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Biopharma Dive, a biopharmaceutical website, recently selected the annual pharmaceutical company (Mersha East), the annual biotechnology company (Spark Therapeutics), the annual CEO (Emma Walmsley, GSK), the annual transaction (Takeda $62 billion acquisition of Shire), the annual innovation (RNA Targeted therapy), an annual new drug (Ajin/Nuohua migraine drug Aimovig).

 

01

Annual pharmaceutical company: Merck

 

Selected highlights –

1. Keytruda first-line treatment of lung cancer clinical data crush competitor BMS.

 

2. The price increase: up 40%, exceeding the peers’ gains.

 

3. Outlook: Keytruda’s advantage is difficult to beat in the short term. In 2017, Keytruda’s global sales reached 3.8 billion US dollars, which is expected to replace Januvia as the king of sales this year; analysts expect the 2022 diabetes drug Januvia US patent to expire Keytruda’s global sales will exceed $13 billion.

 

In addition to Keytruda, what else can power Merck’s future growth? The company’s executives define four core therapeutic areas: oncology, vaccines, specialty medicines and animal health. But in the other three core therapeutic areas, only the HPV vaccine Gardasil stands out as a heavyweight product.

 

02

Annual Biotech Company: Spark Therapeutics

Selected highlights –

1. Pay according to the effect, installment payment: Luxturna is the first gene therapy drug in the US market for the treatment of retinal disorders, the cost of each injection is 425,000 US dollars; the payment paid by the effect opens a new payment for gene therapy the way.

2. So far, dozens of patients have been injected, with sales of about $16 million.

3. Outlook: It is still too early to predict the sales of Luxturna. Undoubtedly, Luxturna has received close attention from investors as it may have a major impact on the commercialization of gene therapy.

 

03

CEO of the Year: Emma Walmsley (GSK)

Selected highlights –

1. Corporate restructuring: Emma Walmsley has cut dozens of research and development plans and transferred resources to priority areas for R&D and restructuring.

2. Talent transfer: Hal Barron and Luke Miels, who are responsible for research and development, will be responsible for GSK’s pharmaceutical business.

3. Business acquisition: $5.1 billion acquisition of the oncology pharmaceutical company Tesaro.

 

04

Annual transaction: Takeda acquires Shire

Selected highlights –

1. The highest amount: $62 billion in transaction volume has become the largest overseas acquisition in Japanese history.

2. Transforming into big pharmaceutical companies: Takeda and Charles will become the ninth largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

3. Prospects: Takeda’s acquisition of Shire will be more influential on the world stage, and it will also add billions of dollars in debt and higher expectations. In the long run, the deal may stimulate mergers and acquisitions by Japanese pharmaceutical companies.

 

05

Annual Innovation: RNA Targeting Therapy

Selected highlights –

1. Epoch-making approval: In the twenty years after Andrew Fire and Craig Mello first described the potential of RNAi therapy, the FDA approved the first RNAi treatment drug Onpattro in the United States in August this year.

2. Attracting the deal: Inspired by the success of Spinraza, Biogen paid Ionis $1 billion for new RNAi. At the same time, Johnson & Johnson and Lilly have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in RNAi.

 

3. Outlook: Alnylam’s Onpattro and Ionis’ Tegsedi are listed, further enhancing the company’s expectations for RNAi success. However, the challenge remains, and in some cases, gene therapy may be more attractive.

 

06

New Drug of the Year: Aimovig

Selected highlights –

1. Preventive Migraine: Aimovig is expected to be the first new treatment for preventive migraine in the past decade.

 

2. Main competitors: Teva’s Ajovy and Lilly’s Emgality.

3. Outlook: Wall Street hopes that Aimovig and its competing products will bring huge sales. At the same time, lower-than-expected prices forced subsequent competitors into price wars for market share. The pricing strategy of competing products was also an important test for Aimovig.

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