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5111 Kali Era, Virodhi
Vikramarka Era, Virodhi
Year, Aswayuja month
The federal government greenlighted the Pfizer-Wyeth deal making way for
layoffs. Pfizer has said it would cut about 15% of the companies’ combined
workforce. Pfizer Inc. will close Wyeth operations in Pennsylvania and New
Jersey and decide what research sites to shut in the next 30 to 60 days.
The company said the cuts would “span sales, manufacturing, research and development,
and administrative organizations.” But the full picture of who will
be hit with post-merger layoffs remains unclear. Pfizer Inc awarded two top
executives cash and stock bonuses for their roles in carrying through the
recently completed $67.3 billion deal for U.S. rival Wyeth, the company said.
Chief Financial Officer Frank D'Amelio will receive a $1.2 million award
and Ian Read, group president of Pfizer's biopharmaceutical business, will
receive $1 million, the drugmaker said in a U.S. securities filing. The compensation
committee of the board of directors "determined that these executives, in
addition to carrying out their normal, ongoing responsibilities, devoted
extraordinary efforts and made extraordinary contributions in addressing critical
components of the transaction," Pfizer said. The purchase of Wyeth
is designed to help the world's largest drugmaker soften the blow from losing
U.S. patent protection for Lipitor, the $11 billion-a-year cholesterol medicine,
by moving into areas such as vaccines and biotech medicines, and by cutting
~ 20,000 jobs.
Mountain View-based 23andMe has been funded by Genentech Inc. and Menlo
Park-based New Enterprise Associates. Genentech was acquired earlier this
year by Roche Holding Ltd resulting in layoffs. Personal genomics company
23andMe Inc. has reportedly let go of a number of workers as well.
Swiss drugs industry supplier Lonza Group Ltd said that it would cut about
5 percent of its workforce after order cancellations and postponements forced
it to lower earnings targets, slamming its shares.
SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced a corporate restructuring that
will reduce its U.S.-based workforce by approximately 17%, primarily in research
and development. This restructuring follows the discontinuation of SciClone's
RP101 phase 2 clinical trial announced on October 2, 2009.
Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd. lays off of approximately
New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb has unveiled plans to reduce its work
force in southwest Indiana. In a letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce
Development, the pharmaceutical maker says it will close its facility in Evansville.
BMS already cut the sales force for its second-best-selling drug, the antipsychotic
Abilify, as Japanese partner Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. took over more of
the marketing of the medicine.
The pharma sales rep bloodbath continues. Bristol-Myers Squibb has axed
one-fourth of the sales force for its antipsychotic drug Abilify. The company
won't specify exactly how many jobs were cut. Despite the widespread layoffs
in pharma sales, this move was somewhat unexpected because BMS had just inked
a deal to extend its marketing contract...
Wall Street says 500 Axed AstraZeneca Reps Are Worth Only 5 Cents.
Analysts said AstraZeneca could add 5 cents in earnings per share for every
500 pharmaceutical sales reps that it fires.
The bloodletting in Atlanta’s pharma industry continues. Stiefel Laboratories
Inc. said it will shutter its 200-plus employee Duluth operations and move
the work to Research Triangle Park, N.C., months after being acquired by United
Kingdom-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
Are you sick of seeing headlines about layoffs at virtually every major
pharma company, due to federal government approved mergers and takeovers,
and loss of patent protection? If you’re willing to live in Japan, speak
Japanese and work as a rep, the future is yours. In a recent note to
investors, Wall Street analysts Jefferies & Co. discussed prospects for
InVentiv Health, a pharma marketing agency that supplies contract sales reps
to drug companies. InVentiv and Jefferies believe Japan offers a virtual
Shangri-La for drug reps: The country is the second-largest market in the
world, it has lower than average numbers of reps, and its patent cliff doesn’t
hit for another seven years. It is literally the U.S. in the 1990s.
There are similar opportunities in China. Go East.
The biotech industry enjoys a lot of political clout in Washington D.C.
