Health News Roundup: American Healthcare REIT to raise about $672 million in US IPO; U.S. publisher retracts studies cited by Texas judge in suspending abortion pill's approval and more

Novo Holdings, the parent company of Novo Nordisk, on Monday announced it was buying Catalent in a $16.5 billion deal that included its Bloomington plant, which it plans to sell to Novo Nordisk to help it produce its popular weight-loss drug Wegovy. Amazon to cut a few hundred jobs at healthcare units Amazon.com will cut a few hundred jobs across its healthcare units, Amazon Healthcare Services executive Neil Lindsay said in a letter to employees on Tuesday.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 07-02-2024 10:33 IST | Created: 07-02-2024 10:30 IST
Health News Roundup: American Healthcare REIT to raise about $672 million in US IPO; U.S. publisher retracts studies cited by Texas judge in suspending abortion pill's approval and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

US FDA finds control lapses at Catalent plant being sold to Novo

U.S. drug regulators in November found quality control lapses at the Bloomington, Indiana factory of contract drug manufacturer Catalent, including discovery of a "pest" on the manufacturing line, according to an inspection report. Novo Holdings, the parent company of Novo Nordisk, on Monday announced it was buying Catalent in a $16.5 billion deal that included its Bloomington plant, which it plans to sell to Novo Nordisk to help it produce its popular weight-loss drug Wegovy.

Amazon to cut a few hundred jobs at healthcare units

Amazon.com will cut a few hundred jobs across its healthcare units, Amazon Healthcare Services executive Neil Lindsay said in a letter to employees on Tuesday. Roughly 115 positions may be eliminated at One Medical and Amazon Pharmacy, according to Business Insider, which first reported the job cuts. A person cited by Insider estimated up to 400 employees could lose their jobs.

American Healthcare REIT to raise about $672 million in US IPO

American Healthcare REIT said on Tuesday it will raise about $672 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in New York and plans to use most of that to pay down debt. The real estate investment trust said it plans to sell 56 million shares priced at $12 each, the lower end of its targeted range of $12 to $15.

U.S. publisher retracts studies cited by Texas judge in suspending abortion pill's approval

A U.S. scientific publisher has retracted two studies, largely due to their methodology, that a Texas judge cited last year in his ruling suspending federal approval of the abortion pill mifepristone in response to a lawsuit by anti-abortion doctors and medical associations. The retraction Monday by Sage Publications came less than two months before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear an appeal by President Joe Biden's administration in that case. Mifepristone, the first in a two-pill regimen for medication abortion, remains available while the appeal is pending.

Factbox-Drugmakers deepen efforts to tap into booming market for obesity drugs

Novo Nordisk's parent acquired contract drug manufacturer Catalent on Monday, as part of the Danish drugmaker's efforts to boost production of its obesity drug Wegovy when competition is heating up. Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are so far the leaders in the weight-loss drug market, estimated to be worth $100 billion by the end of the decade, with their powerful new drugs Wegovy and Zepbound, respectively.

Factbox-What other health conditions are weight-loss drugs being tested for?

Eli Lilly's blockbuster diabetes drug Mounjaro and weight-loss therapy Zepbound, as well Novo Nordisk's rival medicines Ozempic and Wegovy are being studied to see whether they can improve health in other ways. Lilly on Tuesday said Zepbound had been shown in a mid-stage trial to help reduce symptoms of a fatty liver disease. The trial showed 73.9% of patients achieved absence of the disease with no worsening of liver scarring at 52 weeks, compared to 13% of patients on placebo.

Gilead quarterly revenue drops 4%, oral COVID drug fails trial

Gilead Sciences on Tuesday said fourth-quarter revenue dipped 4% on lower sales of HIV drugs and its infused COVID-19 treatment Veklury, and the company forecast weaker-than-expected 2024 sales. For full-year 2024, Gilead said it expects adjusted earnings of $6.85 to $7.25 per share on product sales of $27.1 billion to $27.5 billion. Analysts have projected 2024 earnings of $7.24 per share on revenue of $27.7 billion.

AstraZeneca to invest $300 million in US facility for cell therapies

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it will invest $300 million in a facility in Rockville, Maryland, for discovery and development of cell therapies. More than 150 jobs will be created at the site in the United States to initially focus on manufacturing the cell therapies to enable clinical trials to be conducted, the company said, adding that the site may expand its focus to support other disease areas.

Amgen quarterly profit rises 15%, obesity drug trials are on track

Amgen on Tuesday said its adjusted fourth-quarter profit rose 15%, driven by a 20% increase in revenue following the biotechnology company's October acquisition of rare disease drugmaker Horizon Therapeutics. For full-year 2024, the company said it expects adjusted earnings per share of $18.90 to $20.30 on revenue of $32.4 billion to $33.8 billion. Analysts are estimating 2024 earnings of $20.02 per share and revenue of $32.7 billion.

Lilly rides wave of weight-loss drug demand, working to expand capacity

Eli Lilly on Tuesday forecast 2024 profit above Wall Street estimates on soaring demand for Zepbound, its recently approved weight-loss drug, and said it would have new supply from expanded manufacturing capacity as soon as this year. Explosive demand for diabetes treatment Mounjaro, which had also been used off label for weight loss, and now Zepbound, has led to a buying spree of Lilly's stock, propelling the drugmaker's market value to over $600 billion.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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