The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new diabetes medicine which targets two hormones involved in blood sugar control. In clinical studies, Mounjaro (tirzepatide) was shown to be more be more effective than three other approved diabetes drugs. It was developed by Eli Lilly and Co and given an expedited review by the FDA on the basis of its potential for significantly improving the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. It is also under regulatory review in Europe and Japan.
Galapagos NV ended the first quarter of 2022 with net sales of €14.4 million from its first marketed product and a new chief executive, Paul Stoffels, former chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson Inc. Dr Stoffels assumed his new position on 1 April, succeeding Onno van de Stolpe, the company’s co-founder and leader for 23 years. He moves into the CEO position as Galapagos continues to roll out Jyseleca (filgotinib), its lead product for rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.
H. Lundbeck A/S recovered momentum in the first quarter as its four largest products for neurological disorders produced significant sales growth. Group revenue for the quarter was DKK 4.4 billion ($610,000), up by 2%, reversing a decline over the previous year.
Better treatments for ischaemic stroke have come a step closer thanks to research presented at the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC 2022) in Lyon, France in May. It has been appreciated for some time that there is a link between the intestinal microbiome and neurological development and aging, and some studies have suggested that impaired intestinal microflora can be a risk factor for stroke. Equally, an ischaemic stroke is believed to alter the composition on the intestinal microflora.
Biogen Inc has started the search for a new chief executive to replace Michel Vounatsos who will step down from his job once a successor is found. The US company announced the transition to new leadership on 3 May with the publication of its 2022 first quarter results.
Novo Nordisk A/S had a robust growth in operating profit in the first quarter, even taking into account the cost of integrating the recently acquired Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc, a developer of candidate RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. Novo completed the purchase of Dicerna on 28 December 2021 and since then has been absorbing the costs.
MorphoSys AG advanced its pipeline of wholly-owned cancer drugs in the first quarter while accelerating sales of Monjuvi, its marketed product for diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Revenue for the quarter was €41.5 million, down by 12% from a year earlier. The 2021 figure benefited from a €16 million milestone payment from development partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc delivered a 32% increase in turnover to £9.8 billion in the first quarter of 2022 on the back of a double-digit rise in sales of oncology medicines and a rebound in demand for Shingrix, its vaccine for shingles. Shingrix’s sales were £698 million, or 42% of all vaccine sales in the quarter. Demand for the vaccine had flagged during the pandemic but started to recover in the new year.
Sanofi SA increased sales and operating profit in the 2022 first quarter while taking steps to replenish its portfolio through new partnerships. The partnership deals ranged from a classic collaboration with Seagen Inc to develop antibody-drug conjugates to a more adventurous risk-sharing partnership with Blackstone Life Sciences to accelerate development of a subcutaneous formulation of its multiple myeloma treatment Sarclisa.
Novartis increased its operating income by 18% to $2.9 billion in the first quarter even as sales showed only a 1% rise to $12.5 billion. The operating result benefited from a reduction in impairments and measures to improve productivity, the company said on 26 April.