When it comes to currency, it's not been a good couple of weeks for multinational drugmakers. Switzerland's move to decouple the franc from the euro last week raised questions about the effects on Basel-based Roche and Novartis. And now, Johnson & Johnson's fourth-quarter results and 2015 forecast are triggering more foreign exchange worries.
After 2014's growth spurt, Pfizer's vaccines unit is not done expanding. The pharma giant has grabbed privately held Swiss company Redvax for an undisclosed sum, adding a preclinical human cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine candidate and a tech platform and IP related to a second, undisclosed vaccine program.
A steady flow of new drugs in 2014--and a slate of anticipated launches in 2015--have established brands defending their titles and newcomers looking to land a gut-punch or two, if not a knockout.
Here's a perennial favorite among the top trends in the industry. About six years ago, most of Big Pharma got serious about one of its biggest problems: they were really, really bad at drug development.
Some good news for emerging-market ambitions: China is backpedaling on price caps. After shortages prompted the government to ease up on certain price controls earlier this year, officials are now preparing to lift the price controls as early as Jan. 1.
Big Pharma has plenty of apps up for grabs, with companies like Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim and Johnson & Johnson rolling out flashy new products to pique consumers' interest. But as it turns out, not too many consumers are downloading them.
The world's largest CROs are reaping the benefits of two major market trends: Big Pharma is finally getting back to spending big on R&D after some lean years post-downturn, and biotech is enjoying a protracted bit of bullishness that has lined pockets around the industry.
Price caps on "essential drugs" in India have been a sore point with domestic as well as Big Pharma players. The industry was further enraged when an Indian agency in May assumed the authority to add other products to the 350 already restricted. But the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reining in the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), suggesting he may have a less populous approach to the industry than his predecessor.
Pharma M&A action so far this year has been intense--so intense that if it keeps up the pace it could match the uber years of 2008 and 2010, maybe even the record year of 2009.
Margins, margins, margins. That's an inevitable mantra among top investors and analysts. Just ask Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez, who's pledged big improvements in the Swiss drugmaker's spread. Or Eli Lilly CFO Derica Rice, who's had to explain why his company can promise to maintain margins as its sales spiral downward.