Editors' (re)View: Lilly goes radioactive; Pharma fights back against the FTC

Oct. 6, 2023
Pharma Manufacturing editors Karen Langhauser and Andrea Corona comment on the notable happenings in the pharma industry from the week of October 2

Editor’s note: Welcome to Editors' (re)View, our editors’ takes on things going on in the pharma world that deserve some extra consideration.

Eli Lilly goes radioactive

The therapeutic radiopharma industry, expected to exceed $13 billion by 2030, is undergoing a significant transformation marked by increased acquisitions, startups and clinical trials. This week, we reported that Eli Lilly is set to bolster its oncology capabilities and officially step into advanced radioligand therapies through the acquisition of POINT Biopharma. 

Under this agreement, Lilly will purchase all outstanding shares of POINT at a price of $12.50 per share in cash, amounting to approximately $1.4 billion. POINT Biopharma, headquartered in Indianapolis, boasts an 80,000-square-foot facility capable of providing clinical trial doses and handling substantial commercial volumes. The company also operates a radiopharmaceutical research and development center in Toronto.

Radiopharmaceuticals offer targeted and precise treatment for cancer by delivering radiation directly to cancer cells, minimizing damage to healthy tissues. They are especially valuable for inoperable tumors, overcoming resistance to other treatments, and potentially reducing long-term toxicity.

As more pharmaceutical giants enter the arena, patients may soon begin to reap the benefits. 

— Andrea Corona 

In defense of M&A: Pharma fights back against the FTC

After months of back and forth with the FTC, Amgen has finally completed its $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics.

But the news comes in the wake of another announcement that speaks to the industry’s broad dissatisfaction with FTC’s new-found aggressive stance on pharma mergers. Earlier this week, over 30 life sciences organizations banned together to oppose the FTC’s new approach to antitrust enforcement, launching the Partnership for the U.S. Life Science Ecosystem — PULSE. The new coalition, which has a mission to educate on the value of pharma dealmaking, was formed in defense of what its members call “pro-innovation M&A.”  

The coalition argues that M&A is associated with increased R&D and innovation because it enables efficient allocation of funding and resources across the pharma ecosystem. M&A, says PULSE, “makes it possible for companies pursuing important new therapies to secure the resources, infrastructure and expertise needed to bring innovation from the lab to the patient.”

Concerned about the increased consolidation in the biopharma space (which PULSE says is a myth), the FTC announced a new working group back in 2021. Comprised of antitrust enforcers from around the globe, the initiative vowed to more closely evaluate pharma mergers in light of concerns about anticompetitive behavior and drug pricing.

Then, this past July, the DOJ and FTC unveiled new draft merger guidelines, marking a significant departure from their traditional approach to analyzing deals, which includes those in the pharma industry. According to legal experts, the new guidelines “greatly increasing the disclosure burden, time required to prepare filings and expenses for the parties early on in the transaction.”

It remains to be seen how effective PULSE will be in scaring off the FTC, but with heavy hitters like Amgen, Gilead, Merck, AbbVie and Novartis backing the cause, the coalition will have a voice that will be difficult to ignore. —Karen Langhauser

About the Author

Andrea Corona | Senior Editor

Andrea Corona serves as the Senior Editor of Pharma Manufacturing — a leading source of news and insights for pharma professionals — and is responsible for creation of editorial content, moderating webinars, and co-hosting the "Off script" podcast. Her editorial journey started as an as associate editor at Biocompare, an online platform providing product information, industry news, articles, and other resources to support scientists in their work. Before Biocompare, she was a digital producer at Science Friday, focusing on adapting radio segments for the web and social media management. Andrea earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and biology from the State University of New York, at Purchase College. 
About the Author

Karen P. Langhauser | Chief Content Director, Pharma Manufacturing

Karen currently serves as Pharma Manufacturing's chief content director.

Now having dedicated her entire career to b2b journalism, Karen got her start writing for Food Manufacturing magazine. She made the decision to trade food for drugs in 2013, when she joined Putman Media as the digital content manager for Pharma Manufacturing, later taking the helm on the brand in 2016.

As an award-winning journalist with 20+ years experience writing in the manufacturing space, Karen passionately believes that b2b content does not have to suck. As the content director, her ongoing mission has been to keep Pharma Manufacturing's editorial look, tone and content fresh and accessible.

Karen graduated with honors from Bucknell University, where she majored in English and played Division 1 softball for the Bison. Happily living in NJ's famed Asbury Park, Karen is a retired Garden State Rollergirl, known to the roller derby community as the 'Predator-in-Chief.'