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Sanofi sues Novo Nordisk over false claims; Abbott to divest some of its assets


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Essential IR Insights Newsletter - Summer July-August 2023


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Sanofi sues Novo Nordisk over false claims; Abbott to divest some of its assets

* Sanofi sued Novo Nordisk A/S for allegedly making false claims regarding the availability of its insulin drugs in the U.S. According to Sanofi's complaint with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Novo Nordisk urged doctors and patients to switch to Tresiba from Lantus and Toujeo by claiming that the drugs will be blocked by the CVS Caremark in January 2017.

* Global healthcare company Abbott Laboratories agreed to divest two medical device businesses to appease U.S. Federal Trade Commission concerns regarding its $25 billion acquisition of fellow competitor St. Jude Medical Inc.

* The U.S. FDA issued rules to address cyber vulnerabilities in medical devices as it investigates claims that St. Jude Medical Inc.'s heart devices are prone to life-threatening hacks. The guidelines ask manufacturers to fix security bugs in equipment, including pacemakers, insulin pumps and imaging systems.

* In other news, the U.S. FDA imposed a clinical hold on several Seattle Genetics Inc. trials following the death of four patients being treated with its SGN-CD33 drug for acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood and bone marrow cancer. Seattle Genetics' phase 3 trial of the drug in patients with acute myeloid leukemia and phase 1/2 trial in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, another bone marrow disorder, are continuing.

M&A and capital markets

* Capnia Inc. plans to merge with privately held Essentialis Inc. to create a rare disease therapeutics company. The combined company will advance the development of the treatment of Prader-Willi syndrome, a disorder which affects appetite, growth, metabolism, cognitive function and behavior.

* Meanwhile, Che Hongli divested 5% of its holdings in Sinocare Inc., reducing its stake to 28.7% from 33.7%, Reuters reported.

* Neogen Corp. acquired Brazil-based Rogama Indústria e Comércio Ltda., a private company that develops and manufactures rodenticides and insecticides. Neogen's Brazilian unit, Neogen do Brasil, will manage the acquired company's operations.

Drug and product pipeline

* Biologics have slowly become some of the highest grossing drugs in the market, The Times of India writes. According to the publication, seven out of the top 10 selling drugs are now biologics which have toppled sales of chemically synthesized treatments.

* Elis Pharmaceuticals Ltd. launched Apricus Biosciences Inc.'s erectile dysfunction drug in Lebanon. The companies entered an agreement in 2011 to commercialize and market Vitaros in the Gulf states and part of the Middle East.

* The U.S. FDA granted marketing clearance to Nephros Inc. for its HydraGuard 10" UltraFilter, a system for use with a hemodialysis machine for the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease.

* Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Sollpura failed to meet the primary endpoint in a phase 3 clinical study of cystic fibrosis patients with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, the inability to properly digest food due to a lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas. Anthera expects to start a new study with adjusted doses in 2017 and only expects a modest delay in the filing of the biologics license application around the first quarter of 2018.

Operational activity

* Ensign Group Inc. bought the underlying real estate of 15 assisted living housing facilities in Wisconsin which were being operated by one of its subsidiaries. Ensign now owns the underlying real estate of 50 of its 209 operations.

* AFT Pharmaceuticals Ltd. agreed to license its Maxiclear patented combination cold-and-flu product line in an additional 16 countries, including Vatican City, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Russia.

* Endo Ventures Ltd. gained the rights to commercialize and develop a product using IntelGenx Technologies Corp.'s proprietary VersaFilm in the U.S.

* French pharmaceutical company Servier nabbed the worldwide license to OSE Immunotherapeutics SA's Effi-7 treatment for autoimmune diseases. OSE Immunotherapeutics is eligible to receive €10.3 million in upfront and up to a further €272 million in milestone-related payments.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.83% to 21,754.74. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.01% to 19,401.72.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.40% to 7,096.70, and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.09% to 931.36.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 6:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.