Small Biotech’s Cholesterol Drug Could Shake Up Market Dominated By Big Drugmakers
Esperion Therapeutics' once-a-day treatment is moving toward approval. In other industry news, Pfizer and Novartis team up to test a liver disease therapy. And the influence of a private equity firm in a medical journal publication is questioned.
A New Drug Lowers Cholesterol. Can It Spoil A Multibillion-Dollar Market?
A small biotech company has a shot at shaking up a market roosted by giants, moving toward approval with a pill it believes can lower bad cholesterol at a discount to other medicines. On Sunday, Esperion Therapeutics said a combination of its once-a-day treatment and a maximum dose of statin lowered LDL cholesterol 18 percent more than statins alone after 12 weeks. The results come from the last of five successful trials on Esperion’s drug, called bempedoic acid. The company plans to submit all of its data to the Food and Drug Administration in the early months of 2019. (Garde, 10/28)
Pfizer, Novartis Pair Up On Fatty Liver Drug Trials As Rivals Near Finish Line
Pfizer (PFE) and Novartis (NVS) are pairing up on new clinical trials of combination therapies to treat the fatty liver disease known as NASH. The collaboration between the pharma giants announced Monday won’t yield significant clinical results for quite some time, but scientists working at both companies say attacking NASH with two or more drugs that act in the liver differently will ultimately bring the most benefit to patients. (Feuerstein, 10/29)
The New York Times:
Why Private Equity Is Furious Over A Paper In A Dermatology Journal
Early this month, a respected medical journal published a research paper on its website that analyzed the effects of a business trend roiling the field of dermatology: the rapid entrance of private equity firms into the specialty by buying and running practices around the country. Eight days later, after an outcry from private equity executives and dermatologists associated with private equity firms, the editor of the publication removed the paper from the site. No reason was given. Furor over the publication and subsequent removal of the article has deepened a rift in the field over what some see as the “corporatization” of dermatology and other areas of medicine. (Hafner, 10/26)