Five things for pharma marketers to know: Thursday, January 25, 2018

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1. The Senate confirmed former Eli Lilly exec Alex Azar as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing this month, Azar cited addressing high drug prices as one of his top priorities. (Washington Post)

2. Spark Therapeutics licensed rights outside the U.S. for breakthrough gene therapy Luxturna to Novartis. Spark will receive $105 million up front and up to $65 million in milestone payments. (Reuters)

3. According to an index unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson have done more to combat the growing “superbug” threat than other big pharma companies. The index ranked Mylan as the top generic drug maker and Entasis as the top biotech company. (Access to Medicine Foundation)

4. As part of a push to boost its neurology pipeline, Biogen acquired Karyopharm's XPO1 inhibitor KPT-350. Karyopharm received $10 million upfront for the drug, which guards against brain neurotoxicity and inflammation, and could net up to $207 million more if it hits commercial and developmental milestones. (Endpoints News)

5. Endo Pharmaceuticals announced that it has agreed to stay litigation it initiated against the Food and Drug Administration until March 30. Endo sued the FDA in October to prevent the agency from allowing drug compounders sell large quantities of blood-pressure drug vasopressin.

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