Press review

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German 'pay-for-performance' agreement for CAR-T Kymriah criticised

Country : Germany, U.S.

Keywords :
BERLIN, 6 Sep (APM) - The 'pay-for-performance' agreements on Novartis's CAR-T therapy Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) in Germany is being cricised by major payer AOK, weekly Wirtschaftswoche says on Friday (p8).
Contrary to other payers which have contracted with Novartis (APMHE 63422) (APMHE 62156), AOK sees such contracts as "ethically questionable" as it means refunds are granted when the patient does not survive.
Instalment payments linked to success would also not solve the problem of excessive drug prices, AOK added. The issue would require a "comprehensive reform".

German ban of glyphosate from 2023 is bitter failure for Bayer

The German government has decided to ban glyphosate-based weedkillers, such as Bayer's Roundup, from 2023 to foster insect variety, Handelsblatt (p19&34), Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (p1) and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (p1&17&19) reported on Thursday.
Glyphosate is approved in the EU until 2023 and after that, Bayer can still count on the U.S. and Latin American markets, which make up 90% of sales. However, it is a bitter failure for the German group, Handelsblatt said.

Bayer poaches J&J manager

Bayer has attracted Marianne De Backer, a specialist for acquisitions and cooperations from its competitor Johnson & Johnson, FAZ (p18) and SZ (p18) reported on Wednesday (APMHE 64230).
De Backer will be head of business development & licensing, as Bayer intends to focus more on partnerships in the future to compensate for expected sales losses that could result from expiring patents for blockbuster products such as anticoagulant Xarelto, FAZ reported.
The announcement came after further positive news for Bayer, as clinical practice guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recommend Xarelto at 2.5 mg twice daily plus aspirin low dose once daily in the management of patients with chronic coronary syndromes and patients with diabetes and lower extremity arterial disease.

'No illegal behaviour' in Monsanto's file, says external audit

Monsanto did not behave illegally in compiling lists of supportive and critical stakeholders according to an external audit commissioned by the company's new owner, Bayer, Handelsblatt (p26) and FAZ (p26) report on Friday.
Bayer published on Thursday the final report made by a law firm (APMHE 64253).

Frankfurt staff hope for positive news from Sanofi's new CEO

Staff at Sanofi's Frankfurt site are hoping that the French group's new chief executive Paul Hudson will step back from job cuts announced for Germany, FAZ reported on Tuesday (p24).
In October, Hudson, who took up his post on Monday (APMHE 64214), could come to Frankfurt where the declining insulin production and diabetes R&D are of concern. His predecessor, Olivier Brandicourt, had announced restructuring plans leading to 144 R&D jobs being cut in Frankfurt (APMHE 63404).

Paradigm shift for MorphoSys

Jean-Paul Kress taking over as CEO of German biotech MorphoSys from founder Simon Moroney is a "paradigm shift", Handelsblatt said on Tuesday (p26-27).
Kress and his experience in drug marketing could be a "good fit" for MorphoSys at this stage, shortly before the U.S. approval of lad candidate tafasitamab, expected for the end of the year, Handelsblatt quoted analysts as saying.
Observers are confident as the data from L-Mind study on tafasitamab in relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma are positive and could be used for U.S. and EU filings. Peak sales of €500 to €800 million are predicted for tafsitamab, Handelsblatt said.

Merz criticises 'wealth tax' plans

German pharma aesthetic company Merz warned about social democrat party SPD's plans to establish a "wealth tax" and its the potential negative impact on investments, FAZ reported on Wednesday (p22) (APMHE 64242).
Merz has no plans to leave Germany and will open a new production site in the Brandenburg town of Dessau this year. However, the company would not invest in more production facilities in the country, chief executive Philip Burchard told FAZ in an interview.

Chemical industry lowers prognosis for the third time this year

The association of the German chemical industry VCI has lowered its forecast for the pharmaceutical and chemical sector for the third time this year, expecting a sales fall of 5% to €193 billion, FAZ reported on Thursday (p17&18).
In March and June, VCI lowered its expectations from a positive forecast to a sales reduction of 3%. The chemical industry, which includes the pharma industry, is Germany's third-largest industry.
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