Content about Biotechnology

June 20, 2011

The overall growth in drug spending for 2010 was 3.7%, according to the latest drug trend report by pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions. The lower increase 
was primarily due to higher rates of generic drug dispensing — more than 71% of drugs dispensed were generics. 


June 13, 2011

Merck will collaborate with a Korean manufacturer to develop a biosimilar version of a drug used for autoimmune diseases.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck will collaborate with a Korean manufacturer to develop a biosimilar version of a drug used for autoimmune diseases.

Merck, which operates outside the United States and Canada as MSD to avoid confusion with Germany-based Merck KGaA, announced Monday a collaboration with Seoul, South Korea-based Hanwha Chemical to develop and commercialize HD203, a biosimilar version of Enbrel (etanercept), made by Amgen and Pfizer. The drug is used to treat such disorders as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

May 26, 2011

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson plans to file for regulatory approval for 11 new drugs between 2011 and 2015, the company said Thursday in relation to a meeting between J&J’s executive committee and investors.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Drug maker Johnson & Johnson plans to file for regulatory approval for 11 new drugs between 2011 and 2015, the company said Thursday in relation to a meeting between J&J’s executive committee and investors.

May 24, 2011

The Grocery Manufacturers Association has appointed Sean Darragh as EVP global strategies, a newly created position within the association, the organization's president and CEO announced.

WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association has appointed Sean Darragh as EVP global strategies, a newly created position within the association, the organization's president and CEO announced.

The EVP global strategies is responsible for expanding GMA’s international program by defining and effectively executing a global policy and advocacy strategy that is fully integrated into the GMA strategic plan, the association reported.

May 18, 2011

Global spending on medicines will reach nearly $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to a new study by market research firm IMS Health.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Global spending on medicines will reach nearly $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to a new study by market research firm IMS Health.

May 11, 2011

Patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who respond to 12 weeks of treatment with a drug made by UCB are more likely to show improvement in their condition in the long run, according to results of a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology.

BRUSSELS — Patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who respond to 12 weeks of treatment with a drug made by UCB are more likely to show improvement in their condition in the long run, according to results of a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology.

May 4, 2011

Novartis is making big investments in biosimilars, CEO Joe Jimenez said in an interview with Fortune magazine.

NEW YORK — Novartis is making big investments in biosimilars, CEO Joe Jimenez said in an interview with Fortune magazine.

Jimenez told Fortune that the Swiss drug maker — which markets generics and biosimilars through its Sandoz division — was investing heavily in biosimilars and difficult-to-make generics for such conditions as cancer and respiratory disorders.

April 21, 2011

Watson Pharmaceuticals is hoping to become the first company to market a generic treatment for cholesterol.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals is hoping to become the first company to market a generic treatment for cholesterol.

The drug maker said Wednesday that it had filed with the Food and Drug Administration for approval of a generic version of Welchol (colesevelam hydrochloride) tablets in the 625-mg strength, made by Daiichi Sankyo, thus challenging the patents covering the drug.

April 19, 2011

The Food Marketing Institute said Tuesday that it has appointed Robert Rosado as director of government relations.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute said Tuesday that it has appointed Robert Rosado as director of government relations.

According to FMI, Rosado will focus on legislation that impacts supermarkets in the areas of food safety, health care, food deserts and the 2012 Farm Bill.

“Rob has a broad range of expertise in food and agriculture that will be very helpful to FMI and its members. His background also includes working with federal agencies on many issues related to the food retail industry,” FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said.

April 8, 2011

Watson announced that its subsidiary is seeking approval to market a generic version of a bacterial conjunctivitis treatment.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson announced that its subsidiary is seeking approval to market a generic version of a bacterial conjunctivitis treatment.

Watson Labs filed an abbreviated new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for moxifloxacin hydrochloride ophthalmic solution USP in the 0.5% strength. The antibiotic solution is a generic version of Alcon's Vigamox, which had total U.S. sales of about $281 million ended in February, according to IMS Health.

April 7, 2011

Marukome has introduced an easy-to-use miso product.

NEW YORK — Marukome has introduced an easy-to-use miso product.

New Miso & Easy is an all-natural liquid that comes in an unbreakable squeeze bottle and is available in original and ginger-tomato flavors. Miso is a seasoning made with soybeans and rice or barley and is cultured or fermented for a period of time.

Formerly only available in Asian markets, Marukome Miso & Easy now is available at such retailers as Ralph’s, Safeway and Fairway.

April 6, 2011

Generex Biotechnology has revamped its corporate website to underscore the company's focus on the development and approval of its diabetes and immunotherapeutic vaccine products pipeline.

WORCESTER, Mass. — Generex Biotechnology has revamped its corporate website to underscore the company's focus on the development and approval of its diabetes and immunotherapeutic vaccine products pipeline.

The company said that the site will provide improved descriptions of products, technologies, scientific research in progress, trial results and new corporate relationships as they unfold. Generex also will boost its social media presence through Twitter and Facebook.

