With the effectiveness of this year's influenza vaccines so low as to have made most of this year's vaccinations pointless, the industry is searching for avenues to abbreviate the 6-month development and manufacturing process to deal better with the kinds of virus mutations that came into play this year.
Heading into this year's flu season, vaccinemakers were hoping to follow up the top-line success they scored last year with quadrivalent rollouts. But with this year's vaccines registering a paltry 23% effectiveness rate this season thanks to a mutated strain, it might be time to make some changes.
Novartis scored FDA and European approvals this week for its blockbuster contender Cosentyx. But rival companies are developing their own therapies, and existing drugs challenge its market share.
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.
Novartis picked up FDA and European approvals to sell its secukinumab as a treatment for psoriasis, the first steps in the company's plot to build a global anti-inflammatory contender and outpace its rivals.
When Novartis announced plans to hand off its consumer health operations to a joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline, the companies said they figured they could save a boatload of money in "synergies." It looks like a small part of that will come from closing a Novartis plant in Puerto Rico that makes consumer and veterinary products, shedding 270 jobs in the process.
The deal gives Novartis access to the most active digital health VC team--Rock Health reports Qualcomm Ventures has struck 21 deals since 2011--and further strengthens the ties between the two companies.
Novartis, in the midst of a long-running effort to make clinical trials more efficient, has recruited Qualcomm to help it gather and store patient data from medical devices.
At San Francisco's giant JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, tech company Qualcomm and Big Pharma player Novartis revealed a plan for a joint investment company with $100 million to spend on startups that "go beyond the pill."
Novartis has added another component to its "Clinical Trials of the Future" program. The latest element of the trial efficiency initiative sees the Swiss Big Pharma team up with computer chip maker Qualcomm to gather data on clinical trial participants between visits to the investigator site.