Sweden's Recipharm in April issued additional shares, preparing itself for expansion. Now the midsized contract and development group is putting those plans into play, buying an Italian company for more than $160 million, getting new business in Italy and emerging markets, as well as new capabilities.
When it comes to selling big, cancer drugs have a lot going for them. Their targets--deadly diseases that in many cases can kill quickly--put them in high demand, even as they continue to redefine "premium pricing." Some newer drugs can be targeted at patient groups who have the best chances of benefiting, helping justify those high costs. And biologics, for now, don't face the same generic onslaughts that pummel pharma sales come patent expiration time.
That's not to say they don't face roadblocks. Plenty of cancer heavyweights have run into failed label expansions, governmental cost critics, patent woes and biosimilar threats. But even so, the top 10 managed to rake in worldwide sales between $1.7 billion and $7.8 billion, according to EvaluatePharma data.
There has been talk in recent years about how the industry should expect fewer blockbusters and how drugmakers need to look toward selling more products for fewer dollars, euros, pounds or yen. But it is the big sellers, the blockbusters--no, megablockbusters--that drug execs aspire to develop. And a look at the top 10 best-selling drugs globally can't help but impress with its big numbers.
First of all, each of the top 10 best-selling drugs in the world knocked out more than $5.5 billion in sales last year, according to data provided by the market intelligence gurus at EvaluatePharma. Together, the top 10 turned in $76.38 billion in sales. Yes, that's more than $75 billion in sales from just 10 products. One other drug, Eli Lilly's Cymbalta, topped the $5 billion mark, but having lost its patent in December, it's headed for a serious nosedive this year.
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The FDA in March issued an import alert against a Marck Biosciences sterile manufacturing plant in Kheda, India. A July warning letter posted today explains why. Employees recorded data for functions that were not performed. Records, if kept at all, were often put on "scratch paper." The bathroom was filled with mold and an exit loading dock was littered with dead and decaying frogs. Read more >>
French drugmaker Sanofi has released its first batches of a malaria treatment made from semisynthetic artemisinin using a new manufacturing process that will allow it to make tons of the ingredient and so help stabilize its volatile global market.
After releasing an earnings report that showed strong growth in the U.S., India's Sun Pharmaceuticals is recalling nearly 500,000 bottles of antibiotics, a fourth recall since announcing its $4 billion deal to buy compatriot Ranbaxy Laboratories and fix its ongoing quality faux pas.
When it comes to manufacturing, Big Pharma prefers traditional plants to living plants. While drugs manufactured from plants like tobacco have been in the news because several makers of Ebola drug candidates are using the process, the method has not been embraced by any of the major players.
Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies is adding a 2000-L single-use bioreactor at its plants in Research Triangle Park, NC, in the U.S. and Billingham in the U.K. to expand its cell culture manufacturing.
Since the H1N1 pandemic scare revealed the shortcomings of U.S. production capacity when faced with an emergency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has invested in facilities to bolster defenses. With the death toll from Ebola now nearing 1,000, the plants are ready to switch to producing a drug or vaccine to protect people against the virus.
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What makes a 5-year exclusivity period? Under U.S. law, it's the 5 years after FDA starts the clock ticking. Eisai has no qualms about that. But the Japanese drugmaker says the agency started that clock much too soon for two of its products--and it's suing the FDA to change that.
AbbVie's waiting for FDA approval on a hepatitis C combo therapy. OraSure makes a rapid test to detect the virus. And professional truck drivers in the U.S. are more than 5 times as likely as other Americans to have it.