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Has Trump's power over pharma come to an end after Charlottesville?

Published on 31/08/17 at 10:21am

In a shock move that was to have deeply resonant consequences, MSD Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Frazier announced his resignation from Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council. The decision was made in the wake of the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, and more importantly, the President’s dubious failure to adequately condemn them.

The September 2017 issue of Pharmafocus is now live!

The September edition of Pharmafocus is now available - click here to read online.

MSD scores trial success in reducing cardiovascular risk

New data on MSD’s anacetrapib has revealed that the drug was able to reduce risk of the risk of major coronary events by 9% compared to placebo in a study of 30,449 patients suffering atherosclerotic vascular disease and receiving LDL-C lowering treatment with atorvastatin.

AZ and MSD secure three bits of good news on key drug

It was a case of three-in-one bits of good news for AstraZeneca and MSD, after the FDA boosted the newly formed Lynparza partnership with an expanded indication and new formulation approval.

In full, the news on the drug included:

MSD CEO sparks exodus from Trump’s manufacturing council over Charlottesville violence

In a shock move, MSD Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Frazier (pictured) has announced that he is to resign from Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council in the wake of the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, and more importantly the President’s dubious failure to adequately condemn them.

Global shortage of hep B vaccine hits UK

Only last week it was revealed that the UK would administer all babes with the hepatitis B vaccine to reduce the risk for young children, who are most risk should they catch hep B. Now, it has been revealed that manufacturing issues could cause severe shortages to administer the vaccine to those in need.

Shire shifts vaccine facility from Baxalta deal to MSD

As part of Shire’s mega-merger with Baxalta, it suddenly had a massive manufacturing network that spanned 17 sites across seven countries. It was inevitable that the company had to consolidate or sell off some of these sites to make it a more manageable prospect.

It continued this process by selling its Austria-based vaccine plant to MSD for an undisclosed fee. The 340,000-square-foot facility holds the capability to manufacture vaccines and had been used as a storage facility for another part of its vaccine manufacturing network in Austria.

AZ attempts to clear dust of Mystic trial with $8.5 billion MSD deal

It will be some time before the Mystic catastrophe hoo-ha dies down for AstraZeneca but it made a pre-emptive move to curtail coverage with a big announcement – the inking of an $8.5 billion deal with MSD (known as Merck in North America).

MSD’s Keytruda hits rare snag, floundering in confirmatory trial

Since the PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapies have hit the market, they have revolutionised cancer care for many patients yet, with the science not completely understood, there have been some trial results that have surprised everyone. Another shock was revealed as MSD (known as Merck in North America) admitted that Keytruda had failed to hit its primary endpoint in previously treated recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

MSD’s Lantus biosimilar given conditional FDA approval

MSD, known as Merck in North America, has been granted approval for its biosimilar of Sanofi’s diabetes treatment, Lantus. Potentially, this could see MSD’s product take a slice of the $6.6 billion in sales that Lantus achieved in 2016.

However, there is a hitch to the good news for MSD, it is dependent upon a patent infringement lawsuit brought against them by Sanofi. Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, the case means that there is currently a 30 months hold placed on the product reaching market until a decision one way or the other by a court.

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