Photo: Dwight Eschliman/Getty Images

It's too soon to throw in the towel on biosimilars, especially because there's evidence that they're lowering the net costs of biologics, Alex Brill and Benedic Ippolito of the American Enterprise Institute argue in a Health Affairs blog.

Why it matters: The authors were refuting an April post in Health Affairs that argued biologics are a natural monopoly, so biosimilars aren't going to work.

What they're saying: The number of biosimilars in development is increasing, and two biologics facing biosimilar competition — Neupogen and Remicade — have begun offering bigger discounts to stay competitive, even though their list prices haven't come down.

The bottom line: "Although prices likely will not reach close to marginal costs ... this does not imply that biologics, writ large, are natural monopolies in any traditional sense of the concept," Brill and Ippolito write.

  • The big question going forward, Ippolito told me, is how low biologic prices will go.

Go deeper: How to jump-start a fledgling class of new, cheaper drugs

Go deeper

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!