Te­va, Al­ler­gan open to set­tling 3500+ law­suits for more than $5B as ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tin­ue — re­port

Sev­er­al com­pa­nies have doled out tens, if not hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars to set­tle lit­i­ga­tion sur­round­ing the role they al­leged­ly had dur­ing the opi­oid epi­dem­ic on the state lev­el. In the case of com­pa­nies like Pur­due Phar­ma, a fed­er­al judge ap­proved a set­tle­ment that would see states re­ceive up to $6 bil­lion over the next 18 years.

Now, a re­port hints that Te­va and Al­ler­gan may be lin­ing up to be the next multi­bil­lion-dol­lar set­tle­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to three sources who spoke with Bloomberg ear­li­er this week, Te­va and Al­ler­gan hint­ed at a will­ing­ness to pay a com­bined $5+ bil­lion to set­tle more than 3,500 law­suits over al­le­ga­tions that their opi­oid painkillers played a role in the opi­oid epi­dem­ic, that the com­pa­nies had en­gaged in mis­lead­ing mar­ket­ing of opi­oids and at least for Te­va, down­played the risks of opi­oid ad­dic­tion.

The sources al­so told Bloomberg that while the drug­mak­ers had been in me­di­a­tion talks with plain­tiffs for over a year, no for­mal of­fer has been made or fi­nal­ized.

Be­fore any­thing can be fi­nal­ized, there’s still a de­tail that needs to be ham­mered out — who pays how much? Bloomberg’s sources said the com­pa­nies are ar­gu­ing over an in­dem­ni­ty agree­ment that Te­va signed back in 2016 when it agreed to pay $40+ bil­lion to buy Al­ler­gan Gener­ics be­fore Al­ler­gan got picked up by Ab­b­Vie. Al­ler­gan claims that the agree­ment Te­va signed shift­ed its opi­oid li­a­bil­i­ties and costs to Te­va.

Te­va de­clined to com­ment on the re­port, and Ab­b­Vie did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment be­fore pub­li­ca­tion.

It would be the newest de­vel­op­ment in a long-stand­ing saga af­ter the two drug­mak­ers reached set­tle­ments with states such as Flori­da and Rhode Is­land so far this year. But in some cas­es, they are still show­ing up in courts such as in West Vir­ginia, a state hard-hit by the opi­oid epi­dem­ic and has al­ready seen oth­er drug com­pa­nies such as J&J and En­do set­tle with the state for $99 mil­lion and $26 mil­lion, re­spec­tive­ly.

If the po­ten­tial deal does get of­fered, it would be a ma­jor next step for Te­va CEO Kare Schultz, who al­ready made it clear back in Feb­ru­ary that he thinks a na­tion­al set­tle­ment for opi­oid lit­i­ga­tion is with­in reach by ear­ly 2023. It could take a de­cent chunk out of what is left to be set­tled on a na­tion­al scale af­ter Te­va orig­i­nal­ly of­fered $250 mil­lion in cash and $23 bil­lion in a sup­ply of Nar­can to reach a na­tion­al set­tle­ment in 2019.

Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

How Pur­due's $272M ad­dic­tion pay­out fund­ed a new home for its dis­card­ed non-opi­oid re­search

Don Kyle spent more than 20 years working for Purdue Pharma, right through the US opioid epidemic that led to the company’s rise and eventual infamy. But contrary to Purdue’s focus on OxyContin, Kyle was researching non-opioid painkillers — that is, until the company shelved his research.

As the company’s legal troubles mounted, Kyle found an unlikely way to reboot the project. In 2019, he took his work to an Oklahoma State University center that’s slated to receive more than two-thirds of the state’s $272 million settlement with Purdue over claims that the drugmaker’s behavior ignited the epidemic of opioid use and abuse.

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Utpal Koppikar, new Verily CFO

Ex­clu­sive: Ver­i­ly wel­comes Atara Bio­ther­a­peu­tics vet­er­an as new CFO

Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences outfit, has plucked a new CFO from the ranks of Atara Biotherapeutics, the company announced on Wednesday.

Utpal Koppikar joins Verily after a nearly five-year stint as CFO and senior VP at Atara, though his résumé also boasts roles at Gilead and Amgen.

The news follows a major reshuffling at Verily, including several senior departures earlier this year and a round of layoffs.

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President Joe Biden at the State of the Union address with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Patrick Semansky/AP Images)

The drug pric­ing pres­i­dent: Biden warns of ve­to for any IRA re­peal at­tempts

President Joe Biden made clear in his “finish the job” State of the Union address last night that one of those jobs to be finished is insulin prices.

