Physicians Interactive Acquires Merck’s Univadis

industry-briefs_Robinson “We can now work with our life sciences clients more broadly, helping them achieve their marketing goals by offering them access to the world’s largest HCP community,” said Brian Robinson, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Physicians Interactive (PI) after the recent acquisition of Univadis, a subsidiary of Merck, and the world’s largest HCP network—previously available solely to Merck.

“This integration of Univadis into PI unites the world’s largest healthcare professional engagement community with the leading provider of multichannel marketing services to fulfill the needs of the global market,” Robinson states. The acquisition is expected to help the company expand into dozens of markets around the world.


Is Benicar Behind Daiichi Sankyo’s Woes?

In recent cutbacks, Daiichi Sankyo let 1,200 employees go—more than half its U.S. workforce. Although it appears that the loss of patent exclusivity for their drug Benicar could be behind the move, Goldman Sachs claims possible deeper issues could call for more restructuring at Sankyo.

Their new heart medication, Savaysa, is only ranking as fair with most physicians, which may mean the company won’t pull in a profit even with competitive pricing and discounts. While cutbacks might help Sankyo in the short run, Goldman Sachs analysts claims that these two issues foretell of growth problems.

Low Cost Cancer Drug to Treat Indonesia’s Population

Indonesia’s Bio Farma and German drugmaker, ProBioGen, agreed to develop a biosimilar for cancer treatment, trastuzumab, for the large population of Idonesian patients without access to care or high quality, cost-effective drugs. ProBioGen will provide a highly efficient manufacturing process for a biosimilar, run the engineering tests and industrial scale-up, while Bio Farma oversees local market production. This could be Bio Farma’s chance to enter the life science industry as a company that delivers high-quality biosimilar medicine to low income populations.

Supreme Court hears out Stryker in Patent Battle Against Zimmer

The Supreme Court agreed to hear Stryker’s patent infringement case to triple their $70 million award from Zimmer Biomet Holdings. While Zimmer already paid this amount due to its Pulsavac Plus orthopedic device being similar to Stryker’s device—Stryker seeks three times that amount.

Back in 2013, U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker ordered Zimmer to stop selling their product and increased an award to Stryker due to Zimmer’s similar vacuum device used to clear debris during orthopedic surgery. With an award set at $288 million, Zimmer filed and won an appeal that reduced damages to their current cost of $70 million. According to Bloomberg, Stryker finds that violators are protected from paying more “so long as they present at least one plausible defense.”

Biogen to Cut 800 Jobs

After disappointing profit turnouts for the MS drug Tecfidera, Biogen will cut its workforce by 11%, the equivalent of 800 jobs. The restructuring will allow Biogen to allot $250 million into marketing activities for Tecfidera.

Biogen’s profits have been down likely due to pricing pressure from Germany and a damaging warning label requirement from the FDA for rare brain disease risks. However, Biogen has been steadily improving sales worldwide, in part, due to their Avonex injectable for MS. Biogen’s revenue reached $2.78 billion, more than 10% higher than last quarter, causing analysts to have higher sales expectations for the future.

Imprimis Offers $1 Alternative to Turing’s 5,000% Price Hike

In response to Turing Pharmaceuticals’ more than 5,000% price hike of the 62-year-old Daraprim to $750, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals is offering an alternative for just $1. Imprimis is offering a customizable compounded formulation of Daraprim in the form of an oral capsule; however, the formulation is not FDA approved and can only be used when prescribed by a doctor for a particular patient. Imprimis is also forming a new program called Imprimis Cares to help make novel and customizable medicines available at accessible prices.


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