UPDATED: CVS takes a swing at Bristol Myers and Pfizer, excluding coverage of their megablockbuster Eliquis in 2022 – Endpoints News

Bristol Myers Squibb brought in more than $9 billion in sales from its anticoagulant Eliquis in 2020, and it continues to see growth with more than $8 billion in sales in the first nine months of 2021 (nearly $4.5 billion of which went to Pfizer in 2021 as part of their partnership).
But in 2022, one of the largest PBMs in the US, CVS Caremark, has recently decided to no longer cover the megablockbuster, and instead will only offer coverage for warfarin and Janssen’s Xarelto.
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The bulk of this week’s report is brought to you by Endpoints editors Nicole DeFeudis and Max Gelman, who are covering for me as I take a few days off after the big Women in Biopharma R&D event. We are really proud of both the special report and the live panel, which featured some great stories from trailblazing leaders and insights on gender diversity in biotech. Do check them out below if you haven’t had a chance.
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Back in January 2019, the late House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings kicked off a nearly 3-year-long drug pricing investigation that culminated today in a major new report detailing how prices for vital drugs have risen substantially since their launch, while calling on the Senate to pass a bill that will allow Medicare to negotiate some prices.
The committee’s investigation focused on 12 of the most expensive drugs for Medicare, showing massive price spikes that have accumulated over the years and made some drugs, like insulin, entirely unaffordable for some, to the point where some diabetics have had to ration their life-saving insulin, and some have died.
Remember when medical meetings were live and in person?
Stepping off the plane from Austin into this year’s American Society of Hematology annual meeting in Atlanta, I can’t help but feel some of the excitement and sense of intellectual ferment we used to feel around the biggest conferences of the year — but it’s undeniable this year is different.
No longer restricted to a wonky Internet platform, #ASH21 has adopted a live-virtual hybrid model, and I embraced the chance to return to my first live meeting in roughly two years — vaxxed, boosted and masked, of course. It’s good to be back, but I, like the rest of the world, am still adjusting to the new normal.
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Moderna says that it’s on its way to having an mRNA vaccine against not one, but two different seasonal viruses.
The biotech released the first early data from its flu program Friday morning, announcing that all doses of the shot significantly boosted antibodies in younger and older adults without “significant safety findings.”
A 500-person Phase II will confirm dose levels and compare it to an approved flu vaccine, the company said, and preparations for a large pivotal trial are underway. Moderna said it is also advancing new designs that can have potentially broader coverage of different flu strains than current shots.
While the ultimate fate of Novartis’ big generics arm Sandoz may still be up in the air, there’s no doubt it’s in play as a potential buyout target.
Overnight, Reuters picked up on a report out of Germany that EQT and the billionaire Strüngmann brothers — enjoying a huge windfall from the overnight success of BioNTech’s mRNA Covid vaccine — are kicking the tires at Sandoz. And Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan confirmed they’ve seen some M&A interest, even if no hard offers are on the table.
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In a heated race with some of pharma’s biggest players, Roche’s Genentech is looking to drive a lead bispecific antibody program through the clinic against stubborn blood cancers. As the field watches closely, Roche is now trotting out data it thinks could earn its drug a first shot at the market.
Roche’s mosunetuzumab, a bispecific targeting the CD20 and CD3 proteins on the surface of tumors, posted a 60% complete response rate, according to data from nearly 100 patients with third-line-or-later follicular lymphoma in an open-label, single-arm Phase I/II study dubbed GO29781 presented Saturday at #ASH21.
As a spate of researchers work diligently on next-gen CAR-T cell therapies, the big players in the current generation of those drugs are still angling for more market share. Getting to patients earlier is now the game plan, and Gilead’s Kite has uncorked some impressive data backing up its case in lymphoma.
Kite’s Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) cut the risk of disease progression, death or the need for additional therapy by a little more than 60% compared with standard of care in second-line patients with relapsed or refractory large B cell lymphoma, according to full data from the Phase III ZUMA-7 study revealed Saturday at #ASH21.
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Kicking off this weekend’s #ASH21, Gilead’s Kite and Bristol Myers Squibb have released competing data for their current-gen CAR-T drugs in second-line B cell lymphoma patients. It’s a heated contest to move these drugs into earlier lines of therapy, and Bristol Myers thinks these fuller data will keep the pressure on.
Bristol Myers’ Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel) cut the risk of disease progression, death and other events by 65% over standard of care in second-line relapsed or refractory LBCL patients, according to data from the Phase III TRANSFORM study presented Saturday.
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