Category: Sales and Marketing

  • EC criticised in probe of COVID vaccine texts with Pfizer CEO

    The failure of the European Commission to locate text messages between its president Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla on procurement of COVID-19 vaccine has earned a rebuke from the EU Ombudsman. The messages were requested via a freedom if information request by journalist Alexander Fanta of, who was following […]

  • Eli Lilly plans €400m Irish plant that will create 800 jobs

    Eli Lilly has said it is seeking permission to build a new biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Ireland that will be used to produce active ingredients for its biologic medicines, including its new Alzheimer’s candidates. The pharma group has said the total investment in the proposed facility in Limerick would be more than €400 million ($445 […]

  • Biogen exits biosimilar JV with Samsung, raising $2.3bn

    Recent rumours that Biogen was about to acquired by Samsung proved unfounded, but it turns out a deal has been in preparation. The South Korean firm just agreed to buy Biogen out of their biosimilar joint venture – Samsung Bioepis – for $2.3 billion. The two companies have been partnered on Samsung Bioepis for the […]

  • Biogen tweaks confirmatory trial of Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm

    Biogen and Eisai have increased the earning potential of their Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm by expanding the post-marketing trial of the drug required by the FDA – which could be the primary source of income for the drug. If the provisional reimbursement decision by the Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is finalised, Aduhelm (aducanumab) […]

  • 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 […]

  • Billionaire Mark Cuban steps up assault on US medicine prices

    Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, just got involved in the online pharmacy business, promising to “shield consumers from inflated drug prices.” The online pharmacy launch comes a few weeks after Cuban set up a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) operation – the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC) – promising […]

  • FDA bans use of Lilly, Regeneron COVID drugs due to Omicron

    The FDA has limited the use of COVID-19 antibody therapies developed by Eli Lilly and Regeneron, on the back of data suggesting they have are “highly unlikely” to be effective against the now-dominant Omicron variant. The emergency use authorisations (EUAs) for Lilly’s bamlanivimab/etesevimab combination and Regeneron’s REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab) issued earlier on in the […]

  • Utilising real-time data to improve customer engagement

    Oskar Möbert, Vice President OpenData Europe at Veeva Systems, tells us how they are reimagining customer reference data to boost pharma rep productivity, enable more personalised engagement, and increase patient reach. The medical landscape is generally becoming more complex, both in terms of the range of stakeholders involved in patient care and the rapid explosion […]

  • FDA clears Gilead’s Veklury for COVID outpatients

    The FDA has extended the emergency use authorisation for Gilead Sciences’ antiviral Veklury to include non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19, extending the uses of the drug. The green light means that intravenously-administered Veklury (remdesivir) is another option for non-hospitalised patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of progression to severe disease, alongside oral antivirals […]

  • Content metrics help generate compelling communication

    Companies seek efficiency and speed to market during the content creation process, review and approval cycles, and thus the collective time for content to be approved for distribution, says Ian Hale, vice president of commercial content at Veeva Systems. Gathering content metrics is key to ensuring superior performance during each step. ‘’Content metrics is the […]

  • Don’t be afraid to change

    The digital revolution generated by the pandemic fractured lines of connection and severed the life-blood of being able to meet with clinicians for sales teams and MSLs. It created a fundamental shift in operating practice that has skewed product launches, sales and scientific communication but experts are advocating that companies embrace the change and use […]

  • Supply chain middlemen ‘pocket half of US branded medicine spending’

    In 2020, over half of total spending on brand medicines went to the supply chain, middlemen and other stakeholders, overtaking the amount going to drug manufacturers for the first time, according to a new study. The report from Berkeley Research Group (BRG) – which was funded by the pharma industry trade group PhRMA – reveals […]

  • Medicare limits Aduhelm coverage to clinical trial participants

    Biogen’s difficult launch of controversial Alzheimer’s therapy Aduhelm has been made even harder by a proposal by Medicare to cover the drug only for certain patients enrolled in clinical trials. Biogen and partner Eisai had been hoping for good news from the review of Aduhelm (aducanumab) by the Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), […]

  • Cutting through the Noise

    The pandemic has given us a surge of opportunities to take fresh looks at how we live, work and play with huge changes of pace and direction being funnelled through technology. Digital muscled its way to centre stage as we plunged into lockdowns and its life and sanity-saving qualities were immediately clear. It also helped […]

  • Regeneron hands ex-US rights to HoFH drug Evkeeza to Ultragenyx

    Regeneron has enlisted the aid of Ultragenyx to add momentum to the rollout of its recently-approved Evkeeza outside the US, which was approved for an inherited form of elevated cholesterol in the US and Europe last year. Regeneron said Ultragenyx’ focus on rare diseases makes it a good match for Evkeeza (evinacumab), as its approved […]

  • Another mRNA company gets snapped up as Merck buys Exelead

    The latest pharma company to make a move for an mRNA specialist is Germany’s Merck KGaA, which has offered a $780 million cash buyout to US biotech Exelead. Unlike other recent deals however the takeover isn’t focused on adding a pipeline of mRNA candidates, as Indianapolis-based Exelead is a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) […]

  • Novartis blocks generic to MS blockbuster Gilenya in US patent dispute

    Novartis has blocked an attempt by Chinese drugmaker HEC Pharma to launch a generic version of its big-selling multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya in the US for almost six years. An appeals court ruling has upheld the validity of a key US patent covering Gilenya (fingolimod), and issued a permanent injunction against HEC Pharma until it […]

  • Teva will appeal opioid liability ruling in New York trial

    The jury in a new York trial has found that Teva Pharmaceuticals played a role in fuelling the opioid crisis in the US, and should be held liable for damages, which will be decided later. The decision came after eight days of deliberation by the jurors, and almost six months of legal jousting between the […]

  • Leo puts target on Dupixent in US as FDA clears tralokinumab

    Sanofi and Regeneron have another challenger to their big-selling drug Dupixent for atopic dermatitis, now that the FDA has approved Leo Pharma’s rival antibody tralokinumab. IL-13 inhibitor tralokinumab has been cleared by the US regulator as Adbry as a treatment for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adults who can’t control symptoms using topical prescription therapies. The […]

  • The Considered pharmaceutical marketing experiment

    COVID-19 has changed everything – at least that’s David Hunt’s plan for pharmaceutical marketing. The former CEO of Havas Lynx recently launched a new agency in the US called The Considered, with the intent to break the traditional pharma marketing rules and shake up the industry. “There is some brilliant work that takes place by […]

  • Novartis bags elusive US approval for cholesterol drug inclisiran

    At its second attempt, Novartis has won FDA approval for its cholesterol lowering drug inclisiran, which can reduce levels with just two injections a year. The FDA has approved the drug under the Leqvio trade name as an adjunct to maximum-dose statin drugs for people who need further LDL-cholesterol reduction to reach targets, a year […]

  • 2021 in review: Building the framework of a patient-centric industry

    Patient centricity and patient engagement have been hot topics in pharma for some time – but buzz words do not always translate into concrete action. However, we have seen a framework of guidelines and recommendations during the last year on everything from increasing diversity to producing lay summaries, start to take shape. As part of […]

  • Building internal strength

    Creating certainty in a landscape still convulsed by the pandemic is a lofty ambition, but pharma companies can use the disruption to develop positive internal change, as well as shoring up sales. While industry has variable influence over the reshaping of contacts with clinicians who have latched onto the benefits of telemedicine and virtual meetings, […]

  • Amgen builds Otezla’s psoriasis label as rival BMS looms large

    Amgen has won FDA approval for a stronger label for its oral plaque psoriasis therapy Otezla, as it prepares for competition from Bristol-Myers Squibb’s much-touted rival deucravacitinib, which could make its debut next year. The agency has cleared Otezla (apremilast) for the treatment of adult patients with plaque psoriasis, regardless of the severity of their […]

  • Leveraging augmented analytics to drive better business decisions

    In early 2020, health officials were cautious about forecasting a COVID-19 vaccine timeline to the public, as vaccine discovery was a historically laborious process that took years (if not decades). Yet a successful COVID-19 vaccine gained emergency approval in just 11 months, a blistering pace that likely saved millions of lives. Such a fast turnaround […]

  • Focussing on pharma’s blind spot

    Industry’s free pass to its target audience has been shredded by the pandemic leaving the sales force compass struggling to find effective routes. It has exposed a blind spot that was previously covered by engagement success rates and comfortable repeat business. Only now are we seeing the downside of a lack of finesse along the […]

  • Biogen takes axe to Aduhelm price in a bid to drive take-up

    Biogen has cut the list price of its Alzheimer’s disease therapy in half from $56,000 to $28,200 a year, before the outcome of an ongoing reimbursement review of the drug by the US government. The price reduction for Aduhelm (aducanumab) comes into play from 1 January and comes on the back of the “feedback of […]

  • Judge rejects Purdue opioid settlement over Sackler family immunity

    A judge in the US has rejected the bankruptcy plan proposed by Purdue Pharma to settle legal action over its role in the opioid crisis, because of the protection from civil litigation it includes for the Sackler family that owns the drugmaker. Judge Colleen McMahon has thrown out the plan in a New York court, […]

  • Biogen updates on its confirmatory Aduhelm trial

    Biogen and partner Eisai have said they will provide details next March for the confirmatory trial that will be needed to upgrade the drug’s accelerated approval for controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm to a full one. Aduhelm (aducanumab) was approved by the FDA in June, but has been held back by a glacial rollout as clinicians […]

  • BMS’ Orencia gets FDA nod for GvHD thanks to real-world data

    Bristol-Myers Squibb’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Orencia has been approved by the FDA to prevent graft versus host disease (GvHD), a serious complication of haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) used to treat leukaemias and other blood cancers. Orencia (abatacept) becomes the first drug to be approved to prevent GvHD, a condition in which donor immune cells […]

  • Australia’s CSL makes $11.7bn bid for Swiss pharma Vifor

    Australian biotech group CSL has agreed a deal to acquire Swiss drugmaker Vifor Pharma in an all-cash deal that expands its speciality medicines business. If it goes through, the merger will allow CSL to diversify its business which is focused mainly on plasma-derived medicines sold by its CSL Behring unit and vaccines under the Seqirus […]

  • AbbVie prices first presbyopia drug Vuity at $80 per month

    AbbVie has ended speculation about what it will charge for its newly-approved Vuity therapy for  presbyopia, a sight condition characterised by difficulty in focusing on near objects. The company told CBS it will charge around $80 for a 30-day supply of Vuity, a once-daily eyedrop formulation of muscarinic cholinergic agonist pilocarpine intended as an alternative […]

  • Shkreli’s former company pays $40m in price-gouging settlement

    A pharma company formerly led by ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli has settled a long-running lawsuit with the US federal government over massive price increases for an off-patent drug treatment for people with an HIV-related disease. Vyera Pharma – known as Turing Pharma when the scandal first emerged several years ago – will pay $40 million […]

  • Seizing opportunities with perfectly pitched messages

    Personal relationships have been the dominant force in sales for generations but the pandemic has ripped up this conveyer belt of convenience. More than 60% of clinicians are happy to either connect solely via technology or via a hybrid arrangement and there is no going back. The pharmaceutical industry became stuck in a groove of […]

  • Mind the gap: Are you delivering what HCPs value or what you want them to have?

    Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, life science companies have acted quickly to address the evolving digital needs of healthcare professionals, with mixed success (see graph 1). In the age of information overload, we all know that it is essential to add ‘value’ if we are to cut through the noise. And therein lies […]

  • Did AZ scupper Sobi’s $8bn private equity buyout?

    An $8 billion attempt by two private equity companies to acquire Swedish rare disease specialist Sobi and take it back into private ownership has collapsed, with reports suggesting AstraZeneca was instrumental in blocking the deal. Tenders to the offer fell below the 90% threshold needed to drive the merger through, and a key part of […]

  • Practice makes perfect

    The seismic shift away from face-to-face meetings caused by the pandemic has given the pharmaceutical industry a fundamental challenge around engaging with clinical staff. Sales representatives are finding it difficult to chisel out any personal time from doctors whose diaries are dominated by virtual connections. Every moment in front of a clinician is prized so […]

  • UK government rubberstamps millions of extra COVID vaccines

    The UK government has placed a 114 million-dose order with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna – sufficient to provide two doses to every person in Britain – in a bid to future-proof against COVID-19 variants.  Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced the move as researchers race to uncover the effect of existing vaccines on the Omicron […]

  • 15 traits of effective bosses and how to catalyse your team

    Oliver Stohlmann’s Corporate Survival Hacks series draws on his experiences of working in local, regional and global life science communications to offer some little tips for enjoying a big business career. This post looks at people manager effectiveness and how to boost team and co-worker engagement. It’s that special time in the annual corporate lifecycle: […]

  • Enabling the leaders of the future

    Janssen’s Mark Larsen, VP & Head of HR at Janssen EMEA, looks at what COVID-19 has taught us about good leadership and how we develop and enable the leaders of the future. COVID-19 has amplified what is expected of leaders in workplaces around the world. From clear communication with an unsettled, dispersed workforce to maintaining […]

  • China’s insulin plans will hit 2022 revenues, says Novo Nordisk

    Novo Nordisk has said that the introduction of value-based procurement (VBP) for insulin products by the Chinese government will have an impact on its revenues next year. This year, China has started to include insulin in its centralised procurement programme, first introduced in 2018, forcing producers to enter into a tender process to get their […]

  • Reshaping events in pharma

    Healthcare professional (HCP) engagement experienced significant shifts during the acute phase of the pandemic, as COVID-19 forced a rethink of traditional pharmaceutical sales and marketing practices, including the digitisation of events. With medical conferences and events long a mainstay for pharma-HCP interactions, the pandemic’s travel restrictions, and lockdowns forced these in-person meet-ups to go virtual. […]

  • Novartis may have found a buyer for Sandoz; report

    Just a few weeks after Novartis revealed it was considering a sale of its generics business Sandoz, there are reports that a potential buyer has already come forward. A report by German newspaper Handelsblatt says that investment group EQT and the German Struengmann family are considering a CHF 20 billion ($21.6 billion) bid for Sandoz […]

  • Pfizer gets bumper $5.3bn order from US for oral COVID drug

    Already making big profits from its COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer looks set to bolt on another big revenue stream with its oral antiviral drug Paxlovid after scoring a $5.3 billion order for the drug from the US government. The deal is dependent on Paxlovid (PF-07321332/ritonavir) being granted either emergency use authorisation (EUA) or full approval, although […]

  • US signs $1bn order for GSK, Vir’s COVID-19 antibody

    The US has made a sizeable order for GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s antibody-based COVID-19 treatment sotrovimab said to be worth approximately $1 billion. The deal does not specify the number of doses of sotrovimab ordered by the federal government, but takes the total number to be supplied globally to around 750,000, according to a Reuters […]

  • AbbVie’s Humira tops ICER’s list of unwarranted price hikes again

    With drug pricing controls back on the legislative table in the US, the influential Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has published its third report on “unsupported” price increases – with AbbVie’s Humira top of the list. ICER estimates that price hikes for Humira (adalimumab) increased US healthcare spending by $1.4 billion in 2020, […]

  • J&J finally decides to dismantle its diversified business model

    After decades of a diversified healthcare business model, Johnson & Johnson has announced it plans to split off its consumer health division from its pharma and medical device operations. The move would create a new consumer health company within 18 to 24 months, according to J&J, which said it would unlock “significant value” whilst allowing […]

  • 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 […]

  • Consumer health innovation – where passion and science meet

    Heather Barnes, external innovation lead EMEA at Johnson and Johnson Consumer Health, is a scientist who is truly passionate about consumer health. With her background in biochemistry and eye for identifying innovation trends, the future is bright at Johnson & Johnson Innovation. After making her way from early-stage drug development research to her current role, […]

  • Valneva gets EU deal for COVID jab, and may sue UK

    Shares in France’s Valneva leaped after it got an EU order to supply 60 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine VLA2001 over the next two years, including 27 million next year. The deal for the adjuvanted, inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine still depends on authorisation of the jab by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which is due […]

  • Pfizer strikes $1.2bn licensing deal for Biohaven migraine drug

    Pfizer has bolstered its central nervous system (CNS) drugs portfolio with a $1.2 billion deal to claim rights outside the US to Biohaven’s Nurtec ODT, an oral therapy for migraine. The agreement includes a sizeable $500 million upfront payment, reflecting that Nurtec ODT (rimegepant) is already FDA-approved for treating acute migraine with and without aura […]

  • US buys another $1 billion-worth of Merck’s COVID capsule

    The US federal government has ordered another 1.4 million doses of Merck & Co and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’ oral antiviral molnupiravir for COVID-19, adding to an earlier agreement to supply 1.7 million doses. The latest agreement – worth around $1 billion – means that the US has now called dibs on 3.1 million doses of molnupiravir, […]

  • Sales coaching: preparing for the new reality in pharma

    COVID-19 has been a catalyst for a huge amount of change across the pharmaceutical industry, acting as an accelerant for progress in its use of digital technology and prompting a reassessment of how the sales function should work. The pandemic’s first effects on pharma sales were swift and immediate, as lockdowns were put in place […]

  • Leveraging multichannel and multimedia in HCP education

    COVID has forced the pharma industry to step up and take a more innovative approach to the channels and content it uses to reach and engage with HCPs, says Chloe Prince, account director at EPG Health. In the face of the pandemic, pharma companies are adapting traditional methods of customer engagement, as well as adopting […]

  • Swiss socialists say government should buy Sandoz

    Switzerland’s Social Democratic Party has argued that the government should step in and acquire Novartis’ generics unit Sandoz if the company decides to sell it, according to local press reports. The largest left-leaning party in Switzerland said that national ownership of Sandoz would democratise the production and development of new medicines, maintain a stable supply […]

  • 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 […]

  • Speak like a leader: 15 secrets to engage any audience

    Oliver Stohlmann’s Corporate Survival Hacks series draws on his experiences of working in local, regional and global life science communications to offer some little tips for enjoying a big business career. This post on delivering a seemingly effortless talk also incorporates select insights from Executive Speaking Success’ John Bates. Public speaking is the original human communication […]

  • Sustained healthcare systems need sustainable pharma business models

    COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of robust supply chains and the dangers of an over reliance on overseas manufacturing. But can the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe help to redress the balance? Only sustainable, robust supply chains and business models will allow innovation to flourish, secure access to medicines, and minimise the industry’s impact on the environment. […]

  • 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. […]

  • How are the European pharma and biotech sectors addressing strategic communications?

    Stakeholder expectations are high and, with all eyes on healthcare at the moment, it is essential for companies to go beyond generic commitments, says Rosanna Campbell-Gray. Consumers are driving and accelerating change when it comes to healthcare, demanding better, faster and more accessible services. The COVID-19 pandemic has further altered the dynamics for this sector […]

  • BMS’ Catherine Owen: Hybrid communication is here to stay

    The company’s senior vice president for major markets (Europe, Canada and Japan) talks about the continued evolution of pharma’s approach to communications and commercialisation. The core of Bristol Myers Squibb’s commercial business outside its home base of the US covers most of the large countries in Europe, as well as Canada and Japan. These 19 […]

  • 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, […]

  • A Life in a Day by The Method

    Patient centricity has become a key aspiration for the pharma industry over the last several years, but getting entire organisations to think and behave in a patient-centric way can be challenging. The Method is an innovative learning and development company delivering a ground-breaking programme designed to achieve tangible patient-centric results within pharma and healthcare The […]

  • FDA clears first “interchangeable” Humira biosimilar

    Biosimilar competition to AbbVie’s big-selling Humira drug in the US has just been ratcheted up by the FDA approval of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Cyltezo – which can be substituted for the reference drug without any prescriber intervention. Cyltezo has been approved in the US since 2017 for several of the approved indications for Humira (adalimumab) but […]

  • RNA Therapeutics 2022

    SMi Group’s 13th Annual Conference: RNA Therapeutics 2022 9th – 10th February 2022 London, UK Sponsored by: BIA Separations & eTheRNA Immunotherapies Bolstering the latest advances and opportunities in RNA-based medicine The RNA therapeutics industry has grown at an exponential rate in recent years, with an increased spotlight following the industry’s leading role in […]

  • Translating EU presence to US market success

    Companies looking to replicate a drug’s EU market success in the US will face significant hurdles unless they are fully aware of the ever-changing national and state requirements and regulations, says Two Labs’ Howard Miller. As the world’s largest single pharmaceutical market, the US should – at least at first glance – provide a simplified […]

