Wall Street Journal @WSJ reporter covering pharmaceutical industry. Contact me at 215-881-7127, peter.loftus@wsj.com.

States Work to Strike Deals for Hep C Drug Discounts

wsj.com — The battle for market share in the booming business for hepatitis C drugs is shifting to state Medicaid programs, which are busy negotiating discounts and supply deals with pharmaceutical companies. Missouri and Connecticut are among the states that are either negotiating or securing discounts on expensive new hepatitis C drugs in exchange for making them the preferred options for their state's Medicaid recipients.

Merck Will No Longer Sell its Victrelis Hepatitis C Drug in the U.S.

blogs.wsj.com — Rival hepatitis C drugs from Merck and Vertex Pharmaceuticals made a big splash when they debuted in 2011, marking an advance in treatment of the liver disease and a lucrative new market segment. But now the Class of 2011 has almost sunk to the bottom, made obsolete by a newer wave of drugs, a sign of how rapidly the hepatitis C market is changing.

Study of Ebola Drug ZMapp Set for West Africa

wsj.com — A clinical trial of the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be ready to get under way in infected patients in West Africa in February, the latest effort to combat the current epidemic and any future outbreaks.

Merck Accelerates Drug-Submission Plans

wsj.com — Merck & Co. has accelerated its plans to submit new drugs for hepatitis C and lung cancer for regulatory approval, in a bid to close the gap with competitors in two lucrative segments. The Kenilworth, N.J., drug maker hopes that an overhaul of its research-and-development engine in the past 18 months has positioned it to introduce the new drugs at least several months earlier than expected.

Special Sale Price: Docs Divided Over Discount on AbbVie Hepatitis C Drug

blogs.wsj.com — The decision by Express Scripts to make the AbbVie hepatitis C treatment the exclusive option for patients with the most common type of the virus caused a ruckus on Wall Street, although the reaction among some doctors and patient advocates was mixed.

Merck Tried to Blunt Patent Fallout in Cubist Talks but Fell Short

blogs.wsj.com — Merck has taken some flak for last week's $8.4 billion deal to buy antibiotics specialist Cubist Pharmaceuticals because a court ruling issued after the deal was announced could damp the sales prospects for Cubist's flagship drug, Cubicin.

FDA approves AbbVie’s hepatitis treatment

marketwatch.com — U.S. regulators on Friday approved AbbVie Inc.'s new multidrug regimen for hepatitis C, the latest in a wave of new medicines that is transforming treatment of the liver disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AbbVie's Viekira Pak, a cocktail of several drugs that cured more than 90% of people with the most common subtype of hepatitis C in the U.S., genotype 1, in clinical trials.

FDA Approves AbbVie’s Hepatitis Treatment

wsj.com — U.S. regulators on Friday approved AbbVie Inc.'s new multidrug regimen for hepatitis C, the latest in a wave of new medicines that is transforming treatment of the liver disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AbbVie's Viekira Pak, a cocktail of several drugs that cured more than 90% of people with the most common subtype of hepatitis C in the U.S., genotype 1, in clinical trials.

AbbVie Pins Hopes on Hepatitis C Treatment

wsj.com — Fresh off a failed takeover bid that would have lowered its taxes and diversified its product lineup, drug maker AbbVie Inc. is hoping for a Christmas gift: regulatory approval of its first significant new product in a decade. The North Chicago, Ill., company is awaiting a decision from the U.S.

Merck drug shrank tumors in some breast cancer patients in trial

marketwatch.com — A Merck & Co. drug shrank tumors in about 18.5% of women with an aggressive form of breast cancer in a small clinical trial, an early sign of the potential of immunotherapy to treat breast tumors. The Merck drug, Keytruda, was approved by U.S. regulators in September to treat a deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma.
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Jan 30, 2015

RT @PHLBizJGeorge: .@spark_tx goes public with $161M IPO. Stock goes from $23 to $48 per share during 1st day. $ONCE bizjournals.com/philadelphia/b… via @PHLBizJournal

Jan 30, 2015

AbbVie CEO sees HepC drug Viekira 'annualized sales run rate' more than $3B by end of '15. 1,100 Rx written so far. $ABBV $GILD

Jan 30, 2015

RT @pharmalot: Pharmalot.. Pharmalittle.. Good Morning.. headlines & weekend daydreams.. blogs.wsj.com/pharmalot/2015… #pharma #obama $VRX #flu #p…

Jan 30, 2015

AbbVie reports $48M in 4Q sales of HepC drug Viekira, which @MarkSchoenebaum says may reflect wholesaler inventory buildup. $ABBV $GILD

Jan 30, 2015

Eli Lilly knocks $800M off recently issued 2015 revenue forecast, citing stronger US dollar $LLY

Jan 30, 2015

More HepC payer deals, including AbbVie landing Blue Shield California $ABBV $GILD on.wsj.com/1v6UH4U via @WSJ

Jan 29, 2015

RT @JeanneWhalen: The battle 4 market share in hepC drugs is shifting 2 state Medicaid programs. Missouri/AbbVie strike deal on.wsj.com/1v6UH4U by @loftus

Jan 27, 2015

RT @AlexMartinWSJ: A-Hed. He's 100 years old--and only has 3 classmates left--but the class correspondent for Dartmouth '35 writes on. on.wsj.com/1Bhwa9R

Jan 26, 2015

RT @FiercePharma: Teva gets FDA nod to make generic of AstraZeneca's blockbuster Nexium. Ranbaxy loses out. fiercepharma.com/story/generic-… #pharma #TEVA #AZN

Jan 22, 2015

RT @JeanneWhalen: England delays Sovaldi rollout for hepC; patient advocates blame drug's cost. on.wsj.com/1yyFp87 via @WSJ $GILD



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