27 January 2020

Healthcare & Biotech

  • Merck’s Ebola vaccine Ervebo is the first vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Photo: Reuters

    Merck wins US regulatory approval for Ebola vaccine

    Dec 20, 2019 12:01pm
    The US Food and Drug Administration said it has approved drugmaker Merck & Co.’s Ebola vaccine Ervebo, making it the first FDA-authorized vaccine against the deadly virus, Reuters reports. The vaccine was used by the World...
  • Roche wants to buy Spark Therapeutics to gain a foothold in gene therapy and add to its growing portfolio of hemophilia A products. Photo: Bloomberg

    US approves Roche’s US$4.3 bln purchase of Spark Therapeutics

    Dec 17, 2019 9:21am
    Swiss drugmaker Roche has won US antitrust approval for its US$4.3 billion deal to buy gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics, clearing the way for Roche’s push into treating rare diseases including hemophilia A, Reuters reports. The...
  • Johnson & Johnson said recent tests of samples from the same bottle of Johnson's Baby Powder tested by FDA labs found no asbestos. Photo: AFP

    J&J says new tests show no asbestos in baby powder

    Dec 4, 2019 9:31am
    Johnson & Johnson said recent tests showed that Johnson’s Baby Powder was free of asbestos, after US Food and Drug Administration investigations reported trace amounts of the material in the product earlier this year, Reuters reports....
  • Novartis seeks to expand its portfolio of medicines against cardiovascular disease. Photo: Reuters

    Novartis to buy US biotech firm in US$9.7 billion deal

    Nov 25, 2019 9:46am
    Novartis AG is buying US biotechnology company The Medicines Co. for about US$9.7 billion as it seeks to expand its portfolio of medicines against cardiovascular disease, Reuters reports, citing the Swiss drugmaker. The deal is expected...
  • Google has landed its biggest cloud computing customer in the healthcare space. Photo: Reuters

    Google inks healthcare data, cloud computing deal with Ascension

    Nov 12, 2019 9:35am
    Google has sealed a cloud computing deal with US healthcare services provider Ascension, a partnership that could help the tech giant further develop artificial intelligence tools related to the segment. The partnership will explore artificial intelligence...
  • AstraZeneca’s sales in China have doubled since 2012. Photo: Reuters

    AstraZeneca plans US$1 billion China investment fund with CICC

    Nov 6, 2019 8:38am
    AstraZeneca said it is launching a new fund with China International Capital Corporation (CICC) to invest US$1 billion in China’s healthcare sector, as it expands its research work in the country, Reuters reports. The fund will...
  • Fitbit seeks to develop software that will help detect atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat. Photo: Reuters

    Fitbit in healthcare partnership to take on Apple Watch

    Oct 18, 2019 12:30pm
    Fitbit Inc. is developing a method to detect irregular heart rhythm in time through a partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance, as the wearable device maker looks to match a feature available on rival Apple Watch, Reuters...
  • Johnson & Johnson said it is confident the award will be overturned. Photo: Reuters

    Jury says J&J must pay US$8 bln in case over male breast growth

    Oct 9, 2019 9:21am
    A US jury said Johnson & Johnson must pay US$8 billion in punitive damages to a man who previously won US$680,000 over his claims that it failed to warn that young men using its antipsychotic drug...
  • Johnson & Johnson said the settlement removes the company from a federal trial against multiple manufacturers and distributors scheduled to begin on Oct. 21. Photo: AFP

    J&J to pay US$20.4 million to settle opioid lawsuits

    Oct 2, 2019 10:07am
    Johnson & Johnson said it will pay US$20.4 million to settle claims by two Ohio counties in a lawsuit that accused the drugmaker of contributing to a US opioid addiction epidemic, Reuters reports. The company said...
  • Purdue Pharma is accused of aggressively marketing prescription painkillers while misleading doctors and patients about their addiction and overdose risks. Photo: Reuters

    Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy protection

    Sep 16, 2019 11:37am
    OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP filed for bankruptcy protection in New York, succumbing to pressure from more than 2,000 lawsuits alleging the company helped fuel the deadly US opioid epidemic, Reuters reports. Purdue’s board met Sunday...
  • Following the deal for United Family Healthcare, New Frontier Group’s Antony Leung will have to work closely with the Chinese healthcare services firm's top management to help it grow. Photo: New Frontier/United Family Healthcare

    Can Antony Leung take United Family Healthcare to next level?