  • BMS’ Catherine Owen on pharma commercialisation: the pharmaphorum podcast

    Episode 42 of the pharmaphorum podcast heard from Catherine Owen, who’s senior vice president of major markets at Bristol Myers Squibb, about the future of pharma commercialisation and communications. As part of that we looked at how she approaches the 19 markets she oversees and the challenges that can present. And Catherine suggests some areas […]

  • Healthware Group appoints Eugene Borukhovich as senior advisor

    Digital Health veteran Eugene Borukhovich has joined Healthware Group as senior advisor to its Media and Community business unit, which aims to foster dialogue and connections among the digital health community. He is a serial intra- and entrepreneur, angel investor and venture builder and is currently scaling YourCoach Health as its co-founder and COO. Prior […]

  • Navigating the patient maze – pharma’s evolving challenge

    Pharma companies are embracing patient centricity in drug development more than ever before. Over the last decade, leaders in the industry have championed patient engagement, putting it at the heart of commercial strategies. It’s a hard task to get right though, as ICON’s Chris O’Toole explains, but the rewards can be huge on both sides. […]

  • Launch excellence: escaping the complexity trap

    IQVIA’s Sarah Rickwood and Markus Gores look at how to deliver consistent launch performance in an increasingly complex world. Launching a new product is an inherently complex endeavour. It requires planning, alignment and execution across multiple organisational boundaries, while new products face an increasingly complex launch environment. It is precisely this complexity that makes it […]

  • It’s time to rethink the physician-pharma relationship

    The traditional sales channel for the pharmaceutical industry has centered on face-to-face interaction with its core target audience – prescribing physicians. What happens when suddenly that form of interaction is taken away? Michael Brandreth, group vice president at WebMD Global, tells us how the events of the last 18 months make it more important than […]

  • Actemra shortage spills over to include Sanofi’s rival Kevzara

    Roche’s Actemra has been in high demand since its value in treating severe COVID-19 was established, leading to shortages. Now, Sanofi’s rival therapy Kevzara has also been hit by supply constraints. Sanofi said in a statement that supply of all four formats of Kevzara (sarilumab) – 150 mg or 200 mg pre-filled syringes or auto-injectors […]

  • Supernus bulks up its Parkinson’s portfolio with Adamas takeover

    Supernus has boosted its position in central nervous system therapies with a $400 million deal to acquire Adamas Pharma that will add two approved Parkinson’s disease therapies to its stable. The deal will diversify Supernus’ revenues and reduce its reliance on Trokendi XR (topiramate), a drug for migraine prevention and epilepsy that currently accounts for […]

  • Refining digital collaboration

    Pharmaceutical companies are traditionally more conservative with their approach to and incorporation of new technologies; however, prior to COVID, the industry had begun moving toward intersecting health and technology. Natalie Yeadon, Co-founder and CEO of Impetus Digital, tells us how COVID has accelerated digital health transformation and made effective virtual collaboration more important than ever. […]

  • Closing pharma’s communication gap with patients

    The pharma industry has been talking about being patient-centric for years, but often that rhetoric hasn’t been accompanied by real change in the way product development is carried out. Keri McDonough thinks there is still a still a void between some pharma and patients, but one that can be bridged by developers who make a […]

  • Leveraging a strong product launch to build a successful pharma brand

    So much effort goes into ensuring the successful launch of a new pharmaceutical product or indication, but it’s only once that has been achieved that the real work begins, says Align Strategy’s Christine Fletcher. Introducing a new pharmaceutical brand is akin to asking someone to change their established habits, and first impressions of that treatment […]

  • Transform patient experience with intelligent hyper-personalisation

    Since 2019, pharmaceutical companies have been speeding to integrate digital channels and processes into their marketing efforts and patient outreach, to prepare for the wave of digitisation in the healthcare industry. As part of these efforts, customer experience (CX) became a key focus area to ensure customer engagement and loyalty. Significant strides have been made […]

  • The post-pandemic evolution of pharma-doctor digital interactions

    M3’s Tim Russell and Maxim Polyakov, together with Digital Futureway’s Heather Hancock, discuss new research on how doctor engagement has been altered by COVID-19. COVID-19 forced an unprecedented shift towards the virtual delivery of healthcare, suddenly compelling doctors increasingly to use digital means to care for their patients. As healthcare resources and delivery were prioritised, […]

  • Deep Dive: Communications and Commercialisation

    The COVID-19 pandemic kickstarted a period of profound change in how the pharmaceutical industry approaches both communications and commercialisation. In some cases it was an accelerant for existing plans, but it has also caused some new shifts in the landscape, shifts that have yet to be completed. This issue assesses European pharma’s approach to strategic […]

  • Oxford Nanopore makes stellar debut on UK stock market

    Shares in DNA sequencing specialist Oxford Nanopore rocketed after the company made its debut on the London Stock Exchange yesterday, rising nearly 50% to propel its valuation up towards the £5 billion ($6.7 billion) mark. The Oxford University spinout saw its share price rise from an opening of 425p to 612p by close of trading […]

  • Merck confirms $11.5bn Acceleron takeover deal

    After days of speculation, Merck & Co confirmed today that it has agreed to acquire Acceleron Pharma $1.5 billion, setting up what could be one of the largest biopharma acquisitions of 2021 so far. The $180-per-share deal – if completed – will give Merck a pair of blockbuster drug candidates, one of which is already […]

  • Developing case-based content to engage HCPs

    In this instalment of EPG Health’s HCP engagement series, Georga Cottle discusses how case-based learning connects medical theory to medical practice. Medical education doesn’t stand still. The acute demands on today’s healthcare systems require ever-more effective learning opportunities for healthcare professionals (HCPs) and offer pharma companies valuable chances to support evidence-based clinical practice. One of […]

  • Top email calamities to avoid … and how to make an impact instead

    Oliver Stohlmann’s Corporate Survival Hacks series draws on his experiences of working in local, regional and global life science communications to offer some little tips for enjoying a big business career. In this column he addresses the appropriate use of email and how to avoid nightmares in electronic communication. “My fiancée had bought me a […]

  • Rumour mill says Acceleron is speeding towards $11bn sale

    US biopharma company Acceleron is the next company heading for a takeover by a big pharma group – according to a Bloomberg report citing people close to the matter. Rumours of a deal have been bubbling away for a few days, driving Acceleron’s stock upwards, even before Bloomberg reported that a large pharma group is […]

  • Second hedge fund applies pressure on GSK after taking stake

    Activist hedge fund Bluebell Capital Partners has joined Elliott Investment in taking a stake in GlaxoSmithKline and pushing for change at the drugmaker. In a letter to GSK chair Sir Jonathan Symonds, Bluebell has called on GSK to ask its chief executive Emma Walmsley to reapply for her job, and carry out a “thorough and […]

  • The benefits of being a family-run pharma company

    The third generation of his family to hold a leadership role at Chiesi Group, Giacomo Chiesi reflects on the lessons he learned from his father and grandfather – and from his work as a former management consultant – about what it means to run a successful family business and its benefits. Family businesses across industries […]

  • After Alexion buy, AZ plans $360m investment in Irish facilities

    AstraZeneca has unveiled plans to build a brand new manufacturing facility at a site in Ireland operated by recent acquisition Alexion, providing employment for around 100 workers including scientists and engineers. The company has earmarked $360 million for the new-build project at the 41-acre campus at College Park in Blanchardstown, Dublin, which will be used […]

  • The post-COVID future of physician sample access and engagement

    Building modern commercialisation strategies requires pharma to find the right balance of old ways and new approaches, says Cardinal Health’s Jennifer Baughman. COVID-19 has fundamentally changed much of our lives – from how we interact with people to how we work. For the pharma industry, the pandemic’s changes were both abrupt and industry-altering, requiring companies […]

  • Vectura investors ignore critics and back tobacco giant takeover

    Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has won the shareholder vote it needed for its controversial £1.1 billion takeover of respiratory drugmaker Vectura, despite mobilised opposition to the deal. PMI said it had won support from enough shareholders that – when added to its own holding in Vectura – it had a 75% position in […]

  • EFPIA: Partnership is the key to healthcare’s biggest challenges

    The European pharma body’s new Health Collaboration Guide hopes to inspire greater partnership working across healthcare, showcasing award-winning collaborations involving Pfizer, Janssen, Novartis and more. Partnership is the key to unlocking the solutions to our major healthcare challenges, and “no player has a monopoly on good ideas”. That’s according to the European Federation of Pharmaceutical […]

  • EU ‘negotiating with Valneva’ over COVID-19 vaccine contract

    The European Commission is reportedly in advanced discussions with French biotech Valneva about picking up the contract to supply COVID-19 vaccines that was terminated by the UK government this week. A French government source told Reuters that the EU is considering using the VLA2001 vaccine as part of its booster campaign plans, along with a […]

  • Valneva slumps as UK dumps €1.4bn order for COVID-19 jab

    The UK has terminated its order for up to 190 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by French biotech company Valneva, accusing it of breaching their supply agreement. Valneva said it “strenuously denies” that allegation, but added that the €1.4 billion ($1.65 billion) contract does provide the UK government with the right to exit […]

  • Biogen admits slow Aduhelm launch, as scientists question label again

    Shares in Biogen have come under pressure after chief executive Michel Vounatsos admitted that the company is facing a much slower than anticipated rollout of its controversial Alzheimer’s disease therapy Aduhelm. Speaking at a Morgan Stanley conference yesterday, Vounatsos said Biogen may have to revisit its sales forecasts for Aduhelm (aducanumab), which were already “very […]

  • Preparing for a post-pandemic world

    Janssen’s Mark Hicken, VP of strategy, EMEA, looks at what COVID-19 has taught us and how we can become stronger as we emerge from the pandemic. There’s plenty of talk about a post-COVID world right now, which can seem strange when so many places are still feeling the impact or remain in the grip of […]

  • Sanofi snaps up Kadmon and its transplant drug Rezurock

    Less than a month after Kadmon Pharma launched its first product – Rezurock for a complication of organ transplants – the New York company has agreed to be bought by Sanofi in a $1.9 billion deal. The merger agreement, which has been agreed by the boards of both companies, will see Sanofi pay $9.50 per […]

