Industry Briefs January 2014

GSK First to Stop Paying Doctors

As authorities in China continue to investigate pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline for allegedly making payments to doctors and government officials to raise drug sales, GSK became the first major drug company to announce it will stop paying doctors to promote drugs and will no longer tie sales reps’ compensation to the amount of prescriptions that doctors write for their products, according to The New York Times. CEO Andrew Witty says the changes are not related to the trouble in China and are part of a longtime effort by GSK to “stay in step with the how the world is changing.”

Shire Buys ViroPharma for $4.2 Billion

To gain access to Cinryze, an orphan drug indicated for the treatment of hereditary angioedema, Shire Pharmaceuticals agreed to buy ViroPharma, Inc. for $4.2 billion, according to Bloomberg News. The drug will add a second treatment option to Shire’s offerings for this disease, which affects about 18,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe, and causes rapid swelling of the throat and intestines. With this acquisition, Shire plans to create a $2 billion rare disease business.

Nearly 8% Expected Growth in Drug Device Combinations

The global drug device combination products market—consisting of therapeutic products that combine a medical device and a drug—is expected to grow between 2013 and 2019 at 7.9% per year. Valued at $66 billion in 2012, the estimated value in 2019 will reach $115.1 billion, according to Transparency Market Research.

Factors contributing to this expansion include a growing demand for drug eluting stents and implants, an expanding elderly population and a rise in risk for cardiovascular diseases, asthma and other chronic disorders, particularly in the Middle East, China and India.

Life Sciences/CROs Adopt Cloud Solutions

Although more than half of life sciences companies manage clinical documents manually, many, together with clinical research organizations (CROs), are adopting cloud-based solutions at a rapid pace, especially in the area of clinical and regulated content management solutions, according to data and analysis from NextDocs.

These two industries are learning that when they operate on the same platform, it greatly enhances collaboration and eases the management compliance burden, says NextDocs. During the past three years, a quarter of life sciences companies adopted a cloud-based content management solution.

Alliance Leads to New Diabetes Drug

The FDA accepted a new drug application (NDA) for an investigational basal (long lasting) insulin product developed by Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim through the Lilly-Boehringer Ingelheim Diabetes alliance. LY2963016 is a new insulin glargine treatment for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The submission of the NDA helps both companies realize the goal of their alliance: To leverage their combined expertise in developing important treatments for people with diabetes.

Bayer Virtually Unites Hemophilia Community

Bayer HealthCare and the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) recently completed the third annual Virtual Walk for Hemophilia, an online contest that uses avatars to do the walking to help raise awareness and funds for people living with bleeding disorders. Bayer provided more than $60,000 in sponsorship funds for the event.

CareFusion Acquires GE’s Vital Signs

With the $500 million acquisition of GE’s Vital Signs Division, a manufacturer of single-patient-use consumables for respiratory care and anesthesiology, CareFusion Corp., a global medical technology company, will expand its Specialty Disposables business to become a full-line provider of products for these markets. With an annual revenue of about $250 million—one-third from outside the U.S.—the Vital Signs acquisition will establish CareFusion as a global leader in the more than $3 billion market.


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