    - Aug 6, 2019 12:09pm
    US-listed New Frontier Corp announced last week that it will buy United Family Healthcare, one of the largest privately-held hospital groups in China, for US$1.44 billion from private-equity firm TPG and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group. New...
  • Elizabeth Holmes, founder of blood-testing startup Theranos, saw her company rise to great heights and then fall apart. Photo: Bloomberg

    Lessons from the fall of Elizabeth Holmes

    - Aug 5, 2019 12:13pm
    A young girl decided to develop a blood-testing technology after watching a family member die of cancer. She studied hard and went to Stanford University at 17. Two years later, she dropped out of college and...
  • The US Justice Department said the illegal scheme began before Indivior spun out of Reckitt in 2014 and resulted in thousands of opioid-addicted patients using the drug. Photo: Bloomberg

    Reckitt to pay US$1.4 billion to end US opioid probes

    Jul 12, 2019 8:29am
    Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to pay up to US$1.4 billion to resolve US claims that its former pharmaceuticals business Indivior before it was spun out of the company carried out an illegal scheme to boost sales...
  • Mercedes Vila, co-founder of Biotech Foods, said her company aims to reach production scale and have regulatory approval by 2021. Photo: Reuters

    US$280,000 lab-grown burger set to be a lot more affordable

    Jul 10, 2019 9:41am
    Consumers concerned about climate change, animal welfare and their own health are fueling interest in so-called clean meat, with the number of associated business startups climbing from four at the end of 2016 to more than...
  • Analysts forecast Allergan's Botox sales to reach US$3.9 billion this year and nearly US$6 billion by 2025. Photo: Bloomberg

    AbbVie to acquire Botox-maker Allergan in US$63 billion deal

    Jun 26, 2019 8:48am
    Drugmaker AbbVie Inc. said it is acquiring Allergan Plc for about US$63 billion, giving AbbVie control over the lucrative wrinkle treatment Botox and buying time to seek new growth before its blockbuster arthritis treatment Humira loses...
  • Climbers make their way to the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal on May 22. Photo: Reuters

    Economic lessons from Everest

    - Jun 19, 2019 12:17pm
    Like many others, I was shocked by recent images showing the size of the queue that formed in May to scale Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, from the Nepalese side. The idea that delays caused...
  • Although the reward can be huge, successful creation of a new drug could take more than a decade from development to approval. Photo: Reuters

    HK startup Aptorum casts wide net at biotech business

    - May 31, 2019 3:39pm
    A typical biotech startup is often founded by a scientist or researcher focusing on a highly specific area, but Aptorum spreads its business over a wide range of projects. Its boss, Ian Huen, studied economics and...
  • The US state of Oklahoma said Johnson & Johnson marketed the opioids as “safe and effective for everyday pain” while downplaying their addictive qualities, thereby helping create a drug oversupply. Photo: Reuters

    J&J accused of helping fuel US opioid crisis in Oklahoma trial

    May 29, 2019 9:16am
    Johnson & Johnson’s greed led the drugmaker to use deceptive marketing to create an oversupply of painkillers that fueled the US opioid epidemic, the US state of Oklahoma alleged at the start of the first trial...
  • Mindray Medical International, with a 174 billion yuan market cap, should learn its lesson on how to treat shareholders. Photo: Mindray/Facebook

    How not to deal with shareholders

    - May 15, 2019 1:03pm
    Shareholders’ meetings are cheerful occasions where company officials, normally aloof and unapproachable, go out of their way to please investors. They highlight the company’s achievements and sometimes play down less pleasant developments as they smile from...
  • The jury found that Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused the plaintiffs to contract non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Photo: Reuters

    US jury hits Bayer with US$2 billion award in cancer trial

    May 14, 2019 8:36am
    A California jury awarded more than US$2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, in the largest US jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over...