  • Mallinckrodt moves closer to resolving its opioid liability hangover

    Mallinckrodt looks like it could join Purdue Pharma in reaching a settlement in its bankruptcy proceedings related to opioid litigation, after years of legal wrangling. The Ireland-headquartered drugmaker filed for bankruptcy last year, after proposing a $1.6 billion payout to settle lawsuits claiming that its marketing of opioid painkillers helped to fuel an epidemic in […]

  • EU, AstraZeneca reach resolution in COVID-19 supply spat

    AstraZeneca’s legal dispute with the European Commission over a shortfall in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines promised by the company earlier this year has been settled in advance of court proceedings. Under the terms, AZ has agreed to deliver 60 million doses of its Vaxzevria vaccine to the EU by the end of this month, […]

  • Purdue bankruptcy court hands immunity to Sackler family

    A US federal judge has approved a bankruptcy settlement for Purdue Pharma that grants the Sackler family that owned the business immunity from any further civil lawsuits accusing them of contributing to opioid epidemic – to the consternation of campaigners. The agreement will dissolve the OxyContin (oxycodone) manufacturer – which Judge Robert Drain said was […]

  • FDA clears J&J’s twice-yearly Invega for schizophrenia

    One of the biggest challenges to treating schizophrenia is non-compliance with treatment, but Johnson & Johnson’s pharma unit Janssen is trumpeting a new version of its Invega drug that could solve that problem. The FDA has just approved Janssen’s Invega Hafyera (paliperidone), a twice-yearly injectable formulation that extends the company’s big-selling brand and offers the […]

  • Galapagos’ long-serving CEO Onno van de Stolpe to retire

    After 22 years at the helm of Belgian biotech Galapagos, chief executive Onno van de Stolpe has decided it is time to retire and hand the reins to new leadership. He will stay in his role until a successor is found, according to the company, which has kicked off a search for a new CEO. […]

  • Nine ways to keep focus and boost your pharma career

    Oliver Stohlmann’s Corporate Survival Hacks series draws on his experiences of working in local, regional and global life science communications to offer some little tips for enjoying a big business career. His second column addresses the vital importance of prioritisation. There used to be times when every single task seemed important. Naturally. I’m a perfectionist […]

  • Appeals court reverses $1.2bn judgment against Gilead in BMS CAR-T case

    Gilead Sciences’ Kite Pharma has won a key victory on appeal in its long-running dispute with Bristol-Myers Squibb over patents relating to CAR-T therapies, overturning a $1.2 billion fine levied last year. In December 2019, a jury found that Kite infringed on a patent owned by Juno Therapeutics, a division of BMS acquired through its […]

  • Vertex’s Nicola Massey: the pharmaphorum podcast

    In the latest episode of the podcast Dominic Tyer speaks with Nicola Massey, who’s Vertex’s senior country manager in the UK and Ireland. Having joined the biopharmaceutical company only fairly recently, they discuss her career path to Vertex, and also what it was like to join virtually – something that’s Increasingly common for many people […]

  • Europe has its first Lucentis biosimilar, Samsung Bioepis’ Byooviz

    Novartis and Roche’s big-selling eye drug Lucentis has its first biosimilar competitor in Europe, after the European Commission approved Samsung Bioepis’ copycat drug Byooviz. Byooviz (ranibizumab, also known as SB11) has been cleared for the same indications as Lucentis – including namely wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular oedema (DMO – and will […]

  • Organon Makes Women’s Health a Priority

    Simon Nicholson tells us how Organon, a new women’s healthcare company, is working to effect positive change globally by listening to women about their health care needs and allowing that information to drive their business development strategy. As Merck looked to expand its portfolio, it was determined that there’s a huge problem and need, particularly […]

  • Alex Gorsky will pass leadership of J&J to Joaquin Duato in January

    Johnson & Johnson has appointed Joaquin Duato as chief executive officer to replace long-serving Alex Gorsky, who has been CEO since 2012. Joaquin Duato Gorsky will stay on at the company as executive chairman, but Duato – currently vice chairman at J&J’s executive committee – will take the top job at the company on 3 […]

  • Years after Pfizer merger, ex-Medivation exec gets insider trading charge

    A Medivation executive at the heart of the company’s team that sold the company to Pfizer for $14 billion five years ago is facing allegations of insider trading. Matthew Panuwat A complaint filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today accuses Matthew Panuwat, the then-head of business development at Medivation, of buying sizeable […]

  • Novartis says trials back Beovu safety in diabetic eye disease

    There is plenty of evidence that Novartis’ ophthalmology drug Beovu can match its rivals when it comes to efficacy, with less frequent dosing, but the big question facing the company is whether it is less safe. Data from phase 3 trials of the drug in diabetic macular oedema (DMO) provide some encouragement for Novartis on […]

  • Novartis says trials back Beovu safety in diabetic eye disease

    There is plenty of evidence that Novartis’ ophthalmology drug Beovu can match its rivals when it comes to efficacy, with less frequent dosing, but the big question facing the company is whether it is less safe. Data from phase 3 trials of the drug in diabetic macular oedema (DMO) provide some encouragement for Novartis on […]

  • As the smoke clears, Vectura backs tobacco giant PMI’s bid

    Vectura’s board has decided to recommend a takeover bid from tobacco giant Philip Morris International, despite being urged by health charities to go for a lower offer from investment company Carlyle Group. A just-published statement from the respiratory drug specialist said that its directors concluded that PMI’s 165p per share offer – which values the […]

  • UK cues up more Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines as price row looms

    The UK government has started ordering COVID-19 vaccines for a 2022 booster campaign, including a 32 million-dose order for the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, even before third doses for 2021 have been given the go-ahead. A report in The Times claims that the government is paying £22 a dose – up from an earlier price of £18 […]

  • Carlyle baulks at Vectura auction, but urges shareholders to back its bid

    Private equity group Carlyle has said it won’t raise its offer for respiratory drug specialist Vectura to match a 165p per share offer from tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI). The investment firm said its 155p offer was “full and fair” and would not be raised, meaning that it would not enter into a head-to-head […]

  • Gene therapy specialist bluebird exits “untenable” European market

    Europe market has proved so hostile to gene therapies when it comes to pricing and reimbursement for gene therapies that bluebird bio has decided to quit the market altogether, according to Andrew Obenshain, president of its severe genetic diseases unit. On the firm’s second-quarter results call, Obenshain said the biotech will start “an orderly wind-down” […]

  • Dental implant market: Top trends bolstering industry growth

    People across the world, especially the population aged 65 years or older, are suffering from some form of a medical condition that results in tooth decay or loss. According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 70.1% of the population in North America was 65 years or more and was […]

  • AZ gets European approvals for Forxiga in chronic kidney disease

    AstraZeneca’s Forxiga has become the first SGLT2 inhibitor to be approved in Europe for use in people with chronic kidney disease, extending its lead over rival drugs in the class. The European Commission has cleared Forxiga (dapagliflozin) for CKD in adults with or without diabetes, and the drug becomes the first new drug treatment for […]

  • Bidding war breaks out for respiratory specialist Vectura

    A flurry of new offers by Philip Morris International (PMI) and private equity firm Carlyle has hiked the value of respiratory medicines company Vectura to £1 more than a billion ($1.4 billion), with the tobacco giant leading the bidding at the latest count. Carlyle first broke ground with a 136 pence per share offer that […]

  • Moderna COVID-19 jab sales rocket to $4.2 billion in second quarter

    Moderna made a massive $4.2 billion from sales of just under 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, taking its tally since approval to around $6 billion from 302 million shots. The tally makes the SpikeVax (mRNA-1273) vaccine the second biggest seller behind Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty, which pulled in $7.8 billion in the second quarter and […]

  • Pfizer, Flynn in the firing line again over UK epilepsy drug pricing

    The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has resurrected a complaint against Pfizer and Flynn Pharma, claiming the two companies charged the NHS excessive prices for a widely-used epilepsy therapy. In a provisional judgment, the CMA has concluded that Pfizer and Flynn abused a dominant position to overcharge the NHS for phenytoin sodium capsules, causing […]

  • FTC drops AbbVie antitrust case, but fires a parting shot at the firm

    AbbVie will not be pursued any further by the US government over allegations that it used ‘sham’ litigation to keep competition to its AndroGel testosterone replacement product off the market. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sad it had dropped its antitrust complaint against the company after the US Supreme Court declined to review a lower […]

  • UK fines Advanz £100m for raising thyroid drug price tenfold

    The UK has levied another big fine for anticompetitive activity in the pharma market in a fortnight, with Advanz Pharma and former owners on the hook for more than £100 million ($140 million) after increasing the price of a thyroid disease drug by 1,110% over an eight-year period. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said […]

  • 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 […]

  • Pfizer hikes COVID vaccine sales forecast for 2021 to $33.5bn

    Continuing orders for Pfizer’s BioNTech-partnered COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty have prompted near one-third increase in its projected revenues for the vaccine this year, from $26 billion to $33.5 billion. It’s a big increase, considering the former figure was the drugmaker’s best guess just three months ago, and takes into account additional supply agreement signed from mid-April […]

  • Martin Shkreli’s $7.4m forfeit is paid, thanks to that Wu-Tang Clan album

    The US government has sold off the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album famously bought by ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli, with the proceeds enough to wipe out his $7.4 million fine for defrauding investors. Shkreli, the pharma entrepreneur who became notorious in 2015 for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug, bought the Once Upon a Time […]

  • Martin Shkreli’s $7.4m forfeit is paid, thanks to that Wu-Tang Clan album

    The US government has sold off the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album famously bought by ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli, with the proceeds enough to wipe out his $7.4 million fine for defrauding investors. Shkreli, the pharma entrepreneur who became notorious in 2015 for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug, bought the Once Upon a Time […]

  • Syneos Health appoints Michael Brooks as Chief Development Officer

    Syneos Health has appointed Michael Brooks as its new chief development officer. In this newly created role, Brooks will lead the company’s customer engagement and market development portfolio. “COVID-19 has forever changed the way we work with customers and colleagues, and how we effectively engage with patients and health care providers. It’s more important than […]

  • GSK names McNamara as CEO of consumer health spinout

    GlaxoSmithKline has said that Brian McNamara – currently head of its three-year-old consumer health joint venture with Pfizer – will retain the top job at the business after it is hived off into a separate company next year. The appointment, which had been expected, was confirmed in a statement by GSK’s board today. McNamara has […]

  • Biogen bites back at critics of Aduhelm after drug’s slow start

    Biogen has reported $2m in sales for newly-launched Alzheimer’s therapy Aduhelm that came in below its expectations, prompting the company to issue a rebuke to what it says is “extensive misinformation and misunderstanding” about the drug. In an open letter, R&D chief Al Sandrock tackled a number of the criticisms levelled at the FDA’s decision […]

  • Roche ‘talking to FDA’ as Alzheimer’s drug moves towards 2022 readout

    Phase 3 results with Roche’s amyloid-targeting Alzheimer’s drug gantenerumab may not be due until the second half of last year, but the company is already in discussions with the FDA about a route to approval. There has been speculation since the unexpected approval of Biogen and Eisai’s Aduhelm (aducanumab) last month that other amyloid therapies […]

  • Ten tips on pharma time management

    Oliver Stohlmann’s new Corporate Survival Hacks series draws on his experiences of working in local, regional and global life science communications to offer some little tips for enjoying a big business career. In this first instalment he tackles managing time. A month into exiting my career of over two decades in global life-science multinationals, I’m […]

  • Is J&J nearing the end of its opioid liability hangover?

