04.07.2012 - GSK has been fined a record $3bn for drug fraud. The UK-based company admitted it had made inappropriate hospitality offerings to bribe physicians.
The pharma giant invited health care practitioners to enjoy deep-sea fishing, hot air balloon rides and golfing days in Hawaii. The company hoped the practice would mean doctors would prescribe more of their drugs. The case, described as "unprecedented in both size and scope" by deputy US attorney general James Cole, included allegations that GSK promoted two drugs for unapproved uses and failed to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Problems were first flagged up in 2001, when a whistle blower sparked internal investigations within the company. An official investigation begun by the US Attorney's office of Colorado in 2004 and was later taken over by the US Attorney's Office of Massachusetts. With its admission of guilt, GSK agreed to pay $1bn in criminal fines and forfeits and additional $2bn to settle civil claims. "Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored", stated Andrew Witty, Glaxosmithkline chief executive, adding that the company has fundamentally changed its procedures for compliance, marketing and selling to avoid further misbehaviour.
03.07.2015 Biotech giant Biogen is investing CHF 1bn in a new pharmaceutical production plant in the Swiss town of Luterbach. Noted as one of the world’s oldest biotech firms, the new plant will create up to 400 jobs.
02.07.2015 Dutch biotech Amarna and Austrian Biomarker research centre CBmed have joined forces to develop several immunotherapies, including therapies against cancer and diabetes type 2. The joint venture will develop Amarna’s next generation viral vector platform.
30.06.2015 Pharma giant Novartis has bumped up its neuroscience portfolio with the recent purchase of Australian biotech Spinifex for a US$200m upfront payment plus US$500 in milestone payments. The acquisition is centred on Spinifex’ mid-stage pain drug EMA401.
24.06.2015 Swedish scientists have created artificial neurons that are capable of mimicking the function of human nerve cells. The researchers hope that, once minituarised, they may one day be used to restore disturbed neural function.
22.06.2015 For the 31st time, the ACHEMA has drawn the global chemical engineering and the process industry to Frankfurt. Although still overshadowed by petrol, the biobased economy is getting ready to step out into the limelight.
12.06.2015 The high-potential cancer immunotherapy market is fiercely fought, and small companies have trouble making their mark. Nordic companies Targovax and Oncos have joined forces to create a Nordic immuno-oncology champion named Polaris.
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