Our focus this week is on the pharmaceutical industry with reports from the ASCO conference shaking up stocks, improving the outlook for some while downgrading others. Many companies are announcing results, cuts, and progress with key oncology drugs this week. Check out the Innovation Partners BioBlog for the latest news.


AstraZeneca hails progress with key oncology drug in prostate cancer

AstraZenca revealed that Lynparza may be the first drug of its kind shown to be effective against late-stage prostate cancer which has spread to other parts of the body. If all goes well, this will help bring the pharmaceutical company closer to its long-term goal of generating $45bn (£33.6bn) of annual sales by 2023.
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Dacomitinib Shows More Than Seven-Month Improvement in Overall Survival Compared to an Established Therapy in Advanced NSCLC with EGFR-Activating Mutations

Pfizer announced in a press release that the overall survival (OS) data from the ARCHER 1050 trial evaluating dacomitinib as a first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR-activating mutations compared to gefitinib. Overall survival was a secondary endpoint of ARCHER 1050, a randomized, open label Phase 3 study comparing the efficacy and safety of dacomitinib to gefitinib for the first-line treatment of locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC in subjects with EGFR-activating mutation.
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The Pharmaceutical Industry’s Social Contract With Patients

A look at the pharmaceutical industry’s “social contract”, an implied promise of bringing fair value and pricing to life-saving pharmaceutical medicines. With the administration’s repeated emphasis on lowering the cost of prescription drugs, the author takes a closer look at both voluntary and mandated drug pricing controls and their effect on long-term pricing.
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Has the Brent Saunders price-hike limit become a de facto pharma rule?

When Allergan CEO Brent Saunders promised about a year ago to keep drug price increases for his company under 10 percent, he didn’t anticipate that his statement would become the de facto agreement among other companies, too. Unofficially, it appears that most drug companies have adopted a similar policy. A look at how one statement may have set a precedence for an entire industry.
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Pfizer, Novartis and more post price hikes on dozens of drugs, but AbbVie’s is worth the most

Although drug companies have, for the most part, kept price increases under the 10% threshold, it is estimated that just one increase could cost consumers upwards of $1 billion USD. Humira, produced by AbbiVie, expects a 9.7% increase on the blockbuster drug, which could push spending through the roof considering how many people take it. The drug brings in $1.2 billion per year in total. A look across the board at major pharmaceutical companies and their planned increases and what it might mean for consumers.
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FDA unveils guidance that aims to make it easier for generics to enter the drug market

The FDA has officially revealed new guidance that could increase competition in the drug market. Under the new documents, generic drug makers can apply for a waiver to the single, shared-system Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) requirement. This may ease delays caused by prolonged negotiations between generic and branded drug companies.
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Trump says drug companies to announce ‘massive’ price cuts soon

President Trump announced that he expects major drug companies to significantly cut drug prices within two weeks but failed to provide specifics. Neither the Health and Human Services spokesperson nor lobbyists in attendance could provide additional insights on the president’s comments, although the president has been outspoken about his emphasis on cutting the costs of prescription drugs for consumers. More from Reuters.
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Oncologist organization sues to stop sequester cuts to cancer drug reimbursement

The Community Oncology Alliance filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should stop applying a 2% sequester cut to Medicare Part B drug reimbursement. The COA statement said that the cut is unconstitutional and illegal because Part B is protected under law.
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President Trump Signs Right-To-Try Bill Into Law

President Trump has officially signed the “Right to Try” bill into law. The bill affirms that people with deadly diseases have the opportunity to try all life saving measures, including those not officially approved by the FDA. Patients who have exhausted all other resources will have access to drugs in the early stages of FDA review. These experimental treatments do not have official FDA approval yet but may extend or save lives.
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ASCO Reports

2018 ASCO: Low-Dose Maintenance Chemotherapy in Rhabdomyosarcoma

There’s new hope for children with rhabdomyosarcoma who are at high risk for cancer recurrence. A randomized phase III clinical trial showed that by adding 6 months of low-dose maintenance chemotherapy after initial treatment the children increased the 5-year overall survival rate from 73.7% to 86.5%. Children with rhabdomyosarcoma who are alive at 5 years are considered cured, as tumor recurrence is rare.
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ASCO Wrap: Cancer Combos, Precision Meds, Stock Movers & More

As the ASCO Chicago meeting draws to a close, investors are reporting on the sessions, sending some stocks rising and others falling. This article details the major findings from the ASCO meeting including IDO inhibitors, cancer drugs that target mutations, changes to early breast cancer treatment protocols, and much more.
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Doctors Scrutinize Overtreatment, As Cancer Death Rates Decline

At the ASCO Conference in Chicago, new protocols were unveiled that may limit or eliminate the recommendations for chemotherapy for women with certain early-stage forms of breast cancer. Hormone-positive, or HER-2 negative disease which has not spread to lymph nodes may respond well to anti-hormone treatment after surgery, thus eliminating the need for chemotherapy. These and other findings update recommendations coming from the ASCO conference and offer new methods of dealing with cancer.
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