    Johnson & Johnson and the ‘big three’ US pharma wholesalers are on the brink of a $26 billion settlement deal covering thousands of lawsuits alleging their involvement in contributing to the US opioid crisis, according to press reports. Under the deal, J&J would be in line for a $5 billion payment over nine years, while […]

  • Healthware Group appoints Giovanni Loria as chief financial officer

    Giovanni Loria has joined global digital health innovation organisation Healthware Group as its new chief financial officer. He will be responsible for the overall financial management and will play a pivotal role in driving long-term business and strategic growth, supporting the company in its future evolution. Loria said: “I am delighted to join the Healthware […]

  • UK comms agency Fishawack Health restructures creative team

    Fishawack Health has announced a restructuring of its creative team to expand client support across global markets. The Fishawack creative team is led by Lacey Jae Christman and Damien Parsonage and includes 12 creative directors with a breadth of experience. It includes talent from award-winning agencies — Carling Communications, rare-disease specialty agency Dudnyk, 2e Creative, […]

  • UK fines drugmakers record £260m for price gouging NHS

    The UK’s competition authority has issued its largest ever fine of more than £260 million ($360 million) to several pharma companies accused of colluding to hike the price of medicines delivered to the NHS. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) took the action against Auden Mckenzie and Actavis UK – now known as Accord-UK – […]

  • Why pharma needs a revolution in culture

    James Dempsey breaks down the misconception that culture can’t be measured, and gives tips for how companies can implement a clear culture strategy. In 2014, six years after the global financial crisis forced the world’s biggest financial institutions into some serious navel gazing, the CEO of a major international bank was despairing: “We’ve put in […]

  • 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 […]

  • Big tobacco’s PMI makes another pharma foray with Vectura deal

    Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has doubled down on its move into the pharmaceutical sector, following up its recent acquisition of Fertin Pharma with a deal to buy Vectura for around £1 billion ($1.38 billion). PMI is paying 150 pence per share for Vectura, trumping a 139 per share offer from private equity firm […]

  • Another hurdle down as EU clears AstraZeneca’s Alexion takeover

    The European Commission has given competition clearance to the $39 billion acquisition of Alexion by AstraZeneca, leaving the UK as the last remaining obstacle to getting the deal across the line. The EU approval comes after the merger has already been okayed by the US, Japan and a number of other countries around the world, […]

  • Nestle gets closer to Seres, pledging $525m for microbiome C. diff drug

    Swiss food giant Nestle has firmed up its five-year-old alliance with US microbiome specialist Seres, paying $175 million upfront for North American co-marketing rights to its lead drug for Clostridium difficile infections. Under the terms of the new deal, Nestle’s Health Sciences unit will pay Seres another $125 million if the FDA approves the drug […]

  • Elliott fires broadside at GSK in wake of investor update

    GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Emma Walmsley was no doubt hoping that an upbeat assessment of the firm’s prospects at an investor meeting last week would deflect criticism of her leadership from activist investor Elliott Management – but finds herself in the firing line once again today. The US hedge fund, run by billionaire Paul Singer, has […]

  • Elliott fires broadside at GSK in wake of investor update

    GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Emma Walmsley was no doubt hoping that an upbeat assessment of the firm’s prospects at an investor meeting last week would deflect criticism of her leadership from activist investor Elliott Management – but finds herself in the firing line once again today. The US hedge fund, run by billionaire Paul Singer, has […]

  • EU and AZ both claim victory in COVID jab supply lawsuit

    A court in Belgium has ordered AstraZeneca to deliver additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to EU member states by 27 September, although far fewer than the amount sought by the European Commission. The EU had requested 120 million doses by the end of this month and 300 million by end-September, but the judge in […]

  • Pricing, Profits and Progress: Pharma’s Post-COVID Priorities

    As post-pandemic recovery begins, big pharma remains in the spotlight. Jesse Mendelsohn, explores pharma’s priorities on pricing, profits and progress post-Covid. It goes without saying that if pharmaceutical companies are not profitable, they will not survive. The need for firms to make a reasonable profit is paramount in today’s world; healthy pharmaceutical research and manufacturing are […]

  • Merck nabs $1.2 billion order for oral COVID antiviral from US

    The US government has placed an order with Merck & Co to buy 1.7 million courses of its antiviral therapy molnupiravir for COVID-19, assuming it gets approved for use by the FDA. The $1.2 billion deal is among the largest placed by the federal government for a COVID-19 medicine, reflecting molnupiravir’s potential as an orally-active […]

  • FDA clears Pfizer’s Prevnar 20 for adults, as Merck rival nears decision

    Pfizer has the FDA approval it was seeking for Prevnar 20, the latest update to its blockbuster pneumococcal vaccination franchise, keeping it one step ahead of a competing shot from Merck & Co. The US regulator has cleared the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine – which protects against 20 common strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae – for adults […]

  • Dermavant raises $200m to ease launch of Otezla rival tapinarof

    Dermavant is in line to make some big payments to GlaxoSmithKline if its topical psoriasis drug tapinarof reaches the market, and it has just cut a deal to defray those costs. The Roivant group company has raised $160 million from investors plus a $40 million credit facility that it can draw on if – and […]

  • Experts discuss the field force’s customer-centric future

    The ways in which HCPs prefer to engage with pharma has been changing for quite some time, and the digital transformation brought by COVID has dramatically accelerated that. In a recent pharmaphorum webinar, in partnership with Axtria, commercialisation experts from across the industry discussed how the right field force training and execution in combination with […]

  • FDA ends 7-year obesity drug drought, clearing Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy

    Novo Nordisk is celebrating the FDA approval of its GLP-1 agonist semaglutide as a treatment for obesity, which it believes has the potential to redefine the market for weight-loss medicines.  Already approved at a lower dose as Ozempic for treating diabetes, the new 2.4 mg once-weekly formulation – which will be sold as Wegovy – […]

  • FDA ends 7-year obesity drug drought, clearing Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy

    Novo Nordisk is celebrating the FDA approval of its GLP-1 agonist semaglutide as a treatment for obesity, which it believes has the potential to redefine the market for weight-loss medicines.  Already approved at a lower dose as Ozempic for treating diabetes, the new 2.4 mg once-weekly formulation – which will be sold as Wegovy – […]

  • PM Society Training: Essentials of Pharmaceutical Marketing

    Who will benefit? New and aspiring marketers and those wanting to refresh their marketing thinking and be fitter to handle today’s healthcare environment. Topics covered Overview of pharmaceutical marketing Pharmaceutical marketing strategy concepts and tools Effective market and competitor analysis Increasing impact through effective segmentation & targeting Building competitive advantage through creative product positioning The […]

  • Moderna ramps up EU COVID jab capacity via Lonza deal

    Capacity to supply Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in Europe could be swelled by round 300 million doses a year, following an agreement to set up a new production line at contract manufacturer Lonza. The increased capacity depends on Moderna getting approval for a half dose of an updated version of the mRNA-1273 vaccine – targeting new […]

  • Novartis halts three trials of Beovu eye drug on safety concerns

    Prospects for Novartis’ ophthalmology drug Beovu have taken another dive after the drugmaker reported toxicity issues in a new phase 3 trial in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). On the plus side, Beovu (brolucizumab) met its efficacy objectives in the MERLIN study, but that was offset by higher rates of inflammatory reactions in the eyes […]

  • Ashfield Engage acquires US consulting firm Nuvera LLC

    Ashfield Engage has completed the acquisition of Nuvera, a US-based healthcare consulting firm specialising in patient support programmes. Ashfield Engage and Nuvera will offer integrated specialist support and services including late-phase clinical trial experience, implementation and post-commercialisation satisfaction benchmarking and service optimisation. Nareda Mills, global president, patient solutions, Ashfield Engage said the combined expertise of […]

  • Pharma’s post-COVID prospects: the pharmaphorum podcast

    In this latest podcast, pharmaphorum spoke to Andrew Meade, life sciences lead UK and Ireland at Accenture, about the trends that emerged in this year’s Q1 results season. Meade talked about the prospects for the industry as the UK and other economies beginning to recover from the devastating pandemic. He discussed how COVID vaccines have […]

  • FDA clears Myovant’s relugolix for uterine fibroids, setting up AbbVie clash

    Myovant has chalked up a second approval for its flagship drug relugolix from the FDA, becoming the first once-daily oral drug in the US to treat heavy menstrual bleeding associated with uterine fibroids.  The drug will be sold as Myfembree (relugolix) for the uterine fibroids indication, and is already available to treat prostate cancer under […]

  • EU asks court to fine AstraZeneca over missing COVID jab shipments

    Lawyers for the European Commission asked a court in Brussels today to fine AstraZeneca millions of euros for its “obvious”  failure to meet the terms of its contract to supply COVID-19 vaccines to the EU. Rafael Jafferali Counsel for the Commission – Rafael Jafferali – insisted during the hearing at the Brussels Court of First […]

  • Vectura agrees $1.4bn takeover by private equity group Carlyle

    Vectura has agreed to a £1.55 per share takeover by US private investment company Carlyle, which values the UK drug delivery specialist at £958 million ($1.4 billion).  The acquisition of one of the UK’s biggest biotech companies comes as Vectura is in the midst of a business restructuring that has seen it pivot away from […]

  • How diversity can help life sciences advance its lifesaving solutions

    Paula Parfitt discusses the importance of workplace diversity and how life science companies can build a thriving, diverse workforce. Diversity, equity and inclusion (D, E & I) is a sensible business choice with significant commercial benefits. A homogenous workforce has a smaller pool of collective experience, meaning that when problems arise, collective creativity and innovation […]

  • COVID jab rollout provides short opportunity for pharma to build trust

    After decades of struggling with poor public perception, the pharma industry has an opportunity to generate stronger connections with consumers than ever thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine drive – but it will have to move quickly.  That is the conclusion of a Mediahub study which cites recent poll data in the US giving the industry […]

  • UK competition watchdog probes AstraZeneca, Alexion merger

    The antitrust authority in the UK has launched an investigation into the proposed $39 billion takeover of US firm Alexion by AstraZeneca. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is starting the first phase of the probe today, and said it should wrap it up by 21 July, deciding at that point whether to start a […]

  • What is modular content and why do pharma marketers need it NOW?

