Fourteen leading pharma companies released fourth-quarter and full-year 2021 financial results in February. (Figures exclude exchange rate and portfolio changes where applicable.)

Leading the pack, SK Bioscience generated an unprecedented $375 million in fourth-quarter revenues—a 573% jump from the same period in 2020—driven by its CMO drug substance manufacturing business, which contributed to AstraZeneca/Oxford and Novavax Covid-19 vaccine production. The South Korean company also…

The state of the fight: 

A Lilly mAb active against Omicron won a U.S. FDA emergency use nod.
  Novavax’s shot proved 80% efficacious in adolescents ages 12-17, according to a Phase 3 readout.
  Vaxxinity’s UB-612 vaccine candidate performed better against Omicron than an mRNA-based comparator jab.



J&J’s single-dose shot was only 53% efficacious against moderate to severe Covid-19 (28 days post-injection) in a final…

The state of the fight: 

A booster dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin increased neutralizing antibodies up to 265-fold.
  WHO added therapies from Eli Lilly and GSK/Vir to its list of recommended Covid-19 treatments.
  Novartis will pay over $162 million to in-license Molecular Partners’ ensovibep antiviral candidate.



Two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine reduced the risk of Covid-19 hospitalization by 94% among adolescents…

The state of the fight: 

WHO issued an Emergency Use Listing for Serum Institute of India’s version of Novavax’s vaccine.
  The U.S. CDC recommended mRNA-based vaccines over J&J’s.
  Data on the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody therapies against the Omicron variant began pouring in.


A U.S. CDC advisory panel recommended mRNA-based vaccines over the J&J jab, citing blood clot side effects stemming from the single-…

Merck has issued a $1 billion sustainability bond, the company announced Monday. The instrument will fund environmental, social and governance (ESG) projects and “contribute to the advancement of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals,” according to a press release.

Merck said proceeds from the bond—part of an $8 billion debt offering—will support access to essential healthcare services, infectious disease R&D, socioeconomic advancement and empowerment, renewable…

After more than 20 years as a shareholder, Novartis has agreed to sell its 33% stake in Roche to its Basel-based cross-town rival for $20.7 billion, the companies separately announced last week.

“We concluded that now is the right time to monetize our investment,” Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said in a press release. Meanwhile, Roche’s press release claimed the move disentangles the two competitors and enables it to regain “full strategic flexibility.”


Thirteen leading pharma companies released third-quarter 2021 financial results in October, while one Japanese firm reported first-half 2021 results for the fiscal year ending in March. (Figures exclude exchange rate and portfolio changes where applicable.)

South Korea’s LG Chem saw its third-quarter numbers soar 70.7% over the same period last year, delivering $9.1 billion in sales. However, operating profit tumbled 20%, mainly due to a one-off expense associated with its electric…

Novartis has begun a “strategic review” of its Sandoz subsidiary that will “explore all options, ranging from retaining the business to separation,” the Basel-based company announced Tuesday alongside its quarterly earnings statement. While the generic business accounted for around 20% of total company sales last year, the Swiss pharma giant expects the unit’s core operating income to decline more than previously expected, the press release said.

A Wall Street Journal article on…


Novartis’ Sandoz subsidiary will pay $185 million under an agreement with the U.S. government to resolve civil liabilities related to alleged price-fixing of generic drugs, the Department of Justice announced last week. The payment adds to an earlier penalty of $195 million to settle criminal charges in the matter.

The government also announced related civil settlements with Taro Pharmaceuticals (for over $213 million) and Canada-based Apotex (for $49 million). India’s Sun Pharma…

Novartis and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) announced last week positive Phase 2b results for their novel non-artemisinin combination antimalarial. The study tested ganaplacide with a new formulation of lumefantrine optimized for once-daily dosing.

This combination has the potential not only to clear malaria infection, including artemisinin-resistant strains, but also to block the transmission of the malaria parasite, the press release said.