We hope you had a perfect Memorial Day/Bank Holiday weekend.
Meanwhile, while you were falling in an 0-2 hole ...
- Novo Nordisk, unhappy with mandated price-cuts in Greece, is taking its ball and going home. Or at least it's taking its modern insulin franchise off the market. Reuters reports that Novo is the first company to pull its drugs from Greece, but that dermatology-focused Leo Pharma yanked its medicines soon after.
- A Korean blockbuster is going global, after Merck buys from Hanmi Pharmaceutical the rights to incrementally modified hypertensive amlodipine product Amosartan in North America, China and Europe, PharmAsiaNews reports. The drug will be sold under Merck's brand Cozzar XQ.
- J&J's Centocor Ortho Biotech this morning bought the small, pulmonary disease focused biotech Respivert, which was founded by former GSK execs and backed by Advent Venture Partners, Fidelity Biosciences, Imperial Innovations and SV Life Sciences. Financial details aren't immediately clear but Imperial Innovations disclosed that it made a 4.7x return (£9.5mm gross) on its 13.4% stake in the company, a three-year investment. UPDATE: J&J inked a second respiratory-focused deal announced this morning. Orexo, a Swedish biotech, says it signed a three-program R&D collaboration with J&J, worth $10 million up front. Two of the assets come from Orexo, the third from J&J.
- Not long after its Phase III MermaiHD debacle, NeuroSearch CEO Flemming Pedersen resigns. No word on Pedersen's next move although the company's release notes he is taking another position.
- FDA will more closely monitor OTC manufacturing operations and require comprehensive changes at firms with systemic quality deficiencies as a result of its investigation of Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare, reports The Tan Sheet.
- AstraZeneca's attempts to extend its PPI franchise hit a snag as FDA issues a complete response letter for its esomeprazole/aspirin combo and rejects an expanded label for Nexium. Bloomberg reports.
- The Rose Sheet reports that increased scrutiny of anti-aging products entering the US presages "a major enforcement initiative" against illegal cosmetic claims that will impact domestic personal-care firms, large and small Oh and just to be clear, reading 'The Rose Sheet' doesn't actually make you look younger -- just smarter.
- Novartis/Roche's Xolair hits another hurdle as NICE rejects coverage of the drug by the NHS.