1. The American Heart Association expanded the definition of familial hypercholesterolemia, a change that will broaden the number of patients who are eligible to take the new PCSK9 inhibitors, CardioBrief reported. The FDA this summer approved Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s Praluent and Amgen’s Repatha, the first drugs in a new class of cholesterol-lowering therapies. The expanded definition may also mean more patients will start talking Juxtapid and Kynamro, two pricey treatments used to treat patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.
2. The FDA tentatively approved Collegium Pharmaceutical’s experimental opioid painkiller, the company said, according to Reuters. The drug will be approved if Collegium gets a court order that says it didn’t infringe on patents established by Purdue Pharma, which also developed a non-opioid painkiller. Purdue has said that Collegium’s drug infringes on four Purdue patents.
3. MannKind said Afrezza, its inhaled insulin product, generated $4.1 million in sales in the third quarter of 2015 and a total of $17.1 million for the first nine months of the year. Analysts have been disappointed by Afrezza’s performance, according to the News-Times.
4. Google Life Sciences and the American Heart Association plan to collaborate on a five-year $50 million research initiative aimed at learning more about the causes, treatment and prevention of heart disease, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google said it will deploy its expertise in sensors and data analytics.
5. Boehringer Ingelheim named Hubertus von Baumbach its new CEO, Reuters reported. Von Baumbach is the great-grandson of the drugmaker’s founder. He currently serves as the head of finance for Boehringer Ingelheim.