Reckitt Benckiser shells $1.4B to settle US probe; NICE backs diabetes, psoriasis treatments
→ British group Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has agreed to pay the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission $1.4 billion to resolve a sweeping investigation into the sales and marketing practices of the opioid addiction treatment, Suboxone film, sold by its former prescription pharmaceuticals business Indivior, which was spun out in 2014. In April, Indivior was charged by the DoJ for claiming the product was more effective and safer than rival drugs, despite the lack of evidence supporting that claim.
RB asserted it had acted lawfully and denied all allegations that it had engaged in wrongful conduct. “(A)fter careful consideration, the Board of RB determined that the agreement is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. It avoids the costs, uncertainty and distraction associated with continued investigations, litigation and the potential for an indictment at a time of significant transformation under RB 2.0 and during CEO transition,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.
→ The UK’s cost-effectiveness watchdog NICE has backed two treatments over two successive days. On Thursday, the agency endorsed AbbVie $ABBV and partner Boehringer Ingelheim‘s IL-23 inhibitor risankizumab for use in patients with severe plaque psoriasis in the NHS. The EMA approved the drug, branded as Skyrizi, on April 30. On Friday, NICE put its weight behind dapagliflozin, which is sold as Forxiga by British drugmaker AstraZeneca$AZN, for certain adults with type 1 diabetes.
→ Cancer-focused MacroGenics $MGNX has joined forces with I-Mab Biopharma — which has operations in China and the United States — to develop and commercialize enoblituzumab. The experimental drug is a monoclonal antibody that is designed to inhibit the immune checkpoint molecule B7-H3 to treat cancer. Under the deal, which gives MacroGenics $15 million upfront, I-Mab obtains regional development and commercialization rights in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. MacroGenics is also eligible to receive milestone payments of up to $135 million.
→ According to a Xinhua report, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical on Tuesday said it will spend up to $36 million to buy a GlaxoSmithKline $GSK factory in east China, which makes the British drugmaker’s chronic hepatitis B drug lamivudine.