patent cliff

Pfizer Sells Capsugel: Will More Asset Sales Follow?

On Monday, Pfizer announced it would sell its Capsugel business to private-equity firm KKR for $2.375 billion. If the hints the drugmaker has been giving lately are true, the move could be the start of two years of major asset sales. Here's what's ahead for the world's biggest pharmaceutical company.

The Five Best-Performing Biotech Stocks of 2011 -- So Far

Pharmaceuticals are facing big patent cliff problems this year, but several biotechnology stocks have been doing quite well: Their biologic drugs command high prices, tend become blockbusters, and -- perhaps most important -- are in far less danger from generic competition. Here are the big winners so far.

Top-Selling Drugs About to Lose Patent Protection

The pharmaceutical industry is about to fall off a cliff -- a patent cliff. Over the next few years, some of the world's most popular and lucrative medicines will go off patent, and generic competition will siphon an estimated quarter of a trillion dollars from companies' bottom lines. Here's a rundown:

Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme on the Brink of a Merger

It seems that months of merger talks between French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis and U.S. biotech Genzyme have entered the home stretch. This week, Sanofi is expected to offer $74 per share for the rare disease drugmaker, with an option included potentially worth $5 to $6 a share.

Pfizer Joins Other Pharmas in Giving a Cautious Outlook

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that nearly quadrupled from a year ago as revenue rose 6%. But it also lowered its sales guidance for 2012, due to some of its bestselling drugs going off patent. What's ahead for the world's biggest drugmaker:

Another Cancer-Drug Failure Highlights Difficulties Facing Pharmas

Sanofi-Aventis announced its cancer drug candidate iniparib failed in a late-stage clinical trial. Other pharmaceutical companies have also experienced recent setbacks as they scramble to bolster their pipelines ahead of the patent cliff, when they will be forced to compete with cheaper generics.

Pfizer's Potential Arthritis Drug Works in Late-Stage Trial

Pfizer shares were down more than 1% Monday afternoon despite the pharmaceutical giant's report Sunday of successful late-stage trial results for an experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug. The study showed tasocitinib reduced pain and inflammation and improved physical function in patients with moderately to severely active RA.

Pfizer Buys King Pharma for $3.6 Billion

With King in its fold, Pfizer -- which makes Lyrica and Celebrex -- believes it can build an industry-leading portfolio of pain relievers. Among King's most appealing entrants in that market is the new Embeda, designed to prevent misuse and abuse.

Sanofi Denies Offering $69-$80 Price Range to Genzyme

There's a new plot twist in the takeover battle between French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis and U.S. drugmaker Genzyme. A regulatory filing made by Genzyme on Thursday claims Sanofi may be willing to go much higher than its current $69 bid -- a claim the French company disputes.

World Drug Sales to Hit $880 Billion in 2011

Global pharmaceutical sales are expected to grow by 5% to 7% in 2011 to around $880 billion, thanks to robust growth in emerging markets, especially China, as well as new innovative treatments, and despite patent expirations and budget pressures in the developed world.

Sanofi-Aventis Inks 10-Year R&D Deal with Covance

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis announced a 10-year agreement with Covance on Thursday under which the Princeton, N.J.-based contract research firm will provide it with drug development services. Sanofi-Aventis will pay Covance between $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion.

Sanofi-Avenits Won't Boost Genzyme Bid

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis is unwilling to pay more than $70 a share in its bid to buy biotech firm Genzyme, media outlets reported Wednesday. If a deal can't be reached, the French drugmaker may consider alternative takeover targets.

WHO Approves Pfizer's Pediatric Pneumococcus Vaccine

The World Health Organization has granted prequalification to Pfizer's Prevnar 13 pediatric vaccine, which protects against an array of pneumococcal diseases, the world's leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in children under 5. Pfizer's shares rose more than 1% Monday.

Sanofi-Aventis Opens Buyout Talks with Genzyme

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis sent a letter to major U.S. biotech firm Genzyme proposing a friendly takeover valued at $69 a share, or $18.4 billion. But that's significantly less than the offer of $80 a share, or $21.3 billion, that sources say Genzyme is looking for.

Sanofi-Aventis Earnings Beat Expectations

Sanofi-Aventis reported its second-quarter net profit rose 7.6% to 2.48 billion euros, beating expectations. But the French drugmaker warned that earnings may fall for the full year, and it remained silent about its rumored plan to make a friendly bid for Genzyme.

AstraZeneca Stock Jumps After Court Ruling on Crestor

AstraZeneca shares surged by almost 9% Tuesday after the company scored a win in court regarding the patent for its cholesterol treatment, Crestor. The ruling means that AstraZeneca won't have to worry about generic competition for its multibillion-dollar statin until 2016.