This week, stories from PTC Therapeutics, Novartis, and Novo Nordisk topped our most-read news links, as well as a piece about potential buyers for Baxter’s biopharma solutions business.
The most popular news link was this article from RTT News/NASDAQ.com. PTC Therapeutics CEO Stuart Peltz is set to retire and will be replaced by Matthew Klein as CEO. Peltz founded the company in 1998, and is considered a pioneer in RNA-directed drug development.
The next most-clicked link is another one from NASDAQ.com, where Novartis announces that its spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) drug Zolgensma has shown sustained efficacy for up to 7.5 years in clinical trials. The study showed sustained motor function improvements over the long term.
Our third most popular link was from the Seattle Times. Novo Nordisk has resolved the six-month shortage of its diabetes drug Ozempic, which is also used for weight loss. The shortage was caused by social media-driven enthusiasm for the drug's weight loss benefits. Two common doses of the drug are now available, while a third may have limited availability until the end of the month. Patients had trouble finding alternatives to Ozempic during the shortage, which can be dangerous due to the increased risk of complications from uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
Users were also interested in this piece about Baxter looking to sell its biopharma solutions business, which could fetch more than $4 billion. Private equity firms KKR and the Carlyle Group, along with Celltrion and Thermo Fisher Scientific, are reportedly interested in the business. Celltrion confirmed that it has reviewed a potential acquisition of Baxter's biopharma solutions business, but nothing has been confirmed. Baxter named biopharma solutions as part of a restructuring launched in January, aiming to narrow its focus on hospital solutions and connected care.
And finally, in this Fierce Pharma piece, the NIH has rejected a petition to use its "march-in" authority to lower the price of Xtandi, a prostate cancer drug manufactured by Pfizer and Astellas. The authority allows the US government to grant patent licenses to other parties, but has never been used in practice. Critics argue that the drug, which costs $160,000 to $180,000 per patient per year, has been subject to a 75% price hike in the US, and is much cheaper in Canada. However, the NIH argued that Xtandi was "widely available to the public on the market."
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