Sep 16, 2019

Lundbeck agrees to buy migraine drug producer Alder for $2 billion

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Lundbeck, a Danish pharma company focused on brain disease, agreed to buy Alder BioPharmaceuticals, a Bothell, Washington-based developer of migraine drugs, for almost $2 billion in cash.

Why it matters: This is the patent cliff in practice. Lundbeck soon will lose patent protection on Parkinson's drug Northera and hopes that Alder's lead drug candidate (eptinezumab) will get regulatory approval to fill the revenue gap.

  • Details: Alder will pay $18 per share upfront, representing a 79% premium on Friday's closing price and another $2 per share if European regulatory approval is obtained.

The bottom line: "If the FDA approves eptinezumab in February, the drug will become the fourth anti-CGRP drug available in the U.S. ... Those drugs racked up sales of $233 million in the first half of 2019 and are tipped for further growth. Lundbeck, which plans to file for approval in the EU next year, will need to find a way to persuade payers and physicians to choose eptinezumab over the competition," writes Nick Paul Taylor of FierceBiotech.

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The world's first drug made for only one patient

The first ultra-personalized drug — made for one patient, the only one who will ever take it — is raising all kinds of new questions about how to handle a scenario that's likely to only become more common, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: The drug, described yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine, treats the neurological disorder of an 8-year-old girl.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

Pete Buttigieg joins 2020 Democrats' leftward march on drug prices

Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg released Tuesday his plan to reduce prescription drug prices, which includes many of the liberal proposals that have become the new Democratic normal.

Between the lines: This plan puts Buttigieg somewhere in the leftward middle of the top-tier candidates on drug prices. The field — and the party as a whole — is much more aggressive on the subject than Democrats have been in the past.

Go deeperArrowOct 8, 2019

Generic prescription drugs are sometimes inaccessible to seniors

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Plans providing Medicare's prescription drug benefit are often slow to cover the first generic competition to a branded medication, according to a new white paper by the Association for Accessible Medicines, which represents generics.

Why it matters: Generics are our system's way of keeping drug prices in check. But this doesn't happen unless patients have access to them.

Go deeperArrowSep 24, 2019