Biden’s push again to tackle insulin prices, after Republicans rebuffed the idea last summer and just after Biden won Medicare drug price negotiations/caps via the Inflation Reduction Act, shows how heavily he’s leaning into this work.

Singer Nick Jonas is back at work for Dexcom, this time for its new G7 glucose monitor.

Dex­com's spokescelebri­ty Nick Jonas re­turns to Su­per Bowl in new glu­cose mon­i­tor com­mer­cial

Dexcom is going back to the Super Bowl with its pop singer and patient spokesperson Nick Jonas. Jonas takes center stage as the lone figure in the 30-second commercial showcasing Dexcom’s next-generation G7 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device.

Jonas’ sleight-of-hand tricks populate the commercial — he pinches his empty fingers together and pops them open to reveal the small CGM — even as he ends the ad, saying, “It’s not magic. It just feels that way.” Jonas then disappears in a puff of smoke.

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Richard Francis, newly-appointed Teva CEO (Novartis via Facebook)

New Te­va CEO Richard Fran­cis repri­or­i­tizes to 'get back to growth'

Six weeks into his new role at the helm of Teva Pharmaceutical, Richard Francis said it’s time to “get back to growth,” starting with a good look at the company’s priorities.

The chief executive has kicked off a strategic review, he announced during Teva’s quarterly call, which will continue over the next several months and produce results sometime in the middle of 2023. That means some pipeline cuts may be in store, he told Endpoints News, while declining to offer much more detail.

Rupert Vessey, Bristol Myers Squibb head of research and early development

Up­dat­ed: R&D tur­bu­lence at Bris­tol My­ers now in­cludes the end of a $650M al­liance and the de­par­ture of a top re­search cham­pi­on

This morning biotech Dragonfly put out word that Bristol Myers Squibb has handed back all rights to its IL-12 clinical-stage drug after spending $650 million to advance it into the clinic.

The news arrives amid a turbulent R&D stage for the pharma giant, which late last week highlighted Rupert Vessey’s decision to depart this summer as head of early-stage R&D following a crucial three-year stretch after he jumped to Bristol Myers in the big Celgene buyout. During that time he struck a series of deals for Bristol Myers, and also shepherded a number of Celgene programs down the pipeline, playing a major role for a lineup of biotechs which depended on him to champion their drugs.

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Sanofi is renewing its #VaccinesForDreams campaign with more stories, such as Juan's in Argentina (Sanofi)

Sanofi re­news so­cial cam­paign to re­mind that vac­cines let peo­ple ‘Dream Big’

Sanofi is highlighting people’s dreams — both big and small — to make the point that vaccines make them possible.

The renewed “Dream Big” global social media campaign’s newest dreamer is Juan, a teacher in the Misiones rainforest in Argentina whose story is told through videos on Instagram and Sanofi’s website with the hashtag #VaccinesForDreams.

The campaign ties to Sanofi’s broader umbrella initiative “Vaccine Stories” to promote the value of vaccines and drive awareness of the need for improved vaccination coverage.

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Bill Anderson, incoming Bayer CEO (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bay­er taps Roche's Bill An­der­son to lead phar­ma gi­ant as CEO

We now know where Roche’s ex-pharma chief Bill Anderson is going.

German pharma giant Bayer announced Wednesday that Anderson will be taking on the role as CEO, less than six weeks after Anderson stepped down from his perch at Roche as head of the group’s pharmaceutical division.

Roche announced back in December that Anderson would depart on Dec. 31 to “pursue opportunities outside of Roche.” His replacement, Genentech vet and Roche’s current head of global product strategy, Teresa Graham, will start her role in March.

Iya Khalil, Merck VP and head of data, AI and genome sciences (Novartis)

Mer­ck-No­var­tis re­volv­ing door spins again as AI leader Iya Khalil switch­es phar­mas

As talk of AI this-and-that gobbles up headline after headline, one Big Pharma is losing its AI leader as she transitions to another drug giant: Iya Khalil will trade in her hat as Novartis’ go-to expert and leader in the space for Merck as VP and head of data, AI and genome sciences next week.

After nearly three years leading the artificial intelligence team at Novartis — as Big Pharma and biotechs alike latch onto the ripening AI-for-drug-discovery mode of operation — Khalil will switch employers to head up a similar post at Merck, where she’ll work out of Cambridge, MA beginning Feb. 13, the company tells Endpoints News.