Over the weekend oncology investigators from all around the world gathered in Madrid at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2014 Congress to review the latest advances--and setbacks--in the fast-moving field of cancer drug research. As usual, the big companies dominated the discussions, as rival oncology groups touted new data as they tried to position competing therapies in the global scramble to develop new and better cancer drugs, now one of the hottest fields in R&D.
When Europe's drug approval gatekeepers meet, they often tick off recommendations for some key Big Pharma products. This week, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use backed a whopping 15 new meds and 3 new indications.
Talk about selling off old products. AstraZeneca has unloaded 18 drugs it no longer sells to specialty generics maker IGI Laboratories. Apparently, IGI thinks it can profit from reintroducing meds that weren't worth the trouble for a drug giant.
Some companies, like Hikma, have had great success targeting drugs on the FDA shortage list, getting them to market and reaping the premium pricing that comes from supplying pent-up demand. Now IGI Laboratories has plans to do the same, having picked up 17 currently retired injectable drugs from AstraZeneca, nearly half of which are on the FDA list.
AstraZeneca's cost-cutting announcement actually had a hiring aspect to it. It is building a global network of IT centers that will replace the technology outsourcing it has been doing for more than a dozen years.
AstraZeneca is following the well-trodden path of offshoring part of its IT to India. But unlike some of its peers--and in a reversal of its own strategy--the Big Pharma is adding in-house capacity and lessening its reliance on IT service providers.
To get the word out on AstraZeneca's needle-free FluMist Quadrivalent vaccine, the company has brought on James Van Der Beek--of "Dawson's Creek" fame--to participate in its "Insist on the Mist" campaign.
AstraZeneca's brand-new Movantik has an edge on rivals in the opioid-induced constipation (OIC) market, which is expected to near $2 billion by 2017. It's the first mu-opioid approved for OIC, and the first mu-opioid pill, period.
Congratulate AstraZeneca and Nektar Therapeutics. Their oral therapy for opioid-related constipation, Movantek, beat all rival pills to market. And if analysts are correct, that market lead will pay off big time.
AstraZeneca's FluMist Quadrivalent is the only needle-free, four-strain flu vaccine--and the company wants to make sure people know it. It's brought on James Van Der Beek--of "Dawson's Creek" fame--to participate in its "Insist on the Mist" campaign.