    Modular content is an established practice among digital and content marketers in sectors such as FMCG and retail, who are challenged with increasing demand for more content and creating personalised content to meet the demands of their customers. It is a newer concept for pharma marketers, however, who are now turning to modular solutions in response […]

  • Key insights for a successful first-time product launch

    Pre-commercial & Emerging pharma companies may not think they have the resources to match the launch strategies of big pharma. But with the proper planning and an agile approach, they can be more successful than they realise, says Veeva’s Ian Hale. He takes us through the challenges of a successful launch and explains what pre-commercial […]

  • Designing HCP engagement for the next normal

    Life sciences companies’ engagement with HCPs has changed significantly in the past 12 months, as the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Restrictions to in-person face-to-face interactions have resulted in increased use of remote and digital channels. Many life sciences companies have begun 2021 by reviewing how they respond to the longer-term impact of this change, and its […]

  • WebMD buys clinical best practice information firm MGP

    WebMD Health Corp, a health information services company, has announced it has acquired MGP, an information provider supporting clinical best practice and implementation of best practice guidelines.  In a statement WebMD said the acquisition combines the core competencies of MGP with that of Medscape, WebMD’s flagship global brand for healthcare professionals. Medscape and its affiliate […]

  • Sian Hurst promoted to MD of Clark Health Communications

    Sian Hurst has been promoted to managing director of independent UK-based healthcare comms agency, Clark Health Communications.  In a statement the company said Hurst joined the agency in June 2020 and made an immediate impact across the business, doubling the agency’s pitch win rate and helping to diversify the client base, while mentoring the growing […]

  • 4 ways to embed data-driven best practice in pharma HCP communications

    Virtual communications between sales reps and HCPs jumped significantly during 2020, making it more important than ever for pharma companies to maintain up-to-date customer data. Over the 12 months to December 2020 the number of global Veeva CRM Engage Meetings increased sixfold, while those held in Europe saw an eight-fold increase – with 200,000 remote […]

  • AS&K Group makes twin hire with Zdinak and Facco

    The AS&K Group has made two appointments, hiring Alana Zdinak as its new sales and marketing director, while Chiara Facco joins its agency brand Remedica as account director.  AS&K said Zdinak (pictured right) brings with her over 25 years’ experience in the healthcare communications and education industry. In a statement it noted that she has […]

  • Bobbitt promoted to strategy director role at The Bloc

    Antoinette Bobbitt has been promoted to executive vice president, strategy director at independent US creative agency, The Bloc. As EVP, Strategy Director, Antoinette will be responsible for ensuring that the agency’s talent, planning methodology, and tools are aligned with the Bloc’s vision of building exceptional customer experiences. She will oversee the strategy for several clients, […]

  • performance-io adds Jason McKenna as a non-executive director

    UK-based performance-io has added to its senior team through two promotions and the appointment of STEM Healthcare CEO Jason McKenna as a non-executive director. He will oversee the online performance marketing and digital benchmarking agency’s growth in the US joins Rob Wood and Barrie Brien on performance-io’s non-executive board. McKenna has been with STEM since […]

  • Novo Nordisk ups forecasts after Q1 profit boost

    After an indifferent period Novo Nordisk has kicked off 2021 on the front foot, raising its financial forecast after posting better than expected Q1 earnings and sales. The world’s biggest manufacturer of diabetes drugs expects growth in constant currencies at between 6% and 10%, up from the previous forecast in the 5%-9% range. Operating profit […]

  • 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 […]

  • Langland appoints Mike Brightley as advertising creative director

    Langland has appointed Mike Brightley as creative director for its advertising section. Brightley has more than 14 years of healthcare advertising experience and has worked for companies including Ogilvy Healthworld, PAN and was most recently associate creative director at TBWA/WorldHealth. Brightley has worked on several insightful campaigns including applied emotion-recognition technology for adaptive storytelling. He […]

  • Dentsu launches global healthcare agency dentsu health

    Dentsu International has announced the launch of a global healthcare agency dentsu health. The New York-based marketing firm said the new venture will draw upon the expertise of dentsu’s global network of 2,000 health marketing experts across 85 markets in EMEA, APAC and the Americas. The agency will provide a single point of contact now […]

  • Merck looks at M&A deals as COVID hits sales in Q1

    Ken Frazier’s final appearance on Merck & Co’s financial results call as chief executive was a muted affair, as the company reported lower-than-expected revenues dragged down as the pandemic continued to restrict patient access to healthcare.  Pharmaceutical sales were flat on the same period of 2020 at $10.7 billion, with vaccines sales falling nearly 19% […]

  • Healthware appoints Yannick Valenti to senior digital role in the UK

    Healthware Group has appointed Yannick Valenti as digital strategy and customer engagement director out of its UK office. He moves to the global consultancy and digital health company from Ogilvy Health, where he spent three years as digital strategy director. Prior to that Valenti was the European general manager for digital advertising company SRAX, focusing on […]

  • Healthware appoints Yannick Valenti to senior digital role in the UK

    Healthware Group has appointed Yannick Valenti as digital strategy and customer engagement director out of its UK office. He moves to the global consultancy and digital health company from Ogilvy Health, where he spent three years as digital strategy director. Prior to that Valenti was the European general manager for digital advertising company SRAX, focusing on […]

  • Indigo Medical merges with imc group

    Indigo Medical, a provider of material review, medical signatory approval services and medical communication for global pharmaceutical and biopharma companies, is joining imc group with the backing of pan-European investor Waterland Private Equity. In a statement the companies said the merger will help imc provide a one-stop service for clients across seven core divisions: Medical […]

  • What comes next: digital transformation in B2B life sciences sales

    As the contours of a post-pandemic world begin to take shape, those working B2B sales in the life sciences acknowledge that the industry must adapt to some permanent shifts. Mert Yentur looks at what is next for the industry. Even prior to COVID-19, sales teams reckoned with traditional online-only CRM systems that didn’t align well […]

  • Prime Global appoints Emma Sutcliffe as SVP Patient Insights and Solutions

    Prime Global, the international medical communications and market access group, has appointed Emma Sutcliffe as senior vice president, patient insights and solutions. Sutcliffe will lead on patient engagement and support Prime Global’s seven agencies and four consultancies to deliver patient-centric communications. She has a strong heritage in patient engagement strategy, HCP and patient education, and […]

  • EU orders another 100m doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID jab

    The EU has continued a refocus of its COVID-19 vaccination drive on mRNA shots, ordering another 100 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty shot.  The new deal takes the total number of Comirnaty shots ordered by the EU for delivery this year to 600 million, and comes amid an ongoing debate about the safety […]

  • Fernandez and Loveya take senior roles at FCB Health

    Consumer advertising guru Humberto Fernandez has joined FCB Health as group creative director, with Anna Loveya joining the company’s market access healthcare agency Mosaic Group as management director. Fernandez comes to FCB Health New York following 25 years in consumer advertising, during which he’s delivered creative solutions to several blockbuster brands, including Coca-Cola, Bayer, Kit […]

  • Fishawack buys health economics consultancy PRMA

    UK comms agency Fishawack Health has acquired the health economics outcomes research (HEOR) consultancy PRMA Consulting. PRMA has offices across Europe, Asia and the US and adds expertise in Asia-Pacific and European markets to the company’s market access offering in North America. The company said that the acquisition will allow it to offer a HEOR […]

  • AZ exits US vaccine plant after mix-up spoils J&J’s COVID jab

    AstraZeneca is shifting production of its COVID-19 vaccine away from a plant in Baltimore which also makes Johnson & Johnson’s shot, after human error resulted in the contamination of 15 million doses.  The mix-up at the facility operated by contract manufacturer Emergent BioSolutions resulted in ingredients destined for AZ’s AZD1222 jab being mixed into vials […]

  • What Is The Best Way to Incentivise a Digital-First Sales Team?

