Global Briefs: Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Grifols & More

A roundup of news from Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk, Grifols, AbbVie, Capsida, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Mayne Pharma, and Pfizer. Highlights below.  

* Lilly Cuts Insulin Prices by 70% 
* Novo Nordisk To Expand R&D Presence in Boston Area 
* Grifols Announces $424-M Operational Improvement Plan 
* AbbVie, Capsida in $665-M Genetic Medicines Pact for Eye Diseases  
* Dr Reddy’s To Acquire Mayne Pharma’s US Generic Rx Product Portfolio 
* Pfizer, Tempus in AI-Based Oncology Drug Pact  

Lilly Cuts Insulin Prices by 70% 
Eli Lilly and Company has announced price reductions of 70% for its most commonly prescribed insulins and an expansion of its Insulin Value Program that caps patient out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 or less per month. 

Lilly is reducing the list price of insulins by: (1) cutting the list price of its non-branded insulin, insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL, to $25 a vial, effective May 1, 2023; (2) cutting the list price of Humalog (insulin lispro injection) 100 units/mL, Lilly’s most commonly prescribed insulin, and Humulin (insulin human) injection 100 units/mL by 70%, effective in the fourth quarter 2023; and (3) launching Rezvoglar (insulin glargine-aglr) injection, a basal insulin that is biosimilar to, and interchangeable with, Sanofi’s Lantus (insulin glargine) injection, for $92 per five pack of KwikPens, pens that hold a dose of insulin, a 78% discount to Lantus, effective April 1, 2023. 

In addition to reducing the list price of its insulins, Lilly is making it easier for more people with diabetes to get Lilly insulins by: (1) automatically capping out-of-pocket costs at $35 at participating retail pharmacies for people with commercial insurance using Lilly insulin, effective immediately (as reported on March 1, 2023) and (2) allowing people who do not have insurance to continue to go to and download the Lilly Insulin Value Program savings card to receive Lilly insulins for $35 per month. 

Source: Eli Lilly and Company 

Novo Nordisk To Expand R&D Presence in Boston Area 
Novo Nordisk has announced plans to expand its research and development (R&D) presence in the greater Boston metro area to create one of its largest R&D hubs outside of Denmark. This new hub will leverage the company’s existing presence in Lexington, Cambridge, and Watertown, Massachusetts and will be home to the majority of Novo Nordisk’s US-based R&D activities.   

Novo Nordisk anticipates adding more than 200 new jobs in the Boston area in 2023. Of these new positions, more than 150 will be lab-based and clinical development personnel in Lexington and Watertown with roles in data science, biology or chemistry research, and ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) research and clinical development. 

In 2022, Novo Nordisk began to convert a 100,000-square foot-space, which includes a new lab, adjacent to its existing facilities in Lexington. This facility will house its RNAi research and development and oral formulation units. More than 80,000 square feet of existing lab and office space will be available for use by R&D groups co-locating in Lexington.  

With the establishment of greater Boston as Novo Nordisk’s principal R&D location in the US, the company will transfer its lab-based discovery activities from Seattle to other locations in its global R&D network and close its R&D facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is expected to result in the elimination of approximately 20 positions in Indianapolis and approximately 80 positions in Seattle. Novo Nordisk says it will be extending the opportunity to pursue open positions at other locations to affected employees. The company will continue to have a presence in Seattle, with a focus on digital therapy, data science, and artificial intelligence. The R&D site dedicated to manufacturing of stem cells and stem cell-based therapies will continue to be based in Fremont, California.   

Source: Novo Nordisk 

Grifols Announces $424-M Operational Improvement Plan 
Grifols, a global healthcare company of plasma-derived medicines and diagnostics, has announced an operational improvement plan with the goal of achieving annualized cost savings of EUR 400 million ($424 million). The plan is focused in three major areas: optimizing plasma costs and operations, streamlining corporate functions, and enhancing other efficiencies across the organization. The company also announced a change in executive leadership with the appointment of a new Executive Chairman.  

The first part of the plan centers on optimization of plasma costs and operations to maintain desired plasma volumes while reducing the cash cost per liter of plasma through a set of measures expected to generate annualized savings of at least EUR 300 million ($318 million) relative to full-year 2022. 

