Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, February 16, 2018

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Roche said on Thursday that it is planning to buy healthcare startup Flatiron Health for $1.9 billion. Founded by two former Google employees, the company collects clinical data from cancer patients to help doctors design treatments. Prior to the deal, Roche owned 12% of Flatiron. (CNBC)

Merck KGaA and Pfizer said a late-stage trial of their drug Bavencio did not demonstrate it improved survival in lung cancer patients for whom chemotherapy had failed. Merck attributed the results of the trial, called Javelin Lung 200, to the number of patients who switched to other immunotherapy checkpoints over the course of treatment. (Endpoints)

The Food and Drug Administration is weighing whether to allow drugmakers to test Alzheimer's treatments on patients before they show signs of the disease. Such tests could allow them to make approvals based on early stage biomarkers, like the amount of beta amyloid in the brain. (Bloomberg)

Blue Cross in Idaho is moving ahead with the sale of health insurance that fails to meet Affordable Care Act requirements. Last month, the state's Department of Insurance became the first state regulator to say it would allow such practices. (Wall Street Journal)

Marijuana producer Canopy Growth is branching into pharma. The Canadian company has developed a range of federally approved medications to be sold as pills, inhalers, and lotions. Its goal is to compete with established pharmaceuticals to treat conditions from anxiety to multiple sclerosis. (Reuters)
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