GSK appoints its first female CEO
Emma Walmsley has been appointed as GlaxoSmithKline‘s new CEO, and has broken the mould as she is the first woman to lead a top global drug maker, being a consumer brands guru rather than a prescription medicines expert. Walmsley’s appointment suggests GSK will continue the diversified strategy pioneered by outgoing CEO Andrew Witty. “Obviously, R&D is the beating heart of our company and our success is and will continue to be defined most fundamentally by the strength of our pipeline,” she said in an in-house video recorded to mark her appointment.
Johnson & Johnson to Buy Abbott’s Vision Unit for $4.33B
Johnson & Johnson announced that it will acquire Abbott Medical Optics for $4.325 billion. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. The deal comes as JNJ plans to grow its vision business by entering into the cataract surgery market, apart from its Acuvue contact lenses. Abbott has decided to sell this part of business so that it can focus more on treatment for heart and arteries and disease testing equipment.
Essai Launches Collaborative R&D Unit in Boston Area
Eisai Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s Eisai Co., Ltd., announced that it is launching a research-and-discovery unit in the Boston area. The new unit will be called the Eisai Andover Innovative Medicines (AiM) Institute. It will target three therapeutic areas, immuno-dementia, immuno-oncology, and autoimmune indications. Within immuno-dementia, AiM will focus on a subset of dementia patients whose disease is driven by immune dysfunction. In immuno-oncology, it will focus on discovering precision immunotherapies that target myeloid lineage cells. In autoimmune studies, it will look at toll-like receptors and prostaglandins to develop therapies for diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Novartis intensifies marketing plan for Entresto
Novartis on Monday intensified its bid to convince doctors to prescribe its heart failure drug Entresto, releasing an analysis that concluded the medicine contributed to higher quality of life scores compared with an older drug. Launched with much fanfare last year, Entresto sales have so far disappointed investors and the company, forcing Novartis to spend hundreds of millions more on marketing as it seeks to hit a modest target of $200 million in revenue from the drug this year.
U.S. FDA approves Bayer contraceptive device Kyleena
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Bayer AG‘s hormonal contraceptive device, Kyleena, to prevent pregnancy for up to five years. Kyleena, which will be available from October, is a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC), a category of potent contraceptives that has returned to popularity. LARCs, including IUDs and implants, are more effective than other contraceptives such as pills and patches, and are nearly as effective as sterilization, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.