drug Promotion over a YouTube video for sedative Precedex. In an untitled letter, the agency wrote to Pfizer subsidiary Hospira that the video “is false or misleading because it omits risks and material facts associated with Precedex.” The video has been taken down from YouTube and the Precedex website.

5. Johnson & Johnson voluntarily halted two Phase-II trials for its FAAH inhibitor, JNJ-42165279. The drugmaker is suspending the trial as a precautionary measure after a report from the University of Rennes Hospital that five patients had severe neurological injuries in a human clinical trial studying another drug of the same class. (Forbes)

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