The second part of the plan is focused on streamlining corporate functions covering a broad range of initiatives such as centralizing and automating functions, more fully sharing services across business units, consolidating vendors, streamlining reporting structures, and eliminating duplicative functions and positions, among others. These initiatives will impact close to 300 full-time equivalents, most of whom are in the US, with approximately one-third located in Spain. 

The third part of the plan, enhancing other efficiencies across the organization, will enable the company to reduce operational costs related to, among other things, global procurement, logistics, and facilities, in part due to a real estate rationalization affecting certain offices but not industrial facilities. 

This plan will be initiated in the first quarter of 2023 and is expected to be completed through the fiscal year, subject to applicable law and consultation requirements. The company expects to achieve annualized cost savings of approximately EUR 400 million ($424 million) relative to comparable 2022 full year costs. While measures comprising most or all of these savings are expected to be implemented by the fourth quarter of 2023, due to the company’s inventory accounting as well as timing of implementation, it is expected that approximately EUR 100 million ($160 million) of savings will be recognized for income statement purposes in 2023. Most of the annualized cost savings will be recognized for income statement purposes in 2024. 

The company also reports that Steven F. Mayer, Executive Chairman, has resigned for personal and health reasons, and Thomas Glanzmann, Vice Chairman and member of the Grifols Board, was named new Grifols Executive Chairman, effective with the announcement of the leadership change (February 17, 2023).  

Source: Grifols 

AbbVie, Capsida in $665-M Pact for Genetic Medicines for Eye Diseases
AbbVie and Capsida Biotherapeutics, a Thousand Oaks, California-based bio/pharmaceutical company focused on gene therapies, have entered into an agreement to develop genetic medicines for eye diseases in a deal worth up to $665 million ($70 million upfront and $595 million in milestone payments).  

AbbVie’s capabilities will be paired with Capsida’s adeno-associated virus (AAV) engineering platform and manufacturing capability to identify and advance three programs. The collaboration builds upon the companies’ neurodegenerative disease partnership announced in 2021. 

Under the agreement, Capsida will receive $70 million, consisting of upfront payments and a potential equity investment. For the three programs, Capsida may be eligible to receive up to $595 million in option fees and research and development milestones, with potential for further commercial milestones. Capsida is also eligible to receive mid-to-high single-digit royalty payments on future product sales. Capsida will lead capsid discovery efforts for all programs using its AAV engineering platform and will be responsible for process development and early clinical manufacturing. AbbVie will lead therapeutic cargo approaches and be responsible for development and commercialization.  

Source: AbbVie 

Dr Reddy’s To Acquire Mayne Pharma’s US Generic Rx Product Portfolio 
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a Hyderabad, India-based bio/pharmaceutical company, has agreed to acquire the US generic prescription product portfolio of Mayne Pharma, an Australia-based bio/pharmaceutical company, in a deal worth up to $105 million ($90 million upfront and $15 million in contingent payments).  

The sale includes all assets of Mayne’s US retail generics business unit, which includes approximately 45 commercial products, four pipeline products, and 40 approved non-marketed products, including a number of generic products focused on women’s health. For the financial period ended June 30, 2022, Mayne Pharma reported total revenue of $111 million for the acquired portfolio.  

Under the agreement, Dr. Reddy’s will acquire the portfolio for an upfront payment of approximately $90 million in cash, contingent payments of up to $15 million, with consideration toward inventory and credits for certain accrued channel liabilities to be determined on the closing date. The closing of the transaction is subject to satisfactory completion of customary closing conditions, including the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act), as amended. 

At the closing of the sale, Mayne Pharma and Dr. Reddy’s will enter into a 10-year supply agreement on arm’s length terms for certain products that are manufactured at Mayne Pharma’s facility in Salisbury, South Australia. 

Source: Mayne Pharma and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories  

Pfizer, Tempus in AI-Based Oncology Drug Pact  
Pfizer and Tempus, a Chicago, Illinois-based artificial intelligence (AI) and precision medicine company, have entered a collaboration under which the two companies will work together to further AI and machine learning-driven efforts in therapeutic development. The goal of this collaboration is to more precisely gather insights that will inform drug discovery and development in oncology. 

Through this collaboration, Pfizer has access to Tempus’ AI-enabled platform and its library of de-identified, multimodal data for therapeutic development in oncology. Pfizer also has access to Tempus’ range of capabilities that support therapeutic R&D, to advance its own oncology portfolio, including AI-driven companion diagnostic offerings and Tempus’ clinical trial matching program, TIME. 

Source: Tempus