Category: Financial

  • Vounatsos heading for exit as Biogen sidelines Aduhelm

    Biogen has announced a major revamp of its business that will see chief executive Michel Vounatsos depart the company, and all commercial activities related to troubled Alzheimer’s therapy Aduhelm cease. Michel Vounatsos The headline news in the company’s first-quarter results statement (PDF) was Vounatsos’ departure, although he will remain at the helm of Biogen until […]

  • AstraZeneca plans new US R&D hub as revenues rocket

    AstraZeneca has revealed plans to set up a new strategic R&D hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts as it reported a massive increase in first-quarter revenues, driven by COVID-19 and oncology drugs and heart failure therapy Farxiga. The new site will be at Kendall Square and will serve as the new corporate headquarters for Alexion – which […]

  • Merck makes $3.2bn from COVID-19 drug Lagevrio in Q1

    Orders for Merck & Co’s oral antiviral for COVID-19 helped to swell the drugmaker’s first quarter revenues by a massive 50%, although underlying growth was also strong. Lagevrio (molnupiravir) added $3.2 billion to Merck’s top line of $15.9 billion, but even without the drug sales would have risen 19% thanks to a strong performance from […]

  • Boehringer plans €25bn R&D spend, fuelled by Jardiance

    Boehringer Ingelheim says it is planning to invest a hefty €25 billion ($27 billion) in its pipeline over the next five years, as it reinvests healthy sales revenue from Eli Lilly-partnered SGLT2 inhibitor Jardiance. The German group has just reported a 28% increase in Jardiance (empagliflozin) sales to €3.9 billion in 2021, buoyed by new […]

  • Bluebird sheds a third of its workforce to cut costs

    Gene therapy specialist bluebird bio has said 30% of its workforce will lose their jobs, in a bid to conserve cash as it tried to get its lead programmes over the finish line. The biotech said it wants to eke out its financial reserves while it waits for the FDA’s verdict on betibeglogene autotemcel (beti-cel) […]

  • Eisai hands off responsibility for Aduhelm to Biogen

    Japanese pharma Eisai has backed away from its 50:50 profit-sharing arrangement with Biogen for troubled Alzheimer’s therapy Aduhelm, handing over full responsibility to its US counterpart. The changes to the terms of their longstanding collaboration on Aduhelm (aducanumab) means that Eisai’s profit-share converts to a simple royalty rate on revenues from 1 January next year. […]

  • bluebird says future uncertain as delays to gene therapies bite

    As bluebird bio struggles to get its gene therapies over the finishing line, the company says its financial position raises “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern. The biotech is sitting on around $442 million in liquid assets, but is expecting its cash burn in 2022 to be around $400 million, […]

  • Bayer triples sales forecast for prostate cancer drug Nubeqa

    Bayer now says it expects to make €3 billion in sales for its prostate cancer treatment Nubeqa, up from an earlier estimate of €1 billion, after reviewing new data for the drug in metastatic hormone-sensitive tumours. The optimistic assessment of the revenue potential for androgen receptor inhibitor Nubeqa (darolutamide) follows the publication of the results […]

  • AZ halts development of Beta variant COVID-19 vaccine

    AstraZeneca confirmed today that it has discontinued clinical development of a follow-up to its COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzevria targeted at the Beta variant of the virus, which started development before the emergence of the Delta and Omicron strains. The new vaccine – codenamed AZD2816 – started phase 2/3 trials as a booster dose for people vaccinated […]

  • GSK gets £1.4bn sales lift from COVID-19 products in 2021

    GlaxoSmithKline’s COVID-19 products – antibody drug Xevudy and a vaccine adjuvant – helped drive a 5% increase in 2021 revenues to £34 billion ($46 billion), ahead of what chief executive Emma Walmsley says will be a “landmark year” for the company. Xevudy (sotrovimab), which was developed with Vir Biotech and has seen its use rise […]

  • Pfizer’s COVID boom goes on, as it eyes $22bn in Paxlovid sales this year

    Pfizer reckons it will make a whopping $22 billion in sales of its oral COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid in 2022, with another $32 billion from its BioNTech-partnered coronavirus vaccine Comirnaty. The massive windfall revenues will drive its sales up towards the $100 billion mark – it’s estimating a range of $98 to $102 billion – up […]

  • COVID kits boosted Roche last year, but 2022 will be tougher

    Roche has warned that revenue growth will come under pressure in the coming year as sales of its COVID-19 testing kits start to slow, exposing the impact of biosimilar competition to some of its top-selling drugs. The Swiss pharma group expects sales of its COVID-19 diagnostics and medicines to fall to around CHF 5 billion […]

  • No news anytime soon on Sandoz sale, says Novartis

    Novartis chief executive Vas Narasimhan has downplayed any chances of swift decision on the future of its generics business Sandoz, saying that a decision on the possible sale of the unit may not come until the last quarter of the year. The comments came despite rumours of another private equity bid for Sandoz, with Bloomberg […]

  • J&J eyes “tuck-in deals” as consumer health spinoff nears

    Johnson & Johnson has said the impending spin-off of its consumer health division won’t stop it from “forging ahead” with M&A deals to expand its other businesses including pharma and medical devices. Joaquin Duato On a conference call to discuss the company’s fourth-quarter results, new chief executive Joaquin Duato said the focus will continue to […]

  • AstraZeneca will make ‘modest’ profit from COVID vaccine

    AstraZeneca has said it plans to start making a small profit from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzevria, which brought in just over $1 billion in sales in the third quarter, after selling it at cost since it was first made available. The shift will come in the fourth quarter of the year as part […]

