Novartis, Foundation Medicine collaborate on companion diagnostics | Walgreens, McLaren Health Care to offer pharmacy and other health services | Novartis enters $2.1B deal to acquire Endocyte
October 19, 2018
Specialty Pharmacy SmartBrief
News for the specialty pharmacy industry
Leading News
Novartis, Foundation Medicine collaborate on companion diagnostics
Foundation Medicine and Novartis are collaborating on development of companion diagnostics for use with Novartis' cancer treatments to advance personalized medicine in oncology. The partnership will enable Foundation to move into international markets such as Japan, where it is working with manufacturer Chugai Pharmaceutical and is seeking regulatory approval of its FoundationOne CDx test.
MedCity News (10/17) 
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Specialty Pharmacy Update
Walgreens, McLaren Health Care to offer pharmacy and other health services
Walgreens and McLaren Health Care have entered into a collaboration on several types of health care services in Walgreens retail stores across Michigan, including health care clinics, urgent care centers and onsite pharmacies. McLaren is a fully integrated health network, and the collaboration gives patients "more options for quality, affordable care when and where they need it," McLaren CEO Philip Incarnati said.
Chain Drug Review (10/17) 
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Novartis enters $2.1B deal to acquire Endocyte
Novartis is seeking to expand its radiopharmaceutical business with a $2.1 billion acquisition of Endocyte, which develops the Lu-177-PSMA-617 investigational radioligand therapy for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Reuters (10/18),  PharmaTimes online (UK) (10/18) 
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Allergan to seek US approval for migraine drug
Dublin, Ireland-based Allergan plans to submit a marketing application for its migraine therapy ubrogepant to the US early next year. Allergan recently finished two safety studies in which more patients treated with 50-mg and 100-mg doses of the drug experienced relief from pain and bothersome migraine-associated symptoms two hours after the initial dose, compared with those receiving placebo.
PharmaTimes online (UK) (10/18) 
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Legislation & Regulation
McConnell: GOP may revive ACA repeal push after election
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Senate Republicans are not satisfied with how the Affordable Care Act is performing and may attempt again to repeal the law, but the feasibility depends on the results of next month's midterm election. "If we had the votes to completely start over, we'd do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks," McConnell said.
Reuters (10/17) 
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CMS approves add-on payment for leukemia drug
The CMS has approved an add-on payment for adult patients taking Vyxeos, or daunorubicin and cytarabine liposome, for newly diagnosed therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes. Payment of up to $36,425 will go to Medicare beneficiaries treated as inpatients.
PharmaBiz (India) (8/6) 
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Clinical & Research News
Scientists develop largest AML database yet
Research led by Oregon Health & Science University scientists has yielded the largest acute myeloid leukemia dataset yet, consisting of 672 samples from 562 patients, and they hope the work will lead to new advances in AML care. The team developed a novel data visualization system known as Vizome to organize the information, and the work is described in the journal Nature.
United Press International (10/17) 
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Plasma-based genotyping shows promise in treating metastatic NSCLC
The rate of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who were found to have therapeutically targeted mutations rose from 20.5% to 35.8% after the integration of plasma next-generation sequencing in standard care, researchers reported in JAMA Oncology. The findings also showed partial or complete treatment response or stable disease among 85.7% of those who underwent plasma NGS result-based targeted therapy.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (10/18) 
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Trends & Technology
Pharmacological AI system overcomes privacy, confidentiality issues
An artificial intelligence platform based on modern cryptographic tools allows secure, open sharing of pharmacological data among drug developers, according to an article published in Science. Researchers say they developed a computational protocol for training a predictive model of drug-target interactions that ensures the confidentiality of underlying drugs, targets and observed interactions and lays a foundation for more collaboration in biomedical research.
Science News (10/18) 
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Study evaluates effects of patient access to physicians' notes
A study found that patients who were given access to their physicians' notes via EMRs and completed a final survey post-treatment trusted their doctors more and gained a more enhanced understanding of their illnesses and the treatments they underwent, according to the online journal Practical Radiation Oncology. The respondents were cancer patients at the University of California at Los Angeles' Jonsson Cancer Center who were undergoing radiotherapy in 2017.
Medscape (free registration) (10/17) 
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Clarity is the antidote to anxiety, and therefore clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear.
Marcus Buckingham,
business consultant and author
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