    Incentivising people with KPI-linked bonuses is nothing new. Especially in commercial roles it has long been standard. The issue with KPIs is they can be very ineffective. If clearly defined they will get you results, but if not, they can just reinforce the wrong behaviours. The difficulty is to define the right ones. Bottomline is […]

  • Country focus: Hungary carves out a niche in digital pharma

    AI simulated cell company Turbine is just one of many digital drug discovery firms on the rise in Hungary. We speak to the company’s CEO and co-founder, Szabolcs Nagy, to find out why moving beyond traditional biotech drug development is a good fit for the country’s ecosystem. Hungarian company, Turbine, is taking an alternative approach […]

  • Precision Value & Health acquires Across Health

    Pharma marketing specialist Precision Value & Health has acquired the specialist communications consultancy Across Health. Across Health is a leading global omnichannel engagement consultancy focused on providing clients an analytical and evidence-based framework for commercial strategy, execution, and resource optimisation. The company’s solutions are based around its proprietary Navigator365 product suite, which more than 40 […]

  • J+D Forecasting provides Online Team Pharma Forecasting Training

    Following the success of J+D’s face to face training, the content has been redesigned to make it suitable for an online audience. The training can be tailored to individual teams/departments within specific organisations or completed independently. There is a significant need for an improved approach to pharmaceutical forecasting. Improved model design, enhanced usability, efficient processes […]

  • Alexion’s Camilla Harder Hartvig on making the impossible possible in rare disease

    Alexion’s senior vice president of its international business talks to Paul Tunnah about the importance of “people-centred and vulnerable” leadership, the surprising impacts of COVID and the promising future for treating patients with rare diseases.  Alexion is a somewhat unique pharma company in that it focuses almost entirely on rare diseases – and although this […]

  • VMLY&Rx appoints Nichole Davies as global chief strategy officer

    VMLY&Rx, a comms agency dedicated to prescription pharmaceutical companies who are researching and developing breakthrough therapies, has hired Nichole Davies as global chief strategy officer.  Davies will lead a new global strategic practice to deliver and enable connected health strategies for clients. The team comprises specialists across a wide range of strategic expertise including brand, […]

  • Envision acquire dDOC, hires Manish Goel as tech solutions head

    Comms company Envision Pharma Group has acquired doDOC Corp, a document collaborative review, editing and authoring firm. doDOC enables simultaneous collaboration in the review, editing, and authoring of documents among multiple users. Designed for the pharma and life sciences industries, it offers significant industry-specific advantages over general document authoring solutions in the market today. While […]

  • Red Havas launches ‘global health micro-network’

    Red Havas has announced the launch of Red Havas Health, a global micro-network focused on health, in response to increasing demand from clients globally. The new offering brings together health professionals from Red Havas across the US, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as Havas Health PR in New York, Havas Life Medicom PR based […]

  • Red Havas launches ‘global health micro-network’

    Red Havas has announced the launch of Red Havas Health, a global micro-network focused on health, in response to increasing demand from clients globally. The new offering brings together health professionals from Red Havas across the US, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as Havas Health PR in New York, Havas Life Medicom PR based […]

  • Havas Lynx Group reigns at PM Society Awards 2021

    Havas Lynx Group were the big winners of the 35th annual PM Society Awards on Thursday 18 March, picking up six Gold awards, five Silver and three Bronze awards. Over 1000 people tuned in online to watch the virtual awards ceremony which was hosted by PM Society Chairs Caroline Benson and Colin Williams and head […]

  • Havas Lynx Group reigns at PM Society Awards 2021

    Havas Lynx Group were the big winners of the 35th annual PM Society Awards on Thursday 18 March, picking up six Gold awards, five Silver and three Bronze awards. Over 1000 people tuned in online to watch the virtual awards ceremony which was hosted by PM Society Chairs Caroline Benson and Colin Williams and head […]

  • Roche expands COVID testing portfolio with $1.8bn GenMark deal

    Roche has said it will pay $1.8 billion for molecular testing company GenMark, boosting the Swiss company’s diagnostic capabilities and adding rapid COVID tests to its pandemic arsenal.  GenMark’s tests are designed to rapidly detect multiple pathogens from a single patient sample. Of particular interest at the moment are its Respiratory Pathogen Panels, which identify […]

  • Amar Urhekar joins Ashfield Health as global president

    Former McCann Health veteran Amar Urhekar has joined Ashfield Health network as global president. Following a healthcare communications career spanning over two decades of leadership in five countries, Amar Urhekar takes the helm as global president of the more than 1,450-strong network that has rebranded from Ashfield Healthcare Communications to Ashfield Health. Since joining, Urhekar […]

  • Lucid Group eyes global expansion with new ICG investment

    The Lucid Group has secured new investment from Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) to support its ambitions to be a global business. The healthcare communications group, which already has offices in the UK, US and Asia and currently employs around 250 people, said the deal would support further expansion across geographies – particularly in the US, […]

  • Pharma poised to cash in on ‘long COVID’ symptoms

    While there’s hope that vaccination campaigns may bring the pandemic under control, “long COVID” side effects may continue to affect patients for some time. According to analysts from Jefferies, several pharma companies could stand to benefit with products that could help with issues such as mental health, lung scarring, kidney disease and heart failure. Although […]

  • Why pharma isn’t yet achieving digital excellence, and how it can get there

    Nearly 70% of HCPs are now digital natives, with no interest in going back to pre-COVID sales engagement methods. To thrive in this environment, pharma needs to move from ad-hoc and reactionary digital transformation to long-term ‘digital excellence’, says Veeva’s Sebastien Noel. COVID has seen pharma sales experience three years’ worth of digital transformation in […]

  • Guide provides best practice tips on approaching health journalists

    The UK’s Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) and Medical Journalists’ Association have launched a new best practice guide on approaching health journalists with a media story. Based on research by the Medical Journalists’ Association and feedback from their members, the guide aims to help all those working in healthcare PR understand how best to approach journalists […]

  • Syneos adds to European team with key hires

    Syneos Health Communications has made several senior hires to strengthen its Europe-based team. A portfolio of Syneos Health agencies, Syneos Health Communications, offers expertise spanning advertising and branding, public relations and medical communications. Orrin Pollard Among the most notable hires is Orrin Pollard, who joins as director of European creative expression. Pollard has more than […]

  • McCann Health promotes Dan Carucci to global chief medical officer

    McCann Health has announced the promotion of medical director Dan Carucci to global chief medical officer.  An expert voice in the scientific and medical community, Dr Carucci will use vast knowledge and experience in innovative medicine, practice and delivery to contribute authoritative science to the agency’s clients and businesses. In this new role, Carucci will […]

  • Tribal Health appoints Niaz Rizwani as strategy director

    Tribal Health has appointed Niaz Rizwani as strategy director, joining from Publicis Health where he was a senior strategist. Rizwani will support Tribal Health’s clients across multiple activities, connecting a client’s commercial goals with interactive customer experiences, shaping data strategies and omnichannel planning, knowledge sharing, and delivering innovative approaches. Launched last year, Tribal Health is […]

  • A history of Johnson & Johnson

    By most measures the single largest pharma company in the world, US-based Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is also arguably one of the most well-known drugmakers among the general public.  Both these factors can be tied in part to J&J’s strong presence in the consumer sector – but behind household name products is a strong pharmaceutical […]

  • Tribunal maintains Lexon’s £1.2m fine for breaking competition law

    Pharmaceutical wholesaler Lexon (UK) has lost its appeal against a £1.2 million fine in a case that accused it of exchanging commercially sensitive information about prices for nortriptyline tablets.  Lexon had appealed against a ruling by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that it had exchanged information with King Pharmaceuticals and Alissa Healthcare Research […]

  • Diana Evans joins Makara as director during hiring spree

    UK-based international healthcare communications agency Makara Health has appointed 11 additional people to its rapidly growing team, including Diana Evans who joins the leadership team as director. Evans comes with both agency and in-house experience, including her latest role at Napp Pharmaceuticals as head of communications. Diana will spearhead Makara’s patient engagement offering. Other additions […]

  • Onyx Health targets digital growth with new executive director

    Healthcare marketing communication specialists Onyx Health has marked a year of continued growth and expansion with Trevor Pill’s appointment as executive director. The new role is a significant promotion for Pill, who originally joined the agency as a client campaign manager. He then rose through the ranks to become associate director, working on a strategic […]

  • Reality Check | Is Your Current Customer Engagement Solution the Best Choice for All Markets?

    Do your sales reps drive a Ferrari? Probably not. Would they like one if you offered it to them? Probably. Once they were used to driving around in a Ferrari, how easy do you think it would be to convince them to give it back? Nearly impossible. They would argue it is the only way to get to their appointments on time. Nothing else would measure up. So why would […]

  • 4 principles for the future of pharma marketing

    COVID-19 has disrupted markets and accelerated digital adoption but what does this mean for the future of marketing? In this feature, Grünenthal’s Florent Eduoard and Kate Hurtig outline their principles for a new pharmaceutical marketing model.  “Keith, Kotler, Maslow” has long been the Holy Trinity of pharma marketing. Great ancient thinkers all aspiring marketeers were […]

  • Novartis antibiotic retreat doesn’t stop Sandoz buying GSK drugs

    Novartis exited novel antibiotics R&D three years ago, but is clearly still interested in the category – its Sandoz unit has just spent $350 million buying GlaxoSmithKline’s cephalosporin franchise.  The deal covers global rights to three brands – Zinnat (cefuroxime axetil), Zinacef (cefuroxime) and Fortum (ceftazidime) – which are sold in more than 100 markets […]

  • performance-io strikes multimillion-pound deal with STEM’s Rob Wood

    Rob Wood has acquired a large minority stake in performance-io through a multimillion-pound deal that will see him join the specialist online performance marketing agency’s executive board. A former AstraZeneca director, Wood founded commercial and medical benchmarking firm STEM in 2007 before selling it to UDG Healthcare for £84 million in 2016. Since leaving that […]

  • Golin appoints Kat Arnull as UK strategy chief

    Global comms agency Golin has appointed Kat Arnull as its first ever UK group chief strategy officer for Golin and Virgo Health. Kat starts her role with immediate effect, reporting into group managing director in London, Ondine Whittington, and working closely with Paul Parton, Golin’s global chief strategy officer. Arnull formally joins Golin after a […]

  • Omnichannel customer-centric teams and the future of pharma CRM

    If pharma companies are to live up to their decades-old patient-centric promises then marketing budgets need to move from brands and franchises to omnichannel customer-centric teams, according to one digital transformation leader. The industry is making some progress with this, but it’s not enough, says Edwin Erckens, who was until recently chief information officer within […]

  • Branding Science opens new office in Germany

    The healthcare brand consultancy Branding Science has opened a new office in Germany.  Founded 18 years ago, Branding Science has helped leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies with branding projects, from assessing market opportunity to preparing for upcoming launches and beyond. Dr Anne-Sophie Lenoir heads the new Berlin office. Born in Belgium, she has an […]

  • Ketchum hires Neera Chaudhary as president of North America

    Global communications consultancy Ketchum has announced the hire of Neera Chaudhary as president of North America.  Ketchum noted that Chaudhary has significant leadership experience at top public relations agencies and deep healthcare expertise across brands, corporate, nonprofits, government and public health organisations. Based in New York, she joined the firm this week and will be responsible for […]

  • Veklury rescues Gilead from COVID doldrums in Q4

    Gilead’s COVID-19 drug Veklury (remdesivir) is helping the company through disruption caused by the pandemic and patent expiry on two HIV drugs, according to its Q4 results announcement. In the final quarter alone, Veklury generated sales of just over $1.9 billion, offsetting a downturn in sales elsewhere in the business amid the disruption to healthcare […]

