The deal ended Novartis’ eight year foray into vaccines. In the first quarter of the year Novartis had divested a bulk of its vaccine business to GSK. With the flu shot sale, the drugmaker officially exited form its vaccine business. For CSL, the deal will beef up the Australian major to compete with global vaccine giants like Sanofi and Astrazeneca.
Gilead’s blockbuster Sovaldi treatment recorded the biggest drug launch in history after going on sale late last year. The drug hailed as a breakthrough for hepatitis C cost $84,000 for a 12week treatment and was projected to earn nearly $8.1 billion in 2015 by many analysts. The hefty price of the drug invoked nationwide protests, with many organizations and health insurers accusing the drugmaker of the sky high price tag for a lifesaving drug. The drug maker then licensed the drug to five generic makers including Cipla and Ranbaxy to make the drug available in 91 developing countries. The companies will be allowed to set their own prices for the generic drug, and will pay a royalty on their earned sales to Gilead.
The news came as a relief to millions of dengue sufferers across Asia. The vaccine major’s announcement that its maiden dengue vaccine has passed clinical trials and will be available for administration by early 2015 made headlines. The breakthrough was considered a critical milestone achievement as the endemic disease affects nearly 100 million people every year.
The Japanese electronics giant set up a medical system global marketing group to solidify its presence in the bioscience sector. The firm intends to expand its particle therapy solutions to global markets and has also established a regulatory group in each to country to address the specific compliance challenges.
What came in as a sad news to the 170 full time employees at the Bangalore R&D center, as part of its global strategy and to simplify its footprint in R&D, Astrazeneca shut its Avishkar center, one of the drugmakers’ critical centers for research and development. With troubling operations overseas, the move was thought to be a reflection of the drug makers shrinking global business.