Bioprocess,Weekly Roundups

Weekly News Round-up – 7/2/20

2 weeks ago By Josh Neil
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Two big pharma restructures this week,with both GSK and Merck making promises to spin off or divide their existing assets. GSK disappointed some investors with its £2.4 billion plan to separate its consumer health arm and save £700 million a year on average; meanwhile, Merck has spun off its women’s health and biosimilars areas into a new company. In other news, Trump’s State of the Union address held nothing of the International Pricing Index. Experts fear, however, that it is still very much in the pipeline. 

GSK SETS OUT £2.4 BILLION PLAN TO CARVE UP GROUP - GSK has announced its decision to break off its consumer health arm over the next two years, at the cost of £2.4 billion. Overall, 2019 saw the company’s adjusted operating profits rise 3%, despite a 16% drop in the last three months of the year. Despite this, some investors were still disappointed that earnings per share did not hit market forecasts. GSK is forecasting £700 million in savings each year from 2022 with this action.

MERCK FOCUSES WORKFLOWS IN $6.5 BILLION WOMEN’S HEALTH SPIN-OFF - Merck has announced a spin-off, several years in the making, of its women’s health and biosimilars sectors into a new, yet-unnamed company. The new business is set to bring in $6.5 billion in 2020 alone. The transaction will be fully completed in the first half of 2021. Merck’s CEO Ken Frazier said the spin-off is being transacted to “ensure the long-term growth and viability of Merck”.

STATE OF THE UNION 2020 DODGES INTERNATIONAL PRICING INDEX TALK - The pharma sector has breathed a sigh of relief as President Trump’s State of the Union Address this Tuesday made no mention of the long-suspected International Pricing Index (IPI). While generic approvals and general endorsement of one Senator’s drug pricing legislation were noted, nothing was heard of the plan to tie Medicare prices to those of other countries’ drugs. Analysts suggested that there is still a high chance of the IPI being released in a public notice, however. 

In other news: 

R&D
Gilead, GSK and J&J offer potential solutions to Wuhan coronavirus
Researchers complete first comprehensive study of viruses found in 38 different cancers

Clinical Trials
First-ever peanut allergy therapy approved by FDA
CHMP gives backing for second gene-silencing drug from Alnylam

That’s all for now. See you next week!

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

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