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The UK Competition Authority raises worry about Illumina’s $1.2bn takeover of PacBio

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The Competitions Market Authority (CMA) has raised concerns that the proposed merger between Illumina and Pacific BioScienceswill lead to a loss of innovation in the DNA sequencing market.
Illumina is one of the worlds leading companies working in genetics and they provide next generation DNA sequencing to a number of leading organizations all over the world. One such project is the 100,000 genome project, ran by Genomics England. This shows how important the work that Illumina provides is, as its DNA sequencing aides in projects that tackle to research genetic diseases producing innovative personalized solutions.
Illumina holds 80% of the global market share in DNA sequencing, with a 90% share in the UK alone. The CMA concludes that a merger between Illumina and PacBio will cause a loss of competition between the two companies, leading to a reduction in alternative DNA sequencing systems, which ultimately leads to less choice, higher prices and/or lower quality of products. Furthermo…

What is the role of patents in the pharma industry

The Debate
Patents are exclusive property rights in intangible creations of the human mind. The vital point of a patent is that the product, manufacturing process or device must have never previously been disclosed anywhere in the world and something that would not be obvious to a person ordinarily skilled in the field before.
Patents are an integral part of the pharmaceutical industry. They have a huge role in preventing market failure and for keeping investment high in research. Medical innovation requires an extremely high amount of financial capital, with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry placing the cost for drug discovery at approximately £1.15bn per drug. They prevent market failure because they provide an incentive for companies to invest these huge amounts of money so they can experience a 20yr period where they do not have to face government price control or competition.
Patents differ from industry to industry, with patents shared in the electronic industr…

French government adamant on imposing sanctions on pharmaceutical companies that report shortages.

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Medicine shortage has increased exponentially over the past decade, the reasons for this can be accounted due to the outsourcing of production to subcontractors located in counties where the quality controls are not as strict as in Europe, resulting in more and more frequent supply disruptions.
The National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM) has previously charged a hefty financial penalty of EUR 348,623 to a pharmaceutical company because it breached its obligation to supply the market in a continuous manner. The ANSM stated that the company has not planned any shortage management plans, presenting a serious and immediate risk to patients.
The ANSM hoped that this decision will underline the responsibility that pharma companies have in regard to supply distribution with response not only vital for the wholesalers.
The above events occurred in February 2019. The Health Secretary of France as of July 2019 is setting up a select committee to help her implement her pla…

Roche finally sees glimmer of hope with progress in Spark Therapeutics deal

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After continuous delay there finally seems to be progress for the clearance of this $4.3bn deal by the FTC. According to reports made by Reuters, the FTC has cleared the deal without any product divestment requests.
Roche has had its eyes on Spark Therapeutics and in particular its gene therapy platform since it unveiled its plan to takeover in February early this year. Roche has been reaping success with its new product Hemlibra to prevent bleeding episodes in Hemophilia A. It was approved in the US in late 2017 and has been steadily gaining in market share, with sales of $927m in the first nine months of 2019.
When the FTC started to request for further information from Roche about the deal, analysts suspected that it was because of the overlap of expertise in the Hemophilia market, with gene therapy seen as the next big thing in the market and competition authorities are concerned it would give an unfair dominance in the market.
This worried investors as it showed a greater scrutiny…

AstraZeneca returns to form with success in Cancer portfolio and rapid growth in China

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AZ’s lung cancer drug Tagrissio has already established itself as AZ top selling medicine, in the third quarter it grew sales by over 13.6% over the previous period to $891m surpassing analysts’ predictions by 4%.
Following suit is its immunotherapy treatment Imfinizi, which joined the blockbuster club, with its sales in the first 9 months reaching $1.05bn.
Tagrisso’s US sales grew to $350m in Q3 from $300m in Q2, with over half of that growth attributed to an increase in demand. The continued success of Tagrisso is also dependent on its performance in other markets particularly China, which has been a major contributor to AZ recent success, contributing 21% to AZ top line year to date. As of September, Tagrisso has Chinese approval in new patients with EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). EFGR mutation in NSCLC patients is extremely prevalent in China standing at around 30-40%, more than any other country in the world.
AZ had expected growth to slow down in China in the se…

J&J Opioid trial still to go ahead as settlement talks stall

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This would be the first federal trial for the case in the US, despite attempts from J&J to avoid this scenario as it tried to negotiate last-minute settlements estimated to reach $50bn. This $50bn would include cash, supplies of medicines including drugs to treat opioid addiction and overdose and distribution services, (sources seem to indicate $22bn in cash and $29bn in products and distribution)
The primary reason why this settlement was negotiated was because the court was unsure with how the proceeds would be distributed. US District Judge, Dan Polster, has been eager for an out of court settlement in-order to save both sides from the hefty cost of litigation. He has a huge task ahead of him as he presides over thousands of lawsuits accusing J&J of fueling a healthcare crisis responsible for approximately 400,000 deaths from 1999-2017.

Three of America’s largest wholesalers are offering $18bn over 18 years and J&J is offering $4bn. Teva pharmaceuticals another company w…

AbbVie hit with an unexpected £673m Irish tax bill, further complicating Allergan merger

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AbbVie has been dealing with obstacle after obstacle regarding its proposed Allergan merger, as the FTC again recently requested a second request for information on the deal, highly indicating that AbbVie will have to sell of further assets to meet regulators’ approval.
Last week, Ireland's minister of Finance, Paschal Donohoe introduced new measures targeting mergers made through ‘share cancellation schemes.’ In those deals, which were not previously subject to the countries 1% stamp duty, Irish companies would dissolve existing shares and issue new stock to the acquiring firm to complete the deal. This would amount to £673m for AbbVie. If AbbVie were to walk away from the merger, they would have to pay a termination fee, valued at £1.62 billion, over double the stamp duty fee.
AbbVie and Allergan have both already taken precautionary measures to clear anti-trust hurdles, including Allergan volunteering two of its drugs that overlap with AbbVie products in the inflammatory disease …