1. Merck’s Keytruda received FDA approval for two new indications in bladder cancer and is now licensed to treat certain patients at the first and second line of treatment.
2. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives added an amendment to the FDA’s user fee reauthorization bill that would expedite the approval of generics for drugs with no competition. (Modern Healthcare)
3. Incyte is putting unbranded disease awareness efforts in soap operas to promote its treatment Jakafi for a rare blood disorder, polycythemia vera, which is the only drug approved to treat the disease. A character in the show “General Hospital” was diagnosed with the rare disorder as a way to list the symptoms of the disease and raise awareness. (STAT)
4. Johnson & Johnson touted its R&D productivity, telling investors it made more submissions to the FDA since 2011 than any other pharma company. J&J also noted that in the last year it invested $7 billion in R&D, 55% more than what it spent on sales and marketing expenses. (BioPharmaDIVE)
5. More Americans had cancers diagnosed at stage 1 after the Affordable Care Act went into effect than before the law was implemented, according to a study set to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in June. The increase in earlier diagnoses was found in states that expanded access to Medicaid under Obamacare. (Bloomberg)