Novartis’ Kisqali to go head-to-head with Pfizer’s Ibrance; USC joins regional biotech alliance

Novartis said on Thursday that Kisqali (ribociclib) had been OK’d by EU regulators for frontline breast cancer, setting up a direct rivalry with Pfizer’s Ibrance. That’s another boost for Novartis’ critical oncology group.

⇨ Samsung Bioepis has claimed bragging rights as the first of the biosimilars makers to land an EU approval for all three anti-TNF-α blockbusters. The OK for its Humira knockoff just landed and the Korean company won approval for copycats of Enbrel and Remicade last year.

⇨ Switzerland’s Auris Medical $EARS is being spanked for noncompliance by Nasdaq again. With equity of $5.6 million, the biotech — whose lead drug flopped in a Phase III for tinnitus a year ago — doesn’t measure up to the exchange’s listing standards. The biotech has some time to work on it.

USC is joining up with a non-profit group to see if a regional alliance will give the area some of the major hub rep shared by the Bay Area and Boston/Cambridge. Southern California is something of an also-ran in the biopharma world, though it is home to quite a few biotechs, and the big players want to step up to global status.

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