Not every drug chief wants to ride the wave of M&A sweeping through pharma. Example: Roche CEO Severin Schwan, who says he'll stay in the shallows.
GlaxoSmithKline is touting stellar Phase III results for an in-development combo therapy for melanoma, saying its treatment beat out Roche's Zelboraf in overall survival and led independent advisers to recommend an early end for the study.
Personalized medicine is the latest trend in companion diagnostics, and companies are teaming up to develop comprehensive tests based on a patient's biologic characteristics. Roche's Ventana Medical Systems sees potential in the field, and recently inked a deal with Germany's Merck KGaA to develop a companion diagnostic test for different cancer indications.
An Alzheimer's treatment from AC Immune and Genentech posted mixed results in a midstage study, missing its coprimary endpoints but performing well in patients with milder symptoms. That leaves Roche, Genentech's parent company, with a big decision to make on whether to take the plunge into Phase III.
Roche's cancer blockbuster Avastin has yet another shot at boosting sales. The FDA put Avastin up for priority review in cervical cancer, with a decision date of Oct. 24.
Roche and biotech partner Exelixis say their melanoma-fighting combination therapy met its primary endpoint in Phase III, clearing the way for an FDA application and giving the latter company a boost in its share value.
Roche's Ventana Medical Systems will develop a companion diagnostic test with Germany's Merck KGaA that can be used for many different cancer types.
Roche's Avastin is often prescribed off label as a cheaper alternative to its Lucentis for treating wet age-related macular degeneration. Now French lawmakers are encouraging the practice as a way to save the country money.
In June, the Italian government said it would pay for Roche's cancer drug Avastin to be used to treat a blinding eye disease, in place of the company's far more expensive eye drug Lucentis. Now, France is following Italy's lead.
With more M&A, product development and restructuring on the horizon, med tech CEOs have their work cut out for them in the coming year. But for now, here's the breakdown of what they took home in 2013.