Weekly Roundup – 09/26/08

J0400766It is a dark and stormy day here at the seat of our nation’s government, which is a term that these days should almost be in quotes given the roiling financial situation and the seemingly unparalleled perfect storm of incompetence that appears to be swirling around. 

In the meantime, here is what happened on saner ground:

  • Leaving NIH – Everyone has by now heard the news that Dr. Elias Zerhouni has decided to leave NIH prior to the onset of a new administration, though future plans were not revealed.  Dr. Zerhouni led NIH through difficult times, made more difficult perhaps by interference from some quarters in Congress ill-qualified to second guess research directions.  The question now is, who will lead – especially given the constant beating that NIH gets from those same quarters and restrictions that probably encourage a brain drain. 
  • Lilly Becomes First Pharmaceutical to Announce Transparency on Payments to Doctors – Lilly CEO John Lechleiter, Ph.D., announced at Economic Club of Indiana that the company plans to launch an online registry of physician payments in 2009 as part of a broader outline on the company’s transformation efforts.   This is a smart move and one that should be part of a broader effort on the part of industry to get out ahead of expected reforms before the 111th Congress starts passing them.  Merck followed suit.  Get on board the transparency train (or find yourself forced on board).
  • Takeda Submits NDA for Diabetes Combo PillTakeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Takeda Global Research & Development Center Inc. (U.S.), submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA for marketing approval of alogliptin (SYR-322) and ACTOS® (pioglitazone HCl) (“alogliptin/ACTOS”) in a single tablet for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.  This would combine a DPP-4 with a TZD.  Diabetes medications have become a tough category so it will be interesting to watch  as this unfolds. 

That’s it for me this week.  Have a good weekend.

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