and state capitals largely because it attracts highly educated people into
high-paying jobs. Data suggests biotech workers aren’t really taking home
nearly as much money as some of the industry’s lobbyists and political allies
would like people to believe. The median salary for biotech jobs in the Pacific
Northwest was $60,520 in 2008, according to data collected by Phil Ness,
the owner of Seattle-based Info.Resource, a company that operates websites
for biotech associations in all 50 states. That’s nowhere near the $81,499
average annual salary figure for Washington state biotech workers that was
touted earlier this spring by a group sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Research
and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
Lilly Opens New Biotech Center
As part of its strategy to discover and develop more biotechnology medicines,
Eli Lilly and Company officially opened a new state-of-the-art biotechnology
center on the West Coast. The facility, known as the "Lilly Biotechnology
Center - San Diego," is opening three months after Lilly announced it is moving
its ImClone research headquarters (which specializes in developing cancer
biologics) into a new biopharmaceutical research cluster in New York, and
just one year after Lilly completed construction of its biotechnology research
and development complex at company headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Of the nearly 200 scientists based at the center, more than half are from
Applied Molecular Evolution (AME). Work at the new biotechnology center is
mostly focused on discovering, engineering and conducting Phase I and II
clinical trials on potential biologic medicines, with an emphasis on cancer,
diabetes and autoimmune diseases, areas of medicine that hold potential promise
for biologic drug development.
Bharat Biotech International (BBI) has inked a pact with the government
of Orissa to set up the ‘Konark Knowledge Park’ at a cost of Rs 100 crore.
This is the first public-private partnership (PPP) project conceived under
a development alliance between the company and a state government. The project
aims to boost investments in the areas of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals
in Orissa. Work at the 100 crore Konark Knowledge Park at Mouza-Andharua
near the state capital here began. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik presided
over the function and planted a sapling and unveiled details of the park
named as Konark Knowledge Park. The project aims to boost investments in
the areas of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals in the state of Orissa. When
completed, this infrastructure will create world-class, state-of-the-art
research and development enterprises in an exceptional environment designed
to foster novel approaches to healthcare and its delivery. The state
government has allocated 64.86 acres of land (30 acres in Phase I and 24.86
acres in phase II) including 10 acres of land for development of Biotech
Incubation Centre through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for development
of an integrated industrial park to attract and promote biotechnology, pharmaceutical
and information technology industries here. The land for park has been allocated
in the form of a long term lease to the SPV named Konark Knowledge Park Pvt.
Ltd. BBI has successfully developed an integrated Agri-Biotech Park
in Bangalore and establishment of Genome Valley BioPharmaceutical cluster
located in the outskirts of Hyderabad
Alliance with Indian Companies
Pfizer has approached Cadila Healthcare Emcure, Intas Pharma and Mankind
Pharma for possible alliances to bolster its revenues, but the Indian companies
have not responded favorably to the offers, according to an unidentified senior
industry executive with direct knowledge of the matter. Some of Pfizer's
popular products are set to go off-patent in the next three years, exposing
it to competition from cheaper copycat versions.
Nutrition Facility at Research Park at the University of Illinois
Abbott, a global health care company started its new Abbott Nutrition facility
at the Research Park on the University of Illinois campus. Abbott will use
the facility to research and develop nutritional products for infants through
adults. The company, which operates more than 100 facilities worldwide and
sells products in more than 130 countries, will initially collaborate with
faculty and students in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental
Sciences. The company is beginning with 11 student interns and full time management.
Abbott has a long history of collaboration with the University of Illinois
in the sciences, in engineering, in business and in nutrition. Nearly 1,000
Illinois graduates currently work for Abbott. The Research Park at the University
of Illinois is now home to 73 companies including 8 Fortune 500 companies.
The Research Park is attracting companies that are seeking to engage with
the University in an open innovation model, collaborating with faculty, and
employing students year-round to supplement their R&D operations. The
Research Park has continued to attract new operations despite tough economic
conditions. New companies in 2009 include: Abbott, Littelfuse, Pearson, Waterborne,
Wolfram Alpha and several technology startup companies.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Global demand for generic drugs from companies such as Dr Reddy's and domestic
rivals Ranbaxy Laboratories and Cipla Ltd is booming as nations around the
world battle rising healthcare costs. Dr Reddy's plans to launch six to seven
new generics in the U.S. in fiscal 2009/10 including blockbuster omeprazole,
a generic version of AstraZeneca's Prilosec for treating stomach ulcers and
acid reflux. Last year, the New York-listed company launched acute migraine
drug sumatriptan, a generic of GlaxoSmithKline's Imitrex, in the U.S. market.
Merck KGaA announced today the acquisition of Bangalore Genei (India) Private
Ltd. (BGIP) by its wholly owned subsidiary in India, Merck Specialities Private
Ltd., from the Sanmar Group. By combining BGIP's activities with Merck's existing
bioscience business, Merck will become one of the leading bioscience companies
in India. BGIP is located in Bangalore and specializes in the development,
production, marketing and sales of products for proteomic and genomic research.
