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Top Ten most popular articles on this week!

Published on 02/08/19 at 11:45am

Pfizer dominated the headlines this week as the US firm closed its $9.8 billion merger with GSK and announced that it would be combining its off-patent drug unit with Mylan. The news came as Sanofi sought to end its partnership with Lexicon after the release of new data for diabetes drug Zynquista.

Meanwhile, MSD’s immunotherapy Keytruda met its primary endpoint in a Phase 3 trial of patients with triple negative breast cancer, while GW Pharma’s Cannabis based drug Epidyolex received a thumbs up from the EU’s CHMP. In other news, Bayer’s cancer drug Vitravki also received a positive opinion from the CHMP.

The week was however marred with scandals as Teva, Endo and Teikoku agreed to settle a price gouging case for $70 million with the state of California, the biggest payout of its kind. The settlement came as Senator Bernie Sanders called price hiking pharma chiefs ‘murderers’ as he joined diabetes patients on a trip to Canada to buy cheaper insulin than can be found in the United States.

10. Teva, Endo and Teikoku pay $70 million settlement to California

Three pharmaceutical companies have agreed to pay a record $70 million to the state of California for keeping drug prices artificially high.

9. GW Pharma's cannabis-based Epidyolex edges closer to EU approval with positive CHMP opinion in epilepsy

UK-based biotech GW Pharmaceuticals has announced that its cannabidiol oral solution Epidyolex has secured recommendation from the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

8. Bayer's Vitravki poised to become first tumour-agnostic therapy in EU following CHMP recommendation

Bayer’s oral TRK inhibitor Vitrakvi (larotrectinib) could be set to become the European Union’s first drug approved in a tumour-agnostic indication after it emerged that it had secured a positive recommendation from the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

7. Biogen & Alkermes' multiple sclerosis drug proves "statistically superior" to Tecfidera at Phase 3

Biogen and Alkermes have unveiled new Phase 3 data for diroximel fumarate, comparing the adequacy of the therapy to Biogen’s own Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) in the treatment of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

6. Bernie Sanders says price hiking pharma execs are murderers

Bernie Sanders has stood by his claim that those artificially raising the price for insulin are murderers as joins diabetes patients on trips to Canada in search of cheaper version of the drug.

5. GSK closes the deal with Pfizer over $9.8 billion consumer healthcare merger

The $9.8 billion joint venture between major pharma firms GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to merge their consumer health operations has come to a close, forming the world’s largest over-the-counter business.

4. Pfizer to combine off-patent drug unit Upjohn with Mylan

Pfizer’s off-patent drug unit Upjohn is combining with Mylan to create a new global pharmaceutical company focused on the low-price drug market.

3. Sanofi ends partnership with Lexicon after release of Phase 3 data

French firm Sanofi has said it is ending its partnership with Texas-based firm Lexicon Pharmaceuticals over the development of diabetes drug Zynquista (sotagliflozin).

2. Cigarette smoke causes superbug to become more drug resistant, study shows

Cigarette smoke can make certain strains of the bacteria Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) more resistant to antibiotics, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

1. MSD's Keytruda combo hits primary endpoint at Phase 3 in triple-negative breast cancer

MSD’s blockbuster anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has impressed in newly released Phase 3 data; the company announced that, when combined with chemotherapy, the drug met one of its primary endpoints in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

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