A team from Finland has for the first time confirmed a link between GlaxoSmithKline's swine flu vaccine, Pandemrix, and narcolepsy.
The flu season's most common viral strain has mutated, meaning this year's shots may not fully protect against it. But the so-called "drifted" strain may open up an opportunity for antiviral makers like Roche's Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline, with the CDC urging earlier use of anti-flu drugs to combat potentially severe symptoms.
SetPoint Medical is starting a clinical trial to treat Crohn's disease patients with its implantable neuromodulation device. The startup previously reported a positive pilot study of the device to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
GlaxoSmithKline has long weighed a sale of some of its established drugs, planning to hive off $3 billion worth of older products to slim down its sagging portfolio and make room for fast-growing drugs. Now the company is changing its tune, announcing today that it will hold on to its aging products.
Even after going off patent in some markets, the sophisticated inhaler device for GlaxoSmithKline's Advair made it difficult to copy, protecting sales of the asthma drug. But with copies and competition now eating away market share, and payers demanding deep discounts, what Advair is giving GSK is grief, including the loss of at least 900 sales and research jobs in the U.S.
The company says that the bulk of the job cuts will be made in Research Triangle Park, NC, slashing R&D as it concentrates drug research work in Philadelphia and Stevenage in the U.K.
The race for an Ebola vaccine is ramping up with positive Phase I data from an experimental vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline and the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. And thanks to those results, larger trials could be on the way soon.
Western drugmakers were pretty head-over-heels about prospects in China until authorities launched a bribery probe against GlaxoSmithKline which dragged on for a year and ended with a half billion dollar fine and people going to jail. That has left drugmakers to rethink their strategies there and for Bristol-Myers Squibb it means cutting hundreds off its payroll.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission found only one antitrust wrinkle in the combo of the consumer health units of GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis and says it has been ironed out. Novartis will sell its Habitrol nicotine patch business so the new joint venture will not have too much market sway in pricing of nicotine patches in the U.S.
With sales of its flagship product Advair slipping as its new respiratory drugs fail to gain rapid traction, Big Pharma player GlaxoSmithKline is prepping some deep cuts in its U.S. operations, according to several reports over the holiday weekend.