1. GlaxoSmithKline filed its experimental shingles vaccine Shingrix with the FDA for approval. The vaccine, which would compete with Merck’s Zostavaz, if it’s approved, is 90% effective among patients older than 70 years old in clinical trials, while Zostavaz’s efficacy is between 18% and 70%. Analysts predict annual global sales of Shingrix could reach $1 billion by 2021. (Reuters)
2. China Resources Pharmaceutical Group reportedly raised $1.8 billion in its IPO, making it the largest pharmaceutical IPO since 2013 when animal health company Zoetis raised $2.6 billion. The state-backed China Resources Holdings Company manufactures pharmaceuticals, traditional Chinese medicine, and health supplements. (Bloomberg)
3. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals completed its $635 million acquisition of speciality pharmaceutical company Cynapsus Therapeutics, which expands Sunovion’s portfolio in neurology. Cynapsus’ experimental drug APL-130277 is being tested for OFF episodes in Parkinson’s patients.
4. Bristol-Myers Squibb said the FDA granted priority review to Opdivo to treat advanced unresectable or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, an advanced form of bladder cancer. Merck’s Keytruda showed positive results in a trial for urothelial cancer as well. (Business Wire, Reuters)
5. Pharmaceutical companies that make painkillers are among the largest donors backing the anti-legalization of marijuana, citing safety concerns. Critics say their contributions are a ploy to protect market share as opiate overdoses dropped by 25% in states that have legalized medical marijuana. (The Guardian)