The Daily Dose: Sanofi’s week goes from bad to really bad

About a year and a half ago, Sanofi bought hemophilia specialist Bioverativ for $11.6 billion. Fast forward to this week and Sanofi must be having some serious buyer’s remorse. The primary drug to come out of the merger, Eloctate, has been a royal flop. According to FiercePharma, “the French drugmaker recorded a €1.84 billion ($2 billion) write-down ‘mainly related to Eloctate,’ a long-acting treatment that starred as one of the deal’s centerpieces.” That’s gotta hurt.

When it rains, it pours, especially for Sanofi. In yet another blow, the pharmaceutical company’s Type 1 diabetes drug, zynquista, flopped at the clinical trial phase. It was a collaboration with Lexicon Pharmaceutical. Again FiercePharma has the news,”Sanofi said it would end a development partnership on the med with Lexicon Pharmaceuticals after the phase 3 results in Type 2 diabetes.” That’s gotta hurt as well.

Just to show that anything Sanofi does, Novartis can do just as well, the pharmaceutical company announced that its cardiovascular medicine, Entresto, fell short of expectations in phase 3 trials. Once more from Fierce, “Cardiovascular med Entresto’s blockbuster turn in 2018 was a long time coming for Novartis, which held on to a $5 billion vision for the drug even as its launch lagged. But those dreams took another hit Monday with a major phase 3 trial flop.”

This op-Ed by a pharma executive makes the case that drug prices should be set according to the social contract and “that drug companies, mine included, have a duty to responsibly set list prices so patients can access needed medicines. And I think it’s time for industry leaders to exert more pressure on colleagues who violate that contract.” He then goes on to blame the middlemen for drug prices and argues against current options to reign in out of control drug prices. Go figure.

Scientists continue to test the boundaries of ethically permissible practices. This time, it’s a researcher in Japan. According to a report in Nature, “A Japanese stem-cell scientist is the first to receive government support to create animal embryos that contain human cells and transplant them into surrogate animals since a ban on the practice was overturned earlier this year.”

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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