  • Democrats agree last-ditch deal to save drug pricing plans

    Under fire for abandoning a plan to allow Medicare to negotiate drug pricing, Democrats in the Senate have reached an agreement that could see the policy reintroduced in the Biden administration’s ‘build back better’ spending proposals. A new stripped back proposal has won over rebel Democrats whose earlier opposition led the plan to be shelved, […]

  • Novartis finally sells Roche stake, for almost $21 billion

    After more than 20 years, Novartis has finally decided to sell its substantial share in fellow Swiss pharma group Roche for $20.7 billion, a decent return on its original $5 billion investment. The agreement will see Novartis lose its one-third voting share stake in Roche, after agreeing to sell 53.3 million Roche bearer shares at […]

  • Pfizer’s COVID jab sales swell again, with $36bn forecast for 2021

    Rocketing sales of COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty have allowed Pfizer to raise its full-year forecasts for the shot once again to a whopping $36 billion, more than double its predictions just a few months ago. Fuelled by extensions to vaccination programmes to include children and booster shots, the BioNTech-partnered jab made nearly $13 billion in the […]

  • White House backtracks on medicine price control plans

    President Joe Biden has jettisoned a raft of policy proposals aimed at curbing the price of prescription medicines as part of the US administration’s $1.75 trillion ‘build back better’ framework. The headline is that the White House has backtracked on plans to allow the huge Medicare health insurance programme – which covers older people as […]

  • GSK side-lines COVID drug otilimab to focus on Xevudy

    GlaxoSmithKline said today it would halt further development of its antibody for severe COVID-19 pneumonia – otilimab – in order to focus its resources on Xevudy for mild-to-moderate disease. The drugmaker said in its third-quarter results update this morning that it had decided to invest more in generating data on Vir BioTech-partnered anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody Xevudy […]

  • Novartis looking into future of its Sandoz’ generics business

    Novartis revealed today that it may consider divesting its generic medicines subsidiary Sandoz – amongst other options – which would further narrow its focus to innovative medicines. The company said in its third-quarter results statement that it was weighing options for Sandoz to “maximise shareholder value,” adding that could include retaining the business or a […]

  • Acceleron investors dig their heels in on Merck takeover bid

    Activist investors are pushing back against Merck & Co’s recent $11.5 billion deal to acquire Acceleron Pharma, arguing that its $180-per-share offer seriously undervalues the company. Avoro Capital, Holocene Advisors and Darwin Global are all arguing that Acceleron should hold off on a sale for several upcoming developments that they maintain could dramatically increase vale. […]

  • Biogen’s Aduhelm rollout goes from bad to worse

    Analysts were predicting sales of Biogen’s recently approved Alzheimer’s therapy Aduhelm may start to gather a little momentum in the third quarter, but the drug seems to be going into reverse. As it turned out, Aduhelm (aducanumab) made just $300,000 in the three-month period from July to September, against analysts’ estimates of $12 million, suggesting […]

  • Delta variant keeps Roche diagnostics sales sky high

    High demand for COVID-19 diagnostics driven by the delta variant has led to rocketing sales at Roche’s diagnostics division, allowing the company to raise its sales forecast for the year. Diagnostics sales rose 39% to CHF 13.3 billion ($14.4 billion) in the first nine months of the year, with the strong performance of the company’s […]

  • J&J mulls switch from non-profit status for COVID jab

    Johnson & Johnson has been offering its COVID-19 vaccine for sale on a no-profit basis since it became available, but is thinking about a possible switch to a standard commercial model next year or in 2023. That was the position stated by J&J’s executive vice president Ashley McEvoy on the company’s third-quarter results call yesterday, […]

  • AZ’s COVID-19 jab sales top $1.2bn, but come at a loss

    AstraZeneca said this morning that it has made $1.2 billion in sales from its COVID-19 vaccine Vaxzevria in the first half of this year, but making it available at no profit had weighed on its profit margins. R&D expenses leaped 28% in the period, an increase that AZ said was “primarily” a result of its […]

  • Final hurdle falls as UK backs AZ’s $39bn takeover of Alexion

    The UK’s competition regulator has approved AstraZeneca’s $39 billion acquisition of US-based drugmaker Alexion, without opting for a broader inquiry into the deal. The nod from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after an initial assessment means that it concluded no antitrust risks were associated with the deal. It was the final needed from a […]

  • Pfizer says COVID-19 jab could rake in $26bn this year

    Pfizer expects revenues from its BioNTech-partnered COVID-19 vaccine to reach an eye-watering $26 billion this year, catapulting it to the top of the world’s biggest-selling medicines.  The company also said that it doesn’t expect the massive sales to be a one-off, as demand from governments around the world for coronavirus vaccines will continue to be […]

  • Health Insurance and Investment Risk

    Getting sick creates risk over two dimensions. First, you risk getting sick which of course decreases your utility. Second, getting sick impacts you financially as (i) medical procedures are often expensive and (ii) if you can’t work due to your illness your income may fall. With respect to financial risk, health insurance may provide a […]

  • 23andMe goes public using Richard Branson’s blank cheque company

    DNA testing company 23andMe has signed a deal to merge with a ‘blank cheque’ company set up by Virgin billionaire Sir Richard Branson as a shortcut to a public listing. The agreement with Branson’s VG Acquisition Corp ties in with an emerging trend among life sciences companies to forego the usual initial public offering (IPO) […]

  • Gilead Q3 revenue rise bolstered by $873m Veklury sales

    Gilead Sciences is the first and so far only company to claim FDA approval for a COVID-19 treatment with its Veklury antiviral, and its latest financial results reveal the benefit of that achievement. The US drugmaker sold $873 million-worth of Veklury (remdesivir) in the three months to the end of September, helping it to a […]