Changes in the pharmaceutical world

© Shutterstock
© Shutterstock

2014 : A year for massive merger and acquisition in the pharmaceutical industry

In march 2014, many pharmaceutical laboratories have announced evolutions in their product portfolio.  For example, GSK should acquire vaccine business of Novartis in exchange for his oncology unit, Eli Lilly should gain Novartis Animal Health. The main goal of this kind of merger and acquisition is to accelerate arrivals of new drugs on the martket.

Why big pharmaceutical industries adopt the merger&acquisition solution ?

The merger&acquisition solution is a way to fight the world economical crisis.

Molecules which have been developped in the 80’s are no longer protected by the patent. It’s the end of the blockbusters and the generics arrive on the market. So the competition for pharmaceutical industries is bigger than before the patent flow. Large laboratories have to reduce their margins to stay in the race to face generics (who are 30% cheaper).

Due to high regulatory standards and high costs for Research&Development (R&D), access to innovation is via acquisitions. These acquisitions can be for molecules in the different phases of development or molecules as part of a niche market.

Orphan diseases and developped countries’ diseases (diabete, cancer, heart disease) are the main fields for industries’ specialization.

Johnson&Johnson’s acquisition : a Californian start up

The 30th september 2014, J&J announced the acquisition of Alios BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company specialized in antiviral therapies development.

Alios BioPharma

Focused on viral infection therapy, Alios is developing therapeutics including influenza, coronavirus, rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).  The lead compound of Alios’ portfolio is AL-8176, an oral anti-RSV nucleoside analog (Phase 2a studies). This is a highly potential compound who inhibit RSV strains.

Alios BioPharma has currently nine products in its pipeline (two in phase 2). Preclinical data on a anti-Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) has been presented in november 2014 : Alios BioPharma has the challenge to create alternatives for patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C by the ability of using this compound with another drug of J&J.

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