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Top Ten most popular articles on this week!

Pfizer supressed research showing their arthritis drug Enbrel reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s. This was the big revelation this week! The story prompted calls for greater transparency and more open science as researchers were outraged that such important findings could be suppressed.

Meanwhile MPs in the House of Commons discussed using Crown Use licensing rules to break Vertex’s IP rights over Orkambi. The discussion marked a new stage in the longstanding stale mate between the US firm and the British government.

GSK tech exec joins Institute of Cancer Research

Published on: 13/06/19

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has said GlaxoSmithKline’s Dr Adrian Cottrell will join as the institute’s new Chief Information Officer.

In his new role Dr Cottrell will lead the institute’s information and communication technologies as the academic research organisation sets up a new and innovative IT infrastructure for research.

As one of the worlds’ leading academic organisations conducting research into cancer the ICR is a pioneer of big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Catalyst Pharma sues FDA after agency approves Jacobus' LEMS drug

Florida firm Catalyst Pharmaceuticals is suing the FDA after the agency approved a rival’s drug.

The lawsuit alleges the approval of Jacobus Pharmaceutical’s Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS) drug Ruzurgi (amifampridine) infringes on Catalyst’s drug Firdapse’s right to market exclusivity.

Jacobus claim that Ruzurgi will compete with Firdapse through being prescribed off-label. Firdapse costs twice as much as Ruzurgi.

Sobi acquire Novimmune in deal worth more than £400 million

Image Credit: Sobi

Swedish rare disease specialist Sobi has agreed to buy Swiss firm Novimmune ion a deal worth more than £400 million.

The deal will see Sobi gain access to world class R&D facilities in the area of immunology. The deal worth 515 million Swiss francs will see Novimmune hand over IP relating to the antibody Emapalumab alongside the experimental immune-oncology drugs NI-1701 and NI-1801.

J&J and Colgate pay $4.8 million each to woman in California

A California court has said Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive must pay a total of nearly $10 million to a woman who developed cancer.

Colgate and J&J must pay Patricia Schmitz $4.8 million in damages each. The ruling comes after Schmitz developed mesothelioma after using J&J’s Baby Powder and Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet. Schmitz was not awarded punitive damages.

AstraZeneca spends more than twice as much as expected on new HQ

Image Credit: AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca’s new headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom are expected to cost more than double the sum of £330 million that the firm budgeted for in 2013.

At a cost of £750 million so far, AstraZeneca’s new donut-shaped HQ is set to become one of the most expensive corporate buildings in the UK.  

According to AstraZeneca, the construction costs associated with the building of the 580,000 metres square headquarters on a biomedical campus south of Cambridge have soared due to “increased investment in new technologies and equipment.”

Novartis Pharma head to become new Sanofi CEO

Published on: 10/06/19

French drugmaker Sanofi has revealed that its CEO Olivier Brandicourt is to retire from the role, to be replaced with Paul Hudson (pictured), CEO at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

The decision was made on 6 June, when Sanofi’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve Brandicourt’s replacement. Hudson will take up the mantle on 1 September this year.

Vectura CEO to step down at end of June

Vectura is on course for a new leader to take up the company’s reins after it was revealed that CEO James Ward-Lilley is to step down from his role on 30 June.

During his time at the head of the company, Ward-Lilley served Vectura at a “critical time”, the company said, and this included presiding over its merger with Skyepharma. Prior to this, he spent 28 years in roles of increasing seniority at AstraZeneca.

Implementing “the safest medicines system in the world”

Published on 10/06/19 at 10:35am
Image courtesy of PCI Pharma Services

With debates heating up over cooperation between European across the continent, Matt Fellows investigates the current state of packaging countermeasures in the region after delegated regulation to the Falsified Medicines Directive came into force earlier this year.

Long-term BMS exec Johanna Mercier joins Gilead as new Chief Commercial Officer

Published on: 07/06/19

Gilead Sciences have said Bristol-Myers Squibb exec Johanna Mercier will be the firm’s new Chief Commercial Officer.

In her new role Mercier will join Gilead’s senior leadership team when she takes over the California firm’s commercial operations on July 1.

Mercier, who served with BMS for more than ten years, brings a wealth of experience to the role. The experienced executive holds a degree in Biology from the University of Montreal and an MBA from Concordia University.

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