With more than 100 employees, the company generated total revenues of INR
202m (€ 3.0 million) in fiscal year 2008/09. Christina Shasserre, Global
Head of Merck's bioscience business, commented: "BGIP’s leadership in the
Indian academic market, a segment with high growth potential, will ideally
complement our existing customer base. BGIP’s product portfolio comprises
a wide range of bioscience products, which are tailored to the needs of the
domestic market in India."
The European Union has approved Novartis AG's Ilaris to treat children
and adults with a rare but potentially fatal inflammatory disease, the Swiss
drugmaker said on Wednesday. Novartis said in a statement the accelerated
EU decision follows approvals in the United States and Switzerland. It said
Ilaris is the only approved treatment in the EU for patients who suffer from
two forms of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS), whose symptoms
can include debilitating fatigue, rash, fever, headaches, joint pain and
L803-MTS is based on the physical structure of the GSK3 protein, which
plays a causative role in insulin resistance and Type II diabetes. Working
with chemists, biotechnologists and 3-D modelists, Prof. Eldar-Finkelman
and her colleagues built, like engineers constructing a building,
a drug that locks onto the GSK3 protein, rendering it harmless and unable
to wreak havoc inside the body. Recent research findings on the L803-MTS
drug have been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology (2008) and Current
Pharmaceutical Design (2009, currently in press). Since Prof. Eldar-Finkelman
linked GSK3 to insulin resistance in diabetes more than ten years ago, a
race has been on among drug manufacturers to find a drug that can potentially
turn off the harmful effects of GSK3. But rather than build on existing drugs,
Prof. Eldar-Finkelman and her colleagues worked from the ground up. Pre-clinical
results have been positive, and the new drug does not exhibit dangerous toxic
side effects, a problem with existing formulations. While L803-MTS cannot
reverse the onset of a CNS disease once it has started, Prof. Eldar-Finkelman
believes it can slow down the devastating effects of CNS diseases, like impaired
memory and depression, or insulin-resistance.
Act of 1984 Destroys Pharmaceutical Industry in America
The development of new and innovative pharmaceuticals is being stifled by
a U.S. law and successful patent challenges that embolden generic competition,
according to an article published in this week's issue of the journal Science.
Matthew Higgins and Stuart Graham, assistant professors in the College of
Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology, argue in their article
that the recent surge in Paragraph IV patent challenges -- a provision of
the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 -- is decreasing the incentives for pharmaceutical
innovation and contributing to productivity and revenue declines in the pharmaceutical
industry. While Congress passed the Hatch-Waxman Act to ensure timely, affordable
access to innovative drugs, 25 years later its balance between pharmaceutical
innovation and access is tipping away from the incentives needed to support
innovation, the researchers said.
A contributor to this shift is the recent surge in Paragraph IV challenges,
which allow manufacturers of generic drugs to challenge a brand company's
patents by claiming that either the patent is invalid or the generic drug
does not infringe the patent. If the generic company wins the challenge, the
brand company loses its remaining market exclusivity for that product. Federal
Trade Commission statistics show that generic firms won 42 percent of the
Paragraph IV challenges filed from 1992 to 2000. Since 2001, pharmaceutical
companies have filed 749 lawsuits responding to Paragraph IV challenges on
243 unique brand-name products. These suits nearly tripled from 2002-2003
and doubled from 2006-2007.
"A Paragraph IV lawsuit will likely cost a generic manufacturer $5 to $10
million, compared to at least $800 million required for a brand company to
develop a drug and bring it to market," said Graham, who is also a licensed
attorney. "And the reward for being the first successful Paragraph IV challenger
is substantial -- 180 days during which no other generic-producing company
may enter the market and an average potential payoff during those 180 days
alone of $60 million. The law is creating incentives to bring challenges on
more and different types of drugs."
Up to a third of children and adolescents who took common antipsychotic
drugs for the first time became overweight or obese in as little as 11 weeks,
raising their risk for diabetes and heart disease, U.S. researchers said.
They said doctors who prescribe antipsychotics to children should carefully
consider the benefits against the risks, and keep close watch on children
taking the drugs.
More than half the people who take antidepressants for depression never
get relief. Why? Because the cause of depression has been oversimplified
and drugs designed to treat it aim at the wrong target, according to new
research from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Researchers in the USA have discovered a potential new function for anti-epileptic
drugs in treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
disease. The study, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Molecular
Neurodegeneration, found that neurons in the brain were protected after treatment
with T-type calcium-channel blockers, which are commonly used to treat epilepsy.
Calcium signaling pathways play a vital role in the survival of neurons in
the brain. As age increases, calcium homeostasis can be disrupted in the brain,
which may lead to cognitive and functional decline. It therefore raises the
possibility that chemicals able to modulate calcium homeostasis could protect
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