March 29, 2011

Any manufacturer that has the necessary resources and still is hesitating about whether to tap into biosimilars might want to go ahead and do it, if projections by British market analysis firm Datamonitor come true.

LONDON — Any manufacturer that has the necessary resources and still is hesitating about whether to tap into biosimilars might want to go ahead and do it, if projections by British market analysis firm Datamonitor come true.

The firm released a report Monday showing that the global biosimilars market, whose value stood at $243 million in 2010, will increase to $3.7 billion by 2015.

March 11, 2011

While failing to improve overall survival, an investigational treatment for non-small cell lung cancer made by Sanofi-Aventis and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals did keep the disease from worsening and, overall, caused patients to respond to treatment, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial.

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — While failing to improve overall survival, an investigational treatment for non-small cell lung cancer made by Sanofi-Aventis and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals did keep the disease from worsening and, overall, caused patients to respond to treatment, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial.

Sanofi and Regeneron announced Thursday results of the phase-3 “VITAL” trial of aflibercept. Patients were administered either the drug or placebo in addition to docetaxel chemotherapy.

February 18, 2011

Though efforts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act via the court system remain under way — with recent victories for opponents in Virginia and Florida — the attempt to repeal the healthcare-reform bill in Congress failed, thus leaving the bill and, most importantly, the regulatory approval pathway for follow-on biologics intact.


February 17, 2011

The Obama administration’s proposed budget for 2012 contains an item that could change the game for biosimilars, according to published reports.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s proposed budget for 2012 contains an item that could change the game for biosimilars, according to published reports.

According to the reports, the administration would lower the 12-year data exclusivity period for biotech drugs mandated in the healthcare-reform law to seven years.

February 15, 2011

Watson's global generics business drove the drug maker's net revenue in the fourth quarter, according to a financial earnings release.

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Watson's global generics business drove the drug maker's net revenue in the fourth quarter, according to a financial earnings release.

February 14, 2011

An increase in consolidation among generic drug companies could be in the works, according to a new report from Thomson Reuters.

PHILADELPHIA — An increase in consolidation among generic drug companies could be in the works, according to a new report from Thomson Reuters.

According to the report, “Gaining Market Share in the Generic Drug Industry Through Acquisitions and Partnerships,” generic drug makers face competition, as well as government-mandated price cuts in Europe and such policies as lowest-price tendering. As a result, many could seek deals that would cause them to diversify their portfolios.

February 9, 2011

Sandoz is developing as many as 10 new follow-on biologics, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Sandoz is developing as many as 10 new follow-on biologics, according to published reports.

Reuters, citing an interview with Sandoz head Jeff George in the German newspaper Handelsblatt, said the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis had eight to 10 new biosimilar molecules in development.

February 1, 2011

As soon as members of Congress took their seats last month, the new Republican majority announced it would make good on its pledge to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The effort largely is symbolic and unlikely to succeed, so at least one portion of the healthcare-reform law will likely remain in effect, namely the abbreviated approval pathway for follow-on biologics, also known as the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act.


February 1, 2011

Optivia Biotechnology on Tuesday announced that the company and the Food and Drug Administration have signed a collaboration agreement to assess the effect of dietary supplements on key drug transporters.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Optivia Biotechnology on Tuesday announced that the company and the Food and Drug Administration have signed a collaboration agreement to assess the effect of dietary supplements on key drug transporters.

Drug transporters are proteins on the surface of cells that either facilitate or hinder the transport of nutrients or pharmaceuticals. Drug transporters can increase or decrease the absorption of drugs into the body, as well as limit or facilitate the exposure of certain organs.

February 1, 2011

SUPPLIER NEWS — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug made by Watson Pharmaceuticals for cancer-related breakthrough pain, Watson said. The drug is a generic version of Cephalon’s Fentora, which had sales of around $179 million during the 12-month period ended in November 2010, according to IMS Health.


February 1, 2011

Years 2009 and 2010 were up and down for the generic drug industry and its main trade group, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. On one hand, there were the departures of president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger and member company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

January 21, 2011

Lifeway Foods is kicking off its 25th anniversary with a new birthday-cake flavor of its creamy, smoothie-like beverage.

MORTON GROVE, Ill. — Lifeway Foods is kicking off its 25th anniversary with a new birthday-cake flavor of its creamy, smoothie-like beverage.

Lifeway's Kefir birthday-cake-flavored smoothie, which features probiotics, will be adorned with special 25th anniversary packaging and celebrated with a nationwide promotional tour.

Lifeway's Kefir line is available at more than 5,000 retailers nationwide.

January 18, 2011

Generic drug maker Sandoz has started a mid-stage clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody used to treat cancer and autoimmune disease, the company said.

HOLZKIRCHEN, Switzerland — Generic drug maker Sandoz has started a mid-stage clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody used to treat cancer and autoimmune disease, the company said.

Sandoz (pronounced “SAN-doh”), the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the start of a phase-2 trial of rituximab, a biosimilar of Genentech’s Rituxan, used to treat such conditions as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.