  • FDA holds back from action over Xeljanz safety study

    The FDA has said it will wait for additional results from last week’s trial showing an increased risk of cardiac side effects with Pfizer’s arthritis blockbuster Xeljanz before deciding on further action. The post-marketing ORAL Surveillance safety study showed that JAK inhibitor Xeljanz (tofacitinib) was associated with a higher rate of heart attacks and cancer […]

  • 3 Monkeys Zeno appoints Avril Lee to lead international role

    3 Monkeys Zeno has appointed Avril Lee to the newly-created role of head of healthcare for the UK and Europe, as part of the UK agency’s plans to strengthen its international health capabilities. Lee joins 3MZ from The Red Consultancy, where she had been head of health since 2019, and was previously deputy chair of […]

  • Jazz agrees $7.2bn deal to buy cannabis meds pathfinder GW Pharma

    Jazz Pharma has agreed a $7.2 billion deal to by GW Pharmaceuticals and its pioneering cannabis-derived medicines, headed by childhood epilepsy drug Epidiolex. Nasdaq-listed GW is in line for $220 per share, consisting of $200 in cash and $20 in Jazz stock. That is a sizeable premium on GW’s closing share price of around $147 […]

  • Almirall names Nazzi as new CEO after Guenter leaves for Merck

    Spanish drugmaker Almirall has lined up its new CEO following the departure of Peter Guenter, who left to lead Merck KGaA’s healthcare unit earlier this month. Gianfranco Nazzi The new CEO is Gianfranco Nazzi, who will take over at Almirall on 1 May. For the last three years he has served as executive vice president, […]

  • AstraZeneca on diversity: the pharmaphorum podcast

    The theme for episode 28 of the pharmaphorum podcast is diversity and inclusion in pharma, ably addressed by AstraZeneca’s Rebekah Martin. Serving as senior vice president of reward and inclusion at AstraZeneca, Rebekah discussed how the pharmaceutical industry approaches the promotion of diversity. In an episode that was recorded in December 2020, she also talked […]

  • COVID drives a customer experience shift in life sciences CRM

    The future of life sciences CRM will be defined by rapid digital transformation and a focus on customer experience – and those who stick to old ways of working will be left in the dust, according to new research from Gartner. Gartner’s’ CRM market guide notes that AI, digital scalability and hyper-automation hold the keys […]

  • COVID drives a customer experience shift in life sciences CRM

    The future of life sciences CRM will be defined by rapid digital transformation and a focus on customer experience – and those who stick to old ways of working will be left in the dust, according to new research from Gartner. Gartner’s’ CRM market guide notes that AI, digital scalability and hyper-automation hold the keys […]

  • Bad news for Pfizer as blockbuster Xeljanz flunks safety study

    JAK inhibitor Xeljanz is one of Pfizer’s top-selling drugs, despite a ‘black box’ warning for blood clots and cancers added to its label in 2019. Now, a study designed to prove its safety has achieved the opposite. The post-marketing safety study showed that Xeljanz (tofacitinib) – used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – was associated […]

  • Bad news for Pfizer as blockbuster Xeljanz flunks safety study

    JAK inhibitor Xeljanz is one of Pfizer’s top-selling drugs, despite a ‘black box’ warning for blood clots and cancers added to its label in 2019. Now, a study designed to prove its safety has achieved the opposite. The post-marketing safety study showed that Xeljanz (tofacitinib) – used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – was associated […]

  • Bedrock Healthcare Communications makes double hire

    UK health comms agency Bedrock Healthcare Communications has announced that Chris Barton has joined as strategic solutions director, taking a place on the senior management team. He will work alongside strategic solutions director Meg Morgan, scientific solutions director Derek Annan, head of scientific services Catherine Lee and head of client services Emily Wigginton. In a […]

  • Bedrock Healthcare Communications makes double hire

    UK health comms agency Bedrock Healthcare Communications has announced that Chris Barton has joined as strategic solutions director, taking a place on the senior management team. He will work alongside strategic solutions director Meg Morgan, scientific solutions director Derek Annan, head of scientific services Catherine Lee and head of client services Emily Wigginton. In a […]

  • Bomb scare sparks evacuation of plant making AZ COVID-19 vaccine

    A plant in Wales manufacturing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was evacuated on the advice of the authorities today after it was sent a suspicious package. Bomb disposal experts were called in to investigate the parcel at the fill and finish facility in Wrexham, operated by Wockhardt UK, which has the capacity to produce around 300 […]

  • What does the future hold for Medical Affairs?

    “A new medical affairs communication model is emerging that provides greater collaboration and stakeholder engagement” I am a clinical pharmacist by training, but my interest lies in drug information. I found out about medical communications when working in the Drug Information Center at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals. A colleague of mine offered to […]

  • UK agency Aurora promotes Chris Bath to managing director

    Independent UK comms agency Aurora has promoted Chris Bath to managing director. In a statement the London-based agency said Bath joined in 2015 and achieved rapid promotion to the agency’s management team. As well as providing senior counsel to clients and agency teams, he led the development of the agency’s digital insights capability and recently […]

  • Plugging modular content into pharma’s omnichannel strategies

    86% of respondents to a recent Veeva survey of pharma and biotech professionals said they are creating a greater volume of content now, compared to six months ago.  Yet while many pharma companies are creating more content than ever before, they also face increased pressure to quickly deliver highly personalised – and compliant – content […]

  • ARK promotes King to client services director, hires Rodriguez as art director

    London-based comms agency ARK has promoted Nicky King to client services director, with Martina Germinario Rodriguez joining as art director from Langland. King joined ARK, which describes itself as “the data-driven agency”, in 2018 as co-founder and account director and helped grow two of the biggest accounts in the group. After working with a variety […]

  • Pharma digital transformation: customer data expected to play a pivotal role

    A new survey highlights the importance of customer reference data to digital transformation and analyses ways pharma companies can improve the quality of their datasets. In a remote world, customer data is more foundational than ever, and Veeva’s 2020 European Customer Reference Data Survey found 91% of organisations view customer data as a global strategic […]

  • GSK’s Neale Belson on building trust with employees and society

    Pharma’s reputation is currently riding high as the industry comes together to tackle COVID-19, but GSK’s UK general manager Neale Belson says there is always more companies can do to build their culture and make sure employees and customers trust they are doing the right thing. When we spoke with Belson about the GSK’s response […]

  • Nine for 2021: Addressing the pandemic legacy

    In this second ‘Nine for 2021‘ article, IQVIA’s Sarah Rickwood looks at four issues which will directly impact pharma in 2021: the permanent changes in customer engagement models, the implications of a geographic re-balancing towards the East, CNS as the new value growth area for the 2020s, and the new biologics environment as biosimilars accelerate. […]

  • Tivicay approved in Europe in new dispersible tablet for children with HIV

    ViiV’s Tivicay is to become available in Europe in a new dispersible tablet form to treat children living with HIV. The joint venture, majority-owned by GlaxoSmithKline with Pfizer and Shionogi as shareholders, said the European Commission had granted a marketing authorisation for the new formulation. These tablets are used in combination with other antiretroviral agents […]

  • Amgen’s Enbrel heads ICER list of unjustified US price rises

    US cost effectiveness watchdog ICER found 10 examples of substantial price rises for top-selling medicines in 2019, and concluded that seven of those were not backed by any clinical evidence. The cost to the American taxpayer from those increases? Around $1.2 billion for the seven drugs alone, says the organisation, which also found that for […]

  • Are face-to-face medical meetings a thing of the past?

    Everything, from exercise classes to pub quizzes, went online last year – and medical education was no exception. In their droves, congresses, conferences, and masterclasses went virtual in a bid to ensure healthcare professionals were supported, up to date, and socially distanced. But is this change here to stay? Are the days of queuing for […]

  • AmerisourceBergen buys Walgreens Boots Alliance wholesaling business for $6.5bn

    US wholesale giant AmerisourceBergen is to buy the majority of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s wholesaling business for around $6.5 billion in a cash and shares deal. AmerisourceBergen will pay $6.275 billion in cash and around 2 million shares of its common stock for Alliance Healthcare in a deal to support its global distribution business. Alliance will […]

  • COVID-19 and the digital pharma marketing revolution

    The global pandemic has caused pharma companies to invest in digital marketing, as healthcare systems across the world adapt to strict lockdown rules. Once the global emergency ends, this trend will continue, argues pharmaphorum’s Richard Staines. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has forced businesses to radically change their way of working. Healthcare companies have been […]

  • 2021 Outlook: The future for life sciences customer experience

    Research from a large-scale survey of 1000+ senior pharma professionals has highlighted the divide between digitally adept companies and those that have been slow to adopt technologies. We look at how the customer experience is changing due to COVID-19. Historically, pharma has lagged behind other industries in adopting digital solutions, but with COVID-19 catapulting the […]

  • Health strategy consultancy makes two senior hires

    Health strategy consultancy has made two senior appointments, with former government analyst Tom Bourne and former TV marketer Victoria Donougher getting on board. Bourne has joined as associate director, analytics overseeing a team of 36 analysts, data scientists and language specialists at the company’s global offices. His brief will be to lead the team […]

  • Pfizer drops the blue pill, kicks off 2021 with new DNA logo

    Pharma companies are always talking about moving ‘beyond the pill’, and Pfizer’s new brand identity embodies that – it’s decades old pill-like logo has been replaced with a DNA double helix that it says reflects its commitment to breakthrough science. The logo – which retains the company’s traditional blue colour scheme – has been more […]

  • Ex-Resolute co-founder Blackburn starts hybrid agency Certain Health

    Former joint founder and owner of Resolute Communications and Real Science Paul Blackburn has launched a new hybrid agency, Certain Health. Blackburn made the move after Resolute and Real Science were absorbed into Publicis Langland. The company said its hybrid model has the benefits of both the traditional and virtual agency models, with expertise in […]

  • UK parliament backs EU trade deal, as industry sifts through detail

    The post-Brexit trade deal agreed on Christmas Eve has been overwhelmingly backed by the UK parliament, providing some degree of stability – but also plenty of disruption – for the coming months and years. The UK is leaving the EU’s single market and customs union, but the deal means tariffs on goods won’t be imposed […]