This was a short work week for many due to MLK Day on Monday, but Tuesday started off Q4 earnings report time and JNJ was up first with a beat on earnings expectations. However, there are definite signals that sales are slowing in 2019. In other company news, Takeda is reportedly thinking about selling off its emerging markets products. Roche’s management is reported as saying that it is not currently interested in mega deals, but would be open to smaller M&A action.
Also, this Biospace piece gives a thorough analysis of the current companies developing in the NASH treatment space, which is a market that is likely to explode soon.
Addressing the price of prescription drugs will be a priority for the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley has announced Tuesday. Grassley said in a statement he plans to hold a series of hearings "scrutinizing prescription drug pricing and considering policy and oversight solutions to lower costs for American patients.” He said the first hearing, to be held on Jan. 29, will include testimony from economists and a patient advocate.
In company news, GSK has completed the $5.1 billion acquisition of Tesaro, which will further its oncology program. Abbott Labs did not meet expectations for Q4 earnings, and microbiome test company uBiome is reportedly laying off a sizable number of employees to focus more on “partnerships and drugs.”
Genentech has announced a new CEO, to assume the role March 1 2019. Alexander Hardy is currently an executive with Roche in Basel, and will be moving to San Francisco to assume the Genentech head post. In other company-related news - JNJ’s dismal 2019 outlook may indicate what’s in store this year for other Big Pharma firms. And Bluebird Bio has outlined a timeline of what to expect for the company in the next five years.
After last week’s announcement the that Lilly’s cancer drug Lartruvo did not help patients live longer in a confirmatory study, both the FDA and the EMA are calling for new prescriptions for the drug to be halted.